Schrodinger's Minimalism AKA: me yapping about design patterns I like.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
While I generally agree with this idea, and use it as guidance when designing, there’s something that is lost when we omit details, especially when writing. YES, I can express the same general idea with way less text, but it’s not the same.
The author of The timeless way of building chooses to both follow and disregard the quote at once. It’s a book you can read to the end while ignoring the majority of it. It’s main concept can be grasped by reading only the paragraphs written in italic; As the author explains: surface understanding of the whole is more valuable than deeper understanding of a fraction.
I LOVED this concept, it is the best of both worlds! BUT it’s not granular enough. The author doesn’t make an italic sentence in the middle of a paragraph. But who’s stopping me from doing it?
High contrast, low contrast, and hidden text became my building blocks.
Yet, it didn't feel finished. Unlike the book, I can’t explain this system to the reader without disrupting their journey. And sometimes I just find the variation noisy. The reader can understand the general idea by only reading the high contrast bits, but how do I expect them to ignore all the rest if it’s in front of them?
Enter "Hidden" text, as a way of expressing myself more freely, I’ve put some things in blurried bits of text that are revealed on hover. With progressive disclosure the ask goes from "ignore this" to "click this if you want to know more".
Benji and Pedro arrived at the same conclusion with slightly different approaches; By starting with the minimum necessary to tell the story, and giving more context based on what interactive parts the reader clicks, both the simplified essential version and the richer more detailed version can exist in the same place at once without overloading the reader.
No better way to see it than to look at their sites:
Anyways, nice site @peduarte , and thanks for taking my obsession with somehow applying progressive disclosure to main content one step further.