The Grid and Snapchat

Great web design is something that there isn’t really a formula for. Designers have methods and standard rules for design, that will make a design automatically strong and visually pleasing, however, by following these rules does not guarantee an award-winning design. An example of this is Snapchat’s extremely flawed design. The app is so beyond successful, yet it breaks every single rule of design. Despite it being such a mess in the eyes of a professional designer, it caters to the audience that it is geared towards, and as a result, it has sky-rocketed in popularity among millennials.

Snapchat, in my perspective, is absolutely brilliant. By breaking every single rule, but maintaining a visually pleasing aesthetic, it defies all of the standard design laws. It is as if the designers of the app are giving the design world the middle finger, and succeeding as a result. It doesn’t cater to a user in a way that they don’t have to use their head, it rather caters to younger generations, that are more inclined to figure things out and will push harder to understand in order to “fit in” so-to-speak. Carmel DeAmicis’, in her article, “Did Snapchat succeed because of its controversial UI?”, claims that “Snapchat has made itself the digital version of the cool kids’ table in high school” (DeAmicis). That is the magic of Snapchat.

Even the landing page of the Snapchat website follows this method. There is a level of intuition that the designers encourage their users to engage. When one first opens the snapchat homepage, they are immediately welcomed by the ghost logo, and a small arrow. The designers are prompting the user to instinctively select the ghost or the arrow, which ultimately lead the user to download the app. Even though the design of the site’s landing page breaks the standard rules of design, it is really effective in its mission, because it allows the user to feel intelligent, and positive, because it is easy to figure out.

In regards to following the website design standards, there are tools that a designer can use in order to maintain a very orderly and organized design layout. The way that a grid is used is extremely noticeable in the ultimate design. When someone doesn’t use a grid in their design, it becomes evident in the final product. The lines are not as clean and easily understood, and the design does not feel as visually appealing to a viewer.

The Grid is a crucial part of any design. Yes, a designer may choose whether or not they would like to use the grid, but it will always separate the amateur designers from the professional designers. Also, by using a grid in web design it helps the designer be more aware of how the page is likely to shift and change based on the size of the screen that it would need to accommodate. Being able to anticipate this will better the UI and UX for the potential users.

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