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Marko Dugonjić is a designer from Velika Gorica, Croatia. As the user experience director at Creative Nights, he improves customers’ digital experience for local and international clients, speaks at international web design conferences and runs in-house and public UX workshops. He founded Typetester, a popular web typography design tool.
SGS (formerly Société Générale de Surveillance) is a global service organization and provider of inspection, verification, testing and certification services across 14 industries. SGS’ website (along with 60 localized websites) primarily promotes the organization’s core services, as well as provides access to a multitude of useful services, supplementary content and tools. Our goal was to transform sgs.com from being desktop-only to being responsive.
This presented a unique set of challenges, especially around the legacy navigation system, which in areas was up to seven levels deep (divided into two parts) and which consisted of some 12,000 individual navigable items.
Let’s be honest: We designers can be difficult to work with. We might come from a controversial company culture, work an unconventional schedule or get impatient whenever our Internet connection is slower than the speed of light. Would you be at ease with a service provider who matches this description?
When talking to potential clients, be aware that many will have never solicited a professional design service and likely have little understanding of the design process itself. Keep in mind, too, that some clients have had a poor experience in the past. For many clients, it can be an anxious jump into the deep unknown, a big financial investment steeped in risk.
Having the ability to set legible body copy is an absolute must, and we’ve come a long way with web typography since the dawn of web design. However, I feel like we have allowed the lack of variety prior to the rise of web fonts to dampen our creativity now that thousands of web fonts are at our disposal. Have usability conventions and the web’s universality steered us away from proper art direction? Have we forgotten about art direction altogether? I believe so.
As designers, we can achieve much more with type, and with just a little more thought and creativity, we can finally start to take full advantage of the type systems available. Let’s look at ways we can push typographic design on the web further, beyond the status quo of today.
What is "User Experience Design" exactly? Should you not start it unless you are fully dedicated, or should you embrace it in the process as soon as possible? Are all designers also user experience designers, or is it a separate expertise?
The debate is as old as the discipline itself, and while picking up a bucket of popcorn, sitting back and watching the drama is sometimes fun, let’s try to figure out which user experience techniques are useful for startups, in-house teams, big corporations and anyone who wants to improve their website, product or service.
With the rise of web fonts as well as affordable hosted web font services and ready-made kits, typography is reclaiming its title as design queen, ruler of all graphic and web design. At the same time, for far too many designers, the main concern about typography today seems to be aesthetic in nature.
The problem is, we tend to use typography and lettering as two interchangeable terms, which they are not. The allure of well-executed lettering — and, boy, I could spend hours just looking at lettering portfolios! — can affect the way we view typefaces, because both typography and lettering share common visual concepts.