I recently rebuilt this website.
Previously the design didn’t look all that different but in an effort to get something up and running quickly I had leaned on a frontend CSS framework to shortcut the styling.
The result - a bloated page where the design seemed a little heavy-handed and generic.
The CSS weighed in at 165kb - not large by any means, but in no way indicative of the simplicity of the site. Sure I could have used any one of a number of tools to automatically remove any style definitions that weren’t needed, but that felt detached.
So I decided to rebuild - and rewrite all of the CSS styles and page markup from scratch. Coding intentionally, this was an exercise in minimal development.
Like a bonsai, I’m continuing to prune and refine the site, adjusting the markup almost daily to make it more semantic and elegant. The result is a much cleaner and cohesive site. I’ve also been able to get the stylesheet down to a measly 2kb. It’s the little things.
This approach wouldn’t be appropriate for a large website or system, especially one that would need to be maintained by multiple developers, but it felt right for my own corner of the internet.
This was one of my first opportunities to apply minimalism - a movement that I am growing increasingly drawn to - to my work. It won’t be the last.