Symmetry is often considered aesthetically pleasing, and easy to on the eyes. Many web designers utilize symmetrical design to give their sites a balanced, proportional look. Creating symmetry can take a little planning, and sometimes the use of well-placed menus, content areas, media and other design elements to create a site that is similar on both sides with a vertical, or sometimes horizontal line.
Degrees of Web Design Symmetry
Once you’ve got web hosting and chosen the CMS or platform you want to build your new website with, it’s time to plan for the actual design elements of your site. Using symmetry is a good idea, as it’s been researched and proven to appeal to most users. How much symmetry you wish to use will affect placement of most of your site’s content, but having an overall symmetrical design is sufficient. Not every detail needs to be mirrored identically.
Color Blocking and Color Schemes
The first area to find symmetry for your new website is in the background images and color schemes. You will want to use solid colors when building a symmetrical website, as gradients usually give an asymmetrical appearance. Determine the specific colors you want for the primary color scheme first. Try looking at colors opposite each other on a standard color wheel to find the best match for your first color choice. This is also considered symmetrical design because such colors are complementary in nature.
Alternate your chosen colors in balanced way to get started with a symmetrical design. This can be estimated, or you can measure the lateral area consumed by each color, and give them an exactly equal share of your display. The more equally you use the two main colors in your design, borders, or background, the more balanced the site will feel, lending itself to good symmetry.
Symmetry With Menus
Since most websites only use one main menu, the simplest way to ensure your menu is symmetrical is to make it responsive, and full width. This way it will extend to both sides of your users’ display, and the menu buttons will center themselves at all times. For maximum symmetry consider the length of each word in the menu, and order the buttons in a mirrored fashion, keeping the longest words or buttons on the ends or together in the center.
If you have more than one menu, you can still utilize symmetry by placing the second menu on the bottom of the site, or by using vertical style menus. Vertical menus often tuck away when the user isn’t hovering over them with a mouse, leaving more room for centered content.
Using Add-ons, Extensions, and Widgets
Depending on what website building platform and web hosting package you’ve chosen, you can use different types of add-ons or extensions to achieve symmetry with your site’s content. For example, WordPress websites can download add-ons to display text areas, animations, media players and other content boxes. If you’re using a Joomla-friendly host, you have similar options in the Joomla Extension Directory. Widgets are another option for HTML and CSS site builders.
Whichever direction you go, try to mirror all the features that you install on the left or right side of your page. If something doesn’t look good left or right justified, the best option is to center it. For example, news articles or blog posts can often be centered, whereas a left-justified calendar would pair nicely with a right-justified stopwatch extension of the same dimensions.
Vertical and Horizontal Website Symmetry
Most web designers who seek symmetrical design use traditional horizontal website symmetry. This is the easiest option considering more menus, add-ons and other content features are designed for this layout. The best way to accomplish this is to imagine your site with a vertical line drawn through it mid-way between the left and right edges of your display. Count the number of items you’ll feature on each side of the site, the overall size of each item and placement. Sites with too much content on one side can feel unbalanced, sometimes leaving behind awkward blank spaces on the opposing side.
If you want your site to stand out, then consider the creative alternative of having a vertically symmetrical design. This sometimes works well with horizontal menus and add-ons, but may require a fixed height to really achieve a noticeable symmetry. This is relatively easy to accomplish with static websites, but can also be done with infinite-scrolling websites by incorporating frequently repeating background patterns.
Symmetry can be achieved on any web hosting or web building platform. Websites that are totally symmetrical give a good impression, and will earn your company respect from the most design-scrutinizing user. Since having symmetry in your web design in an automatic way to give your content a professional platform, it’s a good idea to include at least some symmetry when planning for your website.