“Less is more.” +Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Less is more.” +Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Famous for his dictum ‘Less is More’, Mies attempted to create contemplative, neutral spaces through an architecture based on material, honesty and structural integrity. In the last twenty years of his life, Mies achieved his vision of a monumental ‘skin and bone’ architecture.

There’s a certain beauty in clean, minimalistic, or even stark design. Often in graphic design this is referred to as ‘white space’ or ‘negative space’. This is something that is much more difficult to achieve in web design than designing out every single pixel on the screen. It is the absolute zen of design. Hard to achieve; however there lies a beauty in the simplicity.

This brings to mind another quote I’ve often enjoyed* “If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.” +Blaise Pascal. The beauty of this quote is that it really does take more time to be brief and get your point across than it does to drop every piece of information into a design. The trick with web design and Dayton companies is that for search engine optimization purposes, it is critical that the website’s content structure play well with the web site design. Dayton companies that I work with often struggle initially to understand why every piece of information needs to be available, but just not on the homepage.

Keeping a homepage of a website clean, while also offering multiple points of entry into the meat of the site is very important. People have an idea of what it is that they are looking for; however if you make the site too cluttered it becomes harder to find what it is you’re looking for. There in lies the importance of a clean homepage, but at the same time many companies will question what people are looking for on the site. In the initial design stages this leads to a lot of questions on what needs to be there, but I often encourage people to understand that while we can guess all we want, it really has to come down to what the analytics tell us. Here in lies the importance of having a flexible web design. Dayton based Victoria Theatre Association‘s web site was built with this concept in mind. The main header area is structured to have flexible shows populate, but under that is a widget area that is easily changed dependent upon the information received through analytics.

So, while the design maintains it’s simplicity, it is also backed with a future flexible design to allow for future changes, while still maintaining some negative space. There’s room for the eye to move around the website without being overwhelmed.

While this may all seem like some hippy crap, it really is critically important not only for web design, but also good advice for your life….where in your life is the negative space?

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