Web Design Mood Boards

Let’s talk about web design mood boards and what it has to do with web design and development. Think of a mood board as a digital collage or a group of elements that help define the direction of a website. The mood board can be considered an advanced sort of creative brief, but instead of written descriptions of the visual and UI elements of a website, you include the actual visual and UI elements.

After all your efforts, you unveil the website, only to get this response: “This looks OK, but it’s not exactly what I had in mind. Can you easily change this and this and this?”

Your first thought at hearing this probably will be “Ugh!” (or something we can’t print in a family-friendly blog). More than likely, the changes requested aren’t so easy, and much of the hard work you put in—again, based on the direction you were given—must now be amended, often with the additional time, you simply don’t have.

Usually, the request for changes after you have redesigned a website isn’t because your clients or co-workers are jerks. Simply, during the planning process, something was misunderstood or envisioned a different way, or the design just doesn’t deliver the impact to the client that it does to you. Website specifics such as images, fonts, and UI naturally can vary, but you want those specifics cemented before you put time and effort into the final design.

Mood boards can be the answer to this problem. This design strategy offers concrete direction for your website, actually provides more flexibility with your design, and prevents you from getting too, well, moody (you know we had to go there).

Mood boards consist of

  • Images
  • Colors
  • Font Family
  • Graphics
  • Patterns
  • Screenshots
  • Basic text

The purpose of mood boards is to gather ideas and inspiration before jumping into a formal design. For example, what will your overall tone and voice be: light or dark? Professional or playful? These ideas could come out of kickoff calls, meetings, creative briefs, and persona calls. Other websites can be a source of ideas as well—nothing directly copied, of course, but just used as examples and inspiration to start a conversation with the client.

Mood boards should be focused mainly on design and not content. Needless to point out that your content should complement your design and vice versa. Always keep your mood boards as design-focused as possible!

Web Design Mood Board

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