According to some sources, there are over 1.2 billion websites on the Internet at this very moment. That’s almost one site for every seven people on the planet. What’s more is that there are approximately two developed every second.
Because of how many web hosting accounts are live at any given time, being unique is somewhat tricky. After all, having a resemblance of a unique appearance and value is important when making an impression on visitors. So, what can be done to pull away from how the masses create websites?
Looking at nature may be of great help. That is, as long as one can go beyond the obvious “green” hues that are abundant on Earth. Here are some of the top factors that a designer can learn from what life is capable of from a graphic standpoint.
1. Individuality in Essence
At the core, every individual part in nature is unique when compared to similar elements. For example, roses from the same bush may look alike until they are examined a bit more closely. Each petal has a different shape and slightly different location than the others.
What does this mean from a design perspective in regards to a website? That really depends on the designer. In essence, a similar site in appearance to another doesn’t necessarily mean it is identical. Variations in color scheme, plugins, fonts and images all can play into delivering a unique experience.
Look at the templates available in WordPress, for example. If everyone used the same theme on their sites, would they offer an individual experience? Yes, thanks to the imagination. Backgrounds, font colors, sizes and widgets all play into the user interface. It’s things like these which allow two designers to use the same theme while making the sites appear to be completely different.
Take it a step further and consider a tree. While a forest of oak has a similar base, each tree has varying branches unique to its development. Web design has the same impact. The base may be the same, but where each branch and leaf sprout depends on the needs of the tree itself.
2. Using Varying Perspectives
Does an ant see the lawn in the same way a human does? Not necessarily. From the ant’s perspective, a series of wide plants are jutting up from the ground. This doesn’t include the contours of each blade of grass being more pronounced.
Every life form on this planet has a different perspective of the surrounding elements. Hawks flying overhead have a much different view of the landscape than those standing on the ground.
This influences web hosting design by allowing developers to see a site from a different point of view. One of the most important perspectives is that of the visitor. Just because a designer loves a layout doesn’t mean it will be widely accepted.
What if there are different kinds of visitors to the site? For instance, many online stores incorporate a blog. Does the design flow well between hard-core shoppers and blog readers? What about those who are simply conducting research of certain types of information? In reality, there are many different types of website visitors.
3. Complimentary Elements that Work
If there is one thing nature is good at it’s showing how two complimentary elements work together for beauty. When the conditions are right, this is what drives a waterfall to appear in the middle of a desert.
Take a look at the Achimenes flower. One particular genus of this plant utilizes blue, purple and orange in its development. Although blue and purple are often great together, adding in the orange is what makes this plant stand out.
This means that almost any color combination is possible as long as the designer can deliver a complimentary flow. It takes more than just slapping two colors together and assuming it’ll work. The end result may be less than stellar from the viewpoint of the average visitor.
It’s how plants, animals and landscapes are created that gives it beauty. Each shade seems to have some kind of purpose, but it appears to work when attracting the eyes. And that’s one of the key parts of developing a good website…being able to draw attention to an element without it seeming out of place.
4. Pulling Emotions
Humans are easily emotionally influenced by their surroundings. For instance, most people view rain and snow storms as depressing and restrictive. Others will view crystal clear ocean waters as serene and relaxing. The same effect is achievable through web design.
There have been multiple papers detailing how humans are affected by specific colors. An example of this is visible each season as fashion trends change. While it may be impractical for some sites to shift the appearance as often as people change clothes, it’s how people view elements that needs to be addressed.
Look at the majority of mental help websites. How many of them are red? In reality, a large portion of them are based in blues and greens. Why is this? Because blue is a color related to stability, trust and confidence. Green is associated with harmony and growth. Both are effective at inspiring similar emotions within visitors.
Think of a lush green forest and pinpoint the emotion it draws. Is it possible to look at pictures from the Bahamas and not feel relaxed? These are the elements that will help inspire site design depending on the purpose of the content. It may be worth the effort to understand the psychology of color when developing the color scheme of specific websites.
Millions of Years in the Making…
The life on this planet has evolved for millions of years. As a result, the face of Earth has changed often from the dreary and drab ice age to sparkling and relaxing views of the Caribbean. As long as there is an open mind, any developer can learn a great deal from nature when it comes to web hosting and design. All it really takes is to step outside and really look around. The level of inspiration is high regardless if the designer is in the desert or a tropical rain forest.