It’s imperative that websites are able to create a memorable impression on the website’s visitors. For this to happen, certain aspects need to be kept in mind, and this article offers a look into these aspects.
Here’s a simple question for you. What is the kind of website that creates an impression on you? Is it a striking website with unique highly creative design elements and visual imagery? Or is it a website that has a minimalist design, that focusses more on the overall user experience? Or is a website that is a coming together of great design and interesting content more to your taste? Or is it a little bit of everything that you like? Whatever your answer, what you want is that the website manages to impress you.
As can be imagined, the creation of a website that manages to leave a lasting impression on website visitors, is a challenge for designers. But, there are ways that help overcome the challenges of creating an ‘impressive’ website design.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
There is no Clear Definition for ‘Memorable Design’
The first thing that designers should realize and actually do realize in their endeavors to create ‘memorable’ design is that it has no clear definition. You don’t have the liberty or the ease of taking the process of design through specific, clearly demarcated steps to ensure that the design of the website strikes a chord amongst the target audience. The kind of design that you choose to go after and bring to life, is a huge gamble. But more often than not, if the the idea is well researched, effectively conceptualized, and seamlessly executed, the gamble pays off, and does so handsomely.
So, the first thing designers must get rid of, is any preconceived notion/s of what memorable design means, how it is accomplished and what people think is memorable design. That’s the first step towards memorable design.
Laying a Sound Foundation
Get your basics right. What you must start off with, is putting a good idea on the table, and analyzing it for its feasibility. After that, you must think about creating a visual identity that transcends the limitations placed on it by demographics. What this means is that the visuals must cater to as large an audience as possible. You might be targeting a specific niche, but you must realize that the niche is a ‘ part of the whole’ and therefore this ‘whole’ should also be given some space on your website. You will do well to remember that the most impressive website, is the one that can be understood easily,such website will find a spot in the visual memory of the person and is able to meet the expectations of the maximum number of people.
A sound foundation in this case includes getting a thorough idea of the client objectives, market, market competition and the target audience. If you cover these bases, rest assured a memorable design is on the way.
Memories do not exist in Isolation
A particular memory is entrenched deep within a person’s mind. It only gets prime space, if there is a trigger. So, your website design must use those design elements that, at any given point of time, can act as a trigger for the website design’s memory to assert itself in a person’s mind. What you need to do is create imagery, that a person can relate to, and which, the person comes across through the course of his life. Something as simplistic as the use of a particular color can act as a trigger. Say you are using a particular color as a distinguishing feature of your website, if the target user comes across this particular color somewhere else, it can start a chain of events that will make him/her remember your website.
The ‘color’ has just been given as an example, and as a designer you will need to do more to ensure that the memory of your website doesn’t exist as an isolated image, text or color. A collection of design elements must together make a clear psychological connect with the target user. It’s only then that the website can become truly memorable.
Here’s what I personally love doing, as it helps me break the ‘prim and proper’ boundaries that we as website designers draw for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong here, what I am talking about is this – whatever we say about how we need to think out of the box and be as creative as possible, the truth is that we have our own personal limits. There is a line that we won’t cross. Well, the shock treatment allows me to cross that line.
So what is this treatment? Well, the thinking behind shocking design is very simple. All you need to do to make an impression on website visitors is to shock them. Yes, shock them out of their stupor, shake them out of their boredom and if possible shock them out of their senses.
There are two benefits to using shock value in your website design; the first is that it immediately helps create a lingering memory and the second is that in a way the ‘shock value’ ensures that people talk about your website. That is viral marketing at its best and what’s more it’s completely free! So, how do you shock audiences? It’s tricky and you need to tread the fine line between acceptable and objectionable.
Begin by understanding the thought process of your target audience, and then start thinking about the imagery that can shock them. Give them something that they least expect from the website, something that makes them sit up and take immediate notice. Remember, that shocking here, doesn’t mean controversial. As is mentioned earlier, there is a fine line between what can be done and what cannot, and this line cannot be crossed. Using arresting design elements that are intuitive and engaging is just one way of going about it; using highly innovative and stand out background for your website’s layout is yet another way of going about it.
The fact is that I don’t want to conclude, but I have to because this is a never ending topic. Having read the above mentioned pointers, it’s important that you don’t stop thinking about the ways and means to create a website that entrenches itself in the memory of its visitors. You need to keep at it and keep working on your ideas. It is only then that you can succeed.