Minimalism in Web Design

My friends fairly frequently ask why there’s no header here on Funtober.  They don’t know that it is called a header.  But they know that it is missing.  I won’t get a chance to defend the design choice to online visitors.  But maybe they will stumble across this blog post, as you have.  And to them, I say:

If content is king, why does (almost) every website push its content down toward or below the fold by adding a header to brand their website?

If consumers abandon slow loading websites, why do (many) websites insist on loading first a header that is of low value to the user?

Smashing Magazine has an article on the principles of minimalist web design with examples.  It indicates that one of the basic principles of minimalism is to subtract until it breaks.  Yet, if you look at the examples, most of them have some form of header (in the form of a text site name) that tells the reader that they are on a particular site.  But doesn’t that merely duplicate the function of the address bar in the browser?

While I am wading through the non-minimalist websites, how much of my life will be lost waiting for images to load and scrolling down past headers, ads and menu navigation to get to the real content?

For the moment, I’ve decided to forgo the traditional header here at Funtober.  Please don’t take that to mean that this website isn’t as professional as those that include a fancy one on the top of every page to greet you.  I’ve built hundreds of websites with headers and I’m capable of adding one here, too.

Visitors who have read Born to Run will understand.  In running, there has been an intense debate about whether modern running shoes help or hurt your performance.  Perhaps they even increase your risk of injury.  I don’t want to get much farther into the scientific merits of these claims, but I do think it is a good reminder that the modern world is capable of grasping for new, shiny objects and ignoring better strategies for success.

Running Shoes

You no doubt learned in kindergarten: Don’t judge a book by its cover.  I appreciate that you have applied that principle here at Funtober.  Thank you.

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