Is The New Trend in Web Design Making Websites Look Ugly?

The hottest new trend in website design is to create ugly websites that are difficult to use! Yes. You read that right. The newest trend of brutalism in website design and architecture has made sure that your site looks stark, somewhat barren, raw and out of the box. People flood into these websites not for the design, but for the quality of the content. It is catching up with the mainstream very fast thanks to a number of websites and applications, who have adopted brutalism in design in the recent past.

Immediately after Pascal Deville’s brutalistwebsites.com hit the Hacker News, it went viral. It is a conglomerated rebirth of brutalist architecture in the realm of website designing. Brutalism is not a de novo concept. We have seen the rise and fall of brutalism in architecture and art. Websites are an excellent balance between tech and art. They give designers like Deville the freedom of expression.

What is brutal about it?

It is kind of a rude awakening from the complacency of rounded edges, softer designs, and chubby widgets. The likes of brutalistwebsites.com are rekindling Neo-brutalism in the domain of website design. It is all about by sharp edges, a lot of white space and jagged designs. The brutalist websites are mostly text heavy with little to no regards for the flamboyant display of images.

Here are a few adjectives that define brutalist architecture perfectly:

  1. Harsh
  2. Rugged
  3. Rough
  4. Raw
  5. Confrontational

We are especially in love with the last one. Brutalist architecture questions everything conventional about website design. Most brutalist websites do not have the conventional beauty. However, they are sometimes more eye-catching than traditional designs. That is their USP. The rawness of their appeal is undeniable for most website owners and users.

The Good, The Bad and The Brutal

You may have your website code ready to launch. However, can you call it “brutalist” just because it is plain ugly? Of course, you cannot. According to some, brutalism is upholding the beauty in the ugliness. The new era of website design emphasizes content more than design. That is why, we see a lot of use of system fonts, web-safe colors and negative space in brutalist web designs. Forget the ready-to-use templates from popular theme shops. It is time for the crude frameworks to take over the internet once again.

What about the user experience?

It does raise important questions about user experience. Firstly, forget everything you know about website design. Secondly, find a good website design company with enough experience. Only a Las Vegas web development company can guarantee the excellent balance between UX and brutalist website architecture. Brutalism and minimalism go hand in hand. Most sites embrace the use of primitive HTML and rough graphic formats. It means that pictures that cover half the text or non-responsive gridlines. They have a rather shocking effect on the viewer. The design is supposed to pull the users out of today’s comfortable website induced lull and into the world of creative rawness.

There are not many brutalist websites out there. They are more personal in nature. They question convention overtly just as the period of brutalist architecture did back in the early 70s. Here are a few prominent examples of the neo-brutalism –

  1. Bloomberg BusinessWeek Features

The website is the meeting point of finest responsive trends and brutalism. It uses stark system fonts and brutalist colors. The selection of Pantone makes the snippets stand out. The images are from an era that precedes Snapchat and Instagram with fervent ease. It is, however, quite easy to use as compared to its contemporary websites. The lack of effective coalescence makes the website stunningly beautiful.

  1. The Drudge Report

It is a politically conservative American news aggregation site. The brutalist design of the website sits beautifully with the featured news and snippets. An easy listing of popular tabloids and news channels makes it convenient for users to check for references from other sources while browsing The Drudge Report. It is a responsive design. So, this brutalist website does care about the user experience.

  1. Craigslist

It is the most popular site with a brutalist theme. The website is a little challenging to get used to. However, the links in blue and the alphabetical listing of available locations add to the ease of browsing. Craigslist may not be at the top of every UX, but the popularity of this website tells us that Brutalism works.

  1. Google Fonts

We have been in and out of here, without really noticing what is going on. Believe it or not, the Google Fonts website uses brutalist architecture. It is apparent from the ample white space (literally white here), black and gray font color choices and limited use of red. The website is highly functional. It is possibly one of the few semi-brutalist designs that are easy to use.

  1. DADA DATA

The loading page is minimal and funny. DADA DATA aces the Brutalism movement with the use of intriguing semi-classical, contemporary music, basic fonts and non-softened images. It is a perfect balance between fine taste and a lively sense of humor. The brutalism in no way compromises the aesthetics of this website in its design. It is hard to use, as is the norm of every brutalism website.

When we view web brutalism, it appears to be a niche movement. However, it gives us the opportunity to challenge the conventional design trends that have led to the commodification of website design. It questions the idea of downloading themes and templates en masse and modifying them for licensed corporate use. It is trying to imbibe the sense of uniqueness and creation in the field of website building and design.

It has no truck with technology. Brutalism and responsive web design can coexist on the same plane. It simply aims at creating a user experience that is truly exceptional.

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