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Last month Smashing Magazine published an interesting article asking “Is The Internet Killing Creativity?” Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

Designing Content & Visuals

When designing websites, emails, apps, etc. look at the subject matter. Why does this exist? What’s the purpose? Figure out the idea behind it, and define the main goal. Ensure the content supports that goal, and work on a design that communicates the main idea to others. The content itself often needs to be designed, and I’m not just talking about visually. The wording needs to be just right, the naming of buttons, menu choices, and more. When the right content and the right visuals come together, you will have a winner!

Keep everything focused on achieving the defined goal. If it enhances the goal, use it. If it weakens the goal, toss it or change it. We should not focus primarily on whether we are doing something new and innovative, or whether we are using time-tested techniques that have been around for years. Instead, we should do whatever will best communicate our concept to others. Exciting things will come about as a result of figuring that out.

Jason Santa Maria: “Design is not about innovation. Design is about communication.”

Sometimes we’re bored with something we have done (or have seen done) many times before. Sometimes we’re are afraid to try new things. But if we have a clearly defined message, we should do whatever works best to get that across to others.

Know Your Content, Know Your Message

Do not start with abstract wireframes with lorem ipsum headlines and text. You can fall into a cookie cutter layout that not only looks like so many other sites, more importantly it might not be the best way to communicate your message. Start working with real content early in the process. Without it, you don’t really know if you’re on the right track.

Here’s a tip. When designing, use tools like InVision’s Craft to import data into your wireframes and designs (it’s especially nice for site redesigns).

Tags: Design Web Design Web Development

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