Intentional Arrangement

Pondicherry, India Home Garden
Pondicherry, India Home Garden

When putting together a blog or any kind of website the design and layout of the pages are crucial to how visitors will react to it. The old saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” definitely does not apply when it comes to website design. If the design is cluttered or hard to read people will quickly leave it. The graphic elements are key to drawing visitors to the main content. With millions upon millions of websites out there, and with most of them competing for traffic and visitors, how a website is laid out will have a profound effect on whether those visitors decide to return or not.

The layout must be very thought out, each object needs to be carefully placed in such a way that any visitor will be able to quickly and logically find their way around. The first thing that must be considered is contrast, it is mainly the color scheme. The colors that are used should not be too bright and uncomfortable to look at, like fluorescent orange, unless that color is related to your content somehow, use it sparingly. If people are going to be staring at and reading a website for a any amount of time, make it easy for them by choosing colors that are easy on the eyes. How fonts contrast with background colors is also important, make sure the fonts really pop out and are very easy to read. There many excellent resources online to help you chose color schemes that are very complementary and are proven to be effective. My favorite site to use is Color Combos, they have excellent information and examples of color schemes.

The other design elements that are important to web design are repetition, arrangement and position. I believe these three elements are very entwined with each other and none of them can be dismissed or ignored without getting poor results. Repetition throughout a site helps visitors know that they are on the same website as they browse through pages, a sudden change in repetition will not only confuse people it might also give them the impression that the website they are on is a scam. Good repetition can’t be done without strategic arrangement and positioning of the objects that are being repeated. Headers, footers and menus are almost always exactly the same on every page within any given website or blog. It is in those sections where websites are most distinct from one another, that’s where a lot of the branding and uniqueness happen. Making good use of space is also important, leaving space in between objects help alleviate the cluttered look. When positioning objects on the page they should be arranged in such away that they all seem to be connected by invisible lines, this aids in the interconnectivity of all the page elements creating a very aesthetic and unified look.

The following sites are some of my favorites when it comes to good webdesign:

flickr

The Resurgence

Nikon

Yvan Rodic

Firefox

4 thoughts on “Intentional Arrangement

  1. This, for me, is one of the most exciting things about digital technology: it is an affordable and accessible outlet for creativity. When considering the costs of music studio time vs DAWs, or printing presses vs websites, or design software vs paints, canvasses, brushes, etc., the costs are relatively inexpensive, anyway.
    But this is what I find most fascinating: assuming more people actually get involved in the creative process, what will be the results?
    On one hand, I believe that people who might have never tested their artistic ability might tap in to talents they didn’t even know they possessed. This is exciting because, in my mind, it implies that the world will benefit from the originality that surely results from such participation.
    On the other hand, tasks of design will also be outsourced to cookie-cutter entrepeneurs whose artistic sensibilities might be as lacking as that of their clients. Hence, the Web King.
    But you certainly offer good advice for those who want to create for themselves. After all, you have to know the rules to break the rules.

    1. Thank you Jay and I totally agree, I find all those aspects of digital technology exciting as well. I frequently find myself wondering what it will be like to engage online 10 years from now.

  2. I find this issue (layout) interesting. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is excellent advice, but like so much other advice, it falls apart on contact with reality. It seems important to have a site that attracts people to read it, but it also seems important to strive for a better tomorrow (where, hopefully, people judge based on content, or don’t judge at all). Is it fair to claim that materialism (and the like) is a negative while at the same time playing to that “audience”? It’s a fine line…

    1. Yes, Mike, it certainly is fine line. But unfortunately Western Culture is more obsessed with appearance than character/content. I am frequently guilty of that kind of judging too. That is definitely very interesting to think about, next time I come across a site that may look lame visually, I will try to move past my judgements and see what they have to say. Thanks for the interesting comment man!

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