elements of design


I decided to be glib about the websites I was looking at to analyze using the principles of design in that I decided to analyze websites that were talking about how to analyze websites using the elements of design.

  • This post from DailyBlogTips technically hit all of the elements.  Contrast (white letters on a blue navigation bar, black and blue letters on a white background), repetition (consistent use of color/font/formatting/etcetera), alignment (everything was consistently aligned), proximity (information and links were all in easy-to-locate place).  It just wasn’t particularly interesting.  The color palette was bland enough that it seemed boring, the text was straightforward but not set off in any interesting way, etcetera.
  • This post from Life Hacks hit all of the same points, though there were different variations (more ads and graphics linking to other parts of the website, larger font size, predominantly gray instead of black and blue), and as such fell into the same traps.
  • As did this post from Chatterbuzz Media.
  • And this one from the Team Treehouse blog.

I think some of my apathy toward this generally very clean blog layout comes from the fact that I’m well-versed in Tumblr, which is often notably weird.  I didn’t design my own layout (insofar as the overall shape and background images, though I did modify the sidebar to suit my needs) but while it’s black and white it’s, in my opinion, much more visually interesting.  It wouldn’t be suited for a professional blog, but I still feel like professional blogs could do something more interesting than gray/blue/black on white/light gray.

This blog is dark gray/brown on white, but it’s a canned WordPress layout that I haven’t modded at all and might still do (my personal blog, which is also hosted on WordPress, at least has a patterned background and a colorful header, which makes the black and white look like an intentional contrast instead of a default); the blogs I looked at seemed like they were run by professional or semi-reputable sources, so it seems odd that they wouldn’t have taken the time to get a little more interesting.