Website Wardrobes: How (and Why) You Should Make the Most of Customizable Components
Any functional, fashionable wardrobe consists of key staple items, and the same can be said for every functional, fashionable website. This blog will review the basic building blocks for a beautiful and user-friendly website, the benefits of reusable components, how fashion applies to the digital world, and how to build your brand’s personality within those components.
The Foundation of All Websites
Think of your website’s foundational components the same way you’d think of the basics in your closet or dresser – your pants, shirts, jackets, dresses, and so on. Some examples of website staples include:
- Content Blocks
While your website does not need to be limited to a strict, adherent number of components, it is best practice to keep the number of components low to save on time designing, developing, and integrating your website content.
Each of the building-block style component examples above do come with their own set of variations, but in general, they are recyclable components which can fit a variety of content types and lengths.
What are the benefits of a “website wardrobe”?
The first step to a structurally sound, sustainable website is designing the essentials to support all the great information and visuals your website has to offer. This structure, paired with an overarching goal of creating friction-free experiences, will set your website up for success. Users who visit your site have an unspoken expectation that the information they are looking for is not difficult to find. “Bounce rate” sounds innocent enough, but for those who have high bounce rates, it’s painful. Using a limited number of reusable components on a website eases users’ expectations as they go from page to page and prevents them from prematurely passing up your site for another.
On the other hand, having too many reusable components can start to create confusing experiences. Without general consistency from page to page, it’s less likely your users are going to find the information they were looking for to begin with.
Keeping your page content structures similar (but not identical) is a good goal to aim for as the structures will aid in fluid, fashionable experiences. Citro UI/UX developer, Ben, had this to add when it comes to components on the web:
The top priority is consistency. We always choose carefully when, and where, to show your “flair” and your style without deviating from expected page layout experiences.
How Fashion Translates to Our Digital World
Digital translation: Basic components that maximize content structure and keep your website organized reign supreme.
Fashion statement: “Gathering excessive pieces just in case will lead to a wardrobe that takes up space and ultimately creates waste.” (stitchfix)
Digital translation: Having too many components within your website will lead to a cluttered, confusing experience.
Fashion statement: “A key to sustainable shopping is to shop for versatility. Look for pieces that you can rock in many ways and in multiple seasons.” (stitchfix)
Digital translation: The key to a sustainable website is to build it with reusable components that you can customize in many ways and use on multiple pages as your site grows.
Fashion statement: “Accessories add a flavor and zest to even the most casual of ensembles. You often don’t need more than one accessory to upstyle an outfit.” (shopyourwardrobe)
Digital translation: Customization adds zest to basic page elements. You don’t need to go overboard – often just altering your content and visuals on each page is enough to make each one feel unique.
Building Your Brand Personality
Once you have your essential outfit started, the fun really begins. Your personality shines through the way you accessorize your day to day outfits – as accessorizing and customization should do the same on your website.
While staying true to your brand guidelines and visual identity, your developer and design team should make your reusable wardrobe pop by customizing fonts, colors, textures, gradients, iconography and photography. Think of these visual elements as your digital “flair”; similar to any jewelry, makeup, hair styling, belts, glasses, or ties that put the cherry on top of your outfits.
Without this vital step of customization, every website (and every human being and our surroundings) would start to look eerily similar. “While some modern design is edgy, many homes wind up looking like replicas of each other, with the same box-shaped silhouette, neutral color palette, product and open interiors.” (nichiha.com)
Nobody wants to be cookie-cutter, including online. Our differences are what make us not only unique, but recognizable – an important requirement for any growing brand and their online presence.