Many companies operate in saturated industries making it harder and harder to communicate the value behind your brand. Your website acts a microphone, amplifying what you represent, what you do, who you do it for and why it is better than the competition. But getting this right and translating it to an online space can be tricky. When designing a new website, mood boards and design concepts are essential tools used to help people understand your brand’s personality.
Effectively translating your brand online empowers you to build an enjoyable UX. Mood boards can be used within the initial design process to define and deliver your unique characteristics. Throughout this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of this explorative stage within the design process and why mood boards are such a crucial part of this.
What Are Mood Boards?
At their heart, mood boards are a compilation of inspiring elements and ideas used by designers to flesh out the start of a design project. By no means are they set in stone. In fact, they are quite the opposite, working as a casual and flexible source of inspiration before jumping into the design. The process of mood boarding allows designers to begin their work while gaining feedback before too much time, resource and budget are invested into the wrong direction.
Visuals can often speak louder and clearer than words making mood boards extremely useful for establishing the aesthetics of a website. Many different factors can be explored including:
- Colour palettes
- Photography style
- Navigation styles
Taking these into account, a visual picture can be developed of the specific style or feeling you want to evoke through your website’s UX. Doing so can help you reach your objectives and ensure your brand is being reflected with continuity in a seamless way.
Where Can You Find Mood Board Inspiration?
So, just where do we find the ideas, inspiration and thoughts that lead into creating a mood board? We live in a digital world and, as a result, there are realms of inspiration and ideas at our fingertips. A good place to start is looking at other websites to get you thinking in the right space. Of course, nothing should be copied, but using examples that are already live is a great way of sparking conversation and considerations. Lifestyle inspiration platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and industry-leading platforms can also be used to generate ideas. However, don’t forget there is still a world beyond digital. Harness real-world inspiration seen from other outlets including magazines, posters or out-of-home advertisements.
What Are The Benefits of Using a Mood Board During a Web Design Project?
Mood boarding is not only a great way of igniting creativity, it is also a fundamental influence in generating a unique, authentic website that represents your brand. The process brings many benefits to your business including:
- Getting stakeholders involved earlier: The process of mood boarding gets stakeholders involved at an early stage, encouraging feedback to guide the visuals prior to the formal design stage. This can make a huge impact on your final design outcomes and ensures decisions are both considered and informed. Ultimately, trust is developed as ongoing communication and contributions feed into the final designs from early on.
- Preventing misunderstandings and delays: Avoiding any big surprises throughout a project is important for both the design team and your brand. Creating visuals is an effective way to avoid misunderstandings that may stem from verbal descriptions. By visually interpreting ideas, suggestions and comments are encouraged before website designs are created which streamlines the design process and reduces the time spent on revisions later.
- Using them with the rest of the business: Mood boards don’t just have to be used by a design team, you can effectively communicate concepts to the rest of your team and wider business, helping to gather opinions and gain input from senior stakeholders.
- Mood Boarding and UX Design: Design teams have the challenge of providing a meaningful and relevant online experience for the user. Considering the design, usability and functions of your website plays an integral role in achieving this. Mood boarding feeds directly into UX design helping brands create an intuitive and considered outcome. This process provides the design team with the necessary feedback to begin generating informed design concepts and page templates supported by ongoing collaboration between the brand and the team. As a result, time is reduced on exploring concepts that don’t reflect the project vision.
- Developing your brand: Visuals excite more than words. They bring ideas to life and show a clear path of how a project is evolving. In turn, mood boards can be an effective way of developing your brand identity considering how concepts can be translated online. If you don’t have a full set of brand guidelines, mood boarding is the ideal opportunity to consider them. Exploring typography, colour, styling and content not only gives the design stage a clear vision but your brand too.
When embarking on a web project, it’s crucial these explorative stages are completed. It allows us to recognise what works best to reach your website objectives and discover what may not have been considered.
Design is all about asking questions, overcoming challenges and finding solutions. The more questions asked at the beginning of a project, the more likely the final outcome will be a success. Allocating time for mood boarding and design concepts can save countless hours as the project proceeds. With a visual guide and a clear vision in hand, the project is much likely to stay on track and ultimately build a better outcome. The design team here at NetConstruct are experienced in creating dynamic, engaging solutions across a broad range of websites. Contact us if you want to find out more about our innovative design strategies.