iPad Website Design – American Indian Inspired Pattern
The design problem I was faced with was to create four web pages that exhibited my Native American Indian inspired repeat patterns from Brief 1. Through a focus on colour theory and strategy in practise, I chose colours that embodied Native American Indian culture and the themes of each web page.
In order to create the first page, ‘Home’ I thought about objects, images and symbols that are important to the Indian people. From doing this I chose a totem pole to base my navigation around. In American Indian culture, totem poles are often used to tell tales of family history. As I am telling a story about my design process of completing Brief 1, I thought this was suitable. There is also a lot of importance put onto the order of each figure on the poles. I chose to order mine vertically according to my desired pathway through the site, moving down from the initial home page and gradually to the ‘About’ page this is the base for all the designs.
Using research as a basis, I was able to sketch possible animals that I had learnt were important symbolically in Indian culture into characters. I chose to draw my characters in Illustrator as I thought that they would be more user friendly in a flat icon with bold colours. My strategic use of colour is evident in each of my icons as I chose to use colours that summarized the content visually. Home is an owl, a welcoming and wise character greeting the viewer to the site with arms out stretched, as if he is to educate them. His colours are warm and conservative, like a professor. In contrast, the fox is depicted in bright and fresh hues of orange. It is bold and striking, exactly what modern design should be. Juxtaposed to this follows the raccoon. With a colour palate of grey and black. He seems aged just like his content is. He is like the elder of the totem characters. Finally, the beaver mirrors a colour palate to the owl for simular purposes. He is wise yet cheeky, a hint of the designer behind the patterns.
For my page layouts, I tried to create a really contemporary approach to the design. However, I knew that a good website has a consistent format in alike pages to allow seamless viewing. Therefore, I melted different aspects of each of my core objectives into the layout.
I drew my colour palate from the traditional colours I found but extended them to more earth tones, as Indian people are people of the earth, who live off the earth. I chose a wood texture as my background as totem poles are carved from trees. This strengthened my web pages as the communication and history of the culture is continually reinforced to the viewer, even subconsciously. However, I wanted the text and imagery to really stimulate the mind. I chose active, bright and lively colours such as yellows and oranges to really bring out the content and engage the viewer. The buzzing yellow rug inspired background really pops against the duller brown wood. Each title banner varies but is a set of three subtle shades and tints of the one colour to create a sense of depth and shaddows to further stimulate the mind. I found it really important to make my design interactive. As the website is specifically deisgned for an iPad, I wanted to take advantage of the intuitive nature of the tablet and create photoviewers. Allowing the viewer to zoom and click upon each image to view the source of my inspiration themselves helped me to engage them in my thinking.
Putting each of the patterns in the background of the designs but viewed on either side of the text-based context allowed me to create a seamless flow of infomation. I think that by doing this the user isn’t startled by the rich use of the pattern and rather, recognises it as a stimulating background. Balancing out the composition, the background also allows the viewer to draw parallels between the text and images which support the design and the design itself. By using colours from two of the patterns for type, I have managed to further connect the eye from my work to my thinking which allows for clear communication. The continuity between each pages, with an attention to layout and backgrounds has allowed the colour strategy to seemlessly lead the viewer through the content.