Inspiration: Where Does It Come From For Designers In The 2-D World (InterWebs/Mobile)?
As exciting and cool as it is to be tasked with designing Symantec’s mobile phase II “look”, I eventually felt a lot of pressure to make it not only better than what it is today, but to make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye and “touch.” Do you know that phrase, “we eat with our eyes first?” Well in this case, “we (get the urge to) use with our eyes first.”
It is important that when someone comes to m.symantec.com, the “look and touch” not be hard, rough, soft, or squishy. It should feel sophisticated, smooth, and secure – better yet, in Symantec’s lingo that would mean CONFIDENT!
So with my stacked-up pressure, I got on my iPhone to brainstorm. After ten minutes or so, all of the mobile sites started to look the same to me – the same white/minimal background, a menagerie of dual-colored buttons plus right arrows, and blue-ish links anchored with very plain back-to-top buttons/links. What was going on???!! Well, it occurred to me that in the “interwebs/mobile” world, the more often a visual element is repeated, the more it becomes an unspoken standard. So as I put my iPhone down in utter disappointment, I started to brainstorm old-school style – books and magazines! I had Communication Arts, How, Computer Arts, and some interior design books. I value all of these resources for their inspiring and industry-leading compilations.
As I thumbed through the magazines (there is something awesome about inspiration you can hold in your hands), I realized that stepping out of the InterWeb helped me to think broader. This made for a natural transition into sketching ideas and solutions on paper and in my mind – nature’s best and most eco-friendly white board. And of course, I didn’t forget about including the business, user-interface (good-bye large screen and hovers), and brand requirements.
As for the big reveal, stay tuned for my project’s visual trials and proposals!