So, what’s the deal with having a streamlined aesthetic? Why is it so important all of the sudden? It seems like technical and artistic things like aesthetic are meant only for professional website developers and social media influencers. There are many reasons for this false idea, one of the most prominent being that achieving a streamlined aesthetic seems like something only professionals are capable of. This couldn’t be farther from the truth though. Creating a website that has a professional looking aesthetic is as simple as knowing what story you want to tell with your personal website. Once you have a general understanding of aesthetic and why it matters, it is smooth sailing from there.
But, what exactly is a streamline aesthetic? Is it just matching colors and nice photos? Well, technically speaking, it is. But artistically speaking, it is a little bit more. An aesthetic is the culmination of factors such as color, spacing, lines, and layout to invoke a particular emotional response or attitude shift. Typically, these aesthetic responses can be described in one to two keywords that apply to a specific cultural area. Here are a few examples:
- Clean cut
- Retro, vintage
Achieving an aesthetic within a website is essentially the act of studying a particular style or attitude that you would like to emulate on your webpage, establishing the key colors and layout designs that come together to create the tone you want to achieve. How do you do this? Well, when in doubt, look it up. There are millions of websites that can serve as examples of some prominent aesthetics and can even provide some information on certain aesthetics. Taking inspiration from already existing websites is never a bad thing. It is often the best way to get an understanding of what aesthetics do well and which ones are most commonly used for professionals that are similar to you. Give yourself time to play around with ideas.
But, why does it matter? Why is it necessary to understand how to choose colors and place lines if the most important part of the website is the content? Simply put, the aesthetic is part of the content. Your website is your space to tell your story to visitors and potential employers. In order to tell this story in the most effective way possible, you need to use every resource available. While your website’s copy (an introduction, resume, descriptions of your experience, etc.) is a great way to tell the story, it does not necessarily say everything. Having a clean website with a streamlined aesthetic continues this story by telling your viewers that you take yourself seriously as a professional and that you are competent enough to take your image into your own hands.
Different aesthetics also tell different stories that can give your viewers a better understanding of your interests and intentions. For example, if you want to convey a playful or softer tone to complement your profession, a gentler and more warm colored aesthetic will get the job done. If you’d like to convey a professional and tech savvy tone, a more techno inspired aesthetic will do that for you. Your website’s aesthetic is essentially the viewer’s first involuntary impression of you, which means that it should be well thought out. You want to tell a story that is representative of who you want to be as a professional in the most concise, eye-catching, and effective way. A well thought out aesthetic is your ticket to achieving that.