Design is a problem for me in some ways as I some times struggle to achieve the right “feel”.
For example, I can see a design that is web 2.0, I like it, it looks good and appealing. The problem I have is that designs that are web 2.0 are not always in keeping with the client’s business type.
I get work from manual business owners, gardeners, builders, plumbers, welders, etc. I have a hard time trying to get to a design which looks appealing and modern, yet feels buildery or gardenery or whatevery.
Does anyone know what I mean?
If you do, could you explain what it is about certain types of web designs that makes them feel a certain way.
I have a feeling it is to do with the ratio of vectors art to photographs, possibly the colour scheme too. Any thoughts?
There are undoubtedly tons of different styles and ‘feels’ for different areas of business. I think if the design is professional, related, and unique, it will be a good fit. Be careful with modern, this could mean many different things depending on the niche. Sometimes simple is better.
Thanks for your opinion emmons.
Maybe the word that I am looking for is the style, which then creates the feel.
I did a google search for web design styles and found this article: http://inspectelement.com/articles/10-fantastic-and-creative-web-design-styles/
That post definitely shows varying styles. None of which I think would be appropriate for a small-medium manual business.
Which leads me to think about your “simple is better” statement. I think the problem I have is that I try and make it too arty/design intensive for what essentially needs to a simple and obvious content display mechanism.
This has at least settled me for now, now I have to work on creating simple websites that don’t look like a template…
Web 2.0 is a style of design that is more suitable for marketing that “big idea” or that “great” service. While Web 2.0 is the fad now a days. But all sites dont need a web 2.0 design nor it is suitable for them. I feel designs should be more geared to the needs to the business, rather than just for maximizing the visual impact of the site more than the info they are providing. There is delicate balance between the impact of a design and the impact of the info and its presentation. When the design overwhelms the visitor, he will stay on your site just to appreciate the design and its awesomeness, the info presented in most cases will be ignored.
Web design is not about just looking good but stressing on the factors that will make your site work well, Usability, maintainability, layout, ease of navigation, choice of colors are among the important facets of web site design. Unless your visitors can navigate well, find waht they are looking for and use your site effectively, there is no point in having a site.
Just my 2 cents
For trends and inspiration, have a look at http://2010.designmeltdown.com/
Categorises different themes by site type, colour and a host of other ways. I have both volumes of the books and they are very useful.
Hmm I think there are no explanation for these it really boils down into it’s own perspective on how the design will look. Remember that your target are the audience to look into your site and the contents that it delivered. Look at some of the other sites sometimes the other sites doesn’t have a standout design it boils down on the contents.
Client feedback will play a large part when deciding on look and feel for a site. Ask the client to describe the types of users that will visit the site and adjectives that they want to use to describe the identity and presence of their business. Also survey them to find which sites they like and why, so you are not just copying other looks and styles, but actually coming up with something based on the feeling they are trying to convey.
I draw a lot of inspiration from classic print design, and I think that can be a good route to take with more traditional businesses. In many ways, I think designing for kind of a hum-drum business like a plumber can be the ultimate test of your aesthetic ability. If you want the friendliness of web 2.0 without too modern a style, think about mixing in some physical textures like wood, leather, and paper. I think you can achieve the right balance that way.
Regardless of the style or what business you are creating it for, try and remember the simple elements that make up a website. You will always have a header, a footer and a content area (sometimes with 2 or even 3 columns).
For instance, lets say we are going to create a website for a lawncare/landscape company. For the header, we will use their logo, probably some picture of their best work and a navigation menu linking us to their home page, services, gallery, faq’s and contact. The body of each page will be different, but fill it with content that suites the page. The footer will have a phone number, address and maybe areas they service for SEO purposes.
Now, Web2.0 is just a style. You can take any service you want and make it a “web 2.0” style. Just because you are making a business for cement pourers or asphalt pavers means there needs to be some sort of dirty and grunge style.
Check out http://www.broadwayrental.com/. it’s a company where I live that sells rentals for trucks and DIY jobs that require expensive equiptment. If you took all the content out and filled it in with content from a Law firm, it would look just as good. What REALLY matters, in my opinion, is the content. You can go onto themeforest, look at almost any theme, and you should be able to completely make it for any sort of industry you want.
There are some basics of design that you might find helpful, I’d start with a search using the terms “basic design principles”. You’ll only need to read a few to gain some understanding that what ‘looks good’ usually adheres to some basic principles of things like balance, symmetry, contrast, alignment. Apply even some of these principles as a check to anything you come up with will help you to assess or analyse your own designs and to make small changes that can make a big difference.
I’ve always enjoyed reading the articles at Before and After Magazine because they always present so clearly. They also tend to catalogue what they design with (fonts, colours etc) so if you see something you like you can search it out or use it.
You’re right to avoid generic “web 2.0” designs for every business. Design is about solving problems and communication. So communicating some generic message that has nothing to do with the business at hand isn’t helpful.
I think colour, the mood and psychological effects it has will be one of the main tools you have to differentiate this different businesses.
Gardeners would likely be earthier colours — greens, browns, tans with splashes of feature colour to direct attention.
Plumbers — probably white, off white and “clean” colours, again splashes of feature colours could be helpful. Think designer bathroom. In fact you could probably check out the website or print catalogues of companies that make bathroom fixtures and fittings.
Welders — maybe steely, metal colours and textures.
Those are all kind of literal, maybe a bit too obvious, but at least more appropriate than a bunch of generic visual patterns.
Personally, I like to get my clients (or in the case of a personal project, myself) to quickly browse through a few CSS galleries and find something that resembles the style and feel they’re going for. Your #1 job is to please the client, not so much to create something that you personally feel represents their company.
The web-design organisation should also help with online members, marketing techniques and various other remedies.Usually, the web design industry offer hosts on their web host server. This consideration and particular assistance might be free or it should be a web service-based on Internet sites that discuss a web host server.unique name will be chosen to sign-up your web page. This is known as website signing up and the organisation can also provide a exclusive name with an expendable for your web page cheaply.
psd to html
If you’re designing tradesman sites for the public to use, I would suggest keeping everything as simple as possible. Photos of previous (attractive) projects may help, as would testimonials.
A ‘tips from the trade’ section would help in a couple of ways, it shows the user that you know what you are talking about and he/she may link to it or post links to friends.
Keep the site tidy looking and up to date, if it looks like the owner doesn’t care about his website what message will that give to the prospective customer?
Try to avoid trade jargon, it doesn’t make the tradesman look clever, it makes the customer feel stupid.