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I'm in the process of redesigning a web app with a very simple layout, set mostly by text (similar to Google in both aesthetics and functionality). Do you know any examples of web apps with such attributes (i.e. Google.com)?

Please note: I'm looking for examples of text-based layouts in web apps, not "regular" websites.

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Don't have any examples from top of my head but you should probably check Swiss Style Graphic Design first

Understanding Swiss Style Graphic Design

and see how Windows 8 uses this approach in their new interface

Metro (design language)

Specially check how they use 'text based' approach on displaying information with very simple shapes and great typography

http://download.cnet.com/2300-2018_4-10009380.html?tag=txt;post.gallery

So you really looking for very clean and light graphics and focus on precise typography and well formed content structure.

I don't have an easy pill for you today but I advise checking image stock websites (like Getty) as they tend to keep the interface very light and text based (avoiding relying on graphics), focus should be on their photography.

Hope it helps.

  • It did help, thanks. I'll definitively take a closer look into swiss style graphic design, as it seems to be a great approach to what I'm trying to do. Still, it would be great to see what's the state of the art in web app design.. – João Mar 5 '12 at 18:23
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Clean, minimalistic designs

You should search for clean minimalistic web site designs on Google and it should yield many results.

But apart from that let me add that creating a pure type-only designs that actually look stunning is hard. Some minimalistic imagery is usually added to improve the whole experience. Sometimes these images are even custom type that would be otherwise too hard to set in HTML+CSS.

There are numerous sites that are designed this way. Let me show you one where it seems that everything is type, but one element in particular is actually graphic. And that's the title.

ArtyPapers

There are numerous others as well. Just check this Google search results and check them out yourself.

  • Thanks for your help, @robert-koritnik. I'm looking for text-based layouts in web apps, though -- I know many text-based websites and they look great, but they're just "regular" websites. I really need to understand how's the state of the art for text-based web apps instead. – João Mar 5 '12 at 15:19
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Not sure what you mean by text-based, but a lot of web apps have minimal illustrations and graphics. The Google apps, Github, Sourceforge, Asana, Basecamp, etc. In fact, there are probably more such sites than ones with illustrations and photo-based layouts. That's because most GUIs don't have room for lots of illustrations and graphics (unless it's a photo or multimedia site like Flickr and Hulu). It just doesn't make sense from a usability standpoint.

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