For today’s post, I’ve created a showcase of web designs anchored in minimalism. Interestingly, I discovered that many of today’s most “minimal” sites aren’t necessarily of the no-frills variety. Why? Because minimalism is the perfect backdrop for dazzling effects.

Interactive innovations and HTML5 experiments are often best appreciated in a barebones environment, so it’s no wonder numerous minimalist websites show off entrancing effects. That said, many (if not most) minimalist sites are still, well, minimal, keeping the focus on their products and content.

I’d be interested to know what you think of this trend in the comments below. But before that, let’s get into the (m)inspiration! On your marks, get set…

30 Minimal Business & Corporate Web Designs

1. Solo


Simple design on a subtle grid. Garnished with color saturation via scrolling. A fun, clean, good interaction!

2. Sur la Route Encore


Despite the many colors “above the fold,” Sur la Route Encore’s site (designed by Minuit Sept) toes the minimalist line.

3. Dropbox


Dropbox’s purpose (as illustrated) and call to action have a hefty impact — due, in part, to their airy design.

4. Budnitz Bicycles


Products take center stage on Budnitz’s homepage, and the “SHOP” button just screams at us to “buy one of these bedazzling bikes ASAP!”

5. Fresh


Running with bold, minty accent and hover colors, Helvetica, and Flat UI, Fresh Product (like Budnitz Bicycles) keeps their wares prominent. Even the grey in the color scheme mimics the off-white backdrop of the photographed items for sale.

6. Oakley


For juggling a lot of content and products, Oakley keeps their page rather simple, and makes use of a mega drop-down navigation menu to avoid overcrowding the homepage.

7. Chec


The soft background is spruced up with outlines of all the enticing things you can sell with Chec, but the page overall keeps the flourishes to a minimum.

8. Boundary Breaks


By suppressing the urge to embellish the font and structure, the engrossing pointer-to-background animation can engulf the user (who doesn’t want to control the weather?).

9. Plain


Simple, lovely, and (as promised) plain.

10. Smith


Like Plain, Smith uses grayscale for some high-contrast oomph.

11. Yield


Lots of space, soft pastels, and keeping buttons to a minimum make Yield’s site palatable and easy to navigate.

12. Room 11


Room 11 leaves plenty of whitespace, which allows the team (and their terse “About Us” blurb that you’ll see upon scrolling down) to stand out from the crowd.

13. Rubicon


Along with bold color, Rubicon packs a lot of punch with their fonts and flat design.

14. Exponent PR


To highlight their video montage at the top of the page (and photos as you scroll), Exponent’s site features simple color and font that makes everything pop.

15. Fair State


Minimal design complements the bold color on this brewery site.

16. Squarespace


Squarespace’s full-page video slider lends itself well to a minimal design overlay.

17. Familiar


A clear, artful instance of minimalism.

18. LLI Design


Featherweight color and design frees us from any distraction from the furniture.

19. Bark PR


Like Exponent PR, the other PR firm on our list, we see flat UI and bold colors, but in Bark PR’s case, the yellow is more central than a mere accent.

20. smart USA


Unlike Bark PR, smart limits its yellow to an accent on black-and-white, but its slider and thumbnails make quite an impression.

21. Nucoco Chocolate


Once again we see crisp design sitting atop clever scrolling techniques.

22. Eone


A parallax-heavy site is lightened (and clearly tells its story) with the help of fresh, minimal design.

23. Wythe Hotel


All the vital info and CTAs are encapsulated in a minimalist design. A refreshing change from the usual crazy-busy design of hotel/motel homepage.

24. Oyyo


Stunning photos get the spotlight, thanks to minimal design and a few strategically placed blocks of color.

25. DreamWorks


Due to these screenshots’ chromatic intensity, it’s not surprising that DreamWorks went with a simpler black-and-white design.

26. Ditto


Step-by-step instructions guide you through using Ditto’s technology, and the classic red, black, and white combination on a blank background provides a pleasing presentation.

27. Microsoft


Microsoft mirrors its new product UI with a rather flat and rather minimal design for a corporate website in a world where many corporate sites feel outdated and crowded.

28. jetBlue


Like Microsoft, compared to most corporations, jetBlue is keeping up with the times with fresher, flatter, and more minimalist design.

29. VSCO


With plenty of items on this long scroll page, both minimalist design and flat UI keep the viewer more focused.

30. Conspiracy


Conspiracy’s homepage bundles necessary buttons at the bottom, then puts the product on a clean canvas.

Taking Minimal Web Design to the Max

It would appear that when following today’s minimalist trends, you don’t necessarily need to shy away from a rich color palette. While Design Instruct’s minimalist roundup is nearly all grey scale with minimal color accents, Tuts+’s minimalist roundup shows how to master the minimal while going for those bold colors.

Although posts on minimalist web design once decried gradients and patterns, today the sites that are the most minimal may have those features, as well as bewitching effects.  (Also check out Crazy Egg’s minimalism tips and Smashing Mag’s minimalism principles.)

What do you think? Has the standard for minimalism in web design changed or broadened? Or is minimalism simply being replaced by a new movement? Let’s flesh out what minimalism is (and isn’t) in 2013!