See also – The World of Mascots, Revisited (Part II)
Nowadays we see a lot of sites using mascot for their companies. I like it! It’s a nice way to represent the image of the brand and just by looking at the mascot, instantly a relation is built between the user and the brand.
Some mascots are integrated with the logo while for some sites mascot plays the role of a guiding character:
For a brand name like twitter, the birdie mascot is a representation of the concept – the birdie tweets around the web space.
Silverback usability testing application has a Guerrilla mascot on the very homepage to welcome the visitors Continue reading
Google recently launched its much awaited networking app – Google buzz. One can share status, have conversations, tag the buzz with location, share photos, is integrated with Gmail inbox, import data from twitter, so much to do :-). Google has also rolled out a version of buzz for Android and Apple iPhone.
With every new launch of Google product I wait to see Google product demo videos – Not that the products are complicated but I have always loved to watch them. Hats off to the creative team who continuously strive for more and still not make the storyboard complex. A treat for the designer’s senses Google Buzz Demo
Conceptually I love everything about Google videos but somewhere in my mind while watching the demo of Google buzz – the butterfly concept in the video reminded me of MSN logo (maybe due to my association with msn client few years back)
There is a striking similarity between the Google buzz logo and Continue reading
In most of the design communities that I subscribe to, I find designers facing difficulty related to colors displayed on a Windows machine for the creatives designed on a MacBook. Though the software used to access the design is same (Adobe Photoshop) but the moment file is accessed on Windows Photoshop, the result is devastating. Colors look washed out and whole creativity seems dead.
We all know that Mac OSX have an excellent reproduction of colors and high quality display. Henceforth we might not be able to meet the colors display 100% but at least 85% can be captured in Windows Photoshop
This was a problem I had also faced and below is what I found as a resolution:-) Continue reading
As designers most of us feel, we know just the right tone of a color and no one can challenge us.
I found this interesting site which has online color challenge. I encourage designers to at least once go and take the challenge of color vision.
It’s an exciting activity and does not take more then 10mins. You just need to drag and drop.
The lower the score, the better color vision you have.
Best part of this color vision test is Continue reading
In my earlier post 2009 – Year of redesigned logos I did not consider some of the logos, since I feel the designers did not do justice with them. Redesigning a logo does not need to be a necessity if the spark and purpose is not well utilized. I again request designers not to design for the sake of designing but go deep into the reasoning. Do some homework and recognize the underlying principle of design.
5 Basic principles of Logo designing:
- Simple, Clear & Crisp – Logo design should be uncomplicated for the viewer and designer.
- Projection of company’s image should come across clearly & direct
- Balancing Act – Logo designing is balancing act of creativity. One should not go overboard with the usage of design elements : font, color and shape. The key is correct use of styling and balancing of all these elements to form a composition called ‘logo’
- Direct hit – Messaging should be direct either through graphics or text and should hit the viewers mind in one go.
- Black & White as winner – Colors play a very important role but a logo should not lose its sheen when converted in black and white. This is a common issue we all face as designers and prefer to ignore it.
Color vs Black and White
The last point of logo designing principle is indeed the foremost important territory for a designer to conquer. Continue reading
With the changing dates through the year, 2009 witnessed Web2.0 as a common word in our design discussions, client briefs and our design communities. Everyone wanted to upgrade their company’s image either through logos or websites with “Web2.0 look”.
I complied a collection of few logos for the companies which dared to jump into Web 2.0 wave and got themselves wet.
Exactly what was AOL thinking when they redesigned the new bunch of logos instead of one. It makes me feel either the brand identity got lost somewhere in too many meanings or they are simply not worried into ‘single brand identity’ and wish to capture all the possible things in the world, which does not go well with the users.
- How does ‘Aol.’ expect users to remember so multi-facet brand?
- What impression it leaves in the mind of users?
- Above all what kind of users are they targeting at? (maybe the answer is not even clear with the AOL team) Continue reading
Recently noticed most of the sites nowadays have moved away from marking the form fields as mandatory or required. Is this the change in design trend or there is a reason behind it? Are we ignoring user experience or the users have become smart enough?
Attribute of a designer
Provide a design to user which is self awakening and user-friendly. A user should be able to complete an activity in minimum clicks and it’s the responsibility and power of a designer to straighten out the complexes. In a project which is not conceptualized by a designer goes nowhere in the long run, we all know this with our own experiences. Fortunately, user experience and designers are now becoming essential for any good web designing firm that targets to reach the heights and survive there for long.
Power of good design
An intelligent design can change the perception of users. When the web world is facing North, only a designer can make web users turn to see towards South, such is the power of designer!
A quick peek into the user experience forms of the most appreciated sites during 2009, which have become a point of reference for most of the design boutiques
Beanstalk – Here I submitted the blank form to test what all fields I actually need to enter data and which ones I can avoid. Surprisingly all fields are mandatory to create an account excluding the Discount section. The instruction below Coupon Code field is very supportive for user ‘If you don’t know the code, just skip this field’. Similarly if a single line instruction was added above the form saying Continue reading
Nowadays technology is entering into all parts of our lifestyle. It’s no more just about checking emails and chatting with friends. Internet technology has now moved on to a new level where you think about an idea and bingo! its already available in market or is in the incubation stage. The technology now allows us to compile multiple gadgets and provide some unbelievable results. You simply need to snap your fingers in right way to experience the magic.
This sometimes amazes me how naturally we adapt to this magnificent world, do we realize what all must have gone behind making it the way it is? Continue reading
During one of my Saturday evening coffee breaks at CCD, Vivek showed me the way towards the Church of Google – I was mesmerized as I read through it. I use Google day and night like crazy but never thought how addicted and dependent we have become. Googlism is the religion most of us have unknowingly adapted and are now addicted to it. Do we need a proof to agree on this? Obviously No!
Google is our Internet God. I’m unable to recall life before google existed. Search engines like AltaVista, AOL, Lycos, and others existed but I was not loyal to any till the time google came 🙂
- Google answers all our prayers
- Google is our Omniscient God – Knows almost everything and its existence can be scientifically proved. The immense universal knowledge provided by Google is available to all of us and that too in an organized manner
- Gives Unconditionally – Google gives its user unconditionally, irrespective of caste, religion, age it shows the results
- Google being Immortal, Being Infinite, Can challenge your Gray cells
Path to the Google Church is not far away – http://www.thechurchofgoogle.org/
I love the way multiple proofs have been provided and the best part is the prayer section.
PS- Don’t miss the favicon 🙂
iGoogle – You can have your very own browser and Google provides lots of gadgets for the user to play with but what really took my attention today were the ‘artist themes’. Right now I have kept different themes for IE and Firefox browser in my machine and enjoy the liberty to change it with my changing mood 🙂 Isn’t that great!
Seeing the character relaxing on the sand reminded me of Fido Dido
– the famous ad cartoon character of late 1980s seems to have gained weight with time:-DI kept this theme on the browser for few hours and it made my Friday into a ‘Lazy Sunday noon’ and to my surprise with the falling daylight the theme also changed from noon to night
Myriad of themes are divided into categories like games, fun, technology and so on. Check out some samples: Continue reading
In one of our office weekly sessions, we saw a talk of Philippe Starck and his deep thinking on design.
Philippe spends around 17mins to simply talk about ‘Why Design’ and with his witty enacting, he relates the vision of a designer to our daily activities. Philippe talks about Angular visions and the rise in an angle of vision can make a designer important for society and civilization.
In short don’t just think or see what is around you, being a designer we need to see far and high, need to increase our vision, increase the angle of our vision, have to see what others can’t foresee – That’s the caliber of a designer mindset.
This video is available at TED.com
Philippe Starck – TED Talk Video
At times I wonder – The companies that provide best of the service solutions are somehow not able to implement those solutions within their organization itself. One of such examples is ‘madebysofa.com‘
They produced apps like Versions the ‘Subversion Client for Mac’ and Disco the ‘Powerful Disc Burning for Anyone’ as the company states. Honestly, I am impressed with the design of both these websites.
Another product of this company is Checkout – which won Apple Design Award runner up, in category of ‘Best Mac OS X Leopard User Experience’ for the year 2008.
I think a few small considerations can add value to user experience in ‘madebysofa.com‘ Continue reading