Web design hasn't evolved much over the last 20 years or so. Maybe websites –
generally speaking – look more slick now than before, but that doesn't help much to keep them apart
and grade them designwise when all use the same limited number of solutions and follow the same trends.
We humans sure haven't come far since designing stonehenge, even with our improved scisels and hammers.
good art – bad art – no art…
One can see web design as an artform, and there are quite a few good – even some great
– designs around. As with all other artforms; there are of course more bad than good designs
around, and there are literally millions of copy-cat designs to be found.
If you like the look/feel of a page/site, and it works, it is probably OK – designwise
at least. If designers have to explain why this or that miniscule detail makes a design stand out
above the crowd, it probably isn't worth our time – good designs can stand on their own.
Of course; most people couldn't care less about web design as artform. Anyone and his dog
is a designer, and a design can be built up in no time using bought and borrowed bits and pieces.
It is good so, as it means we all can find ways to express ourselves in unique ways even if nearly all
our creations look like they are produced at assembly-lines – which most actually are.
As for content … well, I really shouldn't go there…
… too many sites only slip in a pretty thin, regurgitated, soup they call “content”
in order to serve us massive amounts of ads and third party intrusions. Not worth further commenting.
minimalism … hmmm…
“Minimalism” and “minimalism” have two different meanings to me when I'm
talking about web design.
What I sell to customers are “simplistic visual designs” that provide them
with plenty room for whatever they want to populate their sites with. Standard chunks of code that are
easy to update and modify by anyone, work well on most sites.
What I play around with on my own sites is different, in that I can go quite
a few rounds behind the scene – in the code – to achieve a minimalistic appearance.
This is after all my very personal playground, where I can test out more complex ways to achieve
anything, everything and nothing. Maybe even add another shade of gray here and there now and then,
and pretend it matters.