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Keep It Simple, Stupid!

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!1. 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

Davidville6

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Davidville7

The place Garrett Dimon calls home. | GarrettDimon.com8

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The place Garrett Dimon calls home. | GarrettDimon.com9

3. Drew Warkentin | Creative Solutions Daily.

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

Goplan – Online project management and collaboration tool10

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Goplan - Online project management and collaboration tool11

Business Logs: Blog Design, Blog Consulting, Web 2.0 Services.12

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Business Logs” Blog Design, Blog Consulting, Web 2.0 Services.13

31Three – Web Development in Niagara, Ontario14

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - 31Three - Web Development, Website Design, Web Design, Graphic Design in Niagara, Ontario15

45royale, Inc. | Atlanta Web Design and Development16

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - 45royale, Inc. | Atlanta Web Design and Development17

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 Lewis18

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Studio MIKMIK: Graphic design and illustration by Michael Lewis19

journal // hicksdesign20

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - journal // hicksdesign21

[Beta] Rapid coding collaboration: Springloops22

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - [Beta] Rapid coding collaboration: Springloops23

Corking Design | Daniel Cork freelance web designer based in Manchester24

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Corking Design | Daniel Cork freelance web designer based in Manchester25

Tijs Vrolix26

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Tijs Vrolix27

Visit MIX0728

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Visit MIX0729

Apple – iPod + iTunes30

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Apple - iPod + iTunes31

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 products32

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - kottke.org :: home of fine hypertext products33

Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals34

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Simple software to help you get organized: 37signals35

t:m36

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - t:m37

The Missing Link – Homepage38

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The Missing Link - Homepage39

Wishlistr: Skapa din egen onskelista40

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Wishlistr: Skapa din egen onskelista41

IconShoppe ~ Royalty-free stock icons for the web42

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - IconShoppe ~ Royalty-free stock icons for the web43

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.44

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - maybe.for.you.45

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 Marketing46

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Text Link Ads - Smart Link Marketing47

Webdesign Werbeagentur Kassel Vitamin J Kommunikation48

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Webdesign Werbeagentur Kassel Werbung Corporate Design CMS Vitamin J Kommunikation49

Subtraction 7.050

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Subtraction 7.051

Vibrant and Dark Designs Link

32. We Create Things

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

Lighthouse52

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Lighthouse53

Centrigy™54

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Centrigy™55

nclud™ a creative web design agency56

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - nclud™ a creative web design agency57

Revision358

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Revision359

The Consult – Creative Design Agency – Home60

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - The Consult - Creative Design Agency - Home61

Worth Mentioning Link

An Experiment Gone Useful – Artypapers62

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Wishingline Design Studios | Services - Services Summary63

kartooner.com64

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - kartooner.com65

SXSW’07: After the Storm – Snook.ca66

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Wishingline Design Studios | Services - Services Summary67

Design Observer: writings about design & culture68

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Design Observer: writings about design & culture69

paulbeelen.com70

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - paulbeelen.com71

Olof Lonnroth Design – Lonnroth.info72

Keep It Simple, Stupid - Simple Usable Designs - Olof Lonnroth Design - Lonnroth.info73

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.digital-web.com/articles/keep_it_simple_stupid/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/01/12/white-space-and-simplicity-an-overview/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2006/12/19/50-beautiful-css-based-web-designs-in-2006/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/03/05/45-fresh-clean-and-impressive-designs/
  5. 5 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/01/13/30-dark-designs-you-shouldve-seen/
  6. 6 http://www.davidville.com/
  7. 7 http://www.davidville.com/
  8. 8 http://www.garrettdimon.com/
  9. 9 http://www.garrettdimon.com/
  10. 10 http://goplan.info/
  11. 11 http://goplan.info/
  12. 12 http://businesslogs.com/
  13. 13 http://businesslogs.com/
  14. 14 http://www.31three.com/
  15. 15 http://www.31three.com/
  16. 16 http://www.45royale.com/
  17. 17 http://www.45royale.com/
  18. 18 http://www.studiomikmik.co.uk/
  19. 19 http://www.studiomikmik.co.uk/
  20. 20 http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/
  21. 21 http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/
  22. 22 http://www.springloops.com/
  23. 23 http://www.springloops.com/
  24. 24 http://corkingdesign.co.uk/
  25. 25 http://corkingdesign.co.uk/
  26. 26 http://tijsvrolix.be/
  27. 27 http://tijsvrolix.be/
  28. 28 http://www.visitmix.com/
  29. 29 http://www.visitmix.com/
  30. 30 http://www.apple.com/itunes/
  31. 31 http://www.apple.com/itunes/
  32. 32 http://kottke.org/
  33. 33 http://kottke.org/
  34. 34 http://www.37signals.com/
  35. 35 http://www.37signals.com/
  36. 36 http://www.tm.com/
  37. 37 http://www.tm.com/
  38. 38 http://www.themissinglink.nl/
  39. 39 http://www.themissinglink.nl/
  40. 40 http://www.wishlistr.se/
  41. 41 http://www.wishlistr.se/
  42. 42 http://www.iconshoppe.com/
  43. 43 http://www.iconshoppe.com/
  44. 44 http://www.maybeinc.com/
  45. 45 http://www.maybeinc.com/
  46. 46 http://www.text-link-ads.com/
  47. 47 http://www.text-link-ads.com/
  48. 48 http://www.vitamin-j.de/
  49. 49 http://www.vitamin-j.de/
  50. 50 http://www.subtraction.com/
  51. 51 http://www.subtraction.com/
  52. 52 http://www.lighthouseapp.com/
  53. 53 http://www.lighthouseapp.com/
  54. 54 http://www.centrigy.com/
  55. 55 http://www.centrigy.com/
  56. 56 http://www.nclud.com/
  57. 57 http://www.nclud.com/
  58. 58 http://revision3.com/diggnation
  59. 59 http://revision3.com/diggnation
  60. 60 http://www.theconsult.com/
  61. 61 http://www.theconsult.com/
  62. 62 http://www.artypapers.com/
  63. 63 http://www.artypapers.com/
  64. 64 http://kartooner.com/
  65. 65 http://kartooner.com/
  66. 66 http://www.snook.ca/archives/conferences/sxsw07_after_the_storm/
  67. 67 http://www.snook.ca/archives/conferences/sxsw07_after_the_storm/
  68. 68 http://www.designobserver.com/
  69. 69 http://www.designobserver.com/
  70. 70 http://www.paulbeelen.com/blog/
  71. 71 http://www.paulbeelen.com/blog/
  72. 72 http://lonnroth.info/
  73. 73 http://lonnroth.info/
SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

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? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end 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.

  1. 1

    Cool!!!

    1
  2. 2

    Eddie Sowden

    March 26, 2007 9:28 pm

    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?

    0
  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.

    0
  4. 4

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

    0
  5. 5

    Fab resource!

    0
  6. 6

    Carlos Eduardo

    March 26, 2007 10:34 pm

    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.

    0
  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.

    0
  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.

    0
  11. 11

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

    0
  12. 12

    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.

    0
  13. 13

    David G. Paul

    March 27, 2007 2:33 pm

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

    0
  14. 14

    also worth mentioning would be bloobseven.net

    0
  15. 15

    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!

    0
  16. 16

    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
  17. 17

    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..).

    0
  18. 18

    I like my firms site (very simple) pendergraphics

    0
  19. 19

    Thanks for this great list!

    0
  20. 20

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

    0

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