Or you can just fly by the seat of your pants as I often do.
Seriously though, plans don’t always work out the way that you want them to. Unseen variables often get in the way of even the best of plans. There in lies weather you will sink or swim. How good are you at thinking on your feet and improvising? If you know your stuff and base your choices off of principles, you will never go wrong. That is not to say that you wont fail but failing wont keep you down.So as we plan and design our businesses, our sites, and our lives, remember that principles are what keep us afloat.
Being that said what are principles in design that we should always recognize?
Im going to use some examples to help us out here:
Apple has found a special place in our culture for their sexy sleek product designs. Their website is no different. It is a beautiful looking site that showcases their products. The beauty of it is in its simplicity. The fonts are easy on the eyes. There is a simple image slider that runs through 4 different slides that alternate between black and white backgrounds.
I love their product page showcases. Moving elements draw your attention to the product the slow move of the product is very seductive and draws you in. Their use of white space works on the user at a subconscious level.
Apple has used the less is more
principle to perfection that applies in ways other than just usability.
The site makes you want to stay just because it is easy to look at.
PluralSight and Team Treehouse
The site is very consistent with usability and design. The issue I have taken with it in the past is because there are so many contributors, the design of the content isn’t very congruent. Videos provided by instructors will use different color schemes. Some will overlay their visual presentation with a video of themselves teaching the course. The content isn’t all built with the same design in mind. I really like pluralsight for its learning content. The issues for congruency of the content throughout the site is easily overlooked because of the quality of the content.
A site that is congruent throughout, combined with its content is teamtreehouse.com. This is a sight that I have used for learning how to code. The color schemes are seen throughout both the content and the site. The same setting is used when each instructor gives a lesson. You feel as if you are learning from the instructor sitting around a discussion table in your own home.
Sleek simple one button to remove all distractions in having any other option. That is what hicks law is all about. by having anything else would be to noisy. Hicks law refers to -“the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has: increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically.” Thanks wikipedia!
Design principles are easy to see and imitate. They aren’t always the easiest to define and value. When planning sites out these are some of the rules we keep in mind as we go through the creation process.