In today’s technological age, artists are finding new ways of expressing themselves through digital media. One often overlooked form of art is the art of website design. This is a challenging field for artists, who must sometimes restrain their creative urges to ensure that a website is not only aesthetically pleasing but also user friendly and functional. In short, the design should complement the functionality and not detract from it.
Here I want to look at two contrasting website designs and discuss what the designer is trying to achieve and how the use of design and colour corresponds to the particular niche topic of the site in question.
First let’s look at the following online poker bonus website. Here, the designer has opted for a minimalist theme, the only images used are closely related to the posts on the site, or form part of the banners in the sidebar.
However, notice the striking green on black colour scheme used throughout. This shade of green is actually the same used to colour poker tables. You may not notice this at first glance or think it relevant, but actually it subconsciously makes the user feel at home, and adds to the perceived authority of the site. In other words, the user is more likely to trust the information being given because the colours reinforce their confidence in the website as a whole.
Contrast the above site with the following blog at Biola University. Here, we see an explosion of colour and a very large image on the homepage which fills almost the entire screen on a standard laptop.
On this site, the aim is not to help the user find the information they seek as quickly as possible, as was the case with the poker bonus site. Instead, the designer is looking to capture the attention of the user to ensure that they stay on the site and continue reading past the home page.
The image seeks to give an impression of the colourful experience on offer at the university, and entice the reader to not only find out more, but to give an impression that what is on offer will be something they want to get involved in.
So we have two very different designs, both pleasing to the eye but in different ways, and two examples of how artistic web designers are using different approaches to achieve an objective specific to the site in question.