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After my post of how ridiculous cell phones are becoming I have then noticed how much lower cell phones have fallen. At first the updates of cell phone design were all basic logical upgrades. Then they became more excessive by adding games and internet browsers on the phone.

Now I have come to learn that a brand new cell phone design that is based off one of the most influential anime series to ever hit the air, Evangelion. They took the cell phone design the characters used in the show and have reproduced it to an actual cell phone. It even has the brand of Nerv, the name of the company the protagonists work for, on the cell phone itself.

The phone itself only works in Japan so clearly it’s only geared towards the Japanese fanbase of the show.  The price alone is 99.540 YEN which is pretty damn expensive. What’s even more amazing about this cell phone is that it sold out during its first release in a matter of hours. I never would have thought a fanbase for a single cartoon series would have so much influence on design and generate profit.

It does worry me though that designers are falling back on things as frivolous as japanese anime as motifs for their designs. What’s even more frightening is that it worked in Japan…

I never really thought about it until now, but Cell phones are getting ridiculous these days. With all the gadgets they come with most people don’t even know all the functions their cell phones provide these days. I think I know the cause of this…Because there’s too damn many!

The idea of having a cell phone was to be able of being reached when you’re out of the house. That alone made them more than useful to have. One of the big changes was the reduction in size. I can’t believe how huge they once were!

Soon after they got a built in clock so you could tell the time as well, amazing! More and more useful features came with it, like calendars and all this. All the ideas were fresh functional and covered necessities.

Unfortunately in the present day we’ve ran out of good ideas and covered all the things we need to stay on schedule and get by on a day to day basis. Now cell phones can have games in them and can brows the internet. Why the hell would you browse the internet on your cell phone? you can’t wait to get on your computer? or better yet have a laptop that can access the internet?

In any case I think all these new functions are so useless and are simply becoming reasons to jacking up the price on all these cell phones. What’s worse is that young adults and teenagers buy all these expensive new phones that come with all these countless features, and then they break them or lose them. My goodness…

By the way guys, if you’re one of the people throwing away old cell phones and buying new ones recycle. Here’s a link

http://www.ecojoes.com/recycle-your-cell-phone-for-money-and-for-great-justice/

 

Brands are something everyone sees everyday. We recognize them from the imagery, the colours and even the feel. Unfortunately people, even myself at one point, believed that branding is simply something that has a logo slapped on top of it.

After a presentation given in class I have come to learn that branding goes far being simply the way you present your work. The way you talk and write are part of your brand, the clothes you usually wear is part of your brand. Everything you do is all part of your brand. When I thought about that, well it scared the hell out of me.

I started looking around in that respect at all these big names like Mac computers as apposed to PC. Both are good and both do the same thing. They work the i pod, they work adobe programs for me. So why do they feel so different.

With Mac I get s feeling of simplicity and clean functional use. Even their Apple store in the Mall looked clean enough to eat off of, and everything was so neatly placed.

applestore3

When I enter a PC oriented store, it’s you basic electronics layout. Computer shelves stack on top of each other and all these boxes stuffed under counters. It feels much more cluttered and complex as opposed to their competition.

storeright

Even the service is fairly different. In the Apple store not one person would bother to ask me if I needed assistance, because everything was already out to play with. If you have a question find out for yourself, which is a nice way to hook the target to the product. In the PC store, they jump on you like a dog to a fire hydrant.

So branding is more than the big apple picture, or the colours, it’s EVERYTHING.

 

As designers of the new age, it’s difficult to bring something new to the plate, especially after so many generation of designers that have come before us. But we all sometimes try to bring a new taste to the table. I commend the initiative but think twice before going through with it.

Upon looking at webpages the main menu are ALWAYS located on either the left side of the page or across the top. This is simply the traditional way of doing this, unless the site is interactively designed in a way that the web surfer can play with it.

screenshot

screenshot

While working in class we discussed our webpage designs with one another and some of the people had placed their menus on the right side of the page. Immediately I cocked an eyebrow and though “hey, that’s interesting”.
The motivation of the designer was to catch peoples’ eye by going against the grain and doing something different. I protested against the thought saying that trying to be creative/different is nice, but not at the cost of function. Another student countered my disapproval and said that it was a powerful luring tool, which would draw the viewers eye.

I looked through more wilder websites that would have more interactivity and complexity to them, and STILL the menu is either across the top of on the left side of the screen.

Screenshot of Newgrounds

Screenshot of Newgrounds

I spoke with a teacher that taught me last year and brought this up with him, and what he told me was extremely fascinating. He said “Do you think that the student who did that in class was the first person to try that?!  There have been thousands of designers before them that tried it and gave up on it. You know why? BECAUSE IT DOESN’T WORK!” He explained about the technical aspects as the many, many issues come from putting, such as the menu not being visible on screen depending on the size of the screen, people don’t want to go hunting for main menus and other things as such.

Very interesting thought in my mind.

Poking through various websites for a school project really got me thinking about their architecture. After reading through the audit I’ve come to learn some rather valid points about websites and their layouts, such as simplicity, knowing one’s location etc.

I’ve also come to realize how hard it is to botch up a website, unless the appearance and content does not honor the product or that which the site is about. Out of the 5 sites I peeked at I have come to conclude that the strongest site was Second Cup; ironically, I’ve been told the coffee company is also going bankrupt.
Some would say that the sites appearance is cliche, but you know what, from looking at the colour scheme and images, it simply SCREAMS “coffee”. Going through the site and seeing all their products would make anyone who was into coffee want to try some of the stuff. Heck, I don’t drink coffee and I wanted to try tasting some of them.

Second Cup screenshot

Second Cup screenshot

On the other hand Starbucks, the most successful coffee company that I know of, had the weakest site in my opinion. You don’t even see coffee on the home page, in fact the logo itself is only seen tucked away in the upper corner. It had all this advertising for charity about it. I actually had to go hunting for the product in the site. It did have everything, information of the company, news, you can even order coffee.

Starbucks screenshot

Starbucks screenshot

I asked my instructor about the Starbucks site and he simply told me their methods. They’re already the biggest fish in the pond, they already know people are eating our of the palm of their hand. Now they simply have to make them look less monopolizing with all these charity videos and what not on their site. Really clever…

In class we’ve discussed of the various things that we’ll be covering, such as web design, the layout of web pages and interfaces. But one of the things that caught me off guard was design blog sites, websites that are compoese of people bloggin about design and the sorts.

Blogs were rather fogeirgn, to me, I always believed them to be for internet junkies who simply have nothing better to do with their time other than post comments and opinions on whatever topic floats around on the web these days. Aparantly, some of these blog sites are a little more specialized than one would believe. Their topics are simply random statements and opinions, but focused brief thoughts on a set number of topics and interests that are shared with other people.

For a quick activity in class we got into groups to check out some of these blog sites, and one of the ones we got to check out was a site called SwissMiss, a design blog/studio ran by a woman called Tina Roth Einsenberg.

blog screen

At first glance of the blog site I was not that compelled to read any of it. It felt to me it was more posting things up than it was stating something or sharing ideas or thoughts. Some of the blogs only have 3 words to them. Others have paragraphs. The layout to the site wasn’t too impressive either, a LOT of white space, and not in an artistic sense. The content didn’t seem too bad though once I was forced to look through it.

This was my first introduction to blogs, blogging and I feel I’m starting to get a bit more of an understanding of blogs all together.