Have you read designer Brandon Kowitz’s new article on Medium: Why you should move that button 3px to the left? It’s about managing the gap between functional and delightful, and it’s full of observations and advice relevant to anyone who works in design or development or both — as we do at BRINK.
Kowitz describes how a designer’s perfectionist instincts might conflict with the rush of production or the aesthetic-indifference of some managers and engineers. Then he offers a few ideas to help us bridge the gap:
- A brief apologia for the designer’s detail-obsession, aiming to convince project managers that they should lend an ear to whining designers — he reminds us that spot-on designs increase trust and usability and therefore increase the value of the site and the $$$.
- A few principles that might help manage the conflicting demands of designers and deadlines:
- Batch up work into sprints
- Polish as you go
- Avoid “customization icebergs”
Have a look at the article for more details!
Here at BRINK we’re always striving to balance perfectionism with speed, obsessive attention to detail with the need to deliver. We share Kowitz’s commitment to quality design and development, to creating intuitive user experiences that inspire trust — and delight.
These are strange times. The global mass culture - propelled by the ever-present Internet - is constantly at our finger tips. Individuals have easy access to inspiration, and their own work can benefit from that influence. Then, they can spread their ideas to the entire world with one click.
Social media has revolutionized our ability to exhibit our portfolios to new eyes. Basically, it’s never been easier for us to share and connect. But this new heap of culture and art (we used to have to actual go out into the physical world to find this stuff!) can be difficult to navigate. Which is why, in the spirit of sharing, I’ve highlighted two new social start-ups that make digging through the muck or getting your work into appreciative hands even easier.
Stipple - Not designed for artists, but useful to them - Stipple lets you attach dynamic attributes to images, from text to links, and you can even add a shopping cart. Though still in beta, it’s easy to see how it could cure the problem of anonymous internet folk slapping your art on their blog without any credit to their source. Plus, the addition of analytics means you’ll be able to see the progress of your work as it travels through the wild realms of the internet - Tumbling and Pinning its merry way to new viewers’ eyes. It’s easy to see how a creative entrepreneur could do well to use Stipple.
Iconify - Make a portfolio, and turn it into an app. Great for a creative with a tiny budget. With a focus on sharing, the site puts your work front and center, optimized for viewing on any size screen. There’s just a simple 51 pixel menu with icons encouraging viewers to share and connect. And you’ll never be without your portfolio again.
Now, there are many more start-ups out there like this. But these two, with their simple, user-friendly design and emphasis on sharing, are definitely worth looking into, whether you’re a creative or scouting for fresh visuals (and the people who can make them).
- Alexsey Kashtelyan
HOW-TO: PAINLESS WEB DESIGN / FROM CONCEPTION TO ACTUALITY
You’ve made the decision to get a brand spanking new website, or to dust the digital dirt off your existing design. It can be a long drawn out process, but fear not! We’ve got the know-how to get your site up and running before you can say, “enter witty idiom here.”
Make no mistake; design takes time! But this insight will help you trim the fat, and expedite the process from design to launch.
If someone gives you a creative brief, fill it out.
We ask these questions so we can make the design you want. Be specific, but also keep an open mind. What we mean is, when you say you like a site because it is ‘pretty’ or ‘edgy,’ please explain to us in the brief what you liked about it. Is it the color pallette, the fonts or the illustration style? With your aesthetic in mind, we can make a site that will make you tear up from the moment you see your new baby. Steer away from specifics like the photos the site used (unless you want a similar theme) or asking us to copy the site exactly.
If you are not given a creative brief, consider providing your designer with a handful of sites that you like.
Creative Brief = DONE… Now what?
Do you have a logo? WE WANT IT! Do you have professionally taken photos of your employees? WE WANT THEM! The more assets you give us, the less time we have to spend recreating them or searching for them, and the more time we have to design your site.
If something bothers you, TELL US.
Making substantial changes to your website once it has gone into development is not fun and can end up being pricey and time consuming. We won’t run home crying because you don’t like the site navigation.
Stick to the schedule.
Before starting your site, we provide you with a tentative schedule, complete with a content calendar and launch date. We do this to hold both parties accountable. We get your items to you on time, if you get the things we need to us on time. The last thing you want for your website to do is sit in pre-launch limbo. (That unhappy purgatory where sites go that have been designed and coded… and then left to rot.)
Trust us (just a little bit)
We are master crafters of pixel pushing with years of experience and an eye for the extraordinary. Have fun with your site and try something different. No website gets noticed if it is doing the exact same thing as everyone else’s.
-Ally Mis, BRINK designer