Making of TSR Part 2: The Goals

Jan 28, 2016

Through researching website design by other theater artists, I realized that there is room for improvement. I observed some trends that I thought could be improved upon. Generally, they included the following:

  • Websites were either too verbose or not verbose enough.
    Too much information conveyed conceit, and too little information conveyed inexperience.
  • Website aesthetics felt dated and unconformed.
    Images, text, layout, and flow presented as if they relied too heavily on the aesthetics set forth by a template and thus fell short of what the artist what truly trying to convey about themselves. Websites lacked polish and seemed to settle for the conditions exclusively laid out by the template or service that the designer was using.
  • Websites didn’t scale well.
    These formatting faults were usually exposed on mobile web browsers, manifesting as misaligned text, disproportional scaling of components, or loss of information.

I took these critical findings and extrapolated some constructive goals from them:

  • Strike the right balance between simplicity and engagement.
    Make relevant information available quickly, with as few button clicks as possible.

    According to this time.com article, 55% of average website viewers spend less than 15 seconds on a website. Conservatively, I estimated that viewers will spend between 15 seconds and a few minutes on the site.
  • Convey a sense of identity through visual components
    With the idea that viewers have limited time frame in mind, I thought the website should convey this identity though text, graphics, and color scheme. As such, I used a couple of tools at my disposal. I heightened my Photoshop skills with Google. I used Google’s Font Library to examine the feel of different fonts, how they convey information, and how they fit in relationship to other fonts. I also used this nifty website, Colour Lovers, to search hundreds of user-created color palettes and inspire my own color combinations.
  • Strike a balance between simplicity and complexity.
    I discussed in a previous blog post how the WordPress theme, DIVI, to can help to strike this balance.
  • Experiment with creating a brand identity.
    A great article on Wix.com details the importance of website branding, saying:

“The design needs to reflect your brand identity. When you create a website, you need to make sure that the colors, the texts, the images, the navigation and everything else is geared towards optimized representation of your brand. Think of brand identity as the set of values and ideas that you want people to associate with your company. Design can help you express these ideas to the public. Google, for example, is using a minimalistic design that conveys simplicity and supports their techie image. Ben & Jerry’s, on the other hand, are doing a fantastic job in creating a playful, witty and fun identity that relies on crazy color schemes, childish icons and wacky copyrighting.”

Data indicates that competent branding is linked to increased sales. Although this is a portfolio website, I am ultimately selling a service. This great article helps to define some things I have actively considered while constructing this website. I sketched a flowchart that has helped to define my process:

More to come soon!

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