Tag Archives: UI

Three Ways To Make Hospitality Websites Better

Three Ways To Make Hospitality Websites Better

Plenty of people have spoken eloquently and hilariously about what is wrong with hospitality websites, but getting it right isn’t rocket surgery, and it shouldn’t cost you a fortune. Over the years we’ve learned a few things both through our work and because we’re a studio full of people who enjoy good food and local watering holes. Here are our three commandments of good hospitality websites:

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Congratulations to a new old client

There have been some changes at Melbourne jeweller Kozminsky in the past year, and one of the results has been that former Kozminsky director Ben Albrecht has struck out on his own to create a vibrant new business.

Launching a new business is challenging, and we wanted to help Ben to make his fine jewellery and services as visible as possible. In addition to the creation of a simple and timeless brand, we created and built a website as beautiful as the jewellery that features on it.

Take a look at the new Ben Albrecht Jewellery website – it looks as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer or tablet.

Just don’t blame us if you end up buying yourself something special.

High resolution, low addressability: The challenges of designing for LCD displays

Over the course of my design career, I’ve watched with interest as the resolution and quality of screens-based devices has improved. It hasn’t happened at the pace of Moore’s Law, but things have certainly been getting better all the time.

Over the past five years, the quality of such devices has improved to the point where the current iPhone 4S and latest iPad sport what is known as a retina screen – a screen resolution so high that the human eye cannot distinguish between pixels. Screens are now effectively better at showing images and text than paper is.

For interface designers, this has been a wonderful boon. No longer are we constrained to 72 pixel per inch resolutions with their jagged text and roughly-stepped gradients.

Well, as long as we’re designing for devices that retail for almost $1000, that is.

Screens are however finding their way to places and uses we would never have thought possible a few years ago, and some of these devices are designed to be low enough in cost as to be distributed tremendously widely.

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Floate at Random Hacks of Kindness

We recently participated with DiUS for their efforts at Random Hacks of Kindness. Daryl Wilding-McBride wrote about it at the DiUS website.

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Stop designing for engineers

I’ve been around web design since the start of the web. I became despondent with the state of web design in the late 90s and gave up on it almost entirely around 2002.

I was sick of the fact that the tools, technologies and standards continued to provide a less-nuanced toolkit for designers to work with. I was sick of the state of flux around workflow. And I was tired of the relative immaturity of the industry as a whole.

Recent years have changed most (but not all) of that. Technologies and platforms exist that allow designers, writers and editors to create rich and compelling experiences for readers. We’ve got all the tools at our disposal.

And in some ways, I’m more despondent than ever.

As web design has become more and more specialised, I worry that designers have started adopting the mindset of engineers. Instead of constantly thinking about the best way to convey an idea – the best way to create a spark in the mind of a reader – I see designers simply working out how to force ‘content’ into templates.

It’s not our role to make engineers happy. Our role is to use our specialised skills to convey ideas and foster understanding. There should be considerable tension between the engineer’s demands for efficiency, and our constant push for effectiveness.

If something you’ve designed loses nothing by being viewed in an RSS reader, or by being scraped into Instapaper, then you’re simply not doing your job.