I try to add some flavor to this blog, and when I sat down a while ago, trying to come up with something new, I decided I wanted to do some short interviews. With multiple people. So I came up with a question that I hoped could be of interest, and I emailed a few fellow bloggers. 5 to be precise. For this first round, I was interested in what made a website look good.
There are many techniques or effects that can be used on a website, some of which Apple is known to have pioneered. Blue glowing buttons, reflections, striped backgrounds, web 2.0 “beta”-badges, pixel-fonts or a specific color.
Which effects or techniques do you still find fresh, and eventually find yourself using if/when you design a site?
And which are you just plain tired of?
I have no problem with flashy glowing designs, it sure beats boring simple ones, but it can easily go too far. I’m partial understated striped backgrounds, reflections, trendy colors, etc., but only when they’re just that: understated. I don’t think anyone takes beta badges seriously anymore, so I wouldn’t put that on a site unless it was a joke. I’d say a good measure of this is the designs by Adam Betts. Check out My Dream App, it’s blue and glowing, but it can still be taken seriously.
I’m not sure I understand what “blue glowing buttons” are. All of those techniques, if properly used, can still make a site look fresh. It’s the sites that over use them or sites that have badges just for the sake of having badges that I’m tired of. Obviously color scheme is very important in a website but I’m not sure which specific colors you’re referring to.
I still love the pages Apple create on such products as the Mac Pro, etc. The black and glossy pages really stand out in my book. I also really like clean designs, black and white grid-based designs are really in at the moment. I don’t personally design, though I love watching other designers whip up themes for their own sites.
I’m tired of seeing sites try and take a “Web 2.0” look. Big fonts, huge buttons, they just look awful if not done right.
Eivind Lie Nitter:
I find that most techniques works, old or new, if they’re used properly. For example, you could absolutely say that reflections have been overused and are now “old”; however, I find that e.g. Apple is using them in such a way that it just adds a touch of elegance to their web sites. Or striped backgrounds, which I myself use – on some web sites they work, on others they don’t. Gradients, too, are a simple way to make something more interesting; again absolutely overused, but it works.The problem with many web 2.0 sites these days are not really the techniques – although I’m really getting tired of the beta badges -, but the fact that many of them lack something that distinguishes them from the rest of the pack (I’m guilty of that, too).
On a general basis I can say that the quality of the work put into a site is much more important than any element put there to give it the web 2.0 feel. As long as it feels natural and is an integrated part of the site I don’t mind. That is not to say that some colour schemes should not have been retired a long time ago (the blue/lime green for one). The same goes for the ever present beta badge…
Well, that’s it for this round. I want to give all of you a big thank-you 🙂 I hope to make this a monthly, or perhaps semi-weekly feature, but that requires one thing: people. I want to bring in new people every round. Questions will concentrate around technology, gadgets, computers, the internet and design. If you are interested, please leave a comment, or send me an email (address is in the sidebar).
Anything to add? Voice off the comments! And please let me know what you think about this feature!