seen + learned

The Web 2.0 look and feel "gotcha"

Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 | Posted by Tania Schlatter | Labels: ,

The Web 2.0 look and feel is still hot. People really respond to the super-glossy buttons, organic background shapes, colorful gradations and graphic type. At the same time, web applications are rapidly improving. We've seen some really great ones lately, MailChimp, Picnik and Kontain come to mind. While there are great examples of slick looking and acting, fully functional applications, these applications are hard to do. Web applications are functional by nature. Graphics-intensive Web 2.0 look and feel is not. For every graphic text header, there is a tired design developer who has to change the graphics any time there is a word change. In short, maintaining heavily graphic sites is (still) a lot of work. The more functional an application, the more things change, the more graphics to create, manage, maintain.

Before committing to slick buttons, styled type and rounded everything, consider how often elements are likely to change. Consider the work flow (who will do what) when things do change. Consider putting the graphics in areas behind system text to give a rich look without the maintenance hassles, or letting a highly styled logo carry the slick feel. Consider Google, which is what everyone wanted to look like in the last web design fad. Consider what visual elements are really important to communicating your brand. Got great developers, organized PSD file templates, time and manpower to make changes regularly? The sky's the limit.


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