The student will consider the idea of Originality in design and stepping out of the box.
- [Instructor] For this lesson, we'll examine originality and stepping out of the box of conventional design. As technology changes the way we design and build websites, we must continually adapt and then learn to express ourselves creatively in new ways. Trends will always come and go in web design. What's popular this year will most likely not be the trend in a few years in the future. Take, for example, the popular styles of websites back in the late '90s and early 2000s. What was trendy then, were crazy background patterns, flashing animations, and super bright colors.
Here's a few examples. Angelfire backgrounds, super bright backgrounds, super bright backgrounds, or super simple layouts. Other trends have been popular in web design over the years. Remember Flash websites which took forever to load and those long tedious Flash intros with sound that everyone had on their homepage? (electronic dance music) How often did you click Skip, if the Flash even had that option? Illustrated site elements were also hot for a time.
There's also been a huge explosion of the use of textures in what they call skeuomorphism. That's when designers create designs that resemble actual environments, such as making their homepage look like their actual physical desk top, complete with the pen holder, Post-it Notes, and a beverage. In the past few years, we've also seen the prevalence of sliding banners and galleries. And we're currently in the midst of a flat design movement, thanks in part to the explosion of web-ready handheld devices.
Site alignment has also shifted with time. First, there were left aligned, frames-based space layouts. Then, fluid sites were popular for a time. And then for quite a while, many sites have been center aligned. Site widths and layouts have also changed too. Sites were often designed at 760 pixels wide for monitors with resolutions of 800 by 600. And for monitors at 1024 by 768, 1280 by 1024, and larger, the standard has been to design with percentages or go with a fixed width, like 960, 1080, or 1140 pixels wide.
Likewise, with layouts, sites were first designed at fixed widths using tables. Then, some people adopted the fluid or flexible layouts using percentages. And then, with the rise of CSS and div tags, fixed width designs have been the norm for several years. Today, most designers are creating adaptive or responsive sites that collapse gracefully to fit a variety of web-enabled devices. Amazon.com is a really good example of a fluid site that expands to fill the browser width, while Home Depot currently uses a fixed width design that does stay the same, regardless of the browser width.
Note, however, that neither of these two sites are responsive, so if I minimize the browser a little bit, that stays center aligned. It doesn't minimize, and neither does this one. So what are you supposed to do as a designer when certain trends are hot, hot, hot? Do you follow suit, or do you break from the pack and design something else? Many times, the way you design depends on the type of client you're designing for and who that client's target audience happens to be.
After all, design is not a cookie-cutter endeavor, as some clients might think. Okay, but what if, and this actually happens a lot, what if you get a customer who insists that you create a site for them that follows a particular web trend? They may even tell you they want a site that looks exactly like X, or exactly like Y, and provide you with the URL, so you can do whatever it is that you do. It's times like this, when you should ask yourself what it is that you want to do. Be a designer or something else? How you handle a situation like that is totally up to you.
But if you care anything about design, you may want to steer away from taking on customers who seem inflexible or demanding. Trendy isn't interesting, according to art directors and others who've reviewed a lot of portfolios. Instead, what catches their attention most is originality. New solutions and new ideas using unexpected layouts, font usages, and color palettes. That's what they're looking for. Innovation is hot too. Given today's technology, art directors really want to see what you can do that no one else has done yet.
In the end, if you don't love it, you're clients won't either. In other words, always only create things that you absolutely love, be yourself, don't be afraid to take some risks, and above all, be original.
- Understanding aesthetics
- Picking harmonious colors
- Structuring your layout
- Using space to organize your design
- Communicating with the right fonts
- Aligning objects to achieve balance
- Adding movement with scrolling and animation
- Achieving proportion by scaling objects and text
- Creating CSS for different devices