1st edition — by Patrick McNeil — May. 9, 2006
The Design Element
This is perhaps one of the most ambiguous and subjective categories described
on Design Melt Down yet. The heart of what I mean by Super Clean is that visually
speaking the entire feel of the site is super clean. To me this is somewhat
of an ideal or ultimate design. Basically the sites selected for this category
feel as though they are clutter free, have plenty of breathing room, have an
easy to understand and clear hierarchy, and overall feel really balanced and
easy to consume.
This is not to be confused with a minimal design. The perfect example to
prove this point is the
site. It has lots of content, lots of graphics, and a ton of information
to communicate. I would go as far as to say that sites selling computers
and their parts are notorious for being completely anti super clean, they
get cluttered with data and options and are far from what I would consider
site has overcome this though, the site is unified
and visual tight. Everything has plenty of breathing room, even though there
is a lot of information to pack in. Consistency and a consideration of hierarchy
seems to be the key to success for them.
The next step away from the high density site is one with not as much content,
but still plenty that needs to fit in. Avoiding the clutter is still a problem
and takes great resolve to avoid.
fits this slot well. They have
a fair amount of content, and even perhaps more dangerous, a wide variety
in types of content that will require rather different formats. The site
seems to have maintained the clean feel with two key elements. An excellent
choice of colors, light and comfortable. Secondly they have tons of room
to breath, all of the elements have been spaced generously. The site is so
simple, and yet so complex, I wish I had made this one.
Finally we have sites with very little content, which you might be tempted
to say would be easy to make super clean. Quite the contrary, this is never
easy to do! In fact less makes it even harder. My favorite sample of this
HTML Editor Reviews
site. How much content can there possibly be to
generate around this very narrow and focused subject. The site does well
to present the content they do have in a way which carries a little more
mass. The background has a bit of variation and variety to it. Although this
is the case they have demonstrated that you can add a bit of business to
a page while remaining subtle and with out cluttering and crowding the primary
content. The content has the focus here.
Quite honestly this is something I have struggled with on Design Melt Down,
as the content has grown it doesn't quite feel like the layout has completely
There are a million things I could say about these sites, so many ways to
analyze why I think they are great. To me they really have achieved an ideal
design. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.