The Problem with Minimalism

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Theo Van Doesburg, Counter-Composition VI 1925

The issue with minimal design is that it is conditionally utilitarian, and reductive.

That fact, in and of itself, does not lend itself to losing to a machine designer, but it is a slippery slope down the volcano crater.

A good litmus test is thinking about what is driving our decisions.
Is it extreme efficiency? Are we relying on statistical optimization? Examples of this would be any number of sites using no styling, times new roman (or other agreeable sans serif), and a grid of images.

Or are our decisions driven by establishing a new mental model for usability? By creating a (uniquely human) delight? Something innate and not at all able to be universally defined as a rule for what good design is.

Minimal design operated on reasoning of efficiency, but without at least one single behavioral (read human) delight it might as well have been made by a robot, for a robot.

 
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