I tried replicating those steps in a project, group and space. None of the widgets remained minimized:
We're on Cloud, so I checked this document: Fixed Issues in Jive-n and Jive-x Current Release (2016.3) and couldn't find anything related.
I tried changing layouts, different widgets and a few other things and get the same experience.
I get the feeling this might be a bug and worth submitting a case about.
Hope that helps,
The "Minimize this Widget" option only applies to the widget when you are on the Layout editor page. It is a convenience option to minimize large widgets to make it easier to rearrange widgets on the page. The minimize option does not affect the page once it has been published.
You're right, I was thinking of how we hid widgets with css, rather than through the UI.
Sorry about that.