“Unknown Croatia” is a website I stumbled upon last summer when I was doing a listing piece on international festivals. This one caught my eye because, as opposed the other loud sites, saturated with color and contrast, stylized with designs, this one feels much more organic. And like most of the effective sites I searched, this one is minimalist, the home page a directory or an index with limited text, overpowered by imagery.
This homepage works because, like the venue “Unknown,” there’s a definite degree of mystery and idealism working here. It’s almost nondescript. Because of the skinny information given, you’re almost forced to click on the relevant links lining the sides. And its headline, the only words of persuasion on the homepage, “Celebrate the Last Days of Summer,” is an immediate call to action.
The washed out colors and radial center make the layout dynamic and captivating. If nothing else, its simplicity is intriguing. The purpose of the website is to both inform you of the venue and persuade you to buy tickets. It’s successful in that it leads you to different pages that maintain that theme of organic simplicity. It uses landscape imagery to suggest a venue that pushes the idea of man’s harmonic relationship with nature. It is, after all, an outdoor venue.
The images, some so pixelated they look like pointillist paintings, give the site an artisan quality. And not incidentally, the “Unknown” festival has a major art exhibit element, so it isn’t surprising that artistic intervention defines the site.
The site is also extremely interactive with heavy-handed rollover navigation, a quality I’d like to employ on my own site. Similarly, I think minimalist layouts are the way to go; visual clutter can often take away from the rhetorical effectiveness of a site. You feel like you’re being talked at instead of invited to do something. To that end, I’d like to use similar aesthetics and coloring, with mostly muted, greyed-out tones.