I actually uncovered a rather compelling connection between the art of songwriting and the world of web design. It’s called “the hook”. Allow me to draw the parallel. The hook is that little portion of music, it could be a phrase or riff and it connects or hooks you to the song. More often than not, it’s the “catchy” chorus. In web design “the hook”, is a combination of design elements that capture your attention, immediately. The chorus on a website is the part of the design that makes you want to look, explore and click!
To illustrate this, consider the following examples that are literally a gazillion pixels apart. The first is a no-hook wonder that has gone horribly wrong.
I’m certain mrbottles.com was delighted to make “20 Examples Of Bad Web Design” on topdesignmag.com. I see nothing that hooks me on this site. Over emphasized and abundant text all scrunched together, layered over photos and multiplied in a rainbow of colours for what seems like forever (keep scrolling) is painful on my senses.
Fast Company’s Co.Design is a welcome reprieve from Mr. Bottles! Uncluttered, clean design, easy on the eyes and compelling enough to make you want to scroll down the page to see what you missed. It’s easy to find and read the full story on any article because the site entices you to discover. You are already lured in by the design, and then you are hooked by the simplicity of each story layout.
Here’s my own take on getting closer to a great hook on your website:
- KISS: The old adage holds true yet again; Keep It Simple Stupid!
- The White Stripes: Not just a novel idea; white space is easy on the eyes, crank it up!
- Word Music: Take it easy with content; writing for the web is a challenge best met with a desire to cut words not add them!
- Living Colour: Colour matters; there is a rhyme and a reason behind matching colours.
So when you are in the groove, what websites do you love to visit?