Design is not always about being big and bold. In many cases design requires a more subtle form and often, high quality design is invisible.
Given that web design is a visual tool, how is invisible design achieved? Good design is about a visual simply ‘feeling right’. Users like to interact and engage with something they see on a website, but need not explain or understand – it makes them feel comfortable.
Experienced website designers make the most of the tools available to them with the final results appealing to a wide audience. That audience may not understand the design process, but it does appreciate that the colour, spacing and typography all work in harmony.
There are different types of invisible design. Each type is extremely important and is likely to have an effect on the visuals produced for your own website. The different types are:
- Invisible placement of products, such as brands or advertising that may not even be noticed
- Invisible interactions and notifications that occur effortlessly, where an action is performed without any thought at all.
- Emotional connections made through invisible aesthetics, which helps to bond with users, resulting in them wanting to engage with your site and its products or services.
Invisible aesthetics is just one element of basic design. It involves using colour, text, images, icons and different techniques to get a message across.
What design basics could work for you?
The language and text that you use interact with the design elements and create a direct, if subconscious response from the user. Words can encourage several emotions and the way they flow also has an effect.
The choice of colour can be a difficult one and may take time to decide upon. Colours produce certain feelings as well as being linked to different cultures. The right choice of colours will help users to interact whilst creating a feeling of coordination. Here at Wiser Web we are careful to choose colours carefully. We know that blue can often feel cold, while red can provoke thoughts of danger, or warning. Both may be useful in certain circumstances, but careful thought needs to be given before their use to ensure they are appropriate.
Typography plays a large part in useability and typefaces can have meanings of their own, initiating a range of feelings. Generally, it is safest to choose uniform, easy-to-read fonts which also help to remove barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. If your business has a website, you have a legal responsibility for it to be accessible to disabled users.
Pictures speak a thousand words and the images you choose are no different. This includes photographs, animations and videos and the colours they radiate, together with their content, can provide user engagement and content.
There are many other techniques that can work in a positive way, but experienced designers are also aware of their negatives if used incorrectly. The knowledge behind using certain features such as drop shadows and text effects is to use them in such a way as to be inconspicuous. The user does not look at an image and notice such features; instead they receive a complete message which is the main goal of using visuals.
The concept of good design is to keep it simple and ensure that it has a purpose. Stylish elements and complicated techniques have their place in graphic design, but for good, clear website design it is best to keep all elements simple, so that they work together to create an effective overall impression, with an easy user journey.