1) What kind/type of website is it (commercial, fan site, informative, helpdesk, forum for art and culture or music etc).
This website showcases the work of a design company called Pentagram. This website is commercial and informative.
‘Pentagram is the world’s largest independent design consultancy. The firm is owned and run by 16 partners, a group of friends who are all leaders in their individual creative fields.
We work in London, New York, Berlin and Austin. We design everything: architecture, interiors, products, identities, publications, posters, books, exhibitions, websites, and digital installations.’
Above quote from: http://www.pentagram.com/work/#/all/all/newest/
This links to who is the website for, who is it directed at? Who might be using it.
This website is directed at any person in business or any companies who have a product or service that they want to promote/brand. The website shows that Pentagram can provide a number of different design services as explained above. I think this site might be directed at large, national and international companies. I recognise a lot of the brand names such as Tiffany’s and Guitar Hero. I zoomed out to 50% to get this screen shot.
Students like myself may also look at this site.
You then need to evaluate it in terms of its function and user group – what will they think of it?
As a student I find this site very impressive as I see this company has been trusted to design for the world’s leading brands. I assume a large company would also feel like this.
What are the visual aesthetics of the content of the website? What is the immediate ‘feel’ of it? A PMI might help
Plus – I immediately thought the layout was quite fresh with the white background. It is well-ordered. I am impressed that they have managed to put all this information into one website and split it into groups and make sense of it. There are a lot of links on the left hand side where you can click for further information about each design.
Minus – I felt immediately over-whelmed by all the different images on the websites homepage. My first thought was ‘Agh where on earth do I start/click!?’ I wasn’t sure exactly which email address I would use for inquires, especially if you want to inquire but don’t live in London, New York, Berlin or Austin.
Interesting – They have done so many briefs for so many companies. It is interesting that this site combines left to right scrolling with top to bottom scrolling.
ask WHY it has been designed like this and HOW does it communicate.
I see this site uses left to right scrolling to show its ideas and designs and then if you click for more information the scrolling changes to top to bottom scrolling. I assume this is because people find it easier to look at images left to right horizontally and read text top to bottom vertically. Using type, images and menus is how this site communicates. There is also a search option.
Page size/length. Are these beneficial to the site or do they make it difficult?
I didn’t find any problem with the page size and length. It seemed to work fine. I did have problems scrolling which I will discuss later.
How are images used? PMI but be specific about effectiveness and purpose
Plus – There are images for every project they have worked on. This site showcases the images clearly and effectively. The purpose it to show different stages in the development of a brand and how it looks today. The pictures are colourful and eye-catching.
Interesting – I didn’t expect to see pictures of interiors.
Minus – I tried to click to zoom in but there is no option to do that. I can zoom in using my browser but the pictures and type blurred after a while.
How is typography used? PMI being specific about:
- Tone of voice of the type
- Choice of typefaces – are they effective for screen use?
- Bulk or lack of type – is it too much, too blocky, too small etc. Say HOW/WHY it works or does not work
Plus – The typeface used for their logo is Modern No. 20 which is a really classy looking serif. See picture below. I don’t see why this wouldn’t be effective for screen use.
There is a choice to click ‘See more about this product’ and this loads a page (see picture below) which has detailed information. I don’t think there is too much type anywhere on this site that I have seen. I found the choice for extra information very useful and they have set it out in a very helpful and effective way. The type is not too small for me to read.
Minus – I can’t think of any major problems with the type here. Perhaps they could have used a more individual typeface than Arial in 13.5. Perhaps they had a reason to use Arial but I don’t know what that would be. Perhaps they are using Arial because they are business like in their tone so they want to put that across with a straightforward, no bells and whistles typeface. I think Arial is effective for screen use but I can’t say I find it very appealing. Perhaps because I’ve seen it so many times it looks common to me now. See picture below.
Interesting – The tone of voice is very business like and there is little attempt at humour like there was in the Carter Wong site. These people are not interested in being your friend. They only want to produce the best designs for you. They don’t need to charm you, they are the best.
Back ground colours and textures? Effective or distracting? How and Why.
The background is all white so it isn’t distracting. I think it is effective because the photos really stand out as if they were in your hand. I zoomed out to 50% using my browser to get this screen shot.
Does it have gimmicks, animations etc? How and why are they effective or not?
The only gimmick I can think of is that it uses left to right scrolling. The other thing is the way the screen opens up and closes. See below. This is how it looks before you click on a design:
Then lets say you click on the design called Whitney. The screen opens up and it looks like this:
When you click close it closes and goes back to the first screen. I do think this is effective because its something interesting and different and it keeps other designs on the page at the same time.
Is the unity of the website spoiled (or aided) by commercial banners and so on?
There are no commercial banners or adverts which is nice as I’m not distracted.
Navigation – is it easy and straightforward or difficult and frustrating? Describe HOW and WHY this is so. Be specific as this is very important.
I really like the navigation because its something different from the normal up and down scrolling. At first I thought it would be difficult to know where to click but you just have to jump in and start looking at different designs.
I spent a minute clicking here and wondering why I wasn’t able to scroll along to the right. In the end I worked out that you have to click and drag this bar and wait for more designs to load. Not just click on the little arrow. After I’d worked that out I didn’t have any other problems with the navigation.
How do design elements such as link buttons help the navigation?
The menu with the links on the left of each of the designs is really useful. If you click ‘See more about this product’ another page loads (see above for pictures of Windows designs) and from there you can click for more links for further information and articles.
Add any other points or comments not addressed directly by these questions.
It was amazing to see all the big brand names. I forgot that these have all been designed by a person. Sometimes I forget that a person designed these brand identities as opposed to them just always being there. This company is pretty amazing.