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The best of simple design

I like simple design. Things that are reduced to the essentials, with a little bit of flair added back in. Here's a list of websites and software that are good at this. I've avoided including blogs - they're mostly text so it's not difficult to make them simple.

Draft is a commercial site that doesn't scream at you.

Basecamp make products that focus on utility rather than beauty.

GOV.UK is a benchmark in designing for utility.

Craigslist isn't beautiful, but it works as well as it needs to, and more UI polish could very easily distract from that.

Adam Morse's website represents his personal interest in practical design.

Pinboard is a service that knows it doesn't need to look fancy to work.

The Better Motherfucking Website teaches you a lot about simple design.

Dan Luu's blog is a blog (See above), but it's pared back even further than most.

A List Apart is a great example of a content heavy site that doesn't shy away from focusing on the content.

Mark Boulton's site is a great example of using typographic scales to separate content blocks.

Frank Chimero's site went through a fascinating redesign process, written up on his blog, to become more simple.

iA's site is as simple as you'd expect from the makers of a minimalist writing tool, but it still manages to feel polished.

Conversion Rate Experts are what their name says they are, so it's good to see that they've kept their own site very simple. Simple clearly sells.

McSweeney's is a comedy writing website, so they decided to focus on the writing with the design too. Almost nothing but the headlines.

Tiny Capital are an investor whose website grabs your attention with bold colour and almost nothing else.

Wikipedia lets the content take centre stage, which is perfect for an encyclopedia. Amazingly, even though they redesigned the site a while ago, they weren't tempted to make it bloated.

Brian Lovin's website manages to look clean and engaging, and keep it very simple.

Hey includes lots of screenshots, but other than that it's a very simple, very direct design.

Things 3 by Cultured Code may not have as simple a website as it could, but the software itself is simply amazing.

Notion has captured people's hearts with their product that's as complicated as it needs to be, and no more.

Agenda is a note taking app that gets out of the way of your notes.

It's Nice That's home page is not very simple, but its article pages show that magazine website don't have to be complicated to be stylish.

Abduzeedo proves that an image-heavy website can be simple, as long as the images are there for a purpose.

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