Web Design Research
Ok, so I started out my research of what I would ideally want on my website by looking at my favourite artists’ online presence and analysed what worked for me on their sites, (I guess that this is all personal opinion, so no offence is meant by any of my analysis!)
Ale Diaz is a firm favourite so I started out there…I really like her URL to start with (http://www.alediaz.com/), it’s easy to find and relates to her and her name well. I too like the use of her own typography, it gives it personality and accessibility too, anyone can create some quick typeface of their own, right? Whatever the final outcome of my website I would like for people to be able to engage with it and for it not to be overly precious and finalised; I would like the rawness which is incorporated in my work naturally to come through. I like a plain white background, it’s easy clean and makes work stand out, there’s no distractions other than what people should ideally be there to look at in the first place – Ale demonstrates this well. Important information such as email and contact details need to be on the main page so that potential clients and people wanting to commission me can find them easily. I don’t want them getting annoyed trying to find my details and eventually giving up on me!
Although flashy animations look good such as those used on Tim Burton’s site (http://www.timburton.com/) I can imagine that they would get very tiring very quickly. I don’t want people getting bored waiting to see my actual work or contact details whilst waiting for something that isn’t really an important feature just a filler. I believe that a website is there for a purpose and I want it to achieve that purpose quickly and efficiently. Interactive features and music, as again seen on the Tim Burton site, are a lovely addition first time around, but if a client is making frequent visits to my site I imagine these would get rather boring too.
Sara Fanelli (http://www.sarafanelli.com/) also makes it too complicated getting to the point with the click on this click on that palaver. To see any of her actual work (including clicking the link from a Google search) you need to make four individual clicks to see one piece of her work, more clicks if you need to see more than one as each piece is individually listed. I think having all the pieces on a full screen shot will allow ease of viewing and less boredom searching around. Additionally, it eradicates the simultaneous new window boxes appearing every time you click on another piece of work you want to view, which is also highly irritating.
Eric Carle’s website (http://www.eric-carle.com/home.html) is user friendly, straight to the point and most importantly engages his target audience – children. If my target audience is definitely going to be children (I’m producing rather a lot of children’s story book work) I need to bear this in mind too. Icons that are child friendly are going to stand me in good stead compared to words which children may not know or understand wholly. His font is easily readable making it accessible for all audiences and everything is labelled well. It is nice to know that I agree with Eric Carle and Quentin Blake (http://www.quentinblake.com/(amongst others)) that keeping a neutral white background will make emphasis on my work without added distractions. Unlike these two very well established illustrators who must receive thousands of junk mails etc. I need to have my contact details displayed well. Quentin Blake for example only lists his agents’ details; unfortunately I don’t have this luxury just yet (hopefully one day though!)
Attributes for my site:
So then, attributes I would like my site to have are:
1. A synonymous URL
2. Plain, clean, white background
3. Contact details on the front page
4. Hand rendered typeface
5. Child friendly icons