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The Reasons Web Design Should Be Like Modern Architecture

Recently, I wrote an inspiration post about modern architecture as inspiration for web design. This post was primarily a collection of images of midcentury modern architecture and more newly built homes with design that I find inspiring. It was my hope that this would inspire others, and I really think it has (it’s been one of our most popular posts ever since its release). In this post, I’d like to talk about why I find physical modern architecture inspiring and how it relates to our philosophy towards modern web architecture.

Web Design and Modern Architecture

At face value, there are great similarities between a well built website and a physical building with modern design style. Both utilize clean lines and geometry to move the eye in dynamic ways, creating visual appeal through minimalism. As Dieter Rams (Chief Design Officer for Braun from the 1960s to the 1990s) said in his 10 Principles of Good Design, “Weniger, aber besser” (less, but better). This focus on the economy of design, only including what is essential to remove clutter and make a product easier to use, is fundamental to helping people occupying the space to digest the information presented. In the design of a website, this means making sure visual information is clear, and that all text is not only easy to read, but easy to understand. Beyond just physical appearance, the philosophy behind the aesthetics is what really drives design choices in both fields.

Design With Purpose

The idea that the design of an object - whether it be a house, a spatula or a website - should come expressly from, and focus specifically on, the object’s purpose. In web design, this purpose is to convey information. As such, we believe it is the web designer’s duty to think about who will be using what they’re building and how to make that web product as easy to use as possible - rather than designing something that is complicated, but looks really cool. This can be best distilled in the popular quote by Louis Sullivan, “Form follows function.” The creative team here refers to this as human centered design. Think about it: real, actual live humans use websites. Focusing on how these people think, and how they use websites, can dramatically increase how effective the design is in conveying the right message.

Modern homes are designed with a focus on creating an environment that utilizes space as efficiently as possible and an atmosphere that allows the individual to reflect their own personality into the interior design of the space. Websites should also be designed in this way, with the structure of the site built in a way that allows the brand to convey its personality to its audience through great content. If you’re looking for a website built with human centered design and a content first approach, get in touch with us. And to see some of the other websites we’ve built with modern web architecture practices, check out our Works page.

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