The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee.
It permits a number of possible uses and each
designer can look for a solution appropriate to his/her
personal style. But one must learn how to use the
grid; it is an art that requires practice
Why not use the white space of a blank web page to create a new world free of stuck (what’s this mean?) grids admitting that the web is not for print, bit instead a medium with depth, endlessness and unexplored possibilities. Why not a surprise like Nike Beter World (Site of the day January 11 2011)
These pages have my full admiration and i would really like to have designed them.
In any case the decision as to what kind of web design to choose depends less on what the designer admires than what are the needs of the Project, the client and of course,, the budget. Using a grid can be the starting point to find a structure that provides a consistent and visual coherency between the elements in a design.
“What will be the content of the site and what is its aim?” should be the first question.
There is a difference between promotional content, creating image values and strengthening brands, and content where the value is the information itself, ie, event information, instructions, product information, documentary photography, etc.The freshness of the information determines its value and so the content must not only be the easily accessible for the user, but also for the “creator”. It must also be easy to edit and update. The objective is to make the text as readable, the issues easy to access, the navigation as intuitive and the content as easy to update, so a grid is inevitable.
Qbio is an example of such a design decision, the clear layout allows us organise different content, the strong columns help the eye to distinguish the information, and also to mentally organise the catalogue and find products. The horizontal division on the home allows us to position the trademarks without too much disruption so the visual quality does not deteriorate. The sensibility of the design, the colour, the individualised menu and the rounded forms help create individuality although the design is discrete.
It´s obvious that for sites of events, concerts, and any kind of cultural actions it is useful to organise the page with a grid because this makes it easier to layout the programme. An even more important reason is the announcements. Banners of fashion Brands or related cultural issues should be placed in different sizes, depending on price. A column that can grow is inevitable. That this type of grids don´t have to be boring we can see at Sonar011
Also, sites like Zara which were much more innovative with animation, flash (yuck!), full screen video, etc. in the past arewere starting to useusing strong simple grids because in the last 2-3 years yeas all big Fashion Brands tend to have an e-commerces which is becoming each day more and more common. The fact that the gain benefit is to show the most maximum number of products possible in one site and to update the content (fotosphotos, prices, sales, offersdeals) quickly makes it unavoidable practical to have a simple usable layout which is immediately understandable in one view and creates the trust clients need demand in the buying g process. One A doubt in the technology presented can influence the decision to buy or not to buy.
The fashion experience is becoming less important, whereas the easy buying process and the shopping is emphasised.
An example where buying is the only benefit of the site is eTuyo informática
Finding and comparing prices is the objective of the site; not entertainment, just creating confidence that the price is right and the buying process is easy. This is no playground for designers but a exercise for usability experts.
http://backpagefootball.com/ is a good example of taking a magazine onto the web and in this case it is clear that the layout should be adapted from print to web. They have done very well, the typographic treatment, the respect of the grid in image sizes, colour and typography treatment is really convincing. A goal!! . A convincing example that simplicity and “less” can create consistency.
Nowadays some magazines start with the website and than go to a print version: http://www.designmadeingermany.de/magazin/5/
The amazing concept of the site is rarely translatable to the print and yet in this case the web is more convincing, Very simple yet progressive design, nice interaction. Beautifully done.
Grids are as contemporary now as before, for more information: