The graphic designer in me that I’ve been repressing for so many years is edging her way out and is screaming. You might remember earlier when I was gaga for text, clamoring for color, aching for artistry? Now I’ve dabbled in depth — and I love it! Look at these: “30 Awesome Web Designs that Create the Illusion of Depth” from Six Revisions.
How fun is depth in designing a web site? Okay, I will acknowledge right now that most of those incredible sites I drooled over as design art had elements of depth. I just didn’t isolate it when I was ogling their overall awesome-ness. When you see sites that look like a child’s pop-up book, or make you feel you are at the very top of a tree in a birdhouse community above the clouds, or have you unfolding the pages of a book to see the different parts of the site, you know what depth can add to a site. I was also digging the site that featured a photorealistic room with various clickable photorealistic mechanisms, and it made me picture being able to do the same thing with a high school locker. That’d be cool, if it hasn’t already been done.
Now is when Ms. Devil’s Advocate comes out with her party-line speech: it’s all good to a point. Everything in moderation. Blah, blah, blah. But it’s also true. Depth could be overused, to the point of user confusion, and would not be nearly as effective as the web sites referenced above if the intended effect is not immediately clear to the end user. In fact, the appropriateness of its use should be considered based on the client and the image they want to portray. It definitely represents a more laid-back, fun page – not necessary good for serious business.
Regardless, used appropriately and effectively, depth is a fun aspect of open and creative web design.