Make it look pretty

Design is frequently misunderstood, it’s not simply about making things ‘look’ nice. Employing a designer to simply ‘pretty things up’ is missing the point. Your leaflet, website, poster, book, or whatever it is should look ‘nice’, but it also needs to ‘work’. It needs to entice the viewer to actually engage with your content, and be easy and logical to navigate so that your reader doesn’t have to ponder where to go at the end of each piece of information. Structure, layout and content all need to work together and good design enables the content to be delivered in the way that the reader naturally would expect. Everyone will naturally follow the path of ‘least resistance’ as this in entirely natural, even if it isn’t the ‘journey’ you intended…

Try to objectively realise what the end user may do when faced with your product, not an easy thing to do by any means as our own subjective preconceptions and desires will always try to cloud our judgement to some degree. It order to make your promotional materials more effective:

  1. Let your material ‘breathe’, you may have a lot to say, but try to make it as concise as possible and see how much you can remove without harming the core message.
  2. Create a clear hierarchy –  The most important information should be displayed more prominently than the incidental, but don’t over do it – if you try and get too much of it to ‘stand out’ none of it will
  3. Not everyone will read your material from the first word to the last full stop (in fact hardly anyone will) so give the reader an opportunity to scan the content to find what they want – images and graphics can help to create natural ‘breaks’ in the flow of the text
  4. If employing a designer, ask for their input at an early stage rather than feel you must have a rigid content layout to give to them

At Pixooma we always seek to do what is right for you, your project and your client’s end users rather than try to coerce you into following the latest trend just so that our portfolio ‘looks cool’. At its heart simple, elegant functionality is timeless and is always ‘cool’ anyway.

Image showing a barrier and a walkway designed to allow pedestrians to go around it (Captioned 'Design') and a clear path across the grass going around the whole thing because there is no fence attached to the gate (captioned 'User Experience') !

The difference between design intention and user experience

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