Web designers accomplish their objectives by combining the elements and principles of graphics design in websites. The major elements in web design include shape, texture, value, and size. The aim of combining these elements is to attract the attention of the users and lead them into conducting out some specific actions. Web designers combine different principles, including the principles of repetition, proximity, contrast, and alignment (Whittekiend, 2009). The principles of graphic design are repeated while designing a website to product an attractive page. This paper has compared and contrasted eBay and Amazon assembling the individual elements as well as how they have been utilized to create an appropriate and efficient website page composition.
Contrast focuses on the use of colors, text size, and bold type to distinguish an image or part of the text to bring contrast (Morin, 2009). Contrast has emphasized on creating a website’s visual appearance, thus creating interest on the page and simplifying its structure. Therefore, contrast entails the use of varying images, colors, fonts, and shapes on the page.
Considerably, as shown in the image above, eBay has brought contrast through the use of visual weight. The main focal point has been the page pictures. Headlines have also created another contrast through their text sizes. Serifs and non-serifs have been used to bring contrast on the page. San serifs have brought about a decorative feature that has been used in headings while serifs have been utilized in the text body. The difference in font sizes and visual weights has created contrast within the page. Among other contrast features, eBay has utilized form, color, and size to create contrast in the website’s visual appearance.
Amazon, on the other hand, has created contrast through the manipulation of space and visuals as well as text selection. However, their visual weight has failed to create much visual interest as compared to eBay. This is because they have failed to make good use of contrast as compared to eBay. For instance, as seen in the image above, every item within the website, the headlines, subheadings, and body texts have the same size. Nothing has been highlighted; thus, nothing stands out on the page. Variations of font size and visual weights would have captured the interest of the user and create more attention while navigating through the pages. The layouts have shown subtle variations in color and brightness. The overall contrast created on the page is not remarkable.
Repetition ties images and objects together. Repetition focuses on consistency, unity in alignment, steadiness, headings, and fonts (Landa, 2010). Repetition can happen though images, fonts, and spacing in the layout. For instance, the repetition of text heading formatting builds a unified and professional look. However, this does not mean that everything should be repeated on each page but a variation in color and layout with style should remain consistent, thus offering a uniform look that appeals visually.
Amazon has utilized repetition, which has created consistency in the product display within its page. In the product display, it is evident that they have heavily relied on certain elements for their product display. For instance, the website page has utilized the same font sizes and image sizes to display the products. This has led to a certain style of display for the products that build on strengthening the design and emphasis on consistency. For instance, repetition in text formatting and heading has led to a unified and professional look.
eBay has also relied on repetition in its product display. The image above illustrates how they have maintained a consistent product display since there is a repetition on the font size, text, and background. The texts have reflected the color of the background, which has strengthened the design. They have created attractive product names through bold typeface. As compared to Amazon, eBay has greatly maintained the repetitive elements within the pages of the website. At Amazon, the graphic elements such as titles, product details, and subtitles are the same on each page, but the general styling is varying.
Alignment in web design means everything from bigger elements such as navigation, header, content to inside elements such as text headers, paragraphs, and images. Alignment entails organization, strength, and polish, making it easier for the users to navigate and understand the content on the website (Morin, 2009). Considerably, alignment is applied in every design within the page layout to highlight order.
Amazon’s website has adhered to the alignment principle since its elements have been aligned, making it easier for the reader to understand and distinguish. The image above illustrates an alignment of text through the use of grids. The alignment of texts in the pages has been created through the justified alignment of texts in the short sentences. Considerably, the alignment of text has enabled the reader to differentiate the content that is located under varying titles. Relatively, the various colors used in the subtitles and content have enabled the user to know which content is linked to a certain subtitle.
eBay website has not the focused alignment of content since they use less sophisticated slides whose information is not aligned in a way that makes it look appealing. The use of slides has made it difficult for users to understand. However, the body text has been left-aligned, while the navigation area’s images are aligned at the center. The alignment of images and texts has attempted to give the website users a professional and appealing.
Proximity in web design means that related or similar elements should be grouped while those that are dissimilar or unrelated should be separated. This principle argues that moving similar elements together in web design is essential to achieve an organized look. Ideally, the attention of the user draws when similar objects are drawn together (Morin, 2009).
Amazon’s website has applied the principle of proximity. Considerably, the is enough space between the header and the section that contains the product details and the images that offer the user a pleasant experience. The website has used white spaces effectively and padding that enables the establishment of a balance between space and content, among other elements. Despite an attempt to balance the white space, some sections of the website have white spacing that makes the website appear void and irregular of content.
In contrast, the eBay website has failed to adhere to the principle of proximity since the navigation bar is closely attached to the slides that have the images. The website looks mixed-up as there lacks a clear difference between the various information blocks, which makes it difficult to keep track of details on the website pages. However, they have effectively used the white space between the area that contains the navigation bar and the logo. The space between the objects fails to create a level of emphasis as compared to that of the Amazon website even though similar elements are all grouped. The website is likely to be overwhelmed with information since they have not effectively used the principle of proximity.
In conclusion, Amazon’s website is more appealing and user-friendly due to effective application of the four principles of web design as compared to eBay. Considerably, the utilization of the four principles enables the website designer to bring out clear elements on the website, which makes the design more professional and appealing to the user. Failure to utilize the four principles of web design results to mixed up content on the website, which makes it look unprofessional and more sophisticated.
Landa, R. (2010). Graphic design solutions. Cengage Learning.
Morin, P. (2009). Principles of graphic design.
Whittekiend, s. (2009). A web quest on creating visually appealing websites using basic page layout and graphic design principles (doctoral dissertation, Utah state university).