Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Website Research

When I think about designing my own website, it's a bit daunting - there are so many things I want to do! Obviously I want it to be quite colourful and eye-catching but the main thing I want it to be is easy to navigate. I've been on so many websites which are really confusing to find your way around - it's so annoying when you can't find simple things like the contact page.
For this post I'm just going to list some websites I think are successful and which elements I would like to try and replicate for my own page. There are so many great websites out there, but I've narrowed it down to a few of my favourites...
An illustrator I recently discovered is Jonny Wan, who is based right here in Manchester. His work is amazingly intricate and pattern based but with a mechanical/graphic edge. His website is really simple in concept but I think it works so well. On a thick strip of white at the top of the page are his bold logo and some basic links - about me/contact and facebook, twitter etc. Then below this are previews of his work with relevant titles and genres. These large thumbnails are on a black background, which really make the bright colours of the pieces stand out. By clicking on the images you are taken to a large version, but the 'portfolio' is still at the bottom of the page which I think is a nice touch.
I also really love Sanna Annukka's website, in particular the opening page which just features her name with a bold pattern typical of her style. I think it's really important to stand out and catch your audience's eye and this definitely does this. Sanna's website also features easy to use drop down menus at the top of the page. When you go to the individual pages for pieces of work I like how she hasn't just got one image of the piece, but a whole array of images showing work in context, photographed at different angles etc.
A lot of websites just list their links across the top of the page, but Jane Foster has incorporated them into her designs - it's simple but very effective. The little pops of colour add a touch of brightness to what is usually a plain area on other sites.
Patrick Hruby has an interesting website in the sense that, when you click on a piece of work listed on the left - you aren't taken to another page, but you're 'scrolled' through all his work until you reach the one you want. I think this is quite clever as you get to see a lot more work than you normally would, good for potential clients perhaps?
I'm really looking forward to creating my own website! I've got a lot of ideas from looking at other people's sites and I hope to incorporate the best bits into mine. I think the essentials are to have an eye-catching homepage, easy to navigate links/menus and previews of work which are immediately on display.

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