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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Crusader's Avatar
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    Graphical vs Minimalistic Site Design

    The trend for today's websites seems to be more graphic intensive e.g the whole layout is done using graphics. (Borders, nav buttons etc. etc.).

    Personally I prefer to keep a site simple, quick loading and easy to navigate, even if it doesn't have a "WOW" factor, I would rather prefer a site that loads quickly and allows quick access to the information you need.

    What are your thoughts on this? Should websites be good graphic intensive or not?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy JRMillion's Avatar
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    well many times site are sort of a combo of the two...
    i like designs that have many subtle elements but are not overpowering as a whole.
    I cant think of a good example to show right off the top of my head....

    ps- cool wallpapers

  3. #3
    Non-Member Frozentoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader
    The trend for today's websites seems to be more graphic intensive e.g the whole layout is done using graphics. (Borders, nav buttons etc. etc.).

    Personally I prefer to keep a site simple, quick loading and easy to navigate, even if it doesn't have a "WOW" factor, I would rather prefer a site that loads quickly and allows quick access to the information you need.

    What are your thoughts on this? Should websites be good graphic intensive or not?
    These two options depend entirely on what the site provides and who the site is aimed at.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist Crusader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRMillion
    ps- cool wallpapers
    Thanks! Glad you like them.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist Crusader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozentoast
    These two options depend entirely on what the site provides and who the site is aimed at.
    Couldn't agree more. Basically designing sites for dailup users (90% South Africans use dail-up), I normallly tend to go for minimalism. It just seems that people nowadays think that a site not totally made out of graphics might be inferior to a graphic site.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast Selix's Avatar
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    Using intensive graphics does not necessarily increase the loading time, the graphics can be manipulated and tweaked to load as quickly as normal text. And did you know some formatted text even tae longer than images to process and appear.

    Theoretically without the graphic intensive there would be a lot of degrade in the availability of client to professional web designer, considering the main perspective on the clients mind is always professional graphics and layout in a design.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cas123's Avatar
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    I still think graphics should be used sparingly, although broadband is faster we should not allowe it to make us lazy with our code.
    Much can be done to give your site individual appeal using CSS
    Rarely would I consider using a graphic to create a button, border or background.
    I would say fewer high quality graphics/photographs would have higher impact and serve you better than lots of low resolution images.

  8. #8
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    I tend to fall on the minimalist end of the spectrum more often than not. It's just personal preference really. I've been known to knock out the occasional graphically intensive layout from time to time. It all depends on what the site's needs are. For most of my stuff, minimalism or light graphics tends to do the job right.

  9. #9
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    I tend to fall on the minimalist end of the spectrum more often than not. It's just personal preference really. I've been known to knock out the occasional graphically intensive layout from time to time. It all depends on what the site's needs are. For most of my stuff, minimalism or light graphics tends to do the job right.
    Preach on, brother!

  10. #10
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    im into a more inbetween and colourful mostly 2or 3 colours

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I like a happy medium between graphics and minimalist. Start off minimalist and then add a few graphics (like a logo) to draw the eye in.

  12. #12
    Web Design Addict
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    I'm a big fan of using a little of both. Fast loading mostly with stuff easily accesable is key, but I do like to try and add some small graphics to "church it up" a little.

  13. #13
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    I like my graphics now. Lots of 'em. As long as the code validates, and the site is accessible with images and/or css turned off I'm happy.

  14. #14
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    graphics increases your site traffic and sales as well.

    [advisor edit: link removed]

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    http://www.google.com/ - Gotta be one of the busiest sites on the planet....graphic/layout intensive? Good function will always beat wow "form" on the web
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  16. #16
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    I tend to stick to the bare bones. Graphics might woo them, but good, accessible content will keep 'em coming back.

    Besides which, the bandwidth savings add up, especially for a higher traffic site. Even though I'm pretty minimal now, the next version I'm going to slim it down even more (via CSS and tighter code, primarily).

  17. #17
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    http://www.google.com/ - Gotta be one of the busiest sites on the planet....graphic/layout intensive? Good function will always beat wow "form" on the web
    That all depends on what the sites function is. If your sites function is to impress potential clients with your creativity/design skills then graphics (and good talk of course) will get you a lot further then a google type design (which is ugly, and could be made nicer without increasing the page size).

    Content is important everywhere, but getting peoples attention to 'read' it is also an important part. I know they say people look for content, not for the design, but with so many sites to choose from (for their content), the design plays a part too

  18. #18
    :-) Judith's Avatar
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    I think a mix is important---with good design you seperate and organize information as well as illustrate themes and create an atmosphere. It depends what kind of site it is for sure. IE: Kids sites would be heavier in graphics...perhaps a news site ...or forum...less.

    I would imagine if you are trying to decide if you should be more graphic or text oriented, that you find the most popular competitive sites (to your sites topic)---and review them. That would be a good indicator of the direction you should take and what your market wants.

  19. #19
    Non-Member melancholic's Avatar
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    let the client decide...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    http://www.google.com/ - Gotta be one of the busiest sites on the planet....graphic/layout intensive? Good function will always beat wow "form" on the web
    yah that may be the case when looking at "search engines", but all you would want a search engine to do is to provide you with textfield to put in your search terms and click go.

    I guess it goes with suitability, target audience, and clients requirements. If the client don't know what they want, you show them what's available and give them unbiased options.

    You apply the same minimalistic approach that google has taken in comparison to marketing or advertising firm whos competitors are drumming up the "wow form" websites and wizzbang flash animations, your client will be looked over.

    If your client's website is there strictly for information only, then yah sure, use the minimalist approach, but if you're client is/demands uses the site as an integral part of showing how "dynamic" their company is, and want a site with "the works" (clients like to say that and imagine that you know what they're talkin about), then I suppose that's what you need to give them.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot mpdesigns's Avatar
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    You also have to play into factor the strong involvement of CSS based design in web development. CSS by itself presents a very strong platform from which to design great looking websites with little or no graphics. But also with CSS being so lucritive, the heavy use of graphics is also excercised to great extents. I mean just take a look through cssvault.com's collection of css-based websites. But as the current theme of this thread is conveying, its really having keen sense of combining the two to create something functional yet aesthetically rich.

    -Arik
    Keep it Symple!

  21. #21
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    you can see very nice all done in css at http://www.musicboxv2.com

  22. #22
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    graphics and minimalism can go together. When using graphics though, you are not restrained to use buggy drop-shadow CSS hacks and non crossbrowser-compatible borders and ****.

    http://www.acgift.tk/
    graphics can give a website the right ambience

  23. #23
    SitePoint Evangelist adesignrsa's Avatar
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    Is that your opinion MusicBox... Post it for review, and see what others think...

    Sorry if u have already.

    ~R
    Ross Allchorn
    Web Consultant
    www.allchorn.com
    Twitter - @allchornr

  24. #24
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peach
    graphics and minimalism can go together. When using graphics though, you are not restrained to use buggy drop-shadow CSS hacks and non crossbrowser-compatible borders and ****.

    http://www.acgift.tk/
    graphics can give a website the right ambience
    You mean non '3 year old browser also known as IE' compatible borders and ****?

  25. #25
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    You mean non '3 year old browser also known as IE' compatible borders and ****?
    The only one I could think of that's not crossbrowser compatible in that case is 1px dotted. Even 2px+ dotted works well cross-browser.


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