Project One — Identifying Communication Design
This is the Nike retail iPhone application, which, to me, is the epitome of clean simple communication design. Circa 2013, the design world saw a dramatic shift in design from realism to a much flatter design space. Now that ‘material’ design has matured, I think the design world is seeking what the next ‘big’ step in design will be. To me, this app could not be a clearer expression on the next design phase — black and white, high contrast flat design. In this app, Nike simiplifies with a minimal two plane design: the header/footer and the content. There are only four buttons on the bottom. The lack of clutter, texture, and excessive color, puts an emphasis on the product. Emaphsis of the product is exactly what a retail app should do, thus with clear intent and execution, both the customer and designer have successfully met their expectations.
Effective communication design should maintain a devout conviction to simplicity, especially for the primary customer, in the ultimate bid to save the user time and headache. In the case of the above website — a network setup site for a wireless router — the primary user seems to be overlooked in favor of a technical Comcast service man. The page is overwhelming with a multitude of textures and dozens of links. The swamp of information comes from poor management of space, too many overlapping planes, and poor use of contrast. Everything melds together, it becomes difficult to discriminate buttons from images, and delinate between important and non-significant content. Technology, especially wireless network technology, is notorious for its complexity, this doesn’t make any stride in dispelling this label.