Freemium [extended]

what is it?

The word freemium, itself, consists of two parts: the words free and premium. This indicates the nature of the topic even before one dives deeper. Essentially, freemium is a business model in which a core product is given away for free, with premium products being sold alongside it. Despite the fact that products are given away for free, the main objective of this business model is, in fact, to make even more money.

 

 “the more people have an iPod, the bigger the market will be for the iPod and its accessories”

 

This means that by ensuring that more individuals are exposed to and have access to one particular product, the higher the chances of individuals actually purchasing things that go along with it.

 

so where did it come from?

 

The freemium business model originated from the IT world, where it was used frequently by software producing companies as well as Internet Service Providers. During the years the model has been adapted and used within other industries, becoming increasingly popular within the companies as well as the customers themselves. Nowadays the freemium model is often used within the music and publishing industries, in order to encourage sales.

A good example of this business model being implemented successfully within the music industry, would be the technique used by the Nine Inch Nails. They offered their new album Ghost I-IV for free for its users to download, yet simultaneously the rock band generated revenue from its concerts, deluxe CD box sets and paid downloads. By providing their fans and users in general with free material, more people were able to explore their work and invest in paid purchases.

The freemium business model works very well in today’s day and age, as technology is advancing at a very fast pace. Specifically the computer. It is now used for both the initial creation of the product as well as the distribution of most media products.

 

moore’s law

 

The fact that the computer came around plays an important role within the development of the freemium business model. According to Moore, the amount of computer power you get for a certain cost, doubles every 18 months or so. Therefore it is becoming cheaper and even more efficient to use a computer to produce product. Similar tendencies are true for the Internet connection, memory and so on, so forth.

From this, one can conclude that computer production is very inexpensive. It is possible to duplicate products at almost no cost, therefore increasing profits. There are however some downsides, as today’s potential buyer will often no waste his or her money unless convince its worth the buy. This is where the free product comes into play, as it is able to influence buyers into bigger investments.

Another downside is the existence of piracy, as by providing free content, a lot of it gets reproduced. Although one can argue that despite the fact that pirating exists, if the product is good enough and worth buying, then people would go out and buy it. It could be considered a continuation of freemium, part of the marketing strategy.

 

traditional vs. untraditional

 

Lets examine two different situations, let’s say you distribute 100 free CDs in order to sell 2 concert tickets, 3 T-shirts, or 4 paid CDs. In this case it makes no sense to do so, as the cost of producing and distributing the records will be too high compared to the profit made. On the other hand the cost of producing and distributing the music digitally is close to zero. Therefore only a small percentage of users need to buy something for you to make a profit.

 

examples

 

Skype

A good example of a company that uses the freemium model very well is Skype. The provide users with the possibility to make free audio and video calls from computer to computer, phone to phone or computer to phone. On the other hand they offer a premium service for their users by allowing them to upgrade in order to be able to call from computer to landlines, as well as have group video calls.

Out of the total of 18.2 billion minutes of Skype-to-Skype calls, only 12% were paid for. The reason that Skype can make so much money is because their product is so cheap for them to duplicate and distribute.

 

fat world knowledge

 

Another example is the educational company Flat World Knowledge, which provides textbooks for schools and universities. Their main profit comes from the printed books they sell, while the digital versions of these books are provided free of charge. This means they can save on not having to reprint the books every two years with updates.

 

“For the model to be freemium, the free has to be something that can be used in and of itself, without necessarily buying something else. Like the way you can use the free version of Skype as a valuable tool, without paying for the premium.”

 

improving the business model

 

There are three main ways in which to ensure the freemium business model is even more successful. Active promotion is necessary, it is important to make sure even more people know about your free product, as it generates more users. This ties in very nice with the world of social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc.

The next important thing to consider is accessibility. If people find it hard to access your free product, some people will stop before they even get to it.

The last and most obvious is the free product itself has to be of quality, and must be usable on its own completely, without the need of purchasing any additional things.

 “It can be a small step towards a better world. it puts knowledge and tools in the hands of the people who could otherwise not afford it.”

 

conclusion

 

I believe that the best example of the use of the freemium business model is Open Source Software. As it allows people to use the product and create something of their own at the same time. The freemium model works well as a happy medium between the companies wanting to make as much money as possible, and the users wanting to save money and invest in quality product.

Applied Arts for the Web [Grids Essay]

Introduction

 

Grids have become an important aspect of the design process, whether for print based or screen based design. It is essentially a system and set of rules to aid the design process. Grids are used mainly as a way of organizing and structuring your design work, with the aid of horizontal and vertical guides. There is no limit to how simple or detailed the grid is, which allows the designer to tailor it specifically for each individual design. One can choose to use one grid across all designs, or several different ones across one project. This method was once most commonly seen in Newspapers and Magazines, however it is now extremely widespread and common within all areas of Design.

  

Although grids have been around for a very long time,  it wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century that the first designers of that time such as Linguists, Scribes, Commercial Artists and Printers started to focus on the content, proportion, space and form within their work. One of the earliest examples of the use of grids can be seen in any religious calligraphy texts laid out by scribes, often using modern two and three column grids with typographic variations in weight and colour, for emphasis. Nowadays the use of grids is most common within Graphic Design. There is still some debate going on within the design industry, with regard to the positives and negatives of the use of grids in design. Some designers believe that the use of grids would limit the designer and his creativeness, whereas others believe that the use of grids mainly provides a set of guidelines on which to build a more aesthetically pleasing and well structured design, thus producing a better quality design overall. Graphic Designers have the freedom to design in any way they see fit, yet there is a fine line between good aesthetically pleasing design and bad design.

 

Grids in Graphic Design

 

Grids are based on psychological research into human perception of information, focusing on ease of reading and usability as well as aesthetics. Column width is often determined by the maximum word to column ratio, with the optimum word count per line being eight or nine words. There are other determining factors such as the use of type, letter kerning, size, weight and colour, which go hand in hand with grids.

 

The book has been the most common output of printing from the mid-fifteenth century up till the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. There was a variety of grids available yet the grids based on the Golden Ratio in the form of the Golden Triangle were deemed to be the most successful and aesthetically pleasing. The Golden Triangle is an aesthetically pleasing form in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter side is the golden ratio. This was often combined with the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc), which determined the page proportions and margins of the classic book.

The founding of de Stijl in 1975 by Theo van Doesburg was an important movement and influence on the creation and widespread use of the grid. This movement explored form determined by function, favouring minimalistic designs with no decorations and extensive colour, and  rectilinear forms. This became quite popular with designers such as Piet Zwart and Paul Schuitema.

In 1919 the Bauhaus was opened by Walter Gropius, influencing the development of Typography and Graphic Design forever. There was great influence on typographic experimentation in order to achieve more clarity, simplicity and usability within design. During the 1920s and 1930s typography became even more popular and significant within design, with the help of typographer  Jan Tschichold and his two books The New Typography(1928), and Asymmetric Typography (1935). There was more focusing on logic and natural psychological behaviour, which created a system for the design process.

Swiss Typography became the norm for Graphic Design. Everything element on the page followed logic, precision and aesthetics.

“No system of ratios, however ingenious, can relieve the typographer of deciding how one value should be related to another… He must spare no effort to tutor his feeling for proportion… He must know intuitively when the tension between several things is so great that harmony is endangered. But he must also know how to avoid relationships lacking in tension since these lead to monotony.”
Emil Ruder, Typography

 

“Just as in nature, systems of order govern the growth and structure of animate and inanimate matter, so human activity itself has, since the earliest times, been distinguished by the quest for order… The desire to bring order to the bewildering confusion of appearances reflects a deep human need.” 
Josef Müller-Brockmann, Grid Systems in Graphic Design

 

Grids in Web Design

 

With the development of technology and the world wide web, grids have now become a part of the Web Design process. They serve the same purpose as grids within print based design, mainly to help organize and logically structure a web based design for the most clarity, usability and aesthetics. Naturally this involved rethinking the traditional grid systems in order to target on screen specific issues. Print based design is static and fully controllable, whereas on screen design is constantly changing, depending on the device being used, screen resolutions and browsers. Even though the main principles remain the same: to create an aesthetically pleasing, readable and usable interface; the design and grid have to have the ability to morph to each new format, without sacrificing anything in the process.

 

960px vs 978px

 

  • Total width 960px
  • 12 columns @ 60px each
  • Each column has 10px left & right margin which forms 20px of gutter space
  • Total content area is 940px

The most common and popular grid system for on screen web design is the 960px grid. It is the most favourite grid system as it is currently the most flexible. It allows the designer to quickly split the design into  9 x 3, 3 x 3 x 3, 4 x 4 x 4 x 4, 10 x 2 columns retaining the maximum readability and usability. This grid makes it possible to unify all web design and make it consistently good across the whole web. The problem however is the ever increasing screen resolutions. Although not long ago 960px was an everage screen resolution and still is to some extent, it is now gradually increasing. Along with this the average font size has increased from 12px to 13px, which means bigger text is being fitted into the same 940px space (actual content space). It would therefore make sense to alter the grid in order to accomodate the bigger screen resolutions and bigger font size.

  • Total width 1002px
  • 12 columns @ 54px each
  • Each column has 12px left & right margin which forms 30px of gutter space
  • Total content area is 978px

Based on the constantly changing conditions within web design, another grid system was recently introduced suggesting the use of the 978px grid. It does the same job as the previous grid, however it has been updated to accommodate the new developments in technology. Predictably, the grid will never be static, as technology and the web will constantly develop and therefore the grid will have to develop with it.

 

Baseline Grid

 

Another common grid still being used is the baseline grid, in which all the text is aligned to the baseline of the entire grid. This process of creating a baseline is slightly more difficult as it involves calculating the line hight of the entire body text to ensure each line aligns properly. This can be seen perfectly on the The Grid Systems website.

Each element on the page aligns perfectly with the baseline, creating a clean, simple and usable user interface with no extra elements or distractions.

 

Why use the Grid?

 

There are many reasons for designers to use grids. It is important to convey the information in the simplest and most organized way in order to provide the best usability experience for the user. In order to be able to create this structure a designer needs grids.

However it is entirely up to the designer to decide whether to use a grid or not. The grid is a guide, and is meant to be used as a reference rather than hard coded rules. It is the responsibility of the designer to research the target audience and to decide what approach will be the most effective. A grid can enhance the structural foundation of a website but can just as easily detract from the experimentation and interactiveness.

 

Examples

 

Below are some examples of the use of grids in general and personal portfolio websites. They demonstrate the usefulness of grids as well as the limitations.

 

 Behance

http://www.behance.net/

 

Behance is a website where users can post their portfolio work and projects for public viewing and critique. With the amount of information needed to be handled the website interface had to be minimalistic and clean, as well as very easy to navigate. And that is exactly what it is. It is divided into a five column grid, however the main focus is on the middle three columns which are wider than the outer two columns. By tweaking the widths and changing the ratios the main focus is on the work of the user rather than the sites navigation, search and adds. In this case the use of the grid was essential in order to portray the work of the users in a professional and clean way.

The website is quite clean yet still remains playful in its unique almost hypnotising and consistent design. There is a limited use of colour which emphasizes the call to action areas of the website, such as the register and log in button, as well as the individual work of the users. The choice of blue indicates the brand is meant for professionals with a specific style of work, not dissimilar to the website itself.

Once inside the website, looking at a specific project the layout changes to a two column grid. Once again the section displaying the users work has a much wider column, this emphasizing this section more than the general user information. The column is also located on the left hand side, and this would be the first area to focus on. The call to action colour remains consistent with the homepage, which makes it simple to navigate.

 

Tawni Martin

http://www.tawnimartin.com/

 

Tawni Martin is a freelance Web Designer that took a slightly different approach to designing her own portfolio site. It doesn’t follow the stereotypical minimalistic monochromatic designs, and in this case it showcases her full potential as a web designer. The website has a main navigation at the top of the page that is aligned to the left, which goes against the human instinct of reading left to right. However it is still very clear and therefore easy to navigate. The header image on each page serves as the main focus point, although the text seems to wide to read comfortably.

Further down the page the layout becomes a two column grid, the main body text is located in the left column. Focus is instantly on the slideshow, which provides a sneak peak of the portfolio. Information and contact details are located in the right column.

The footer in my opinion is the least successful part of the website. There is a lot of technical and graphic skill in creating the form and site map, yet the footer feels slightly out of place and out of balance with the rest of the website. Perhaps the header image outweighs the footer too much.

Once inside the portfolio the main body text is split into a three column grid, but remains simple to navigate. The execution of the portfolio preview could have been better, as it seems out of place. Not enough elegance and simplicity to justify the highly graphic interface. The call to action areas are highlighted with vivid colours, however the header image is also a vivid colour and is a portfolio piece in its own. I feel like there is a bit too much going on on the portfolio section and borders slightly irritating.

The about section returns back to a two column grid, however a secondary navigation tab is introduced. The current page is highlighted with a vivid blue, which fits perfectly with the header image. The body text is too wide to read comfortably and very text heavy in general. Perhaps keeping a three column grid as on the portfolio section would have worked better in this case and made the body text more manageable and elegant.

 

Level Flow

http://www.levelflow.com/

Level Flow is an online portfolio of James Hamilton-Martin, who does Web Design and Motion Graphics. The website is very simple and easy to navigate, it uses a simple two column grid which helps keep the information down to the most necessary. The call to action doodles are humorous and interactive, keeping the main attention on him as the product. By displaying a ‘new’ tag, the viewer gets the feel that he is quite involved and active as a designer within the industry and constantly developing and adding more work. The navigation bar is probably one of my favourite parts of the entire website, just because of its untraditional style and personality. The whole website creates  sense of work in progress, doodles, creativity, drawing board etc.

The use of monochrome colours for the entire website means the navigation becomes the main focus point. It demonstrates a range of different skills and areas of interest. This designer is diverse. The work speaks for itself, with the preview of the website working very smoothly and precisely the way you would expect.

Only bug I noticed was that the about page would keep popping up for a brief millisecond every time the user clicked on one of the navigation bars.

 

Colourful Visuals

http://www.colorfulvisuals.com/

This is an online portfolio of Ace Bobadilla a Digital Graphic Designer. The user interface is very clean and minimalistic, using mainly a single column grid for the entire website apart from the three column grid used for the gallery. Despite the fact that the body text spans all the way across, it is still easy to read as there isn’t a lot of it there. In this particular case it works just fine.

The main focus is on the welcoming ‘Hello There’, which instantly portrays the personality of the designer. The call to action areas as well as important information is highlighted in the same bright vivid colours as the welcome typography.

The single image view is very smooth and turns the whole website into a single column website, keeping the focus on the work itself. Everything is smooth running, information is well organised and thought out.

 

Webz Guru

http://www.webzguru.net/

This portfolio website belongs to a company specializing in Communications and Technology. The whole user interface is one continuous design, that scrolls down seamlessly either manually or via the navigation bar at the top. There is a mini navigation as well as ‘back to the top’ link on every slide. The website design is monochrome, keeping the focus on the work and the brand. Only the most important information is provided, and follows a very logical hierarchy. The grid system used varies from a one column grid to three column grid. Each slide was though through carefully, in order to find the optimum way of providing the information. Considering both legibility and usability as well as aesthetics.

The technical skills and graphic skill are quite strong, and the use of individual grids for each page made it possible to maximize readability and usability. The single scroll function unified the design overall and made it more aesthetically pleasing.

 

Volume One

http://www.volumeone.com/

 “Volumeone is a design studio that brings a multi-disciplinary approach to the creation of visual solutions for print, motion and digital media. Founded by Cranbrook Design graduate Matt Owens, Volumeone strives to synthesize visual exploration and smart design solutions while maintaining the highest level of design expertise and freshness of approach. All design challenges involve a dialogue between client, creative and the needs of the project and Volumeone works to illuminate and open up this dialogue in an effort to develop the best solutions possible.”

This studio has a very simplistic and elegant website. There are no colours being used anywhere other than the portfolio images, which keeps the attention on the work. They used a two column grid for the header information section, with the focus being on the latest work as well as the news. The rest of the work is displayed in a three column grid.

Once you go into the portfolio section, the layout becomes a three column grid. All focus is on the work, there is no other information whatsoever to distract the viewer. The work is bright and enticing, inviting the user to explore further.

The detailed view of a portfolio piece is a two column grid, with the summary located on the left and the detailed information located on the right. Even though the work is very bright my eye was drawn to the small summary briefly before smoothly focusing on the work itself.

The about section uses the same grid system and work in exactly the same way. It is a bit text heavy with slightly too wide body text for a comfortable read. However it fits with the rest of the design perfectly. Even though the website is very minimalistic, the work is quite the opposite. There is no need for words, the work speaks for itself.

 

Conclusion

There are many different kinds of grids out there, but I think the most important thing to remember is to use them as a reference and to adapt them to each individual design. As a designer one needs to find what works best for our own work and to create our own system to help organize and better convey the message. The grid is either an enemy or a friend.

 

References

Websites

 

http://www.volumeone.com/

http://www.behance.net/

http://www.webzguru.net/

http://www.colorfulvisuals.com/

http://www.tawnimartin.com/

http://www.levelflow.com/

http://www.graphics.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=620

http://designfestival.com/an-introduction-to-grids-in-web-design/

http://www.apaddedcell.com/beginning-web-design/design/using-grids-web-design

http://www.designbygrid.com/

http://goldengridsystem.com/

http://www.thegridsystem.org/

 

Books

Ed. Wiedemann, J. (2005). Web Design Portfolios. Italy: Taschen.

[Project 1] Warm Bean Coffee Shop

…it has been a very long night and week. Here is the initial website I’ve done 🙂

nova-graphics.co.uk/project_1

 

 

[coursework 6] 3 Good & Bad Typography Examples

Finding good and bad designs of typography was a bit easier that the previous assignment. Although sometimes it was difficult to decide between whether typography should be legible at all time, or whether it was permissible to use more creative typography despite sacrificing legibility. So here are my choices of websites using good and bad typography.

 

3 Good Examples

Example 1

I believe I’ve posted this website as an example in a previous post, but I still believe it is an example of good use of typography. The whole page is meant to look almost like a piece of artwork. It may seem to contain a lot of information, yet it is still very easy to navigate and very well structured. It invited the reader to interact with the webpage.

http://www.kitchensinkstudios.com/

www.kitchensinkstudios.com

 

Example 2

The second example is a more classic example of typography within graphic design. Very grid based, clean, minimalistic. A bit boring for my taste, however it does convey the personality and style of work of the company perfectly.

http://blakeallendesign.com/

blakeallendesign.com

 

Example 3

The third example I found quite fascinating, as it was very interactive and fun despite the limited colour and image use. I like it because it is different from what you normally see. It pushes conventional design boundaries. I am posting two pictures to show the starting page, and then the second page once you enter your date of birth.

http://lawineagency.com/family-of-wines/

http://lawineagency.com/family-of-wines/

lawineagency.com/family-of-wines

 

Example 4:

This is just an extra one I found interesting and fun. I wasn’t sure whether I should put it in or not…the typography is interesting and playful, but not very legible. The intention of the designer is clear, but perhaps not as successful as it could have been? What do you guys think?

http://wakwaw.com/

wakwaw.com

 

3 Bad Examples

Example 1

This is an example of someone’s portfolio website. I do think it is creative, but I found it quite boring. The angle of the typeface is strange and not legible. The whole website seemed quite bland and off-putting.

http://www.davorvaneijk.com/

www.davorvaneijk.com

 

Example 2

This second example is completely chaotic. I believe the designer was attempting to be creative, but there is a very fine line between being creative and unique, and overdoing it. This has too many colours, too much navigation to read to, and no clear hierarchy or system.

http://www.posttypography.com/

www.posttypography.com

 

Example 3

The last example is still irritating and confusing me. I understand why the designer has done the word overlay in different colours, yet I have spent over and hour trying to read all of the words in just that one title…and I can’t. If someone has been able to please let me know. Unless of course the whole point of the design is to confuse you and have no solution, thus pushing the reader to explore further to try to understand….

http://www.roggeundpott.de/

www.roggeundpott.de

[Coursework 5] 3 Good & Bad Colour Schemes

So, I think I really think I underestimated how many websites I would need to look through to find the examples. It was harder to find the examples of bad colour schemes for some reason. Either way here is my selection of good and bad colour scheme example, enjoy! Please comment 🙂

 

3 Good Examples

Example 1

This first example I believe is my favourite of the three. It is very well structured, which in turn makes it very simple to navigate. All the colours have been kept subtle for slight emphasis, yet not to distract from the main visual element. The main focus is on the bright image slideshow located in the direct line of sight, followed by the brand logo. The small visual teaser of the portfolio and information below, urges the viewer to explore further.

http://www.thismanslife.co.uk/

www.thismanslife.co.uk

 

Example 2

The second website is a good example of the use of only two main contrasting colours: red and black. This way the company draws attention to the most important aspects of the business. The use of red also excites the reader about the company , with the black/grey areas serving as an area to focus and concentrate, before getting excited over the next piece of information with a red background. Very good use of psychology. Easy to navigate, clean and to the point.

http://thebeautyshoppe.org/

thebeautyshoppe.org

 

Example 3

The third example is the most minimalistic of the three. The main focus of attention is on the yellow text, which essentially conveys the brand values to the reader. The use of yellow also puts the reader in a good mood. Love the simplicity.

http://www.thinkmoto.de/#awp::

www.thinkmoto.de/#awp::

 

3 Bad Examples

 Example 1

Even if this is an official university webpage…specifically relating to the art section, it is one of the most dreadful website designs in all way possible, mostly colour scheme wise. The blinking neon colours instantly irritate the eye, followed by an attempt to look anywhere but the blinking. The gradient use cheapens the website. It’s almost like a room of people had ideas and they were all shoved into this website. Fail.

http://art.yale.edu/

art.yale.edu

 

Example 2

I think this example is just a reflection of my personal taste, but I really do dislike the mix of colours on this page. I’m not sure how well the blue goes with the rest of the content…I can’t even explain why I dislike it. Hmmmmm

http://www.bluemountain.com/

www.bluemountain.com

 

Example 3

This is HP’s official store website. I do not think the colour scheme works well at all for them. The navigation at the top is too black and doesn’t match the footer colour at the bottom. It seems like an attempt to create a gradient of colours through the whole page, which failed.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/home.do

www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/home.do

 

Extra

I think this is potentially the worst website ever created? I will not even post a picture of it, view at your own risk. Actually, I will post a picture…I’m just thankful that the creator of that website did not use a sparkly glittery blinking background on top of everything else.

http://www.arngren.net/

www.arngren.net

[Coursework Website]

My site is up an running 🙂

I’ve done a very simple layout to begin with, but within the next few weeks I will be putting up the final version. Please have a look and feel free to comment 🙂

Here is my site: www.nova-graphics.co.uk

[Coursework 1] The Dead Sea Squirrels, Beech Farm, Primary Health

The Dead Sea Squirrels

Info: indie rock band from Sheffield

Notes: funky, well structured, organized, charismatic

Inspiration:

This website has personality and charisma. It has a dark colour scheme with well chosen spots of bright colour to set the mood. Easy to navigate, simple design.

http://www.songkick.com/

http://www.songkick.com/

Another example is the Spacelab, which is also a dark colour theme yet easy to navigate.

http://www.thespacelab.tv/

www.thespacelab.tv

This last one would be a more modern approach to Indie Rock. Dark colour scheme once again, a lot more structures and simplified. Elegant, but still has personality.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/

www.pitchforkmedia.com

Beech Farm

Info: a homely bed and breakfast in Cornwall

Notes: homely, simple, cozy, comfortable

Inspiration:

This first one is quite elegant and clean, however it still retains that aesthetic homely feel. Maroon is quite a traditional colour for bed and breakfasts. Simple to navigate.

http://www.cloranmansion.com/

www.cloranmansion.com

This next example isn’t as aesthetically pleasing yet it still has the homely feel, as well as being simple to navigate.

http://www.applewoodmanorbandb.com/

www.applewoodmanorbandb.com

This last one has the most personality and charm. It is very engaging and simple to navigate. The main photo used shows what the client is getting. Looks homely and family run, comfortable and reliable.

http://www.rabbithillinn.com/

www.rabbithillinn.com

Primary Health

Info: a private healthcare company based in London

Notes: exclusive, professional, reliable, clean and to the point.

Inspiration:

I am quite familiar with this brand and believe the website reflects it perfectly. It is very clean and minimalistic. The use of green makes it appear more reliable and client friendly. The grey-scale colours used for the rest of the web site reflects the professional nature of this organization.

http://www.blossomshealthcare.co.uk/

www.blossomshealthcare.co.uk

London Bridge Hospital is another example of an organization with a good website. Once again the use of colour (in this case blue) demonstrates the reliability and trustworthiness of the organization. It is also well organized and clean, as well as simple to navigate.

http://www.londonbridgehospital.com/

www.londonbridgehospital.com

Another example of a good website that is bright with one colour being the main focus of attention. Clean and simple to navigate.

http://www.harleymedical.co.uk/

www.harleymedical.co.uk

[Coursework 1] 3 Good Designs

For me good design consists of several things such as: practicality, quality, durability, sustainability and aesthetics. Here are the three I consider the best.

Tea Bag

I am a bit addicted to tea, so for me the tea bag is an important invention. It is a quick and easy process to make tea.The design itself is very simple, delicate, well thought out and biodegradable. It is one of the most simplest designs with a clear purpose.

“The most popular beverage in the world, tea was first drunk under the Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung around 2737 B.C. An unknown Chinese inventor invented the tea shredder, a small device that shredded tea leaves in preparation for drinking. The tea shredder used a sharp wheel in the center of a ceramic or wooden pot that would slice the leaves into thin strips.The first tea bags were made from hand-sewn silk muslin bags and I have found tea bag patents of this sort dating as early as 1903. First appearing commercially around 1904, tea bags were successfully marketed by tea and coffee shop merchant Thomas Sullivan of New York, who shipped his tea bags around the world. A machine was soon invented to replace the hand sewing of tea bags.Also in 1904, iced tea was first reported to be served by Englishmen Richard Blechynden at the St. Louis Fair, however, there is evidence that the beverage was invented prior to that date.Thomas Lipton incorporated the Lipton Tea Company in 1915. Lipton Tea patented a novel four-sided tea bag in 1952 called the flo-thru tea bag.”

Tea Bag

Light Bulb

The  light bulb is one of the greatest invention, however its true influence is completely disregarded and taken for granted sometimes in our daily lives (apart from when we receive a huge electricity bill). Very elegant design, practical and to the point.

“Men such as William Robert Grove, Frederik de Moleyns, W.E. Staite, John Daper, Edward G. Shepard, Heinrich Gobel, C. de Chagny, John T. Way, Alexander de Lodyguine, Joseph Wilson Swan, and Thomas A. Edison dedicated their time and efforts in the race to develop the first practical incandescent light bulb. Breakthroughs for Edison and Swan came in 1879, when they independently developed the first incandescent lamp that lasted a practical length of time — at best a mere 13.5 hours.  Their separate designs were based on a carbon fiber filament derived from cotton. The next stage of development focused on extending the practical life of the carbon filament bulb. Edison developed bamboo-derived filaments in 1880 that lasted up to 1200 hours.”

http://invsee.asu.edu/modules/lightbulb/meathist2.htm

iPhone 4s

As much as I hate to admit this, Apple has produced an amazing product that allows us to do so much in one little device. One now has the ability to brows the internet wirelessly, make phone calls, take photos and videos, play games, write and speak to a computer.

“In 1984, when Steve Jobs introduced the Mac, he did something quite historic. He introduced the Mac’s graphical user interface. But he actually topped himself with the introduction of another technology-the mouse. In essence, he introduced the next user input device that has been at the heart of personal computing for nearly two decades.In 1984, when Steve Jobs introduced the Mac, he did something quite historic. He introduced the Mac’s graphical user interface. But he actually topped himself with the introduction of another technology-the mouse. In essence, he introduced the next user input device that has been at the heart of personal computing for nearly two decades.”

I have personally witnessed all three of these historical technology introductions. When the Mac was introduced in 1984, I was sitting third row center at the Foothill Community College’s auditorium. Then in 2007, I was at Moscone West, fourth row Center when Jobs and team introduced the iPhone with its touch UI. And most recently, I was at their campus auditorium, Building 4 of Infinite Loop, 5th row center, when Tim Cook and his team introduced the iPhone 4S and the new Siri Voice and Speech interface, making this their third major contribution to the advancements of computer input. (I make a habit of remembering exactly where I am when I watch history being made.)

http://techpinions.com/why-we-witnessed-history-at-the-iphone-4s-launch/3288

iPhone 4s

[Coursework 1] 3 Good Websites

Choosing three good website designs was quite tough, as there are so many that I like narrowing down is almost impossible. Since studying Graphic Design my taste in design has been constantly changing and evolving, nowadays I tend to like designs that are clean, simple to navigate, engaging and innovative. The most annoying thing about websites would be bad loading times, as well as impossible navigation.The last thing I want to do is spend half an hour looking for something simple. Below are my current three favourite website designs, I tried to choose three with different purposes.

This first example I came across randomly while stumbling (anyone who has never tried using StumbleUpon do, you discover a lot of random interesting things). I think this design is one of the few good example of the use of different typography that works well. The website feels almost like an artwork, very clean despite the amount of information, organised and yet very engaging. It represents the personality and diversity of the brand itself. It has humour and a playful character that draws you in and essentially sells their services and product.

www.kitchensinkstudios.com

www.kitchensinkstudios.com

My second example is a webpage a lot of my friends within the Graphic Design industry like to use, as well as myself. It is mainly a space to post your portfolio work. I love the simplicity of the design and functionality of the web site itself. Its very easy to brows different work, as well as post your own work. It looks very elegant and professional.

www.behance.com

www.behance.net

My third example was a tough choice…wasn’t sure weather to pick the new Facebook Timeline layout, which hasn’t been officially released yet…or another website I randomly came across recently. Since the new facebook has not been released yet I will go for the latter. Cinco is a design company that has quite a broad range of focus. I like how clean and minimalistic it is. It is also quite innovative, as it uses unconventional design layouts with the contact information in the left hand side panel rather than on the bottom. The portfolio of work is the main focus of attention…the work speaks for itself.

http://cincodesign.com/

cincodesign.com

Hello :)

This is my first ever blog post. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it. I recall saying I would never start a blog, but then again I said I would never buy or use an Apple products either, and now I have fallen in love with the iphone…hmmm…but here I am 🙂

I am originally from Belraus, however I spent most of my life travelling, due to my fathers job. I lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for about three years before moving to Vienna, Austria where I spent the next 11 years of my life. I finished the last two years of my International Baccalaureate in New York, before coming to London to start my BA at Central Saint Martins. That didn’t last long though, as after completing my Foundation year there I decided to switch universities and went to Ravensbourne Innovavation in Digital Media & Design, where I completed my BA in Graphic Design. And now I am here at Greenwich University doing my MA in Web Design & Content Planning.

Work wise, I became interested in Web Design and Development in my teens, which prompted me to teach myself Web Design. I started freelancing when I was 17 while I was in New York. In London I worked a year for a design company Inverted Orange, after which I took my last year of my BA off to focus on studying. Currently I’m looking for part-time jobs.

So…this is the end of my first post. Hopefully this will grow on me and I will start enjoying it more than I am right now 🙂

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