Is it bad UX to have one background for the entire website except for one specific page?

I mean, would it be strange and lead to questions for users who are uncomfortable with this, or is it not a problem?

  • What sort of background? The majority of big sites these days don't have any background (see this very Stackexchange site for example). A quick check of the tabs I have open show only a few forums and IMDB have any discernible background. What are you thinking of having; different coloured ones? Images? – JonW Jan 13 '15 at 12:59
  • Is there any specific reason why you want to keep different background for a particular page – ashu Jan 13 '15 at 13:07
  • See euw.leagueoflegends.com/fr/news/store/sales/… for the kind of backgroudn we want and an exemple of a website with changing backgrounds : thomann.de/fr/firewire_audio_interfaces.html (but it's for commercial purpose, which is not my case) – François D. Jan 13 '15 at 13:07
  • and no real reason, it's just aesthetic. – François D. Jan 13 '15 at 13:09
  • It would depend on a multitude of other factors. – DA01 Jan 13 '15 at 20:09

Consistency is always an important part of usability but that's not to say that some things can't change. It really depends on why you want the page to look different.

For example, it is common for a website to use colour coding to identify different areas of a website, where things like text, headings and links all change colour. That helps users to identify their current location.

If you look at a large and diverse website like the BBC, it uses different coloured backgrounds (and even different layouts) for its News, Sport, Weather and Children's sections. This is perfectly reasonable since each of those sections has its own content, tasks and audience.

Some pages of a site may also use different backgrounds to identify modal states like checkouts and registration pages.

  • BBC example is ok but for me it's 4 differents website with same brand. and in my case, as the website is responsive, I have some "landmarks" with the interface. But background can be very graphical with a lot of elements, that's why if it change on some pages, it will (for me) "stress" the user. – François D. Jan 14 '15 at 17:14

First you should think about the purpose for a background change instead of starting by looking the reasons for not doing so. Does it add any value to the user? Is that distinction really needed?

If you want to change just one page you should have a good reason to do it, and you should take into account things like:

  • What impression does cause the visual change from one background to another? You always want to a avoid questions like "Am I still in the same site?". Maintaining a consistent and distinctive "visual identity" is always important (unless your site is based in a on-porpoise inconsistent design).
  • How related are they? Are they almost the same or completely different? For example if you have a page like "Go Premium" o something related, you can set a similar but more attractive and quality background that enforces the concept of "going for something better".
  • Are you sure that the possible benefits of this change are for sure greater than the possible drawbacks?
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    In fact i'm trying to find arguments because graphic team ask me to do this. But I don't think it's a good idea. – François D. Jan 14 '15 at 16:49
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    I understand, but I think they should have a goal, and related to that you can evaluate if this change helps to achieve that goal. You can look for the possible benefits of doing something, but if it's not related with your goal, it would be just unusable data. – Alejandro Veltri Jan 14 '15 at 16:55

Absolutly isn't a problem! I undestand that the consistency is important in the design but with the the introduction of iOS 7 and 8 we have the possibility to introduce many background(including beuatiful gradients). If you have a webpage that need flow and user friendly you must have a very nice convination with awesome backgrounds and the user feels fresh and awesome for their eyes, and you can add some animations with the different backgrounds that you introduced.

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    What does iOS7/iOS8 have to do with the possibility of altering a background on a web page? Doing such a thing has been available since the first two web pages were linked together. How do "awesome backgrounds" and something feeling "fresh" affect the UX for good? There are plenty of web sites out there that are "fresh" and "neat", but are absolutely horrible to use! Please provide more details as to why your opinions on multiple backgrounds on a single site is to the benefit of the UX. – Evil Closet Monkey Jan 13 '15 at 19:16
  • and them, please and give an oppinion for the problem of my friend. If do you understand the concept and solution for the question its very nice. Thanks so much for the comment and for try to help! I just say, now we have the possibility to integrate a differents background in a webpage and we can variate with imgs on a set of backgrounds! – Roberto Agreda Jan 13 '15 at 20:26

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