Discussing the Design Choice of Bolden Studio

Bolden, according to their website at www.bolden.nl/, is a studio based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, who specializes in user interface and experience design for online platforms, apps, e-commerce, and digital branding.

Bolden’s website when you first visit — you are greeted with these messages that overlap with each other

When a user first visits their website, they are first greeted with two messages, blue and red, overlapping with each other. In order to read the red message, the user has to move the mouse to hover over the blue shadow in the upper left corner. For the blue message to be revealed, the user has to similarly hover over the red shadow in the lower right corner.

Red message is revealed when hovering over blue shadow
Blue message is revealed when hovering over red shadow

Is this a very interesting and unique design? Yes. In terms of memorability, it definitely impresses the user. Is this user-friendly, however? No. The reason is because nowhere on the website does it say that the user needs to move the mouse to the corners in order to actually read the messages. It is very difficult to read without doing so, and even if they do, each message is still somewhat unclear because the other message below it can still be seen. If the confused user does not discover the clever design and scrolls down, they never fully understand the headline.

One important thing we must keep in mind, however, when analyzing and criticizing Bolden’s choice in their design, is the studio’s target audience. The users who search for the company’s website are most likely either those who are wanting to collaborate with them or those who want to request the studio some new design for their branding, their products, or their websites. These customers are interested in user interface design. They want to see this studio’s style and judge if they want to work with them. Taking this into account, it is definitely understandable that the studio is trying to showcase their talent on the website; they are hoping to leave good impressions on the customers who reach their website. The graphic components described above do catch the customer’s’ attention, however, the fact that the studio opted for interesting and unique design and ignored user-friendliness is still a problem. In order to improve, I propose that the studio at least put a small note near the shadows that asks the user to move around their mouse on the screen or hover the mouse over the shadows. Even having a simple “hover here!” message will help the user discover the clever design.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.