Design Critique: Gilt Taste

February 20, 2012
Designers
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Gilt Taste is a just-launched website that is an outgrowth of their magazine. And it’s beautiful…which is why I’m blogging about it.

The design is a variation of the bar on top (without a border) and page down the middle. But, as always, the variations are what make this website incredible. Let’s take a look at the major areas of website design on this page.

Colors

The designers went with grey & white neutrals plus a lime green on the buttons. But, you say, there are many more colors than lime green! Yes, yes there are. By keeping its basic color scheme, well, basic, your eye is drawn to the vibrant pictures, which is exactly what they want you to focus on; those clever devils. They also added a great texture to the grey portions of the website. Solid colors are still popular, but, perhaps because grey is getting its 15 minutes of fame right now in designer circles, texture is increasingly being added to spice things up.

gilt taste website

Background

Another trend in website design in the 3D background look. This is achieved in various ways, but on this website, they added a nice overhead picture of spices to the background. Be aware, though, this trend does NOT include a repeating background: after about the first two screens, the background fades into an off-white color for the rest of the page. This is an important distinction to remember because repeating backgrounds (unless dictated by other design on your page) tend to remind people of 90’s designs.

Links

Links are a web designer’s primary tool for designing the architecture of the website. Good link architecture can translate quickly into good page views, longer time on the website, or simply happier customers/users. The common links above the main website page include a heading (“Shop By Category”). While a little unusual, it provides just a little more direction to the top links, and the darker grey color used helps differentiate between the links and the link heading.

The designer also place another link bar directly across from the logo with main links for the website that could not be included the shopping by category area. And finally, at the very top right, you see the login information, register, and cart. This top-right placement has become quite standard for this information. Of course, the sidebar and bottom bar can also double as good places to house them.

Design Expansion

In August 2010, Uptrends stated that over 80% of people are using screens with resolutions higher then 1024×768 (I’m guessing this doesn’t include phone usage). Any website you design needs to be able to scale up well (also down well, but personally I’d recommend a separately designed mobile website). A popular way to accomplishing this is making the top bar have a width of 100%, with the main page only occupying around 1024 pixels in the center of the page. The background is also an important aspect of this visual expansion of the page. Notice their background image is wide enough to cover a large screen, but is centered around the main page so the look doesn’t change regardless of the page size.

Bottom Bar

Their bottom bar is a “light” bottom bar (you know, like light beer). It doesn’t have a different background color and the links are minimal. You have the standard About Us, FAQ, Shipping & Tax, Return Policy, Terms of Service, Privacy, and Security. Come to think of it, if you have a store website, this is a great list of bottom links to copy.

Take-Aways

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