Thursday, August 16, 2012
Small businesses can learn lots from design firm Method's socially appealing philosophy. Method's Interaction Design Director Ben Fullerton recently wrote an article for Fast Company about turning website design pixels into a brand experience for users.
Here are four solid bits of advice from the article:
So remember, you only get one shot at a first, good user impression. Website design isn't just about choosing site colors; it's about constructing the identity you'll portray to the world.
- Embody what you want people to feel. Brands "stand for something; they have both value and a set of values," Fullerton notes. What associations do users make when they hear your brand name (versus Nike, Facebook, Oxfam)
- Learn the difference between consistency and coherency. Consistency is ensuring your design shares common elements and behaviors across all modes of interaction, online and off. Coherency marries consistency "with a system of meaning that people can believe in and choose to be a part of: the brand," says Fullerton. "Tying the two together—interaction and brand—in a coherent system will facilitate experiences that are richer and lasting."
- Design for interaction. Brands are no longer broadcasters; they're part of conversations on multiple channels. "Designers must become comfortable with designing for a world in which these interactions spread across time and modality," says Fullerton. "It is how all of these are perceived together that creates the voice, tone, and personality of a brand, and that helps to create meaning."
- Design around your voice. A brand team's job is about shaping the brand's voice, building narrative around your product by identifying traits to which people will respond. And a designer's job is to subtly express that voice in the site design.