Website design is first and foremost an exercise in visual communication. In order to communicate effectively with your audience, your website needs to send the right message about your intentions.
If you give visitors a large chunk of information without any form or function, you risk alienating fans. While Flash advertisements, glitter banners and popup windows catch the eye, those features are a no-no as well.
Thankfully, musicians have no shortage of other ways to try and grab the visitor’s attention. User-friendly designs combine beautiful colors and compelling images into a neat and tidy package. A variety of colors and layouts can create visual interest on your website. Following the tactics listed below can help visitors stay engaged with your site for the long haul.
A smart alignment of elements, such as text blocks and images, is visually appealing. Choosing the appropriate alignment provides a sense of order and contributes to overall design and readability. Users tend to expect media and information associated with your music – tour dates, photos, videos, etc. – in a certain location. It’s important that your home page and interior pages capture the visitor’s interest without causing any confusion. Visitors lean heavily on specific visual clues when navigating your website. In a time crunch, most Web users will bail after too many dead-ends.
Knowing which typefaces are most attractive for your audience can engage your visitors. Although there are hundreds of fonts, only a few of these options are successful in getting your point across. Be consistent with the style, sizes and font types for headings, subheads, headers, footers and captions across the entire site. The right fonts set the overall mood of your site and improve your visitor experience.
The following attributes can be used sparingly to add a little style to your text.
- Bold: Use for emphasis on text menus, keywords, and headings/sub-headings.
- Italics: Use for emphasis on photo credits, titles, captions, keywords and quotes.
- Capital letters and underlines: Avoid using all capital letters and underlines because these are difficult to read and distracting to the visitor. Underlines may also be confused with links.
Larger objects naturally demand more attention. Using size as a hierarchical tool can be an effective way of drawing attention to a particular piece of information. Size is one of the most significant forms of organization, so it’s necessary to correlate size with the significant details you want to share. The largest elements should be the most important; the smallest elements should be the least important.
Color functions as an organizational tool while giving your site some much-needed personality. Bold colors on a certain element of your site will automatically demand attention. More subdued colors serve as an emotional appeal to the audience. In the end, color demonstrates your personality as an artist. Just as alignment establishes a certain order among the various elements of a site, color can be utilized to highlight information on the page.
Using White Space
In web design, white space is the space between images, text, columns, margins, graphics and other elements. Remember that simpler designs are effective and a crowded layout filled with graphics and text may not deliver a clear message. By spacing design elements out, you keep enough white space on the home page and internal pages.