Creative DesignBrought by the Brain Power of Tyler Maynard
So I was sitting there coding a 20 item list of links in for a website when a good buddy of mine over at factor7design.com sent me a
In my good ol’ education of Web Design I was asked to mock up a few different ideas of a new web site I am designing. After studying a few competitors and the elements of design I made a few quick sketches on some graph paper. Here’s a quick summary and ideas.
Project Sketch 1
This first one was just something I cam up with not looking at competitors or trying to use specific design elements like the golden mean or rule of thirds. I was thinking a slider/rotator image on the main page that would let you select the 3 product this site will offer.
Project Sketch 2
On this design I was going with a ‘golden mean’ design. I am not sure I am liking how sidebars work out with the dimensions of the golden mean, but with some tweaking I could see it working well.
Project 3 Sketches
On this particular design I was looking at a site that caught my eye from Designbombs.com. I took it in a slightly different direction.
In the world today where we are in love with our social media outlets like Facebook. A place to outwit your friends with some quote that you think shakes the ground people walk on or an image that will force at least a few ‘lols’. Your latest Facebook status (which I am sure was 100% original) does not interest me. What does interest me is your connection with the media that you share.
I was reading ‘A list Apart‘ and discovered a true gem of an article called Orbital Content by Cameron Koczon. Cameron talks about content in the web today and the shift of content from being rooted into pages and discovered laptops and computers and being consumed by tablets and digital portable devices through users.
An example of this shift would be your Facebook wall. Instead of all that content which is dear to you being spattered throughout the web, its all conveniently located in one section and tied to your user account. The shift is not complete because your wall only holds links to this content. In the future this will be different.
Be the center of your content
Imagine your facebook wall, but bigger. Now imagine the links to the articles are gone, but the full article lives there instead. Don’t copy a link to that image you found moving to click back to later, just copy that entire image. Your personalized content will be centralized to you. This is the future that Cameron sees and I agree. This way you can library and consume content in your own fashion. Thats the movement of content on the web.
Content, Copyright, Compensation
The 3 killer C’s of the web. If your holding someone elses content, yet you didn’t produce the content, is that not some sort of copyright violation? Cameron brings this up in his article. In the end he concludes that it is all about compensation:
It is a question that belies a concern about something slightly different: compensation. If publishers were compensated $10 every time content was shared and $1 every time it was read on their site, they would do everything in their power to get their content shared. Copying is not the problem—compensation is.
After reading this the first thing that popped into my mind is Spotify. The latest and greatest for music lovers. They completely reworked the compensation model for streaming content and holy hell its paying off for them. If your not familiar with Spotify you can find out more at the Spotify Wikipedia page.
Overall I agree strongly with Cameron and his views on the liberation and shifting of content that will be the future of the web. So when your content is shared through some new-age app to be consumed on a different platform, don’t hate it. Embrace it.
If you haven’t already figured out, I’m a big fan of web design. I also married a beautiful lady with a degree in psychology. So when I was reading one of my favorite blogs I came across an interesting article called "Web Design Psychology" by Brad at FinderMind.
A websites’ mission
Brad starts off describing that creativity is different when put into context, so for his sake of web design he says creativity is defined by producing something useful and in the end explains that people generally visit websites because they are trying to accomplish a task. Its the designers job to find out what those are before starting, this will make the most useful site for the users. All of this I strongly agree with and was a focusing point of my current Web Design class I am taking at the university. We talk about it more as a website’s strategy.
Brad continues with the psychology to make people do something. He doesn’t explain too much besides making a site likeable and social proof. He doesn’t explain much more here and left me wanting a bit more.
Finally Brad concludes his article talking about Neuro Science Marketing that says poor user experience can cause stress on websites and that you should ditch the fancy stuff that may be confusing. In other words keep it simple.
Conclusion: Don’t me make think!
Overall this article this article resembles much of the information I have received from my university studies regarding User Experience. First of build a strategy for your users to come to the website and accomplish the task they came to your site for in the first place. Fancy widgets and overly complex applications on the site will cause stress and return users are not as likely. Most of all, as Steve Krug says: DON’T MAKE ME THINK. The tasks that your site accomplishes should be straight forward and available with ease.
For more information great information on Web Design advice are some links for your reading pleasure:
I just had a great read over at A-List-Apart.
The article is called “Dark Patterns: Deception vs Honesty in UI Design“. It’s about deceptive tactics used by websites to either get information, solicit and/or auto-sign you up for premium services.
Many of the sites I build aren’t geared towards converting readers into profit. For some strange reason all of my sites are the opposite, just good ol’ fashion free information.
Don’t Click the Download Button!
The article reminds me of my early days on the interweb, it could have been I was a web rookie or maybe I have just become cynical over the years, but have you ever been to a website that your trying to download a file and you see a big download button right where you’d expect one to be. Only after you click on it do you realize it was just an ad for some useless website. Deceptive!
In the article Harry gives examples of different levels of deception in UI design. There is white – straight up honest. There is black – completely deceptive. Everything else is gray. He also touches on some psychological points on where we as end users get taken advantage of:
- “We don’t read pages. We scan them” —Steve Krug
- “People tend to stick to the defaults” —Jakob Nielsen
- “People will do things that they see other people are doing” —Robert Cialdini
It is a fact that I scan websites. Besides, nothing is better than picking up some great information in just a few seconds. The ‘white’ side of UI design will make things obvious in headings and font that stands out. The ‘dark’ side will bury the facts in WOT’s (wall of text).
I can’t say I stick to defaults anymore. I learned after my first 2-3 email accounts to start scrutinizing the check-boxes a bit better. I knew I was never popular enough to be receiving 20 emails a day anyhow.
Would you like fees with that?
One of the most interesting parts of Dark Patterns was something that hit very close to me. The DAMNED fees that come with certain web checkout processes. The article states that most of these fees do not give disclosure until the checkout process and that the fees are so minimal that users end up paying them rather than finding another site and going through the checkout process again.
End the Deception
Overall I enjoyed the article and the information is very informative when it comes to UI design and ways to avoid deception. Make sure when your in the checkout to see if any fees are added, watch out for lack of important information and be weary of those check boxes!