When designing a website it can be easy to get stuck in the same old routine, using tried and tested templates or designs because, well, that’s what’s always worked before. But let’s face it, this is pretty damn boring and, to be brutally honest, pretty cowardly too. And the more you get stuck in this lather-rinse-repeat routine, the further you remove the website from its original purpose: to stand out, grab users’ attention and be memorable. Your website is your first chance to engage your audience and show them why they should choose you. So do you want to be same old same old, or do you want to stand out?
Of course, it’s all about striking the right balance. You want to create a cool, unusual website that’s going to impress but you don’t want to be so experimental you reduce the website’s functionality and ruin the overall user experience. So how do you achieve this? How can you save your business from business as usual through great web design?
1. Encourage creative thinking by completely re-thinking
A great way to encourage creativity is to re-think things from the ground up. So smash your first idea to pieces. If it was your first idea, it was probably someone else’s first idea too. So instead of building on the usual grid of navigation bar, header, footer, why not start with another graphic form like a work of art, a poster, video or a game? Then you can shape these elements into an awesome and unusual website. The final product is going to be more memorable because you began by opening up the creative process.
2. Stop being so boring
It’s so easy to get bogged down in text when designing your website, but one of the simplest ways to make your design stand out is to think of alternative ways to convey necessary information. Turn numbers or data into an infographic, product information into an illustration and use video or creative animation to make a lasting impression. Break up the text as much as possible and for God’s sake don’t be boring. When using other types of content always be careful to ensure the web page isn’t slowed down by the graphics and that they don’t distract your user from the main function of the page. Remember, creating an interesting and unusual website doesn’t mean throwing everything but the kitchen sink on there. Simplicity is still key, but simple definitely doesn’t mean boring.
Hands up, we know this may not seem like the most revolutionary tip but simple, high resolution, compelling images are still the backbone of any awesome website. ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ may be one of the most overused expressions but seriously, the right images will tell a story and convey emotions which you can use to really connect with your audience. High-quality images also work to accentuate the colour scheme and other elements of design that tie the whole website together. One way engage your user and really stand out is by adding an interactive element, too. For instance, using an image that changes when you hover over it.
4. Custom Typography
Unique and cleverly-used typography is the unsung hero of the most successful and unusual websites. Whether you design your own typography or outsource the work to an artist, having your own custom typography will make your website stand out from the crowd. Like the images you choose, custom typography ties everything together, showing your user that your unusual website is a reflection of your uniqueness as a company. It gives your business a distinctive personality that will seriously impress.