Do you feel like web design is another language? Maybe you even have a feel for what does and doesn’t look good, but then when it all comes together; your finished website just doesn’t have that professional touch. Well, the sure-fire way to have a cohesive, user-friendly, good-looking website is by following a design language. But don’t fear; we aren’t talking about coding, just a set of styles and features that are proven to work well together. Here are three design languages that we think you could use to add a professional feel to your business’s website: Minimalist design, Material design and Parallax design. We’ll go through these and along the way we’ll give you some tips on how to actually implement these on your website.

 

Minimalist design

Minimalist website design

This design language is more of a life philosophy, and you can learn things from it that you can apply to any website.

The key principle of Minimalism is: “Content is King”. There needs to be a minimal amount of superfluous details to distract the viewer. The viewer’s eye should be drawn immediately to the content – the message you are actually trying to convey. Furthermore, minimalist are often more friendly for your less tech-savvy users to navigate.

But how will the website look good if it doesn’t have lots of colour and pictures ? Well, repeat the mantra: “Content is King”. It is the beauty of the content itself and the few subtle styles that you use that shine through when all the distractions are taken away. Think about it as, stripping the site back to it’s key messages. This can be seen in the above image where interesting fonts framed by ample whitespace are used for an elegant and sophisticated effect.

The pseudo-religious connotations of this design language are difficult not to mention, think Steve Jobs and Buddhism, but to keep it relevant: Minimalist design will make your website easier to use, and make visitors more attracted to and focussed on your content.

Because of its simple nature, this design language is fairly easy to apply to your website. The essential styling changes you should make include:

  • Plain background preferably white .
  • One or more easily readable fonts.
  • Lots of blankspace. Usually by having wide margins on the side of the page.
  • Few colours. Sometimes just another colour for the links is used.
  • The website’s menu and other GUI (Graphical User Interface) contained within a small menu bar or menu button.

 

Material design

Material design website

The Material design language was invented by Google in 2014. You will recognise this multi-textured panelled look from many Android apps and online Google tools like Google+.

The intention of Material Design is to look and act like sheets of paper that can fold and slide into new configurations and shapes, so that they can adapt to any size screen. Another key element of Material Design that you can see in the image is the use of ‘cards’ – small rectangular blocks of information that can deliver a small, concise amount of content and convey a brief message without losing the viewer’s attention.

The benefits of Material Design for the content marketer are that it displays well across devices – from desktop PCs to mobiles. Also, its card layout is great at delivering condensed information.

As Material Design is a bit more complex, your best bet to implement this on your website is to install a premade theme for your content management system. A good example is the WordPress theme Zephyr. If an appropriate theme is hard to find, we suggest checking back in the future, it’s a very new design language and themes for it are just taking off.

 

Parallax design

Parallax scrolling website design

The key component of parallax web design is having a foreground and background that move past each other, creating a sense of depth. The best way to recognise parallax design is when your scrolling  causes things to happen on the. You may have seen a website like this where as you scrolled down you were surprised to see objects and  and content zooming in from the sides or appearing and disappearing.

All this is very impressive, as I’m sure you have seen on websites such as Inception Explained. But it’s not just all for show. The main benefit is that a user can be engaged for longer down a scrolling page – a lot longer, because you’re entertaining them with an animated presentation. So many Parallax websites put all their essential content on one page, which the highly engaged user scrolls through all at once, without clicking away. This has the digital marketing benefit of retaining the viewer’s attention for longer while you present them with content, messages, company details, calls to action, etc.

However, this impressive design style  can be a technical challenge to implement  on your own website. It requires HTML5 and CSS3 technical know-how that is best left to a hired professional, or a professional theme-designer that can sell you a reasonably priced Parallax theme such as Story for WordPress.

 

We hope that we’ve shown the design of your website or the polishing of it to make it look professional is not an insurmountable challenge. If you feel that your intuition, approximation and guessing hasn’t quite got you the result you are looking for, consider following these tried and tested design languages. Then your site will look part of the modern web that everyone uses on a daily basis, this alone will lend your business credibility and possibly gain you more customers.

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