As a fanboy of the internet since 1998 I have witnessed close counter the evolvement of Webdesign. From the rich-hyperlink early version of Lycos to abc.xyz we have seen not only websites evolve rapidly but also the adaption rate of the users themselves. Sprouted from a tech-savvy generation, Modern day webdesign infuses an emotional and logical digital experience conducted by web designers. But, not all webdesigns work that good, the worst examples are low-skilled designers merging multiple design trends based on “creative intuition”.
Traditional VS Experimental Webdesign, What are the differences?
Traditional Web Design refers to all designs Trends which have common rule sets that are agreed among the general user public. Experimental Webdesign refers to all design Trends which have common rule sets that are not yet agreed among the general user public.
To simplify the definitions, lets talk about at a Mr Potato Head – A Traditional Mr. Potato Head is when you play by the rules that the Mr. Potato head engineer made by switching fashion items
and body parts in the relevant positions. The creativity is bordered into a pre-declared set of rules which the user must follow to achieve Symmetry proportions. The final result will be a circumstance of the rule-set and its visual appearance is a mutual conception of a Mr. Potato Head.
Experimental Webdesign means you put the eyes instead of the mustache and make a mutant potato head, the result will be unique, yet unique is not always welcomed by the general public. Beauty is also measured by proportions and symmetry, pushing abstract creativity into a website’s structure can seriously damage the usability.
Traditional Webdesign will be based on a structured design that the public is familiar with and knows how to use, the public understands the functionality of the elements because he has used them in the past. The relief of brain activity increases the capability of the user to engage with content on the website rather then figuring out how to navigate between pages and exploring various web elements.
What is the difference between a Design Layout, Format and Trend?
To strengthen your knowledge Ill explain the small differences between the three, even though they sound similar they should not be confused.
The format of navigation and IA within the website – The Webdesign format can be Single Page or Multi Page. Most traditional websites are based on a Multi-page format, containing multiple pages dividing content into a “book” format.
The Single page format provides more of a “virtual experience”, guiding you threw a carefully collaborated fiesta of media located on a single page. If you click on the Main Menu and the browser is then directed to the designated location on the same page, that is a Single Page navigation style. Most Single page designs are experimental, this is mainly due to the difficulty to integrate this format into a smartphone. A difficulty that technology will overcome in the next 5 years.
On a side note, a Majority of Single Page navigation bars will be sticky due to the amount of content on the page and absence of inner pages.
The possible layout of a website is Wide screen or Boxed. The difference between the two is if the website has borders or not. You can notice the changing experience while visiting different layouts, the type and amount of content plays a huge factor while deciding which one is optimal for your project.
On a side note, I have noticed both layout types on successful e-commerce websites which makes me think that as much as the layout provides a core factor for the design, in 2015 Full Screen and Boxed have both become traditional and accepted among the general user public.
The word Design has multiple meanings in the English vocabulary. I refer to “Design” as a formulated set of rules that have been pre-defined by an Artist. A Design for Websites contains environmental and physical properties that have been selected in order to transmit both emotional and psychical attributes to the audience. A Trend of Design is when we will see a certain set of rules that have been publicized and are commonly practiced within a certain time-frame.
This year we have seen Industry Leaders design amazing websites based on modern Webdesign Trends. Here are 4 different Multi-page Experimental Design Trends based on a Full screen layout:
- Material – The environment and Physical properties have a 3D Flat essence – AdMob
- Modular – The environment has a Grid Like Boundary interface –XBox
- No Chrome (Container Free) – Border-less Elements, The environment is crafted with Floating elements – MobileCore
- Split Screen – The environment is split having the content on the right side and a branded video background on the left. – IronSource
Usability is more important then Creativity
Everybody likes a beautiful piece of art, but sometimes the art is too sophisticated for a observer to fully understand within a short glance. Keeping websites simple and beautiful is the secret to good webdesign. While deciding the balance of creativity in a website the target audience plays a key factor, if the audience will invest effort to decipher your design they will miss the message you are aiming to transmit. I recommend to learn Google’s Material Design and Modular design for Beginners by Design Shack if you are not familiar with them.
To summarize this topic, Aim to make your website as beautiful as possible and remember that Creativity kills usability when over extended.
- Figure  – Mr. Potato Head