Defining media design -- and why it matters now more than ever
Part Two: The Blink Value of Correct Design Starts At Home
Lauren Bacall had "The Look".
We are often told to not judge a book by its cover...but we often do anyway.
The inner romantic in most of us hope to fall in love at first sight.
Many companies -- Apple computers and iPods, pro sports teams, uniformed UPS drivers, McDonalds et al -- have distinct "looks" with the products and designs.
It's a natural human instinct to quickly judge and assess new first impressions. Our brains need to categorize and decide what to file for future use, put it to use right away or simply throw it away to forget about it. Successful web site (and all media, both old and new) designs follow exactly those same principles.
Malcolm Gladwell "Blink" readers surely would understand the importance of making sure the "look" of a website design means everything in the first few seconds of viewing it. Think of the calming reassurance you have when you go to your home page. There is a reason it is called a home page -- it makes you feel "home" on the net. Just looking at the image of Norman Rockwell's famous Thanksgiving dinner transports you to your own thoughts and memories of home.
With millions of blogs being updated and/or added on the Net every day, every blog you breeze by instantly "tells" you whether or not you'll be interested in its content. Building a brand you want to use, you want to engage with, requires an understanding of sensory connection. Yesterday's post on the Jointblog discussed the value of audio cues. Another important element is "the look"
Branding and Web site design, apparently, mean everything to consumers, according to a new study. In one-twentieth of a second, the Canadian Behavior and Technology Journal found, consumers make aesthetic judgments that influence the rest of their experience with a given Web site. The study's author tells Retuers.com that the response is actually physiological -- meaning Web designers must be sure not to offend users visually, or they'll simply leave. Yet the results don't show designers what leads to like or dislike -- perhaps just personal taste.
Think for a moment about your company's media "look": Do it have a look? Is it distinctive? Does it connect with your desired customer? Is the company investing enough to protect and enhance its "look"? What can you do to help?
All good questions for those challenged with managing media design and interested in media trends (that's you!)
So, dear Jointblog reader, how does this design make you react? We welcome your comments. Write us with your thoughts: Jointcom@aol.com.
Look for Part 3 on media design in the days ahead.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006,