Whether you’re a gamer yourself or you’re thinking about starting your own gaming site, it’s important to know about aesthetic best practices for web design. Understanding what’s painful to the senses (such as the eyes and ears) can help you choose the best site to play, or lure in more customers if you’re running it.
There are a lot of outdated practices and elementary errors when people choose themes and add on a little pomp and circumstance. Are you in danger of committing one of these taste crimes?
It starts with understanding your target demographics and working the design around them. For instance, if you operate an online casino with table games, that’s going to draw a different crowd from the one you’ll attract if you offer fun, light, Angry Bird-esque games geared to all ages.
Some ages and communities enjoy movement, flash, and music more than others, but it’s always a good idea to play it safe. Here’s how.
Keep it simple
This principle is true for every type of website. Game websites have a tendency to overwhelm.
Your target market might be skilled at seeing through the noise, but that doesn’t mean they want to be attacked as soon as they arrive on the homepage. Less is more; you want people to be intrigued and dive deeper into the site.
Nav bars should be obvious
Don’t get too creative with nav bars. Instead, keep them where they “should” be (at the top or along the left margin of the screen) with easy, non-creative descriptions.
This will not only help your site users get around, but improve your search engine optimization (SEO). The place to be totally creative is in the games themselves, not in the basic outlay of your website.
Ditch the music
Nothing is more annoying than being assaulted by music or sound effects, especially if someone has the volume turned up. Also keep in mind that your users might be sneaking in a game while they’re at the office or in class, and you don’t want to get them busted. There’s no need for noise on a gaming site.
Choose soothing colors
You might be tempted to infuse some flash of Vegas into your site design, say with bright colors -- but leave that for the game itself. You want people to spend a lot of time on your site, and that calls for soothing, neutral tones.
Even the most beautifully garish display can get old after you’ve been staring at it for a few hours.
Your best secret weapon? A responsive design-focused web designer.