Brutalist Design: The Trend that Turned Web Design Upside Down
Dec 01,2016

What in your opinion should a great web design consist of? Obviously, a few elements that cling to our mind in the name of good web design are clean, clutter free and minimalist design layout, ease of use with user-friendly scrolling, navigation, and buttons, eye candy color scheme, beautiful typeface and overall a visual aesthetic targeted to quick user engagement.

But what if these well-appreciated design principles are turned upside down? Would you still call it a good design? Well, whether you call it good or bad, a new web design trend made these principles take an about turn. This new trend called Brutalist Design popularly took over an array of websites across diverse niches.

What Is Brutalist Design?

The term Brutalist refers to a gamut of meanings like rude, rough, ugly, harsh, cruel, crude, raw, etc. As a design trend, it became popular first in architecture and became a recognizable trend in many buildings made during 70’s and 80’s. What are the quintessential marks of this design trend? Rugged and harsh appearance with the interior structure of buildings being seen from outside is the specific common traits of this architectural trend.

The design principle now again has been embraced by numerous web designers and several hip brands already made their sites redesigned as per this design principle. What Brutalist Design means for the websites? Well, a Brutalist design goes against all of the established design principles aimed to for better user experience. It is visually challenging, confusing and disturbing enough for the user perception and harder to navigate through. Surprisingly enough the trend went viral with many websites implementing it in their websites.

Is Brutalist Design Only A Short-lived Fad?

Brutalist Web Design

A design trend becoming a fad and suddenly being dumped into oblivion is not entirely uncommon for web designers. Well, is Brutalist Design going to experience the same fate?  Let us enquire the value propositions of this trend as cited by web designers.

  • Brutalist design offers you the freedom from the Content Management Software and also the complex rendering of CSS and Javascript. Only a very basic skill in HTML and a text editor are enough.
  • The simple code and least complex backend tools help to maintain responsiveness of the design more easily.
  • A simple rendering of codes and least complicated backend ensures faster loading speed and performance.
  • Bold, harsh and visually challenging design makes it more memorable and impressive.

From the outset, Brutalist Design has turned many design truths and principles upside down. But the value propositions mentioned above equally prove that the design is based upon key elements like performance, speed, simplicity of design and higher memorability.

Has Brutalist Design A bright Future Ahead?

The answer to this question is equally a yes and no. To tell the truth, the principle has revived again in the web just because we human beings sometimes like to turn to the basics, prefer the raw elements inside than the outward soberness.  On the other hand, the usefulness and ease of use are two established forces in web design then you cannot compromise on account of performance, speed, and harsh memorability. So, although it is not actually a fad, it must merge with the broader web principles of usability.


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