The responsive web designing and mobile designing has been leaning towards the vertical orientation. While vertical thinking may occur to be a novelty in web designing, it has always been an integral part of the print medium like newspapers and pamphlets. The fresh look that is given by a vertical website has literally broken the otherwise strict ‘above the scroll’ mentality.
The basic principles like clean typography, color, images and content organization are important for both horizontal as well as a vertical website. However, the latter has the following three design features that make it stand apart:
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1. Vertical space
This is a very obvious requirement for any vertical website. Thinking vertically immediately implies that you should reserve some vertical workspace in your website. While it is common and easy to develop a vertical space for a mobile website, creating one for a desktop browser can be a problem. Current browser environment has a consistent vertical shape and this fact must be considered when you design your website.
Vertical Website Design Features
A blog or website with a sidebar almost makes up to a full-fledged vertical website. If you emphasize the vertical orientation with the help of strong up and down image or a short text block that reads vertically, it will give off a better vertical feeling.
Extending the space beyond the scroll and creating cascading screens can all help you utilize the vertical space effectively.
A grid of wide columns with distinct purpose can create a good looking vertical space too. A single columns vertical space with a background mage filling the rest of the space can also work great.
2. Vertical elements
Sometimes making a vertical space may just not work. Some vertical design elements can help you get the vertical feel even without the vertical workspace. Vertical design can be achieved by incorporating certain vertical elements in a horizontal space.
Static elements like navigation bars or logos can be created vertically and employed in a horizontal space to give a vertical feel. These elements must be structured to work around the content and must not be forced.
The right usage of color and background images can also help your boring website to get a vertical orientation feel. Vertical stripes can add taller feel when they are placed beside other objects.
One very important feature of any web design is navigation. If the users are lost in a page, there is no use in the efforts made for landing them there. Navigation must always consider the usability criteria to help in making the website successful. This can be done by paying attention to the content, placement and clarity of the website.
Navigation should support the content and must follow the content flow. Content should not be forced to work according to the navigation style. Good placement and clarity helps users navigate through the website easily with the help of visual cues and CTAs. This is an area where vertical websites need to be careful as it can be hard to navigate a vertical website when in hurry.
When using a vertical format, easy navigation is ensured by using scroll bars and bold typography. Here are some characteristics of navigation design when it comes to vertical website designing:
i. Navigation is created catering to the content using single-page layouts.
ii. When single-page layouts are not the feasible option around, single-column menus are used as an alternative way to structure a vertical navigation.
iii. Information is condensed to a smaller section of the page.
iv. Many responsive design use vertical-menu styles that make use of the sliding-drawer navigation.
As with any web designing phenomenon, nothing should be forced. A vertical website can look great if the proper design elements are used in a way to add beauty to its content. Some really good vertical websites like Activate, KickPoint, Bad Assembly and many more that have been running on the vertical concept can be taken as a reference for your vertical website development.