Good/Poor Design Challenge

“Good [Adjective]
Having the right or desired qualities
Efficient, Competent, Reliable
Kind, morally excellent, virtuous, Charitable, well-behaved, enjoyable, beneficial
Right, Proper, Expedient
Attractive.”


Lucienne Roberts in Good: an Introduction to Ethics in Graphic Design (Blog Post)
good bad - cópia

Consistency · Complexity · Simplicity · Playfulness · Research · Strategy · Concept

good bad -1

Value

This rebranding project was developed by Interbrand. The client was Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, a multinational law firm, that changed from a traditional visual identity to a clear and modern design that still carries all the trustworthiness and responsibility that the brand needs.

Other reason why I choose this project as Good Design, is the concept created behind the design. It is not only about having appealing visual but also transmitting a message. As it is stated in the website of the design agency, “Leading with the idea “The space that brings us together,” GA_P sought to provoke deeper thinking and appreciation of how legal services can reduce the distance between opposing positions, “filling in the gap” that separates and distances these with substance and insight.” (Interbrand, s.d)

good-2

Opinion

Once more, these days design is all about storytelling. Brands need to stand out for their values if they want to have loyal customers. #monkifesto is a project from the Swedish design agency, Snask, that I got to know by reading the German magazine named Novum. This advertising campaign was made for the retail brand, Monki, and the core idea is to transmit the brand’s support for issues that have a global audience nowadays, such as feminism and LGBT.

“People say if you make something no one hates, no one loves it.” (Moosmaan,2017) This statement by Fredrik Öst from Snask for Novum describes the philosophy behind the manifesto campaign they created.

good-3

Research and Strategy

Another important idea for me is that Graphic Design must always be supported with understanding and research of the environment we are designing for. This project from the British agency specialized in user-experience, ExperienceUX, is an example of that.

The client was HomeLet and the project consists of the redesign and improvement of the usability of their website and quotation process. As the agency states in their blog, target audience studies were carried out in order to understand how this service could serve better the needs of its users. “For tenants, since the launch, insurance sales online are up on last year by almost 200%.”, says Matthew Carter, Digital Marketing Manager at HomeLet.

bad-1

 User Experience

With this example, I wanted to bring back a UX Design Talk I heard in my previous university during my Communication Design journey. The Importance of User Experience Design had to be always considered when designing a service. Platforms that deal with the lives of individuals, such as hospital’s platform where patient’s data is stored, must have a cautiously tested design once there are lives depending on it.

bad-2

Complicated Software

The mediocrity of these school services lies, once again, in poor user experience. Most of the platforms created for students to access university or school files does not meet the needs of the users. Uploading files, delivering assignments or downloading documents can be a really hard task in this kind of software. Moreover, some of these organizations still require the students to use more than one platform to have access to all the material they need. These are the reasons, for me, why this is an example of Poor Design.

bad-3

Function

“Bond is a bracelet that comes in pairs and responds to touch. It lets you keep in touch with your loved one, so that every time they touch it, you feel a little buzz around your wrist.” (Impossible, s.d)

This project from Impossible, personally, does not represent a pertinent function. Many can disagree, however, I do not understand the relevance in the proposition that this project makes.

Nowadays, it is easy to call the people we care about, do video chats or just send text messages any time. With all of those, we are able to feel much closer with other people than using this bracelet that only reproduces the impression of touch.

RESEARCH PROCESS

This assignment’s brief was really simple and straightforward. The Challenge was to research and select three examples of Good Design and other three of Poor design. The outcome of the brief was a presentation to the class where we were asked to communicate each of our examples and additionally make a statement reflecting on our choices.

For this Good/Poor Design Challenge I choose to focus on Graphic Design examples, once that was my previous study field. I wanted to select examples based on an informed and backed up point of view in order to justify clearly my choices.

“A basic design is always functional, but a great one will say something” (Abstract: The Art of Design: Series 1, Episode 2, 2017). I started my research by looking at design projects where form meets function, the user experience is taken into account and the values, mission and proposition of the brand are effectively communicated. Furthermore, the keywords that led my research were consistency, complexity, simplicity, playfulness, research, strategy and concept.

In order to carry on with my analysis, I used online resources, magazines and books related to the subject I have chosen.

CRITICAL REFLECTION

This Challenge was mainly about giving our opinion. The objective was to communicate our ideas without fear of judgement. In fact, if we have a well explained opinion there is always going to be individuals that have contrary ideas but without that, there would be no innovation and no moving forward. Hearing to other perspectives about a subject is always part of own growth and makes us reflect and question if our opinions are valid. If so, our opinion just became stronger.

“The notion of authorship lies in the possibility that designers can also operate as mediators — that they can take responsibility for the content and context of a message, as well as more traditional means of communication.” (Noble & Bestley, 2016:42) As Designers, Marketers or Managers it is really important to have our own values well defined and stay true to them in everything we create. In the end, words such as Good or Poor are relative.      

BIBLIOGRAPHY

#monkifesto | Snask (s.d.) At: http://snask.com/case/monki/ (Accessed on 2 October 2018)

Abstract: The Art of Design: Series 1, Episode 1 and 2. (2017) Netflix: 17 February.

Bond Touch — Impossible (s.d.) At: https://www.impossible.com/bond-touch/ (Accessed on 2 October 2018)

Carmichael, A. (2016) UX case study – HomeLet – how a user-centred approach grew sales by 200% | Experience UX. At: https://www.experienceux.co.uk/ux-blog/ux-case-study-homelet-how-a-user-centred-approach-grew-sales-by-200/ (Accessed on 2 October 2018)

Interbrand (s.d.) GA_P is the space that brings people together – Work – Interbrand. At: https://www.interbrand.com/work/ga_p-space-brings-people-together/ (Accessed on 2 October 2018)

Lupton, Ellen. (2008) Graphic Design : The New Basics. New York: Princeton Architectural Press

Millman, D. (2008) The essential principles of graphic design. Mies ; Hove: RotoVision.

Moosmaan, Christine (2017) Rock ’n’ Roll and Disziplin, You don’t have to be a boring white man, In: Novum November 2017 p.48,49.

Noble, I. and Bestley, R. (2016) Visual research: an introduction to research methodologies in graphic design. London: Fairchild Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Roberts, L. (2006) Good: an introduction to ethics in graphic design. London: AVA Academia.

Schulz, Bettina (2017) Mind the Gap, In: Novum November 2017 p.48,49.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s