Dave Copeland advocates for “brutalist web design” (found via Kevin Marks)

There’s much to say for this. Although minimalist may be more apt, I get why he calls it brutalism, as it calls for some brutal choices if you start from an over-produced website.

Summarised it means

  1. Content is readable on all reasonable screens and devices.
  2. Only hyperlinks and buttons respond to clicks.
  3. Hyperlinks are underlined and buttons look like buttons.
  4. The back button works as expected.
  5. View content by scrolling.
  6. Decoration when needed and no unrelated content.
  7. Performance is a feature.

I think this blog got points 1, 2, 4, 5 covered, and fails at underlining hyperlinks (3), and has no specific steps taken for performance (6) (e.g. this site isn’t static)

The upside is he saysif every website adopted these guidelines, the web would be fast and readable, our batteries would have much power at the end of the day…

Then again, brutalist architecture such as the Belgrade Western Gate below, only looks good in a certain light and from a certain perspective. Such as the brief few minutes on a hotel balcony when I took that photo. Otherwise it is often grating and dehumanising. In other words, every metaphor fails at some point.


One reaction on “Brutalist Web Design

  1. Sometimes the universe aligns nicely. The day after our own “Smart Stuff That Matters” unconference on August 31st, in Amsterdam one can join the “Stupid Hackathon“, with a URL that has WTF as TLD.
    The event is “a one-day, small-batch artisanal event where participants conceptualize and create projects that have no value whatsoever“, and this is the 3rd edition.
    Organized by Nienke Dekker and Stephanie Nemeth. They seem to be opposites when it comes to brutalist webdesign: nienkedekker.com/blog close to the Brutalist checklist, and stephanie.lol most definitely not.


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