Everyone is always looking for interesting and effective ways to organize their website and allow users to move about and find things. But there’s a fine line between unexpected and unusable. Three points to consider in any navigation scheme are consistency, user expectations and contextual clues.
If page is long and provides different levels of navigation, will users be able to find their way through the site and use proper navigation quickly? Forcing visitors to use certain keystrokes to navigate, rather than what they're used to, might be novel, but is that effective if you have to explain instructions prominently on your home page? Here are some examples for your reading pleasure.
They say the first bite is taken with the eye. If so, these appetizing restaurant websites succeed in whetting our appetites, inviting us to a savoury next bite. In these designs, color scheme and introductory copy show vastly different aspects of the restaurant experience. Moody warm tones create atmosphere, vibrant greens underscore freshness, and earthy colors communicate a relaxed, friendly attitude.
Because customers are increasingly using mobile browsers to make decisions on the spot, restaurant websites are doing a better job of communicating core information quickly. Similarly, full Flash websites with no mobile alternatives are seeing some decline. Especially interesting is how these businesses are improving their online menus by replacing PDF-only downloads with Web-optimized alternatives that are more readable and easier to navigate.
What do corporate websites have in common with other people's children? Three things: they have their charm, like finger-paintings on the refrigerator; they can be useful, if infrequently; they are usually admired only by the people who created them.
While designers know that a user's experience on a website has a large impact on the way that customer will interact with them, impressing that concept on the corporate establishment has taken a very long time. Trends in design are making their way into corporate web, albeit slowly; with patience and a little luck, businesses will soon start to consider carefully coded and appropriately functional design as important as their mission statement and recent sustainability reports.
One unfortunate fact is evident above all else: despite having plenty of money at their disposal, many corporations are lost in sterile MS Word-esque designs that are more stagnant than a museum exhibit… though at least museums have dinosaurs and mummies and stuff. Here's hoping we all will get new corporate clients soon.
Below, we present some interesting corporate websites, although the insight they offer may not be immediately apparent. This review is not about aesthetics or visual appeal, but rather about the design solutions the sites exhibit. In fact, corporate websites aren't as visually arresting as you might think, so if the appeal isn't immediately apparent in the previews below, take a moment to visit and interact with each of them.
I love it when a good story is broken down so that even the simplest of minds can understand. I’m not the smartest, fastest or most creative person in the world, so I don’t like using a lot of big words or fancy jargon to try and impress you — but I’m learning every day, and that is what pushes me on. Let me cut the small talk and dive right in.
When I look out on the hillside of design, all I see are copies of what great designers have done before us. The landscape has become so congested with cookie-cutter homes that seeing the real people living inside has become hard. It’s like watching that movie Pleasantville, in which everything is black and white and no one knows any better, and yet there are those pursuing something different, something original.
My hope is to inspire you to step away from the computer and open your eyes to the world around you. Expand your mind; think beyond the limits of the liquid crystals staring back at you.
With the huge number of design-related conferences and events around the world, the Web gives those of us who cannot attend them a great opportunity to listen and benefit from their great and talented speakers. To aid in this, here we present some of the best videos, interviews and presentations about design and related topics.
Using design to make ideas new. Legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser dives deep into a new painting inspired by Piero della Francesca. From there, he muses on what makes a convincing poster, by breaking down an idea and making it new.
The Internet is a medium that is evolving at breakneck speed. It's a wild organism of sweeping cultural change — one that leaves the carcasses of dead media forms in its sizeable wake. It's transformative: it has transformed the vast globe into a 'global village' and it has drawn human communication away from print-based media and into a post-Gutenberg digital era. Right now, its perils are equal to its potential. The debate over 'net neutrality' is at a fever pitch. There is a tug-of-war going on between an 'open web' and a more governed form of the web (like the Apple-approved apps on the iPad/iPhone) that has more security but less freedom.
So what's the next step in its evolution, and what's the big picture? What does the Internet mean as an extension of human communication, of the human mind? And forget tomorrow — where will the web be in fifty years, or a hundred? Will the Internet help make the world look like something out of Blade Runner or Minority Report? Let's just pray it doesn't have anything to do with The Matrix sequels, because those movies really sucked.
This article will offer in-depth analysis of a range of subjects — from realistic expectations stemming from current trends to some more imaginative speculations on the distant future.
Do you know what makes a design good? Is it merely an opinion, or is there something more to it? Breaking design down seems like such an abstract thing. Even the designers who are able to create thought-provoking work seem purely talented and have natural abilities that can’t really be nailed down to a process. But what if there were principles that captured why design and art worked the way that they do?