Thinking Out of the Product #7
Thoughts on product management… and design
Yesterday, I was on a few UI/UX design communities on Discord and I chanced upon this term called brutalist web design. For people unacquainted with the term, brutalist UI refers to a very bare-boned and raw user interface.
Here’s how brutalistwebsites.com describes brutalist UI:
“In its ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy, Brutalism can be seen as a reaction by a younger generation to the lightness, optimism, and frivolity of today’s web design.”
It seems almost paradoxical to be comfortable with brutalist UI, as it reflects a style that goes against the flow. On a lighter note, brutalist UI pays homage to HTML and simple CSS.
Here are some categories I think would fit very well with brutalist UI:
- Creative portfolio sites (side-note: brutalist UI shouldn’t be a free-pass to confusing user experiences) ✅
➡ see: https://arrc.site/
- Commerce sites (think of Harajuku-esque shops) ✅
➡ see: https://stu-b-io.com/
- Academic institutions (art) ✅
➡ see: https://www.art.yale.edu/
So what are the motivations for creators to adopt brutalist UI? I quote this from Benjamin Réthoré, a front-end developer-UI/UX designer
Q: Why do you have a Brutalist Website?
A: I wanted to experiment with designing something brutal to leave my comfort zone. I tried to find a balance between usual techniques such as grids, responsive design, and unusual typography, content and imagery. The site is also making fun of things we see on almost every portfolio: devices, ridiculous skill sets and empty promises in the form of CTA buttons…
Will we see a revival of brutalist web design in 2022? Perhaps in the long term, we might see more mainstream adoption of brutalist web design amidst the emergence of web design tools like Webflow and Editor X.