Where the design community meets.
I love it. Excellent work and nice overall harmony.
Let me write you a book here, I like it so much! :)
If the elements and balance of your site were notes, clips and loops, pages were songs, and the summary of the site, a set in the early afternoon sun by the sea, it would be a deep house set kicking off at 122bpm and bringing in other songs (pages) at 125bpm, and taking the visitor into some moodier songs (pages) from time to time.
"Is everybody ready, ok I'm gonna get this started" - Ohhh man... Glad we don't have to put our hands up.
It has a low frequency vibration that makes your head nod. We got the beat, we got the rhythm, we're moving, we got this - but we can still think and talk.
The general airiness and specifically, the monochromatic illustrations on the home page that guide visitors into the case studies are really well thought out. Those are things that people want to see and you have introduced them with a nice soft touch of theater first.
I have a different take on color. The color grading is appropriate and balanced in most cases. It sets the atmosphere and tone of the site. The use of video with the overlays and how they're color graded is well done. It nicely softens the issue of having to lower the render quality of the video, and yet, lend atmosphere.
The typography feels a bit inconsistent, page to page some times. The vertical height of some H2's in relationship to body copy can be inconsistent and is excessive. That may be a Semplice issue.
The use of the green Brandon H2s on the one case study feel jarring and out of place. You dropped the beat man! What happened!!! :)
The display of design assets on case studies gets clumsy at times, and has render issues on retina. The assets on the Beezy case study are overwhelming and too verbose. The bit about 200+ Sketch Artboards at the end speaks to designers not those seeking to collaborate with designers.
Have a look at what the incredibly talented folks at Instrument do with their case studies and how they present their assets.
Additionally, note how Instrument uses less copy to say more. I would trim the fat off of your case study copy.
I have the same take on the About page as some have expressed and I'm going to take a long riff on it.
This is one of the most important pages of your site, a critical inflection point.
This is your chance to "end the set" - create a bit of theater, and exit the stage. The energy on that page feels flat.
I get the sense you are internally conflicted and straddling the line between being a junior design employee at a company and a freelance design professional.
I want to know more about who "you really are" - the real guy behind this site. I caught a peek with the skating. I got that - old school skate dude in the house.
I want to know how you "really think" - I love the work of Tobias van Schneider because he let's himself out there, I can get an idea of how he thinks.
Your work speaks for its self. The "Download Resume" feels more junior designer, old school and unnecessary here. Your work looks more professional, you don't need a resume download. It will likely drive the value of your work down with this approach. This is where you should weave in your Typeform magic after we get to know who you are.
There's a book every designer should read, which I'll add to these points on the About page to drive the point home.
That book is about persuasion (isn't much of our work about seduction and persuasion) - Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.
The author has identified Six Laws of Persuasion
As designers, we often use these laws (knowingly and unknowingly) and they're woven into our work and language of our digital products.
Some marketing clowns think they're clever and abuse these laws, particularly "Social Proof" - where they will barf that shit all over a page with little talking circle heads of illegible entities that appear to be human in form, next to some fake ass looking quote of praise. Scarcity is also abused - as some digital marketers run their digital properties like a TV informercial. Cheese.
Ok, I let that steam out - now the Laws of Persuasion and how they apply.
Remember I mentioned Tobias. One of the laws is Likeability - his work, his writing, his "About" makes him a likeable guy. As I said before, I sense the straddling of employee and freelancer and trying to appear "professional" - in this sense, you are overplaying your hand. Loosen up and let us see more of who you are and how you roll and you will naturally attract people you want to collaborate with - and filter out the bullshitters you don't want to fuck with.
A last note on feedback brotha, I would remove the "Contact Me" from the top of the home page. You're going in for the kiss and she barely knows your name. Let the site reveal itself more and use a little more finesse if you're going to ask for the kiss.
Again, I really, really love the work - just trying to be constructive.
And, I'm the worst cobbler's son ever and have ZERO room to talk. Shit shoes, too busy making shoes for everyone else. So, there is that.
Finally, finally, for reals - I suspect you may be knowingly/ unknowingly connected to some of my crew in Barcelona. I would be shocked if you weren't. Perhaps you have skated with Derek from Boston.
If you don't know DC people (a community of entrepreneurs) in Barcelona, you should. Reach out to me and I will connect you. They roll how we roll how you roll. The people in the group are always looking for design talent who think like you do.
And - if you are feeling really, really adventurous - and want to get in on the front-lines of a startup and digital product design movement, consider moving to Vietnam.
The momentum of the next wave is here.
That's right, Vietnam - this country is literally a startup and has to be seen to be believed. I riffed on this 3 years ago in this article that got really popular and since then, the scene has exploded.
I'm currently working with a wide variety of players here (companies, venture backed startups, banking, you name it, etc.) - and in the region. Particularly in China, Shenzhen - where one of our projects we're contributing to will IPO in the fall.
We need talent.
If you have an interest in heading this way, holla - maybe easiest to hit me on Twitter and I’ll DM my personal details.
Good luck and again, love your work.
Humbled and really enjoying everything you've said. Going to reply as soon as possible. Thanks a looooot for taking your time to write this!
Thanks a lot for the lengthy post. Loved to read it and the feedback is really valuable. I really get the electronic music analogies as I’ve been fiddling with ableton before I went full into design.
Thanks for pointing it out. I’m trying to find a balance here and I’m not in love also with the Brandon Grotesque h2s. It’s hard to work with fonts on Semplice.
The retina plugin I was using gives me a headache and can’t make it to work properly. Hope I will find something soon to fix this. As for Beezy, hope I can change it soon as it’s under some Intelectual Property and NDA conflicts and I can’t show a lot of stuff.
THANKS a lot for the reference (www.instrument.com). Really enjoyed dissecting the case studies.
Sadly I’ve had a lot of iterations on this one and found that users are not interacting like we think the perfect world should be. Most of them are recruiters or hr people that are quick scanning my about for experience and contact details..
But I totally get what you are saying and agree 100%. I’m going to work on that.
Interesting read. Looked over the six laws and ordered the book. Also, big fan of Tobias and I’m gonna try to loosen up and show more.
Read the article and sounds awesome. Would love to try it out soon and was planning to experience more adventurous and out of comfort zone stuff (tokyo, bangok, dubai, etc..)
Also saw that you are into electronic music. Check out my first pics on Instagram :v
Hey man, thanks for the update.
I'd love to hear from you here from time to time and see how this is going. Keep us posted.
Yeah, music is also a second love here, as well. Funny, I grew up in the punk rock/ hardcore scene of the East Coast (US) straight edge (I was for a good ten minutes), emo, etc., etc., - and used to be in a lot of bands, and had a band house at one time, where we had shows. Good times.
I've been playing with electronic music and more into electronic music for the last 8 years or so. Side passion. Going to UltraSingapore in early September and Above & Beyond are headlining! Looking forward to that one.
I see music, the scene, skating the scene, a lot like design, and the scene. A lot of overlap.
I also purchased an instance of Semplice a while back. In general, given it's Wordpress, it's a nice product and you can tell they are doing what the best they can with it.
When I was playing with it, I found the typography behavior a bit unpredictable.
My suggestion, a better way to achieve balance in the type is rather than focus on the font, focus on the weights of fonts. You are looking for higher contrast, better symmetry, and balance. Also, your project titling font FFMetaBold56, specifically “Aerium: Simplicity through nature” - gets a little clumsy and top heavy. That title checks in at 900 pixels wide. Finally, the “READ MORE” is out of balance with the rest of the typographic scale.
Yeah, total nightmare. I “think” this may solve your problem. Have you considered a responsive image host? ex., https://responsive.io/
This is all positioning. You are likely positioning to the wrong crowd and people. I have a suggestion for getting business. Send three very focused, succinct emails to recently funded startups who catch your attention, every day. It should take you 30 minutes.
Who has the money?
You can see here:
If you wanna step this up, set up a Feedly account, set up feed groups of blogs, track startups you like - and again, just make contact.
Don’t go full on sales dude in your emails - “Hey, hey wanna buy UI” - go on LinkedIn - get the founders emails, Twitter @ them - offer an acute observation, and simply state you are available for collaboration - not I want a job.
If you wanna go FULL ON BEAST - here is another tactic for making contact.
Write articles (valuable, that show case your design philosophy and thinking) - and casually mention companies with a solid observation in a sentence whom you would like to collaborate with - when the article goes live, message their community managers and let them know of the mention. This opens the doors of communication for the future.
If you get over here, don’t hesitate to give me a shout.
Where the design community meets.
Designer News is a large, global community of people working or interested in design and technology.