We believe in a minimalist design approach. That means that everything on the page matters: if we took it away, the page would be less useful. Every box, button, color, menu, hint, title, table, label, legend, link, line, and logo must be justified. This approach can lead to some discomfort.
For example, it means that some pages in our application are simple. Really simple. Consider a page that lists studies. If there are only, say, four studies, then there will be only four links on the page. It can be unusual to see such a bare page on the web. But it’s effective because it makes it obvious what you’re meant to do: choose one of the studies. There’s no distraction.
Minimalist design means that we give our clients what they need, not necessarily what they ask for. We may even initially give them slightly less than what they need. It’s much easier to add new features than to remove old ones. (This also explains why I’ve accumulated about three dozen t-shirts that I have no use for).
Minimalism is also an aesthetic; we think that what is simple is beautiful. We don’t believe in design for its own sake. Our tools should make it as easy as possible for our clients to manage their data, and we strive for an interface that facilitates that but doesn’t interfere.