All designers can learn from one another, and that includes designers in two completely different fields. In what will be a multi-part series, we looks at tips from interior designers that can help designers in other areas. For the first installment we focus on web designers.
Just what does interior design have in common with web design. You’re about to find out…
When undertaking web design, there are important aspects of interior design that you can take inspiration from to help you build a fantastic website that works as well as it looks. Think of your website as the building and the pages as the rooms, you need to look at the website as a whole. Do not consider a page to be separate, but to be a part of a larger page that is connected via halls (links), stairs (menus) and doors (backlinks). When thinking this way you should aim to link all of the rooms together in a fluid and continuous style. A fantastic way to achieve this is with the use of color.
Color can be selected in a set of 3 to four tones, and varying shades of those tones can be utilized in each page throughout the website. By doing this you introduce each page to the next and keep a common theme throughout that helps create an identity for the website as a whole. If you prefer to stick to single shades on each page, then try to build a connection by introducing separate tones to the menu or frames, therefore, bringing each page together by using similar elements.
This article is going to run through some of the key elements used by interior designers when creating a harmonious balance design throughout all of the rooms of the home. It may require you to step back from the way you currently view web design and visualize it as something else. This way you can continue forward with a fresh eye and put interior design methods into practice with your web design.
Creative Custom Content
Contrast is found everywhere you look and is also a major player when it comes to design. To utilize contrast you can use 2 opposite colors or shapes to create the effect. Think of traditional contrast colors such as Brown and green or red and yellow. They hold a pleasing aesthetic that is almost comforting to the eye while creating interest.
The use of contrast, especially with color can liven up a website and give it a modern sleek feel. Be careful with how you place contrasting pieces and colors as it can also cause a page to feel busy and disorganized. A great example of how to add some contrast to a page would be a lighter background, perhaps with some artistic detailing and fonts in contrasting shades to the main color scheme. This allows the words and images on the screen to really ‘pop’.
Finding Your Focal Point
When it comes to interior design the most well-known objective is the focal point, and this also rings true to web design. A focal point is what makes a page have interest and removes boredom from the space. In fact, every well-designed website should have one or more focal points to add interest to it. Depending on the size of the site you are working with, a great example of some focal points would be a sitewide banner, a striking logo, or well-designed menu bars.
A focal point should aim to draw the eye to it by creating interest, but should not dominate the eye line, this is why in interior design feature walls work so well. What works well for interior design will usually translate well to web design too. If every page were to be heavily decorated in a striking pattern, then there would be nothing that specifically draws the eye to it. A feature point on a website is one part of the site decorated in a more extravagant and bold style that complements the rest of the site. The focal point is also the most fun part of website design and is when you get to create something a little bit more unique that gives a space its main identity.
Bring Life To Your Page
In this section, you need to open your mind a little bit more and imagine that the pages of your website are the walls of your site. All too often, the walls of the home are reserved for hanging paintings and plaques on. However, the walls can play host to some interior enhancing accessories such as vintage style clocks, wall art, and Pinboards.
The accessories you add to your home all work together to help enhance the look and feel of the space and can be a quick and easy way to change the atmosphere of the room and this is the same for your web pages. By adding some personality to your website by using hand-drawn sketches, art, and well thought out design pieces, you create a site that is less sterile and more friendly.
In the home, pinboards make an excellent alternative to picture frames and can create a personalized finish to your family photos, drawings, and notes. The same can be applied to your website. After all, it worked for Pinterest, so could bring an interactive and customizable section to your site. Many blog templates incorporate these types of features. If you are a novice it’s still relatively easy to learn how to start a blog that looks beautiful and incorporates these seemingly more advanced features.
Organization Is Key
When looking at a room, interior designers try to work out the best way to present all of the important parts while keeping the less important parts hidden out of site. The same can be said about a web designer. Look at all of your words, menus, photos, and images as objects. If you just throw them around willy nilly, then finding what you are looking for can become a hard task. However, if you neatly organize everything and put it in its place, finding it becomes easy time after time.
Mix It Up
When it comes to home furnishings, all too often people decide on either a vintage look or opt for a more modern feel. The majority of the time there is no middle ground and a home can either look dated and stuck in time or cold and sterile. Creating an inviting and warm home takes a keen eye to work out how to bring the two styles together in harmony. This is something that every web designer must also consider when trying to build a site that is as unique to the brand or person as possible while still retaining a sleek and modern look to it. This is true whether you are doing an entirely custom site, or using a template from a website builder. Finding that elusive middle ground is everything.
Sure, you could opt for one or the other, but if everything is in a modern design it can come across as sterile and lacking personality, while if you opt for a completely vintage feel it can appear dated and no longer keeping up with the times. The best website uses a mix of old and new ideas and designs. Think along the lines of clean traditional colors and backgrounds with a modernistic font or layout.
Renovation Is As Important As Construction
Just like with a home, if you don’t take care of it and update and repair it throughout the year, it soon starts to become dated and falling apart. This is as true for the website as it is for the property. In fact, renovating and updating your website on a regular basis allows you to keep your customers happy by providing fresh and new content, fully functional links and pages, and as bug-free as possible.
Building a site is important as it is the foundations of what is to come, but maintaining and taking care of that site is what really counts. Keeping things fresh and ahead of the crowds will always help you create a website that is relevant and popular. Taking just a few of these tricks onboard will help you visualize for design in a whole different way.