I’ve racked up quite a few designs & templates over the past couple of weeks for a project i’m working on. I’m not a designer, but i think it’s critical to be able to convert thoughts in to pictures when it comes to web development, otherwise too much is left open to interpretation which can be a good thing but only if you have the right sort of people…
So on this latest project, i’ve taken a hands on approach having failed to get what we wanted from other designers. ‘Too elaborate’ or ‘ugly simplistic’ was the problem we were having. Design is of course all subjective (or is it?). It’s amazing where following some golden rules from experts can get you… suddenly a ‘don’t like it’ becomes ‘acceptable’ or ‘pretty cool’. Is design science? Is it all rules based?
Take cars… most people can tell you in an instant what they think of a certain car model (looks wise). When the latest Ford Mondeo model came out years ago i liked the front instantly, then seen the rear and thought it was just stupid looking. Front looked menacing and sporty, like a shark… the back looked flat and boring, as if they’d run out of ideas or had a deadline to hit and that was the best they could come up with.
Didn’t like it, still don’t and i still say the same thing every time i see one… or the suzuki swift, my own car… like the rear, don’t like the front… it’s a mis-match but i can’t obviously explain in detail why… i don’t have the knowledge of design or a rule book to consult… again the back looks fairly sport and menacing, the front looks as menacing as a playful kitten. The front ‘pulls’ the car up or creates the illusion of height whereas the back pulls it down to look more aerodynamic. Gut instinct talking.
It’s the same with most people. They can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and that’s about as much feedback as you’ll get. Trying to extract more detail is almost an impossible task because people can’t describe what they visualise most of the time… that’s why i always find it’s best to *try* and design yourself rather than tell other people what you want in english. You can’t draw pictures with words… you’re relying on other people to interpret words and visualise the same concept you do. That’s virtually impossible so you’re going to be disappointed most of the time.