There are a lot of factors that go into how each website ends up looking. Believe it or not, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the “vibe” for each site I design. I pull from different inspirations to pull together the right aesthetic. Today I’m pulling back the curtain and showing you how I decide how to design my sites.
- The resource that carries the biggest weight is the inspiration websites clients pull for us to see. We like to request this in our Discovery meetings so we have an understanding of what direction the site should go in. I like to ask specific follow-up questions about those inspiration sites so I know what part or aspect of those sites they like. I’ll refer back to these sites throughout the build to look at certain elements in more detail or get a refresher. Sometimes we aren’t provided with inspiration sites so I have to lean on the descriptor words each client provides to know what direction they are going in: modern, clean, rustic, professional, friendly, fun, etc.
- In addition to the inspiration sites, I will also look at a client’s logo to figure out what colors to use, as well as to draw from the logo style to inspire the look of the site. Thin clean fonts lend themselves toward more modern and sleek sites. Something with a hand-drawn graphic could feel a little bit more relaxed or fun. The colors in a logo can also inspire the energy of the site. Yellow is really energetic, blue is really relaxing. Using the combination of the color and style of a logo will move the site in a consistent direction.
- Sometimes after going through the two above steps, I’m still not getting a clear picture of how the site should look. I’ll take it upon myself to go find sites within the same industry that I find interesting and appealing. It helps to get me moving in a direction I feel confident in. I’ll use those to help inspire my layouts, details, or colors as the site comes together.
- The content of the site helps shape the rest of the site’s design. I take the clues I gather from the above steps and start using the content to make decisions about how to group items and display them. They may need an icon or need to be balanced with a photo. Sometimes I’ll let color be really dominant and set a mood, or sometimes it will be more reserved.
With so many variables at play, it’s always a completely different outcome for each site we build. We build custom sites for our clients so it’s important to know what direction to go in when it comes to design. By using the steps above, I decide how to design my sites. Enjoy this sneak peek into the design process!