There has been a lot of discussion about Bento Grids on popular YouTube web design channels over the past few weeks. A bento grid is a web design pattern that is inspired by the traditional Japanese bento box. Bento boxes are small, compartmentalized containers that are used to pack food for lunch. In web design, a bento grid is used to divide a page into a series of distinct sections or compartments. Each section can contain different types of content, such as text, images, or video. The grid-like layout helps to organize the content on the page and makes it easy for users to scan and read.
So What’s All the Buzz About?
Here are a couple of clips that talk about this design pattern trend. The first one is from Flux Academy and is a good general overview. The second is from Jamie Marsland and has some good examples directly relevant to using this technique in WordPress.
As you can see, bento grids are a versatile design pattern that can be used for a variety of websites, including portfolios, blogs, and e-commerce sites. They are particularly well-suited for websites that need to display a lot of information in a clear and concise way. Let’s dig a bit deeper to understand some of the considerations if you use this design pattern.
Bento Grid Positives
- Visual Appeal and Organization: Bento grids are known for their clean, structured, and aesthetically pleasing appearance. The grid-like layout creates a sense of order and balance, making it easier for users to scan and digest information. By dividing content into distinct sections, users can easily identify different types of information and navigate through the page without getting overwhelmed.
- Versatility and Adaptability: The grid structure can be easily scaled and adjusted to accommodate different content types and layouts.
- Enhanced User Experience and Engagement: The visual appeal of bento grids can contribute to creating a positive user experience. Users can easily find the information they are looking for, reducing frustration and increasing the likelihood of staying on the website longer. Bento grids also offer opportunities for interactive elements and storytelling. By using different visual elements within each compartment, designers can create engaging narratives and guide users through the website’s content.
Bento Grid Potential Downsides
- Complexity: Creating a well-balanced and visually engaging Bento grid involves careful planning and design. It can be more complex to implement compared to simpler layouts.
- Information Overload: Excessive use of compartments and content within them might overwhelm users with information, making it difficult to focus and navigate.
- Responsiveness: Designing a responsive Bento grid for various screen sizes can be challenging. It might require adjustments and compromises to maintain a consistent experience across devices.
- Accessibility: Due to the complex layout, ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities can be difficult. Careful consideration is needed for visual hierarchy, contrast, and clear navigation.
- Limited content hierarchy: The grid-like nature can make it challenging to establish a clear hierarchy of information. Important elements might not stand out or be easily differentiated.
- Potential for overuse: Like any design trend, overuse of Bento grids can make them appear generic and less impactful. It’s important to use them strategically and with a specific purpose in mind.
What do you think?
So what do you think? Is this a design pattern that will take hold and see wide adoption? Or will it be another “hot trend” that does out?