Website design principles should inform the look you want for your website.
There are quite a few, to put it mildly, things to think about when you decide you want a website or a new design for your website. At first glance a website can look just like a web page with information on it. And it is true that in some instances that is what a website is. However, there are websites and websites. For those who simply want to be an information board for an organisation e.g. local scouts or local keep fit classes advertising meeting dates and days out etc., then this is all that may be needed. However, if you want a website that promotes your business to its best advantage and more importantly brings in business, then a different website is called for, and this is what we will be talking about here.
The type of business usually dictates the first step in web design. For example an e-commerce, or photography business, or carpet shop. These three show immediately that the first will be a large website with a check out facility, the second will showcase a gallery or two of images and the last one, showcase carpets and flooring. Thus the nature and purpose of the website dictates the first step. Next there are various stages and elements that when brought together produce what you see on the screen.
- WEBSITE STRUCTURE e.g. three buckets, one page, tabs
- WEBSITE THEME e.g. food, nature, scrapbook
- TYPE e.g. E-commerce, photography, blog
- ELEMENTS e.g. icons, rounded corners, ornamental background
- COLOUR e.g. blue, green, black
Colour is a well researched element in marketing as a whole and the lessons learned about the psychological and business impacts have been taken up by the web design industry.
It may be best if I start with the scenario of a motor cycle sales company having a pink website. Would it matter? I am a sure you can see that it would. Firstly, it is not what is expected and expectation matters – “macho” black leather and roaring motorcycles does not sit well with “feminine” pink. A good colour scheme for such a company would be a mix of black / brown / red. I know that these are stereotypes, but they matter. We organise what we see in terms of stereotypes. Of course there are negative stereotypes but there are also positive ones.
Colour matters on many levels
There are strong colours, gendered colours, honest colours, bold colours, brave colours, powerful colours, serious colours and so on. Green for example is associated with nature, the environment. Blue is a ‘safe’ colour, an honest colour and a business colour. Often the colours can be incorporated into the website as accent colours rather than a total background colour. A good general colour is white with accent colours.
A contemporary video company may choose black as the main colour with accent colours of red, lime green and so on.
I hope this has given you some insight into some of the elements in web design.