Nordic UX: how minimalism looks Scandinavian
Scandinavia has never been known for luxurious forms. The same sentence is true when it comes to UX – the basis of everything is minimalism. Minimalism is a “calming” solution for a lot of cluttered designs that repel many users.
But what is a true minimalist Scandinavian design and how can you give your brand a simple Scandinavian style?
Simple color schemes
Perhaps the most striking element of Scandinavian minimalism is its color scheme – in particular, its simplicity.The use of pale or monochrome colors creates space in the room, and also provides a sense of calm and serenity. When a user goes to your site, you want them to feel at ease. This is what will keep them on the site or in the app.
A neutral or basic color palette can create a huge difference in a room (as we see above) – or a website.
Take, for example, the website of the Danish creative Agency Hello Monday:
The pale charcoal color aesthetic creates a neutral, relaxed feel, uncluttered and unbreakable for the user. If you want to bring this Scandi aesthetic to your brand, you need to choose colors that contrast, but keep this figure to a minimum.
If you use three, try to keep them similar (that is, use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel). Use the WebAim contrast checker tool to quickly determine which colors work well together.
Simplicity in the Scandi style applies not only to color schemes – but also to typography. When it comes to implementing minimalism in UX, a clean and simple font is a must.
The first rule: using more than one type of font is just random and doesn’t fit the minimalist aesthetic.
Instead, you should play with weight and size to focus on the important points of your site. For example, a large, bold font works for key information, while a simpler font works for long text. And avoid overly decorative text: a nice, easy-to-read font is crucial for Scandinavian design.
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Swedish entertainment company Spotify is doing it with a Bang:
Their font (although, admittedly, it cannot be considered a consistent and homogeneous) simple and not cluttered. In order to attract attention and create an accent, they use size and weight.
Music for everyone is highlighted in bold (very bold) and is located in the center of the page, once again emphasizing the importance of this phrase. This serves as a hook for getting further details, drawing the viewer deeper into the site.
Functionality is more important than form
As you can see from the title, in Nordic design, the functionality always bypasses the external design. It embodies a completely utilitarian atmosphere, the design of which fits the purpose. Unnecessary trinkets that serve no real purpose are discarded in favor of its ultimate function.
So how do I bring this to your brand? From a UX perspective, redundant features can create visual clutter and a negative user experience. Instead, use a natural space to differentiate between individual elements of a website, email, or app.
A great example of this can be found on the Nokia website:
Instead of adding unnecessary functions like borders and frames, they left free space and got natural frames.
Creating functionality at the output of your website is vital, especially when it comes to email or newsletter delivery, as your audience’s attention may waver here. Here, more than ever, you need to focus – browse and review existing email templates and see what works well for you.
Combine negative space
Finally, the minimalism of Scandinavia is marked by an abundance of negative space. Just as the region itself is characterized by vast desert areas untouched by man, so their design is characterized by unfilled areas.
No article about Scandinavian style would be complete without mentioning the Swedish retailer IKEA. But instead of focusing on their furniture (which certainly characterizes the Scandinavian style), let’s turn to the site:
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Throughout the site, they use a white negative space as the basis on which they display their images, products, etc.This creates a sense of light and openness, and also makes the focus on products more focused. You can also use the same principle with a darker UX key here is visual simplicity, not individual selected colors.
It is not necessary to use white color for your site – this effect will work with others. The point is that the visitor is on your content, not on the design.
Scandinavian minimalism is still popular. Your site’s UX can benefit from switching to a “functionality is more important than form” model-from simply changing the color palette to re-evaluating your typography. Do this to stay in the trend.