Fear is a stubborn fellow. It haunts distinct segments of people in its own discrete and extraordinary ways. Grandpas and grammas feel terrorized when it comes to operating modern smartphones for the first time (well they quickly get addicted to em thereafter), Indian parents encounter a flux of distress before sending their kids abroad for studies.
And on the top that - the know-how web designers who’ve spent years of their precious lives in world’s top web development companies to forge contemporary, appealing, and professionally-themed websites, feel their hearts forlornly drowning in an unfathomable pit of distress after handed over a project requiring ‘Cute Designs’. As a consequence, cute becomes a leviathan to conquer. That’s how fear plays around.
Although, infusing a fitting, obligatory, and subjective ‘cuteness’ in your next big project, even after keeping in mind your lack of creativity & motivation for that, is downright possible. How? By simply understanding the meaning of cuteness; which is again a bothersome hiccup. The definition of cute varies by person to person.
A designer brought up in a suburb all while playing with hello kitty plushes will have a drastically different interpretation of cuteness than the one who spent his childhood hunting, fishing, and watching Rambo movies. One of my dear friends finds snakes and monitor lizards ‘cute and playful’. And I am sure a direct sight of these grim creatures can forthwith imbue heebie-jeebies in a lot of folks.
Well, for me, cute is what instantly drifts one’s mind to their childhood, reminding them of the colors they were familiar with, surroundings they used to play in, and the moments they haven’t forgotten. That means, no snakes or lizards; unless they are depicted in baby-like, cute art. Nonetheless, if you haven’t noticed yet, cute is slowly becoming the new professional. It sells. Look at recent social media posts by Google, Facebook, and whatnot.
Contrary to popular belief, the process of creating a cute design doesn’t essentially put you on your wit’s end. It surprisingly becomes simple with these 3 hacks:
1. Kawaii Colors
I have often seen designers downloading cute images of kids or cartoons from stock collections and putting them on designs with some slight alterations and grooming. Then choose a low-contrast, softer, version of one of the primary colors and call it a day. That way, one may win the deadline, but not the hearts of the end-users who, in most such cases, are kids and their parents. On a plus note, looking towards at ‘Pink’ as your sole escape, is again a bad strategy.
Before defining one or multiple color schemes, ponder over these three questions: What’s your design theme? Who will be the end-users? What kinds of images are you planning to use? Here’s the trick:
Designing for Kids: Use soft pastel with bold colors.
Designing for Adults: Pure pastels, however, slightly impactful and easy to understand.
Theme based: Green goes well on a website offering healthy lunch, fruits, salads for kids. Research to figure out which colors is widely accepted and appreciated for a certain theme. And yes, don’t be afraid to experiment.
Kapu Toys has done a great job with primary colors:
2. Cute Images
Earlier I declared using and altering stock images as a dull and cheap effort. However, an image speaks a thousand words, and using them can beautifully put you out of your SOS situation. Does it sound like I am contradicting myself? Well yes, and no.
This endeavor might be discounted, however, cheap never means ineffective as long as you know the magic to insufflate a new life in it. In fact, coming across an adorable picture of a human baby (especially their own) or the ones with similar admirable features such as puppies, kittens etc, secretes a chemical in the viewer’s body that’s directly associated with pleasure and bliss.
What most designers collectively do wrong is they consider stock images as ‘perfect to post packages’ and use them without worrying about the attainable beauty by possible illustration effects. Investing in illustration never backfires. Great illustrations can actually spark engagement and click-through rates.
Check out the iseeme (kid’s apparel) website’s homepage:
Nothing interests more to a kid than an interactive wheel-of-fortune full with her favorite cartoon characters. And if something appeals to a kid, and is equally and obligatory useful, it will assuredly appeal to her parents. And that’s what you want to achieve as a designer. Parents are your actual end-users. However, without attaining the first milestone i.e. winning the attention of kids, your absolute goal (whether it’s selling and product or marketing a service) will remain as a high-hanging fruit.
Here’s a fine example of interactive kid web design:
While designing a websites for kids, keep it on a serious note that you still can’t go all-in the cuteness. Stuffing your design with absolute cuteness while avoiding significant factors such as asthetics, breadcrumbs, and user-friendliness will eventually put it into the mundane box. That simply means all the priciples of a good web design apply as well while creating a cute website.