When it comes to websites, they run to gamut. You can see elaborate multi-paged social media sites running millions of lines of code to simple fixed sites that sell a product. There are also websites that work to interact with a user. Therefore, it is important to explore all the different types of web design.
Minimalist Web Design
If you are looking for an easy to use website with no fuss that loads quickly, then a minimalist design that uses a fixed layout might be for you. These websites are bare bones. They have a set width, require few updates, and load quickly. These are also the simplest to create since they don't require anything but knowledge of client-side languages like CSS and HTML.
However, viewing them on a mobile device is difficult, and many people find the simple layout boring. Despite the cons, these websites are trending because they are like a brochure that houses your product or your portfolio, such as this site from photographer Rasmus Andersson.
Visual Dynamic/Interactive Web Design
As opposed to a minimalist website, there are also interactive web designs. The information on these websites is visually stimulating and engages with the user. The site may include bright photos, videos, or illustrations. These rely on bright colors and bold content, such as sites from Mikiya Kobayashi and NPR. Additionally, these types of sites will typically use a dynamic layout, meaning they utilize both client-side and server-side languages to develop the website. This type of design is more suitable for sites that want to be visually stimulating to the audience, such as movie or shopping sites.
However, these sites can take longer to load and create. In addition to requiring a person to update and maintain the site, the high graphic content can distract from the purpose of the site. For example, users might not be able to find certain links or areas.
Single Page Designs
While single page designs aren't new, they are making a comeback. These designs are simple in that all the information is presented on a single page. With a few quick scrolls, the user can find everything that they need. In addition to having everything available at your fingertips, these websites are easy to view on multiple platforms, such as this website from Port 32. These sites are good for individuals or businesses that can share their story quickly or as landing pages.
However, these can get crowded and over complicated, and the information that you are trying to convey can get lost. Additionally, these generally work best with a minimalist approach because graphics and design elements can distract from the message.
Because minimalist design doesn't have to mean boring, flat web design has come to the forefront in recent years. This designs style is characterized by clean, crisp lines and bright colors. Additionally, illustrations and geometric shapes are common in flat design rather than photographs. These designs are created to reduce clutter and avoid distraction, but they still provide visual stimulation for the user experience. While it has a simple mobile interface, these designs do have some usability concerns like users not knowing where to click. These clean designs are used by many companies and individuals ranging from portfolios to attractions like Fans Hals Museum. These layouts also work well for blogs.
Typographic Web Designs
This type of web design relies on words and typography principles to define the website and message. While images are also added, the site focuses on the message. The words, fonts, and placement tell the story of the site and lead the user through. Therefore, you can make or break the meaning of the site by using an overly intricate or simplistic font. The key is finding the perfect combination between readability and visual appeal. Additionally, it is important to get the right combination of interactive elements and imagery to ensure the site isn't boring. Sites that use this type of design technique typically use the type to convey a message, such as IBM's website.
Web Design for Everyone
Websites come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They can be bold and interactive or clean and to the point. Each format uses slightly different elements and is designed for a specific audience. They also have their own pros and cons you need to understand and work with to create the perfect website for you.