Why Texture Is So Important on (Most) Websites

Let’s be honest, you don’t have to be a website developer genius to know what looks good and what doesn’t, what is appealing and what you hate. We have all been around the internet long enough to determine when a website…just doesn’t have it.

For some, it’s—rightfully—functionality. If it doesn’t work, I don’t want to deal with it. And I can’t blame them. But for me? If your website looks, well, boring? I’m out.

I should preface this with the fact that, yes it has to work, and I am not looking for insane amounts of flash. But I AM looking for some texture to keep my attention. And YES that applies to you, big-box stores (lookin’ at you, Walmart).

Texture Creates Depth

Besides just looking nice, texture does something that you probably don’t even realize—it creates depth.

When you visit a website, whether you know it or not, tastes have changed. A long time ago, sites were REALLY wild with tons of banners, ads, flash games, and a whole bunch of nonsense. Then, suddenly, it went to nothing…plain websites. And to be honest, some of this style has never really gone away, and there is nothing wrong with it if done tastefully. But think about how texture can redefine your website design—even if it’s simply drop shadows.

It makes a difference.

Subtle Texture Makes your Website Look Glamorous

When working on a web design, I have come to realize that the elements people don’t actively interact with are almost MORE important than the elements they ignore, or have no dealings with. Again, the subtle designs make your website pop.

Go to any fancy restaurant’s website and I guarantee you will see one thing in common, fancy subtle texture, something even as simple as an offset text box (yes, that’s texture).

You may not even realize it, but these are the things that will immediately grab someone’s attention, and get them to stay.

However…There are Times When It’s Bad

All things being said, it should also be mentioned that there are some instances when texture is probably not the best idea. For example, if you’re working on any of these kinds of websites, maybe go easy on fancy formatting:

  • Medical Websites
  • Databases
  • Websites with serious tones
  • Financial institutions

There is a time and place for everything, including a time to scale it back.

It can’t be understated that subtle design elements will make or break a great website (such as this one, right?). It’s the small details that will make your design pop, and make your client that much happier.

Just remember that there are varying levels of this, however, and follow what makes sense for you.

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