From its comforting color scheme, to its minimalistic iconography and eye pleasing typography, social networking giant Facebook’s design has become an instant classic that is being widely copied, or “serving as the inspiration for,” many other websites’ designs.
Subtle design approaches that incorporate Facebook-style headers, footers and other on-page elements, have been around since the site became popular — as have outright visual rip-offs of the site, down to pirated CSS coding and other scripting.
Building something “light” like this is easy for designers using any of today’s popular gridbased development tools.
While nothing is as popular as popularity, copying another site’s colors, design, logos and marketing, as closely as is seen in some examples, is not just creative laziness, but an example of the type of trade dress infringement and undeniable brand dilution that many registered trademark owners love to pursue — and try convincing a jury that your rip-off site really isn’t a rip-off, after you have so carefully copied the distinctive Facebook look.
With that being said, the graphically simplistic nature, open “airy” feel and subdued color scheme, are common to the default templates used by many adult and mainstream scripts, from TGPs to tube sites, CMS templates and more — all of which can be used as an easy starting point — just don’t add the graphic embellishments you might normally use on an adult site. As a bonus, Google and your visitors love these faster-loading pages.
Building something “light” like this is easy for designers using any of today’s popular gridbased development tools, where simple CSS shading of basic frameworks will yield the results you seek, providing something original, while saving hours of design time.
There are also a number of templates and tools for building Facebook “fan” pages, which offer a look and feel that is not too far from the standard Facebook look, allowing designers to take a slippery shortcut to the results they desire.
Consider also how design emulation goes beyond a website’s look, to its functions.
For example, Facebook images seem to load super-fast when viewing the next and previous images in a series. This is due to the site’s practice of pre-loading those images — something that many adult sites could benefit from, as waiting for images to display becomes a thing of the past — even though your bandwidth increases, by loading photos that may never be viewed…
Finally, for those determined to incorporate advanced Facebook-style features into their websites, Blogfreakz offers a collection of tutorials at http://blogfreakz.com/web-design/tutorials-and-resources-for-creating-facebook-style-interface/ that provides many interesting examples and downloadable code snippets that all sites could benefit from.
Facebook hit a home run with its classic design; and while they say copying is the best form of flattery, it’s also against the law — laws that don’t have to be broken, just because you want to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s successful design investment — the fundamentals of which can be easily (and originally) incorporated into any website.