Minimalist Web Design

Nick Babich:

When it comes to minimalism, don’t think it’s easier just because it’s simpler. Because there are fewer elements, you must provide the same level of usability with less interface elements.

For over 15 years of practicing minimal design, I still am in love with it.

Praise for Prowebtype

Ricardo Magalhães:

While Mathew chose to leave behind the practical bits of the digital and technical world of web design, Donny Truong has done an epic effort at crafting yet another beautifully and knowledgeable guide to Professional Web Typography that no one in the web design world should miss. Apart from touching on the fundamentals of type, Donny presents very clear and by-chapter best practices on how to deal with fonts on the web, how to put their features to best use and how to craft efficient UIs using type.

Thanks Ricardo!

Where Are Web Design Resources?

I have not been keeping up with the latest web design and development in the past year. Many years ago, I stayed up-to-date with my RSS reader, but web designers and developers don’t blog much anymore. Then Twitter became my source for design and development. Unfortunately 95% of my Twitter feed is now about politics. I rarely find tweets about web design anymore. I used to read technical books on web design and development, but those books are also not being published as much as they used to.

Then again, my design and development approach is pretty old school. I don’t use any frameworks. I try to write clean HTML and as few CSS lines as I can. I only use JavaScript when I absolutely have to. I still prefer clean, simple design over parallax scrolling and complex layout. Typography matters the most to me. The text has to be readable. I don’t set out to create cool, hip, and trendy sites. I create long-lasting web.

Because of my design sensibility, I don’t need to learn every new framework that comes out. I don’t need to keep up with every new tricks and techniques. I just have to keep my eyes on new CSS development to do more things like typographic controls and grid layouts.

Rob Walker on Design

Rob Walker:

Like “writing,” design can be done well or poorly, or done brilliantly to dubious ends, or done awfully but somehow be successful anyway. If the first season of “Abstract” settles the question of design’s cool cultural status, maybe it can also lead to a new version of the conversation (in Season 2?) about what design is, and why we should care. Instead of merely seeking to have the design idea appreciated and applauded, advocates can start talking, instead, about the opportunity to have it taken seriously.

Brushing Up My Résumé

Last night I spent two hours editing and redesigning my résumé. I wanted to detach it from the ON Designs look and feel. I wanted my résumé to stand alone rather than being part of my portfolio.

In addition, I wanted to move away from creating two separate print and web versions. They are a bit of a pain to update. I eliminated the Illustrator version by generating a PDF from the webpage.

I wanted my résumé to be clean, simple, legible, and readable. I went back to a two-column design with a 960-grid layout. The types are set in Mr and Mrs Eaves, designed by Zuzana Licko. Take a look.

Advising Service for Vietnamese Typography

Are you designing a new typeface or subsetting your existing fonts to support Vietnamese? I would love to help. I am offering advising Vietnamese typography as a service. For a small, one-time fee, I will review your Vietnamese characters to make sure they are properly positioned, legible, and readable. I will also provide suggestions on how to make your typeface feels natural to Vietnamese readers. Learn more.

ON Designs Principles

Came up with 10 principles for ON Designs.

  1. Simplify without sacrifice
  2. Eliminate distractions
  3. Optimize for fast performance
  4. Deliver unobtrusive experiences
  5. Focus on core values
  6. Enforce accessibility
  7. Establish trust
  8. Design for inclusion
  9. Build for resilience
  10. Enhance with care

Inspired by Jeremy Keith’s collection of Design Principles.