Aesthetics can be incorporated into every part of our lives. Our homes, our wardrobes and even phones can be customizable to make them more appealing and personalized. While we as individuals use aesthetics to customize our own lives, UX designers can use them to make their pages more visually attractive and to promote their brand’s image.
Everything from background color to font size plays into your website’s aesthetic. If you are designing for a brand, it can be helpful to base the website design off of previous and current marketing designs for consistency across the brand.
Many people think about these things unconsciously; however, as a designer it can be helpful to have an understanding of aesthetics and the elements that create them. This allows you to design with purpose instead of solely focusing on what looks good.
Start improving or creating your website’s aesthetic by deciding on a color palette. When too many colors are used throughout a website, it can begin to look chaotic. To keep your site looking uniformed, first select which branch of colors you’ll be using, such as pastels or neon.
The colors you select can have different effects on the aesthetic of your site. Cool colors such as green and blue tend to give a calming or relaxing effect, yellow can be associated with happiness or joy, and red can give an impression of passion. Of course each color also has different hues which can influence that even more.
The fonts you decide to use also have an effect. For example, the font used for the title of one of the Avengers movies would probably not look appropriate on the website for a self-care company that sells face masks and bath bombs. Typically fonts that are more angular and thicker (like the Avengers font) make a bolder statement, while thinner and curlier fonts give a softer appearance.
The Patagonia site is an example of a brand that is getting the most out of their website in terms of building their brand image. The ultimate goal of stores’ websites is typically assumed to be selling their product. However Patagonia also uses their webspace to raise awareness about environmental issues by having articles and images that people can click on to learn more about these topics.
Instead of having colors on their website they use the nature pictures that go with the articles for their visual appeal. Both of these elements combined, show site visitors that Patagonia is passionate about the environment they are equipping you to be in.
Before you can make decisions on things like your color palette and font, you need to have an understanding of who your target audience is and what you want them to associate your brand with. These are important because different demographics are more likely to feel calm, happy or passionate about different things.
For example 20-year-old women may be more likely to associate a site with bright, neon colors with fun and happiness than 60-year-old men. The Drunk Elephant site successfully does many of the things we’ve talked about. The skincare company’s site is filled with bright blocks of color which match the bright lids on all of their products — consistent branding improves your brand awareness and image.
All of these tips are based on how the elements are used and are not hard and fast rules. Creativity is essential in UX design, but these guidelines can be used if you are struggling to achieve a certain aesthetic on your site.