"...When using minimalism in web design, does this art form give designers permission to leave off important navigation tools or icons? Not at all. Minimalism is the act of stripping the form to its very basic, necessary elements, the keyword here being “necessary.” No true minimalist would approve of those designs that leave the audience confused or unsure. The idea is to make the message more clear, not more hidden.
In fact, in a previous article on UX Booth titled “Less is More: Simplifying your User Experience,” Trent Martens points out that we must lead our audience to a decision, that too many choices can overwhelm. I believe that the opposite is also true, too few of choices and the audience may feel trapped or restricted.
With this in mind, take a look at the following sites that most would agree are minimalistic in nature. The first five of the following websites have accomplished very impactful minimalist designs, while the last two go too far in their use of limited design elements resulting in very unusable formats.
A highly effective minimalist website incorporates clarity and organization in design. The few elements a minimalist site does use (headers, menus, etc) must absolutely be consistent in order to create a sense of cohesion. Just as in any other minimalist design, the removal of any single element would render the site useless.
There are plenty of roundups for excellent minimalist websites, including 40 Beautiful Examples of Minimalism in Web Design, 50 Inspiring Examples of Minimalism in Web Design, 25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs, 30 Examples of Extreme Minimalism in Web Design, and much more. You will notice the common minimalist principles in each website when viewing these roundups, as shown in the examples following...."