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Web design is a sector in constant turmoil, where sudden changes happen dynamically, following new trends, techniques, and tools. Parallax scrolling effects, central and sharp images, the search for elegance are among the most recent guidelines in web designing. However, while some websites are very noticeable for their topicality and appearance, others stand out for their old style and their questionable idea of beauty. This paper will compare two websites that are at the extreme in an ideal range of aesthetic values. Lings Cars, a UK car leasing website, is a collection of many undesirable features in a website; Soho Dolls, a contemporary lifestyle and fashion blog, is a bright sample of a modern and appealing website.
Landing on the home page of Lings Cars is an unpleasant aesthetic experience, as the website is poorly designed under many perspectives and shows a lack of a research-driven approach. The home page conveys a feeling of confusion, with many different components clashing and trying to catch the attention of the viewer. The page is very long and lists all the ads for the available cars. However, the lack of logic and the excess of info make it challenging to focus on a specific offer. A closer look at the design pattern of the home page reveals that the structure of the website is decidedly out-of-date, with a main vertical menu on the left side and a band with some flashing content on the right side.
The other pages of Lings Cars website follow the same confusing scheme; moreover, the website has many useless info and features, including games and quizzes. The comic-like design choice and the image of the company’s owner that appears many times and on every page do not help in making the website clear, even arousing some irritation. Finally, the background image, reminding of some Oriental cashmere or paisley design, adds confusion to confusion.
Soho Dolls is a website that impresses with elegant, linear, and smart design. The choice of using a black-and-white image as a styling signature improves elegance, while the horizontal black menu with white writings is easy to read and follows the most recent trends in web designing. A fair touch of intense pink reveals that the blog is targeted at young and dynamic women. A more in-depth look at the website highlights a good organization, with each page dealing with a specific area, including wellness, beauty, and travel, among others. The articles are neither predictable nor banal, and the topics are developed using a quiet and polite tone while arousing the interest of the reader.
Openness to external collaborations and public participation helps to identify new opportunities and topics (Visocky O’Grady & Visocky O’Grady, 2017). Indeed, Soho Dolls are the fruit of accurate research, and the blog is tailored to the needs and tastes of a selected and refined audience.
Overall, the Ling Cars website seems to lack solid research on the needs, behaviors, and expectations of the final users. Research should be the basis of any commercial website. On the contrary, Ling Cars appear to be centered on the overflowing personality of the site’s owner. Soho Dolls is a perfectly balanced website, where informative content, careful choice of the articles, and design elegance meet to create a refined virtual lounge.
Visocky O’Grady, J., & Visocky O’Grady, K. (2017). A designer’s research manual: Succeed in design by knowing your clients and what they really need (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Quarto.