Jason Santa Maria – Storytelling by Design
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jason Santa Maria and saw his presentaion at An Event Apart:Chicago He had a really great message about graphic design on the web that struck me. He said, “design can’t not communicate,” (a quote from David Carson). It made me think about how a lot of people out there are cranking out website after website in an assembly line style.
Common misconception: We can put some links up here, and throw some stock photos in there…add a little bit of ‘pop’ and ‘pizazz’ and miraculously we have a nice website. Nope! Wrong answer.
What happened to creating a memorable user experience? What happened to making something graphically resonating that really speaks to the clients story and purpose? What happened to creativity and inspiration? What happened to the human element? Today, your users are more than just hits, now they are your readership (return visitors) – the most important type of users on your site.
“To measure site success, you should count only loyal users who return repeatedly. ” -Jacob Nielsen
Jason used Wired Magazine as an example of how design is still failing on the web. He showed a 2-page spread for one of the top stories in the printed issue – an awesome style that really geared you up for the article and got you feeling the vibe. Vivid colors, drama, flow, and full on creativity were instantly making this article stand out from the rest. Next, he showed the same article online. Immediately the difference was clear…black text, white background, with a small image popped into the text left aligned. I know, I know, there is a time and a place for everything (there are lots of places where black text on a white background works great), but for the featured article in the monthly issue – there was no argument which one won out on telling the story in style.
C’mon folks. Use the talent that you have been given and the skills that you have mastered – embrace this medium that we call the world wide web and go back to basics – inspire your users with stories worth reading, and test the boundaries of your online self. Do it today, you wont be sorry…
Jason has already mastered the art of CSS, web design and the power of storytelling. See his mastery here.