I can remember when I was younger that I’d spend a lot of my time climbing things (I also spent a lot of time destroying things…). There was always another tree to climb, or wall, or something to scale.
I can remember countless times the loving words of my parents running through my head as I ran up those trees: “Be careful or you’ll poke your eye out.”
And I can remember thinking “Yeah, whatever…!”
It was up until the point where my Heavenly Father decided that my eyes weren’t as good as I thought them to be and I needed glasses. My eye sight was indeed a precious gift (and of course at the time I thought this looked extremely nerdy… but now I’ve found it makes you a “cool” guy).
There’s something special about how the mind works with our eyesight, how there’s, for a lack of better terms, visual memory that we employ almost every day. How many times have you thought
“Well, I can’t remember what I was looking for or what I needed, but I’ll know it when I see it.”
This effect hasn’t been well developed nor thought out for the online space… but we’re getting there. And it’s things like Ryan Sit’s PicClick and FavThumbs that are kindly and gently reminding us that we should definitely be spending a little more time with how we develop graphically.
You see, besides the “coolness” factor of PicClick or FavThumbs is a foundational design element that is based on need. It’s this marriage, between visual styling and consumer-felt need that is the most crucial, especially in today’s online digital extravaganza. You can be “wow’d” almost anywhere, but are those things that go pop satisfying a need or a sensation?
That’s where it’s most crucial for us, the Church, in the online space and I struggle with this every single day. As one who is leading the “creative” for potential high-volume, high trafficked websites, my job is to make sure that functional and pragmatic elements of the site are married with a visual appeal that matters.
I don’t take this lightly, and neither should you. In a digital world where few sites are truly “sticky” we’ve got to provide something that doesn’t offend the audience’s most basic sensibilities but shows them something truly worth investigating further.
Make it so when the come, they say “Ah, now that was what I was looking for…”