Friday, January 19, 2007

Visual and Social Design

How do bad visually designed sites survive? ...

"Some weeks ago I asked Do MySpace Users Have Bad Taste?

There’s an increasing tension between visual design and web site success, and that’s what I’m trying to figure out. There are so many sites that become successful with mediocre (or just plain bad) visual design that something’s gotta give. How does MySpace succeed while being so ugly? How does Craigslist survive with bland visuals? How does Google thrive with its amateurish-looking logo?

That’s the question I want to answer, and I think it has something to do with social design. Whereas visual design focuses on the way things look, social design focuses on the way things affect our social lives. And, given that visual activity has to happen before any social activity can happen, social design builds on top of visual design, in no way replacing it or ignoring it. In this way visual design is the core discipline, with interaction and social design standing on its shoulders.

Today in my referral logs I find a link from Bokardoan Joel Faber, who has been mulling over the same question. So I’m not the only person thinking about this. (this makes me feel a lot better…when I wrote about the MySpace Problem on Vitamin very few designers dared touch the topic).

Why the lack of uptake on this issue? Why aren’t designers wondering why the MySpace Problem exists and why some sites are so successful with such an obvious lack of visual coherence?

Isn’t it a vital design question?"    (Continued via Bokardo)    [Usability Resources]

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