Designing a website is not a process you can complete by following a set list of rules and guidelines. While there may be certain elements of web design that are similar across the net, creating a website should be something that’s highly personal and very subjective. What works for one site will not work for another, and elements such as your target demographic, your personal taste, your budget and your niche should all play a role in influencing the final design.
Your niche is one of the elements that has the biggest impact on your design, and if you design your sites well then a blog about tech for instance should look very different to a blog on bodybuilding. Not only should your look appeal to the same audience that will be interested in your particular area, but it should also communicate instantly what your site is about, and be able to match and compete with others in the same genre.
Here then we will look at how a tech niche might affect your design choices. Here are some things to consider when commissioning or creating a site design dealing with technology or gadgets.
Technology sites normally write about modern technology as opposed to old tech – which means by their very nature they tend to deal with the cutting edge and the ‘futuristic’ even. If you want your site to evoke this sense, then the colours you use should echo the kinds of colours we associate with technology.
This leaves you with whites, blacks and silvers – all of which are commonly used for hardware, or blues which we often see used in science fiction depictions of future technology. Blue, and particularly neon blues, have always created a sense of the future and this is something you can benefit from. Greens can also be a techy colour thanks to their association with green screens, but this will instantly date your site and give it more of a ‘retro tech’ vib.
Next you need to think about your layout and the overall ‘feel’ of your site. This aspect of your site concept will reflect the particular area within tech that you’re working in. For instance, if your site is about coding, then you might consider using that retro green and black, and using a text-heavy UI that will make your users feel like they’re hacking into the matrix. On the other hand, if you’re writing about smartphones and tablets then you might want to imitate the clean and minimalistic layouts that the Android and iOS interfaces employ (which also is very conducive to making a site that’s clean and easy to navigate).
Something worth considering when coming up with your design and navigation though is that your demographic is likely to be very tech savvy. In other words, you may have a little more license to make your site more complicated as long as you work within accepted paradigms.
About the Author: Jeff Lewis is a website designer and says that website design is a very creative field. He recently attended a web designers association meeting and was very much impressed by the work of web developers in melbourne.