By Runyu Xia
The reason why a website doesn’t stand out because it’s not unique.
The reason why a website isn’t unique because it doesn’t have a personality.
A website’s personality is a key factor that can reflect the brand identity, enhance the uniqueness and enables the users to remember it. There is no right or wrong about the personality. It’s all about uniqueness. As long as your website’s personality shines and appeals to your target users. They’ll be interested in who you are and what you do as a business. Then you’re the winner of the competition. For instance, a sneaker website should be different from a tech website. A tech website should be different from 10 other tech websites. Personality helps to make your website stand out among the numerous websites and fierce competition.
So how to build the website’s personality to make it resonate with the users?
It’s time to introduce a vital concept from the design world: visual language. Let’s explore the connection between visual language and personality.
Layout is a website’s structure and defines the way to convey the information. Using grid system to arrange the proportion, space and alignment to differentiate the sections.
Layout can be organized by making the content center-aligned on the web page, forming a rational and serious personality.
Layout can also be shifted to “Tangram” through adjusting the proportion and position of the visual elements, making the website eye-catching. The personality tends to be active and flexible. It totally fits the message the brand wants to convey below.
We can even break away from the grid system by overlapping the visual elements including text and image. If you want your website to be edgy and dynamic, it would be an effective option.
Shape, from the shape of big elements like modules to small elements like buttons, is a key factor to shape the website’s personality.
There are a number of squares and rectangles in this web design below, forming a sharp and decisive feeling.
If you would like to create a friendly and relaxed personality, introducing circles and rounded-corner rectangles is an appropriate option.
This example changes the shape of the modules from rectangles to other shapes. This little change successfully shapes a vivid personality to attract related users.
Typography is the tone for communicating with the users. It contains multiple attributes, including font size, font type and font weight. By adjusting these attributes, it can achieve numerous tones to match different personalities.
Making the headline huge and bold is a straightforward way to attract the user’s attention. It can be used in the websites with aggressive and outgoing personalities. Large, bold and sans serif font is the first choice.
In the example below, the headline is tiny and thin, compared to the previous example.
What impression does it give you? Does it feel like a noble and elegant person is whispering mysteriously to you?
Image style sets the atmosphere for the entire website. It can be a realistic photo, illustration, 3D artwork, etc. Each one can achieve a vastly different effect, which means it’s one of the most powerful factors to impact the website.
Realistic photo can be used to convey straightforward content. Shot, angle, tone and filter can create different looks.
Hundreds of different treatments can be used to the photo to set the atmosphere. For example, black and white photos can make the website’s personality steady and deep.
Choosing illustration as the image style is a smart tactic to make the website engaging and improve storytelling. The users can easily get interested and understand the website’s background at a glance. Illustration also helps to make the entire atmosphere softer and more relaxing.
Combining realistic photos and graphics can showcase the multiple aspects of your website’s personality. It works well on the websites with product display.
3D elements can present more details and get more attention. It can build a strong contrast between flat design and 3D elements.
By using the colors in a large range, it can set the atmosphere as well. It can also enrich the website’s personality by using the colors in small visual elements.
Using plenty of single colors can emphasize the website’s personality. For the investment website below, blue as the website’s iconic color reinforces the impression of reliability and stability.
Muti-color can represent enthusiasm and diversity, which is useful for websites with various services and functions.
Motion graphics can present the content vividly and help enrich the website’s personality. It makes the user experience smooth and intelligible.
Each part of visual language has diverse options, thus they can make up countless combinations to showcase a variety of personalities. It depends on how you want to present your information and customize your website. It’s necessary and worthy to spend time identifying your website’s personality by thinking about the questions below:
- What personality fits your website?
- What experience and impression you want to give to your users?
- How to reasonably introduce the visual language to build the website’s personality?
Once you get the answers, you’ll have a clear understanding of your website. When your website has a definite personality, it’ll stand out and ultimately attract users.
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About the Author
Runyu Xia is a designer, experienced in motion graphics, 2D & 3D animation, graphic design, web design and UI/UX.