The experience of good web site design feels like settling into a comfortable chair.

When the design is visually exhausting, it repels the user instead of inviting him or her in. Let’s take a look at how two yoga studios present themselves on the web.

First, the Dog

Laughing Dog Yoga Web Site

When I look at the home page of Laughing Dog Yoga the first things I notice are a) the layout feels awkward and b) there are way too many fonts. The layout is basically an endless list. This creates big blank spaces. It makes my eyes tired to scroll through it.  I also find the color scheme unattractive.

Font Crazy

There are six different fonts in the left navigation pane and five different fonts in the content area, for a total of 11 different font variations. Fonts vary by color, size, style (bold, italic, etc.) and typeface.

Blurry Typeface

Note the links in the navigation pane are all caps and in white with a drop shadow that creates a blurry effect that impacts readability.

The design principles of repetition and clarity should govern your font selection. Too much variety prevents the user from finding and focusing on information.

My overall experience: Uncomfortable

Next, the Lotus – Love Those Colors

By contrast, Mudita Yoga Studio features a beautifully composed photo on the home page. Below is their web design from several years ago:

Mudita Yoga Studio

Look closely at the colors in the lotus blossom. You’ll see these same colors used for backgrounds and borders. A collection of related colors form a color palette and this is one characteristic of good design.

I see only three fonts used on the home page. Each one is distinct and each one has a function. There is a font for the name of the business, a font for the navigation buttons, and a font for the main content. Immediately my eye understands and I feel comfortable reading and investigating the site further.

They have updated the look of their web site, which you can see here: Mudita Yoga Studio

Another feature of a good web site is that it’s content is refreshed often and it’s redesigned from time to time as more capabilities are added to the building tools for the web.

Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for people who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.
Copyright 2009, Alice Gebura, All Rights Reserved.

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