Visual Standardization and Beyond

I´m guilty. I have as visual designer based my work on already existing interfaces. I know I should have forced myself to develop and create instead of giving the client the best available working solution out there.

Every service we at Fjord design has it´s own identity and requirements. And because of that we shouldn’t be afraid about looking a bit further for design solutions when making our next service.

The insight occurred to me last spring when I went to OFFF in Barcelona. For those of you who don’t know what OFFF is, it´s a three days festival where independent graphic designers and niched motion graphics studios comes to talk about their work within visual arts. The festival includes big-ego speakers showing off their work in a rockstar kind of fashion. Others go for a more humble way and let their amazing portfolios speak for itself. Seeing all of this results in a overload of visual impressions and influences from multiple disciplines. And it´s great.

What we should try to avoid is the overuse of UI standardization. We are so aware of every service own identity and requirements and therefore need of unique visual treatment. There are many already solved problems to take advantage of in other disciplines. A continuity of this behavior could help us move forward of how service design looks and behaves.

There is plenty of example of how this have been made before. One would be to look how digital identities gets stronger with animation principals when making page transitions and loading icons. How we are using blurred images to put them in the peripheral sight to bring something else forward is clearly a method taken from photography and filmmaking. The latest and perhaps most clearly visually might be Googles new material design. Where they went from the basic feeling of how paper acts and feels and built their whole design framework on top of that. Obviously the most difficult part of this is taking these principals and transforming them into functional digital ideas. But that is another story.

Look at other principals and work methods to get inspired in your own discipline. (Sawdust presenting work)

Let´s no go totally off the map here. We expect things to work in a certain way. Making every service a new UI experience would be tiring for the user. We are in need of some standards, it makes us feel safe. But we are responsible to continue to look for solutions in other areas. Consuming other branches within visual art and design will give us tools and “outer ideas” of how to evolve and improve interfaces.