• Great Design is Jargon-Free

    …never use a fancy word when a simpler one will do.

    Scott Berkun

    When talking about good web design, so often content is left out of the discussion. The funny thing about that is the content is what makes the site most of the time. There are exceptions of course, like photo-only sites, but almost every website out there guides you through the design with words.

    Using jargon doesn’t make a design standout. It just confuses the message and if you can’t get the correct message across, then your design has failed. On Emersian I describe Makers { Vault } as so:

    Finding the right tools to really nail a design can be a pain in the ass. It can also be very expensive. Makers { Vault } helps you find that one design resource you need at a good price.

    Imagine if I had described it like this instead.

    A social-sharing conglomerate meant to proliferate your toolbox through generous price incentives that epitomize what a bargain should be.

    I don’t even know if that makes sense and I wrote it. One of the reasons simple is hard to do in web design is because it is extremely difficult to write simple and effective copy. Instead we often try to mask it by over-describing and filling the design up with words that we fill are intelligent. It is no different than using a ton of drop shadows and gradients to mask the lack of spacing and weak typography in a design.

    If you’re a designer who doesn’t like to handle the copy because someone from Marketing always comes in to do it, then how can you effectively portray your design vision? It isn’t always possible to control the copy, but with a better understanding of what makes great copy in a design you can at least provide your feedback and stand your ground to copy that might potentially ruin things. One of the most overlooked designers in any field is the copywriter. They are so undervalued and yet can help transform your design from something that is good enough into something great. It is important that you don’t let copy become a roadblock to great design.

    Finally, once you’ve nailed the copy, make sure to make it look good. Typography is the foundation of the web.

    Examples

    These are just two examples of companies that use copy that is easy to understand and it helps to magnify the design around it.

    1. gravitydrift reblogged this from drawar and added:
      When talking about good web design, so often content is left out of the discussion.
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