50 Simple Websites You Must Not Miss in 2023
When we open a browser, we’re bombarded with information from adverts, modals, and sites vying for our attention. When our focus is under siege, a clean, minimal approach is a welcome respite, and as a contrast to the visual shouting elsewhere, it can be the most engaging approach.
At its core, a minimalist website strips away all the unnecessary elements and focuses on simplicity, clarity, and functionality. As a result, every item that is included carries more weight, so paying close attention to details is more important than ever. Every element, from the colors to the text, must reinforce the design’s message.
Simple sites are easy to navigate and use; they tend to use established design patterns, like scrolling, and they’re easy to read. Minimalist sites tend to be visually calming; they often use clean lines and a limited or natural color palette. Simple sites do not have to be minimalist, and minimalist sites do not have to be simple. However, because the aims and objectives of both approaches go hand-in-hand, simple sites are frequently also minimalist, and vice versa.
Whether you’re reducing a site to simple functionality or styling one with a minimalist approach, you are reducing a website to its core important elements, and to decide which elements are important and which can be cut, you need to have a deep understanding of your target audience.
Benefits of Adopting a Simple Website
When a simple, minimal website is well executed, it produces an engaging user experience (UX) that is also practical for the entity it represents.
Improved brand perception — simplicity is seen as a refined and high-quality approach. The simpler a site is, the more expensive and desirable the service or product will appear.
Simple navigation — it might seem obvious, but if users can’t find your content, it’s worthless. Simple navigation is easier to use and makes content more discoverable.
Faster loading times — sites that keep design elements to a minimum tend to load faster. Not only does this mean improved UX, but it is also a significant boon to search engine performance.
Broad appeal — while simple, minimalist websites necessitate an in-depth understanding of your audience, aesthetically the approach is widely liked and can be applied to almost any site.
Accessibility — the web is a universal medium, and websites must be fully inclusive. Simple, minimal websites are generally more accessible because they utilize established design patterns and are calming and legible.
Scaleability — the web is ever-changing, and websites that don’t want to become candidates for a redesign need to keep up; simple, minimal websites are easy to expand without disrupting the design.
A simple, minimalist website enhances UX thanks to clearly communicated content, established design patterns, and faster loading. With baked-in accessibility and the option to scale, it’s easy to see why the approach ticks so many boxes for forward-looking companies.
Pitfalls of Adopting a Simple Website
Just because a simple, minimal website is user-friendly, fast, and practical doesn’t mean the approach is entirely without pitfalls.
Visually bland — a well-designed site is never bland, but in the hands of a less experienced designer, the fewer elements used can lead to a site with limited visual impact and a degree of uniformity.
Over-simplification — sometimes, in an effort to achieve a zen-like state of minimalism, a designer will throw out more than they should. Less is not always more. Websites are typically intended as practical tools; removing content or features can make them less useful.
Less engagement — emotional engagement is essential for marketing, and simple websites often don’t create intense, immersive experiences.
Is a Simple Website Right for Your Project?
The argument for adopting a simple, minimalist approach to website design is highly persuasive. But ultimately, the decision must be based on what is suitable for the brand in question.
High-end, expensive products and services like fashion and architecture work well with a simple, minimalist approach. On the other hand, cheap, disposable products and services like breakfast cereal or social media networks, would probably benefit from a maximalist approach.
Focus on your content, which is the essence of any website: does reducing distractions elevate the product or service or diminish it?
50 Simple Websites You Must See in 2023
A simple, minimalist approach is just one of a myriad of different strategies for improving UX performance and engaging more effectively with your customers. If you think it’s right for your project, here are 50 excellent examples to inspire you.
Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.