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Keep It Simple, Stupid!

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Let’s put it straight – simplicity is more complex than you probably think it is. To design a web-site in user-friendly tones, presenting all information and removing unnecessary details isn’t easy. In fact, many designers don’t manage to find the right mix between details and their presentation on the screen, which usually results in an information overkill and/or decreased usability. However, some designers do manage to find the right balance and create usable, elegant and clean websites with simple layouts.

We’ve selected some of them. 49 simple, clean, sometimes even minimalistic designs, which all stick closely to one single principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid!. You can also download the whole KISS-gallery in PDF (7,2 Mb) – the document includes high-resolution screenshots and the list of all showcased web-sites. Please do not copy the list, but refer to it with a link.

Recently we’ve suggested few start points one could start learning simplicity from. If you are looking for inspiration, you’d probably like to check

we’ve selected recently.

Centered Designs Link

Davidville

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Davidville

The place Garrett Dimon calls home. | GarrettDimon.com

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The place Garrett Dimon calls home. | GarrettDimon.com

3. Drew Warkentin | Creative Solutions Daily.

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Drew Warkentin | Creative Solutions Daily.

Goplan – Online project management and collaboration tool

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Goplan - Online project management and collaboration tool

Business Logs: Blog Design, Blog Consulting, Web 2.0 Services.

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Business Logs” Blog Design, Blog Consulting, Web 2.0 Services.

31Three – Web Development in Niagara, Ontario

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - 31Three - Web Development, Website Design, Web Design, Graphic Design in Niagara, Ontario

45royale, Inc. | Atlanta Web Design and Development

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - 45royale, Inc. | Atlanta Web Design and Development

Web Design – Normanton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire – Grove

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Web Design - Normanton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire - Grove

Studio MIKMIK: Graphic design and illustration by Michael Lewis

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Studio MIKMIK: Graphic design and illustration by Michael Lewis

journal // hicksdesign

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - journal // hicksdesign

[Beta] Rapid coding collaboration: Springloops

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - [Beta] Rapid coding collaboration: Springloops

Corking Design | Daniel Cork freelance web designer based in Manchester

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Corking Design | Daniel Cork freelance web designer based in Manchester

Tijs Vrolix

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Tijs Vrolix

Visit MIX07

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Visit MIX07

Apple – iPod + iTunes

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Apple - iPod + iTunes

18. The Book Magazine – read online book reviews, author interviews

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The Book Magazine - read online book reviews, author interviews and win books in our competitions

kottke.org :: home of fine hypertext products

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - kottke.org :: home of fine hypertext products

Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals

t:m

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - t:m

The Missing Link – Homepage

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The Missing Link - Homepage

Wishlistr: Skapa din egen onskelista

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Wishlistr: Skapa din egen onskelista

IconShoppe ~ Royalty-free stock icons for the web

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - IconShoppe ~ Royalty-free stock icons for the web

25. Solution Watch – Your descriptive source of solutions

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Solution Watch - Your descriptive source of solutions

Left-aligned Designs Link

Navix Europe | Language, Creative & Consultancy Services

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Navix Europe | Language, Creative & Consultancy Services

maybe.for.you.

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - maybe.for.you.

28. Good Creative – Branding and Graphic Identity

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Good Creative - Branding and Graphic Identity

Text Link Ads – Smart Link Marketing

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Text Link Ads - Smart Link Marketing

Webdesign Werbeagentur Kassel Vitamin J Kommunikation

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Webdesign Werbeagentur Kassel Werbung Corporate Design CMS Vitamin J Kommunikation

Subtraction 7.0

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Subtraction 7.0

Vibrant and Dark Designs Link

32. We Create Things

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - We Create Things

Lighthouse

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Lighthouse

Centrigy™

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Centrigy™

nclud™ a creative web design agency

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - nclud™ a creative web design agency

Revision3

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Revision3

The Consult – Creative Design Agency – Home

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The Consult - Creative Design Agency - Home

Worth Mentioning Link

An Experiment Gone Useful – Artypapers

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Wishingline Design Studios | Services - Services Summary

kartooner.com

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - kartooner.com

SXSW’07: After the Storm – Snook.ca

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Wishingline Design Studios | Services - Services Summary

Design Observer: writings about design & culture

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Design Observer: writings about design & culture

paulbeelen.com

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - paulbeelen.com

Olof Lonnroth Design – Lonnroth.info

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Olof Lonnroth Design - Lonnroth.info
Smashing Book #5

Hold on tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? For example, Smashing Book 5, packed with smart responsive design patterns and techniques.

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Cool!!!

    1
  2. 2

    Some nice sites. Its interesting to see how many use only a single column for their main content and how many who have lots of columns.

    Just out of interest how do you go about finding the sites that you use for your lists? Are they just sites that you happen to know of already or do you go to gallery sites looking for good designs?

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  3. 3

    Vitaly Friedman

    March 26, 2007 9:44 pm

    2Eddie: thanks. First of all, we list at least 15-20 sites we know and seen earlier. Afterwards we search through 10-15 CSS-galleries and select some of the most beautiful examples we find.

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  4. 4

    I really like these articles. They are so inspirational, but they make me feel like ass in comparison. :p

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  5. 5

    Fab resource!

    0
  6. 6

    I like simplicity!

    So many designers that I know, doesn’t like simple layouts, because they think it’s boring and ugly…

    Sometimes it’s harder than create complex layouts… You need to know where and when white space is the better choice.

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  7. 7

    guys at digitalweb don’t have a feed, 2007? sooo lame

    0
  8. 8

    Great list. I am in a continuous process of revisions in an aim to find the perfect simplicity. I am not there yet but this should help a lot.

    0
  9. 9

    I love clean design. As a multimedia/graphic designer I have been inclined to learn Flash in the past few years. Taking a look at where the web is going, ie Web 2.0 I feel flash based websites are going to be ancient history except for certain exceptions. Anyone else feel the same way? Let me know.

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  10. 10

    I really like the PDF file version for this post. I printed it out and put it in page protectors in a binder. I find that I can flip through the binder and look as designs and get ideas faster than surfing lots of sites. I also put my own comments on the printouts. Can you make PDFs of the other posts that you have done on website design? The 4 you have listed below the introduction text would be great. Your site is great, keep up the good work.

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  11. 11

    Awesome list – one more for keeping it simple: http://www.seventhvision.com.au

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  12. 12

    May be u can also make a list of complicated web site, that u should not follow. :D

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  13. 13

    A lot of my personal sites follow the KISS rule and mainly revolve around 1 master area.
    It’s the cleanest, easiest way to design.

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  14. 14

    there’s some damn nice sites there, maybe one day I’ll actually manage to make a site as nice

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  15. 15

    also worth mentioning would be bloobseven.net

    0
  16. 16

    Very true! It’s more tough that one could imagine to make something very simple and yet come up with an excellent design. Your article has some nice looking website and inspires me to follow their approach.

    Thank you for the list!

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  17. 17

    Agreed – simple is better. I’ve tried to balance an inviting design and the presentation of content on my blog using the concept of “keeping it as simple as possible.”

    0
  18. 18

    i’ve seen couple of the designs presented here also at open source design sites – i guess here are the original ones (the designers who created layouts for open source..).

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  19. 19

    I like my firms site (very simple) pendergraphics

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  20. 20

    Thanks for this great list!

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  21. 21

    As always, I love your lists and this one is superb. Insired!

    0
  22. 22

    wow the famous “KISS” in web design, it interests to me.

    greetings!

    0
  23. 23

    Custom Web Site Design

    March 29, 2007 6:26 pm

    Some people are saying that simple design is boring… well simple design can be boring… but I also think simple design is the key if you want a website that works for your business… a very often a complicated design can work against your business… just my opinion :)

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  24. 24

    Wow, i could certainly use these techniques of web 2.0 in my web designing. Nice article

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  25. 25

    Please add my site also in sutable category

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  26. 26

    Awesome!

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  27. 27

    Great, i love minimalistic designs, can’t help it

    0
  28. 28

    Everything is so simple. I love it. :)

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  29. 29

    Excellent Usability and Fantastic User Interface.

    0
  30. 30

    I have gone through your site its good and excellent,and i found many interesting things to read ,gathered information
    so here i am linking you relevant site to get more details,

    onlinebookreviews

    0

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