Archive for Design

The Two-column Content Trend in Web Design Should DIE

I’m really hating this stupid trend of two-column content with endless scrolling.

WTF, I only have one pair of eyes. I can’t read both vertically and horizontally at the same time.

Case in point, Buzzfeed, with THREE columns of information (below). They aren’t categories or anything like that, they’re unrelated modules of content.

It is frustrating.
Buzzfeed design

But whatever. I’m not often on Buzzfeed so I don’t really care. But then… last week… the sacrilegious happened. Boing Boing, MY FAVORITE BLOG IN THE WORLD reverted to a two-column content layout and I wanted to rip my heart out.

Boing Boing website

What were they thinking? I can’t scroll down to read ALL the features then scroll back up and scroll back down again to read ALL the blogs. It’s just counter-intuitive. Sadly, comfortable reading is so important to me that I can’t even read my favorite blog anymore :(

It makes me really sad.

Seriously, what’s wrong with the regular one-column-of-content user interface? It works so well. Why break something that works?

But you know what really freaks me out… that I’m getting too old for this shit. Could it be that my eyes are so used to something that I can’t get used to something else? Or is it just horrible UX design?



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Check out the new face of McDonald’s Happy Meal

image

And in other news, the new McDonald’s Happy Meal mascot looks like the illegitimate child of Steven Tyler and Microsoft Words Clippy.



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Visual Stereotypes: Africa

The blog Africa Is A Country is taking lazy book cover designers to task, because apparently a silhouetted acacia tree = Africa.

Via Quipsologies



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Not Art, an Art Project by Warsheh

My design crush, Warsheh, has done it again.

From the project’s Behance page:

This is Not Art.
It’s not deeply meaningful or vaguely philosophical.
It’s not calculated or exact.
It is in fact, a series of posters designed from classic paintings.
A simple reinterpretation of how we saw them.
Our tribute to art and design.

Check out their interview with the Huffington Post.

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NOT The Conversion of St Paul

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NOT The Valpinçon Bather

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NOT Venus Bathing

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NOT Saint Francis in Meditation

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NOT Girl with a Pearl Earring

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NOT Portrait of a Young Girl

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NOT The Skater

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NOT Doge Leonardo Loredan

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NOT The Death of Marat

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NOT The Birth of Venus

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NOT Whistler’s Mother

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Stop Stretching Images

I know that not everyone is a trained designer, but my mind absolutely refuses to accept some things, like stretched images.

FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, CAN’T YOU TELL THAT YOU SHOULDN’T STRETCH AN IMAGE? THE HEIGHT AND THE WIDTH SHOULD ALWAYS REMAIN PROPORTIONAL CAUSE IT LOOKS REALLY WARPED OTHERWISE, WHICH JUST DOESN’T WORK. HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU TURN ON YOUR FRONT-FACING CAMERA AND YOUR FACE IS SKEWED OUT OF PROPORTION? NOT NICE, RIGHT? THAT’S HOW IMAGES FEEL TOO. SO STOP STRETCHING IMAGES.

I mean, it’s common visual sense, no?



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What’s it like inside Europe’s largest photo studio? IKEA Communications AB

With my life-long fascination with design, layout, and the Ikea catalog, it was absolutely awesome getting a chance to visit the IKEA studio in Almhult.

Not only are all Ikea roomsets you’ll ever see in your life done in the 8,000 square meter space, it’s also where the catalog is created, where all the photos are taken, and where the 3D artists sit. Did you take yesterday’s quiz? Were you able to guess which of the roomsets is shot in the studio and which was created by the 3D artists?

design team

Our tour was started by meeting Anne-Lene Wold, the Interior Design Manager at IKEA, and Kajsa Orvarson, the Information Manager. They showed us the little quiz (I was the only one who guessed all three images correctly, yay for the 3D Max classes we were forced to take in college), and then took us on a tour around the studio, which includes a hundred million gazillion props from all over the world, tens of roomsets being shot for next year’s calendar, and the working spaces of many of the creative people at IKEA.

My favorite part though about the studio? All the props.

I’ve always had a fascination with how Ikea makes such livable furniture. You know, livability isn’t something you buy with the flatpacked bed, nor is it a magic ingredient sprinkled into the wood or plastic.

Livability is a carefully-studied act of conscious design.

In a way, it’s similar to food styling (my latest obsession), and trying to make things look “yum”. It’s also a practical application of visual order and visual chaos, another topic I’m obsessed with.

Ikea are masters at perfecting livability. They somehow manage to take brand new furniture, shove it into a studio, and turn it into something that could easily be the much-loved home of a 26-year-old woman who works in marketing at a local restaurant. It’s genius.

For example, look at these rooms, shot in a cold, neon-lit, aluminum studio:

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Are you kidding me? These are studio shots? When can I move into any of these rooms? I don’t mind living in a studio if my room looks like that.

Just look at these images. The way the shoes on the floor make you feel like someone just stepped out of the room. The way the books look so loved. The artwork so lovingly collected.

Holy cow, it’s hard to explain how difficult faking livability is.

With that in mind, I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY with Ikea’s rooms and rooms and rooms of props.

Check this out:

robots
Cute robots of all sizes

food
Different food items from all over the world to make kitchens universally appealing in the ctatalog

random stuff
Random items to spice up the rooms

brushes
Brushes and make up to make a girl’s room look like a girl’s room

sculptures
Sculptures for use in design

necklsaces
Hundreds of necklaces to suit every female in the universe

scarves
Scarves of all colors to be tossed on that bed or hung somewhere

shoes with leaves
This blew my mind… shoes with leaves glued on. Someone was just raking the leaves in the fall

ikea books
Color-coded books, baybee

ikea studio
A room in the making

So yes… this is the art and science behind the Ikea catalog. How amazing is this?



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