"Style and your website – an introduction," is about the importance of style. But what makes one style unique? What are those style elements that differentiate your site from others?
First of all the colors. Enough has been written about color usage and color schemes on websites. Red is said to be a color that conveys action and passion. Blue is a general business color and expresses seriousness … Usually websites have one dominant color and a supporting color. Important is that these colors support your message. A dominating red website does not fit the ambience of a university for example – where the thought is sacred, action is of minor importance (yet) …
The logo is another style element. It expresses the most important style elements in one simple image. It is a strong vehicle in expressing a message and for the visitor an element to focus on and to select.
The layout and structure of a website can either be (more) formal or free. Each website has a main kind of template. Examples are the journal template, with different columns, used for informational sites, there is the sales letter format, like a letter addressed to the visitor. Websites could also resemble a slide or presentation. If a website has not such a typical format it could either be more formal organized, or loose.
The amount and distribution of pictures is another element in which websites differentiate. Normal magazines are dominated by pictures, either from advertisements or general purpose supporting the text. Many websites are (still) scarcely focused on pictures, because most searches are done on text and it is difficult to select the right and adequate picture to convey your message.
All these elements together are composed to a complete website. It is this overall composition that gives the site the look-and-feel. It is the general impression. The overall composition is a result of a creative design process.
The style of a website is perceived by visitors who observes the visual elements of a site. Style is important because visitors will not berely focus on text only. When buying a kitchen you will visit different showrooms and unconsciously you will focus on the style of the different kitchens. Often, after selecting the style you start designing your individual kitchen to match your requirements.
If you want to look at a showroom of WebPages you could visit a site like thumbshots.net. This link for example ([http://www.thumbshots.net/webguide.pxf?cat=Arts%2fArchitecture%2fBuilding_Types%2fGovernment_Buildings]) provides an overview of websites focused on government buildings. Each pages presents an overview of different sites by showing a thumbshot and a textual summary of the site. These pages provide user with a preview mechanism before entering the site.
The overview however is also useful if you want to "benchmark" the style of your site with others. Or if you are just curious about differences in style of websites.
Have a look.
© 2006 Hans Bool