4 Design Tips for a Drop Dead Gorgeous Website
If you studied art or design than you probably have a pretty solid grasp of the art of composition.
While this may sound like a foreign language to the rest of us, it’s actually not that complicated. By applying a few of the basic rules of art and design, you can create a website that is more attractive and more effective.
So what is the art of composition, you ask? It’s just a fancy term that refers to how various elements are arranged within any work of art – whether a painting, a sculpture or a website. Here are some of the most important elements of composition, and how you can apply them to your site to make it that much more awesome.
Art Element: Color
What It Means for Your Website: Choose the Right Colors
Vibrant and dull, clashing or matching, colors interact on your website and have a strong effect on how visitors respond to your content. Vibrant colors tend to express emotion and inject your website with energy, while darker shades and complementary colors express harmony and a relaxing feel. Choose a color scheme to set the mood and match your brand.
You can also use colors to get your visitors’ attention. Contrast catches the eye (just think about the power of black and white), so you can use it to encourage readers to click on buttons like “shop now” or “contact us.”
If you’re not sure how to pick the right color scheme, try starting with one of Wix’s customizable templates. Or, try a free tool like Kuler to help you find the perfect palette.
Art Element: The Rule of 3s
What It Means for Your Website: Give your main message prime real estate (on screen)
If you want to understand how visitors will view your webpage, it helps to understand the Rule of 3s. To begin, imagine a 3 by 3 grid placed across your entire webpage. The points of intersection will be natural focal points for your users’ eyes. In other words – prime real estate on your site. Consider placing the most important information in these intersections, such as an attractive image or a “call to action” button inviting visitors to shop in your store or sign up for your newsletter.
Art Element: White Space
What It Means for Your Website: Create a clean site with a clear message
Remember when your parents told you to clean up the clutter in your room? Same goes for your website. While it may be tempting to fill every corner and box with text, images, and icons, white space (also called “negative space” if you want to sound like a pro) can be even more powerful than content.
Visitors tend to respond well to websites that look “clean” and leaving a lot of white space also makes it easier to communicate one, clear message. To determine the message you want to send on your site, and then make your point clear with a few simply designed images and text that’s too the point.
Art Element: Line or “Visual Hierarchy”
What It Means for Your Website: Catch your visitor’s eye
Much research has been done to determine how readers view content on screens. The results are clear: people scan websites from the top to the bottom and from left to right. Some people refer to this scanning as taking on an “F” or a “Z” shape.
It’s research results like this that means you do have some control over how visitors view your site. But you shouldn’t stop there – using colors and shading, font size, and relative size of images, you can create a strong sense of hierarchy on your site. Once you’ve done this, viewers will naturally scan your content items in order from most to least important.
When you know where your visitors will look first (and second, and third) on your site, you can use this information to decide where to place important content. Want your clients to see your call to action? Put it where their eyes will land first, and give it a bright pop of color. Have an irresistible image of your product? Give it a prime location, and make sure it contrasts with your background.