What is a Texture in Regards to Website Design?
In web design the line between a pattern and a texture is one that is a little bit blurred; the terms have been thrown around almost synonymously, to the point that a lot of people have skewed perspectives of each. Patterns are elements of an image that can be made into tiles. Typically a pattern will be a small, repeating image that is rendered in a way that looks symmetrical. A texture, on the other hand, is usually a larger picture that doesn’t have any repeating elements. While they both have their uses in eCommerce website design, they can be utilized in very different ways. An example of both a pattern and a texture can be seen to the right in order to make it easier to understand the difference:
Creative Applications of Texture in eCommerce
Using texturing effectively in web design can add a tremendous amount of depth to an otherwise flat website. The goal is to not just build a website, but an experience that keeps people fully engaged and away from the back button. Proper use of texture can achieve this in several ways:
Don't Overdo It!
While texturing can be an extremely valuable tool in web design, there is a fine line between effective application and overzealous usage. The art of using textures effectively is nuanced and subtle; it should be used as a complimentary feature, not a focal point. Too much texture on a website will create a chaotic and distracting environment, which is obviously the opposite of what you are hoping to do. Legibility is always the most important consideration while designing a site; don’t ever sacrifice the legibility of the page in order to add more visual stimulation. “Content is king” is a phrase that all web developers are familiar with, and for good reason: it’s absolutely true. Don’t lose sight of the fact that all of the visual aspects of a website design are there to make the actual content more appealing to visitors. As soon as everything starts distracting users from what is really important, the design of that website has become counter-productive.