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What do you think of minimalist UI?

zoebourque profile image zoebourque ・2 min read

There is a lot of software that claims to have the "minimalist UI", but they just end up to hide most of the features to show that their interface is minimalist and the software is simple.

The key to minimalism isn’t making the interface simple per se. It’s about making it as simple as it needs to be.

There are some of the software with the minimalist interface that actually work.

  1. Instagram

Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms now. Last year, after they underwent the design change, the user experience got so much smoother and easier.

Now when you scroll your newsfeed on Instagram, you will focus on the content uploaded rather than other clutters in design.

  1. Medium

If you blog everyday, you must know about Medium. One of the best thing with Medium is, you can actually focus on your readings rather than the fancy design or colorful photos that can easily distract you.

Most recently redesigned last October, the Medium app lets you personalise what kind of blog posts you receive in your feed, and offers a selection of ‘Top Stories’ and 'Editors’ picks' on its homepage. But where it really comes into its own is in the reading experience, which is elegantly and artfully designed for relaxed and enjoyable reading.

  1. Pinterest

Pinterest is a great source of beautiful and inspirational photos for you. They have photos to set up as cards. You can create organization and flow in a design. Cards also rely on established user behavior patterns, making UI easy to use.

Every element lives in a container that relates to a specific action, such as activating a link, filing out a form, or sharing the link.

Besides from all of the famous apps, I personally have some SaaS platform with the award-winning UI. For example, for productivity apps, we have Quire and Notion.

What's your favorite app?

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I don't know what to say.


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Ah it's perfectly vertically centralized on the golden ratio! That is definitely not minimal and already sophisticated!


In my humble opinion 'minimalistic' is not equal to 'ascetic'.

Historically minimalism has been heralded by poor Japanese, so yes, in the general case it is ascetic. But nowadays it also includes a bit of minimum comfortability with some possible unnecessary improvements, IMHO.


Forgot to power off/on again to reset your hacking attempts!


Oooo look at those scan lines 😇


Well, I'd like to nominate dev.to. Especially on the phone, its simplicity is quite pleasing and actually makes me want to keep coming back and reading.


Me too. I've always come here even I don't want to read. Because it's minimalistic design makes it more attractive


I've worked with several designers for the past years and always end with fights: they overcomplicate the design of the site/app for the user and for us developers

so I redid some of the design elements in Sketch and send it to them, the answer: they get pissed because someone who isn't a designer telling them what to do, what we do at the end: choose my designs because they are easier to approach and more minimal

but minimal and simplistic designs/UIs are not easy, and you might remove some functionalities for the sake of the simple UI but the question is: Do you really need those settings?

you have to make the design approachable to everyone whether they are technical or non technical, and when things get easier for the user to do then the user will get hooked into the platform

there is a book called "Hooked" by Nir Eyal (goodreads.com/book/show/22668729-h...) that tackle this point: simple design can lead users to get hooked to a platform


Well, I feel like those designers were just exceptionally bad, because usually the Designers ask the programmers to remove the irrelevant features.

All design aims to be simple. The perfect UI is a big button which days "do it" and when you press it, the app does the thing you want. Sadly, computers are not that smart yet 😅


I used to love Medium. They have the best layout ever, I can really focus on finding a piece of article that I love. But now they've changed their layout recently (or not recently) and things look a bit cluttered. But still, Medium is one of the best blogging platform ever.


Every time I go to a medium post it contains a huge unscrollable banner on top, and a footer too leaving the reading area small. If I really want to read it I go into developer tools and delete those components. I could write a monkey script but many medium blogs point to other urls so is hard to implement.

I use pinterest on mobile and they had made some big changes but overall last android app update is pretty cool.


As you mentioned, something minimalistic doesn't mean taking away a lot of features, but just using the features that are really needed. So I really like Google Keep, because everything is straight to the point, so you don't get distracted by things unnecessary.


Been using keep for ages, is my main note taking app, checklist app, planning, etc. Is just great. I love it so much that I'm thinking about making a clone given that Google likes to kills services from time to time.


If you blog everyday, you must know about Medium.

Well, indeed, and it's so filled with random junk that's not needed for the article that tools such as Outline exist for the sole purpose of de-cluttering the pages.


I feel. like medium was such of poor example for ui minimalism, unless is the mobile app but I don't use it so I wouldn't know but the site is not minimalist whatsoever.


Well made minimal ui are pure delight.


If the UI is content-driven, I'm a lot more forgiving as an end-user. Just give me a decent recent experience without distractions and I'll consume that content voraciously.

If the UI is meant to be functional - if I'm using it, it needs to have a lot more UX engineering put into it, and it needs to balance the idea of being fresh with keeping things consistent over time.


I should add that minimalizm should be accompanied with speed. A minimalist interface means nothing if it is not instant. I mean, if you make me wait so long, then give me more or just stop it. Recently some of my favorite minimal products became so slow to be useful. Windows opens faster than Gmail and Facebook, which is insane for text content. On the other side, Dev.to is a very good mention I saw in an above comment that matches speed and minimalism in such a cool way.


I presume the 'new twitter web app' is wonderful, linkedin needs a lot of changes to become more easy...
see? It's about the app's use case, the Instagram itself is all about pictures, twitter is all about twits, so they just offer their only-one-thing and then hide other things, thus this is an opinion about designing.


Instagram was like that but it is becoming more Facebook everyday featurewise. Unfortunately better profit generating UI is not the most user friendly one.


You lost me at 'Medium'

I'm not entirely dismissing your point though, it's just all the popups and the ads while trying to focus on what I'm reading


The trick is starting minimalist, and then staying minimalist in a rapidly changing and expanding application.

I personally feel that having a minimal UI in a complex environment still counts. Your UI can focus on that user's personal workflow based on their role. If they want more power, they can tailor that view. So I do in fact hide things to keep the guise of minimalist.

This is in an Enterprise environment though, so different design needs than a Pinterest etc.


I believe that there is no such thing as minimal UI. Anything that distracts, lacks function, conflicts with the design, or obstructs a user is simply BAD UI. Sure, you can make your app vapid with white space, but that doesn't really equate to a minimal experience. Instagram and Pinterest possess a great deal of visual garbage and user-unfriendly design (and usually on purpose).


There's a difference between the Morlocks and Eloi at the keyboard.

A few lines of computer code can thus be made to substitute for any imaginable mechanical interface. The problem is that in many cases the substitute is a poor one. Driving a car through a GUI would be a miserable experience. Even if the GUI were perfectly bug-free, it would be incredibly dangerous, because menus and buttons simply can't be as responsive as direct mechanical controls. My friend's dad, the gentleman who was restoring the MGB, never would have bothered with it if it had been equipped with a GUI. It wouldn't have been any fun.

Minimalist UI does not always mean minimalist UX.

If the UI achieves its minimalism by making me click more, I'm out. OUT I say!


Github. Its UI is simple and clean


I can't take anything seriously without a dark theme. Angular Material Dark is good in my book and is fairly minimal.


What I think is that minimalist UI go with simpler and minimalistic features


I strongly prefer keeping it all as minimal as possible.


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