After watching and listening to Mauve Pagé’s lecture, as well as reading the course readings, especially by Gertz (2015), my thinking was provoked in regards to website design. Specifically, I first began to think about the web design of some of the websites that I frequent. The Sephora website instantly came to my mind, as it is a site that I frequently visit. Sephora is where I purchase my makeup, skin care, hair care, and other hygiene or beauty products. I decided to take a fresh look at this website, with a new mindset and ideas behind web design.
Initially, when first arriving, I found the Sephora website to be very inviting. The home page provides a large graphic showing the new skincare, makeup, and fragrance arrivals. As I scrolled down, there were more photos of popular new products that I could click on. This was followed by lists of items that are currently selling fast, bestsellers, and Sephora exclusives, as well as some various promotions and rewards opportunities that are occurring. At the top of the site, there is a search bar, store selection, and the option to sign into your Sephora account, as well as your cart and favourites section. Underneath that, there is a variety of categories to choose from and click on, depending on what you are looking for. I am always immediately interested in the featured products when coming to the site, and feel at ease knowing that I will be able to find what I am looking for. Ultimately, the site is very well organized.
Mauve, in her lecture, mentioned some best practices for designing a website. These aspects include balance, rhythm, proportion, contrast, and unity. I wanted to keep these in mind while looking through the Sephora site. In regards to balance and proportion, the Sephora site seems to be well-balanced, and also includes graphics and images that are proportionate to each various page. While there is lots of white space, it was well-balanced. Mauve explained that white space is encouraged and can certainly be a good thing. There is a good balance and strong symmetry with the white background and various products, which also correlates to eye-catching contrast. The rhythm of the site is also well done, in regards to the site layout and repetition that exists throughout. Ultimately, I would also say that the Sephora site does a great job in displaying unity throughout their product pages, as there is consistency in what to expect when looking through different products. Their layout and design bring the entire site together. The Sephora site is definitely an admirable website, which is design in such a way that it makes me want to explore the site and purchase their products.
Throughout the lecture and while exploring the Sephora site, I also began to think about my own website design. I have been working on the design of my website, and have some new things to consider. In today’s lecture, Mauve mentioned that with WordPress themes, many websites end up looking similar. Gertz (2015) also mentioned something like this, when he stated that often “design becomes a game of catch-up” (para 32.) and uniqueness is lost. I want to keep this in mind moving forward, so that I am able to make my website a unique experience for everyone. For this very reason, I create my own cover images using Canva, as “the cover gives us a hint about what’s inside, and teases out our emotion, begging us to read the rest” (Gertz, 2015, para. 87). Additionally, due to Mauve’s suggestions, I also created an icon for my website using Canva as well!
Furthermore, another aspect of web design that Mauve Pagé alluded to, and Gertz (2015) stated was that “editorial design is really about connecting the content to the medium” (para 69.). With this also comes images. One thing that I want to improve on with my blog is including more images within my posts. I now understand the importance of this, as photos enhance the content being written and tie everything together. As Gertz (2015) identified, “the art direction isn’t a substitution for the content, but it begs us to dive in and get dirty” (para. 87). While I think that I have done an adequate job of designing my site, especially in regards to balance, rhythm, and unity, I intend to keep all of Mauve’s best design practices in mind. Moving forward, I think that certain aspects on my site could be more proportionate, like certain pages/posts with photos. Additionally, I will keep the idea of contrast in mind as well, as I recognize its importance and how it can often get lost on many websites.
There is a lot that I have learned about web design so far, and I am sure that there will be lots more to learn. However, I am proud with the site that I have created thus far, and will continue to be open to new ideas and concepts.
Photo created with Canva
Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines