Every brand needs a face. A first impression. Why? So that you can relate to it. It’s what ties an inanimate object or idea to your personality and encourages buyers. Let’s not treat the buyer like an idiot though. The design is about story telling. It’s about pure content mended together with form and function. Design is all about re-engineering an idea to tell a story and that is what I do. I’m a UI designer which stands for User Interface. Yes, I do other things like user experience, social media, interactive strategy and search engine optimization but those things all are part of telling the brand story. I guess you could call me a story teller, a brand ambassador or any other silly name that doesn’t quite describe my actual day to day activities. However, I’m a creative and even in analytic tasks it shines through, so let’s just call me a designer.
So we all know that designers make things pretty. I’ve been told many times, can you just “make it pop” or build me something “european and sexy.” These non-descript terms don’t really mean anything except, “I don’t know what I want, and just want you to figure it out and not bug me.” However, so much more can happen in the design process.User experience design offers the story an inside look at the customer, and builds the user interface around simply making their experience easier to navigate. In short, you want someone to get from point A to point B, they layout the roadmap and architect the structure, foundation and navigation system. User experience is less graphic and visual, than the graphic design process but the two worlds are still very much married to one another.
It’s is said that a new user will land on a website page and give the site 5-30 seconds before deciding if they are going to jump ship and look for something that more closely matches their needs. They may make up their mind based on unreadable fonts, page load time, layout, aesthetics, content, function or a zillion other things but those all lead to the premise of design. The foundation of design is simply form vs. function. Form being the aesthetic appeal, meaning the look and feel of the design. Function is what moves, it is the mechanics of the design. Function for a website can be image sliders, roll over navigation, buttons, a forum, a rss feed, a form or a gallery (not that function is limited to this list).
The face of a brand is not just told by good content, a pretty face, or a cool pop up. First impressions are comprehensive and need to set a mood as a fully functioning strategy. The strategy is a story. What do you want your story to say?