Imagery is important for web site design, whether it is made with html, WordPress or another software program. We already know that content starts with text or copy. It’s true…text is important. You need to convey what the site is about with words. But without imagery, it is boring. Humans are visual creatures. The pictures we use will have a direct effect on the way visitors feel during and after their visit. I think you will agree one cannot have a website without images.
But what if the images are distracting? There are many example of images leaving you with a bad feeling. The use of color and typography is lacking or over the top. Sometimes, a dark background or image makes the text difficult to read (see example right). Or, perhaps, there is no typography… i.e. the type is the same size. This website owner is in serious need of a remake. He or she is wasting their money and/or actually turning business away. These are obviously the extreme of a terrible website design. But, How do you insure you use good visuals? You do this with the design elements of:
We already have seen one example of bad design above. But what do we know about what makes for good layout? Simplicity is key to great design. The best designs only have the content that is vital… affording no useless content at all. The layout at left is pleasing and the text is easy to read. When the sections are organized, the visitor’s eye moves around the page easily and knows where they are.
By using most WordPress templates, recommended by a professional, you will have a built in structure. But one must stick to its built in alignment, structure the whitespace properly and highlight important elements through size and positioning.
Perhaps everything seems to be in the wrong place, as in the example here. The logo is angled off to the right. It seems the text is all the same size. Differing the size of the type let’s the reader know what the hierarchy of the content. But too many can be a problem too.
Humans are visual creatures. The photos you feature on a site will have a direct effect on the way users feel during and after their browse. Photos that are fuzzy, gloomy, badly lighted, underexposed are usually taken by an amateur photographer as in the example above.
Photos should be clear, well lighted, appealing, and interesting. You can find examples of good photography on a professional photographer’s website such as http://schoenphoto.com.
Last but not least is color. Most designers and artists understand color theory. Here is a quick lesson of how the right color combinations can enhance a website. This is a diagram of the color wheel.
You can see the colors of the rainbow organized in a circle where opposite colors on the wheel are “complementary” to each other. The basic rule is to use these combinations of complementary colors. Red with greek, Blue with orange, Violet with yellow. Color can be part of your brand overall “look” as well, such as the red color for Coca-Cola.
Warm colors are used on sites that want to call to mind a feeling of happiness and joy. Cool colors are best used on professional and clean-cut sites to achieve a cool corporate look.
Here is an example of good color use in a website. The subject matter does not lend itself to much color, but the designer wisely added the complementary colors of blue and orange to the rules and buttons to add color and interest.
Keep these design elements in mind when you are updating your site. But if it’s too much of a challenge, call your web design specialist and I’m sure they will be happy to help!