I do not have a large list of websites that I frequently visit, so I decided to analyze the online magazine Elite Daily, as I used to read their articles a lot in high school.
Their homepage has a white background with one article’s title and featured picture taking up most of the screen, while the website name is at the top and a search bar and clickable sidebar are on each side. I do not find this design appealing, as it is very plain and does not attract me to the website. They could have made it more interesting with a featured slider, as it would add movement, or a menu to display the various categories. It is very balanced, but asymmetry in website design can be good, and Elite Daily could use it to add some flair to their homepage.
If you scroll down, you see four article titles with pictures underneath a “Trending Now” section, with a patterned blue background that adds some needed colour to the website. When you hover over each article title, it reveals an excerpt, which piques the viewer’s interest. My only complaint is that the images do not have a uniform aesthetic, but maintaining a consistent aesthetic on such a big website must be difficult. The “trending now” section should be at the top of the homepage as it is far more dynamic than a static article title and picture.
As you scroll down further, you see six article titles with featured images, though these do not show excerpts. There is a lot of white space, but the colour of the photos provides contrast. It is a bit too balanced and static, and it would look better with a sidebar or excerpts.
It changes again further down: it shows an article’s title and excerpt on one side and a featured picture on the other side, and the following articles switch the sides of the titles and photos. It is nice that they included some asymmetry, but it is still somewhat dull, and you can only see two articles at a time, so you may have to scroll for a while to find something appealing.
Each category follows a similar format to the homepage, making the website consistent. The “About”, “Contact” and other pages (as well as the social media links) are on the right side of the open sidebar, which I completely missed the first time, as I only noticed the categories on the left side. This layout is a bit confusing and annoying, as viewers may waste their time attempting to scroll to the bottom for such information.
Elite Daily uses all of the basic design principles. The website is extremely well balanced, but as I stated, it could do with a little asymmetry to make it more visually appealing. It demonstrates rhythm, as the typefaces are consistent and all go well together. The colour palette is basic as well, as it is just black and white, with a pop of colour from the photos. The use of scale is evident on the homepage, as the title is smaller while the article on the homepage is very large, which shows that they want to emphasize their most recent article. It is the clear point of focus is their articles, as they are a content-based website. It is difficult to make such a simplistic design disorganized, which makes the website easy to navigate.
Despite their triumphs, I am somewhat disappointed in Elite Daily. It lacks originality, movement, colour, and asymmetry. It has a lot of white space, but they only use some of it wisely, and the rest just feels blank. I would prefer if the website had a sidebar that you did not have to click on, so you could easily switch categories while reading. Another feature that would help is having a menu underneath the website title showing the different categories. Elite Daily has changed a lot since I used to spend time on it, and I definitely preferred their old layout. It had a menu underneath the title, as well as a sidebar with other articles and categories. The old version also had a black background, which was more interesting to look at and made a better use of white space. Elite Daily has done some things right with their website, but I believe that making their website more original and less static would help them a lot.