research design laboratory


One of the tasks we set out for ourselves while working together in Montreal was to redesign our own site and brand. Hanging out at the Archinodes HQ, we started tossing around ideas and examples of things we like. It quickly became apparent that both a very simple and visual compelling site were two of the priorities. Prior to coming out to Montreal, Jeff and I had thought it would be interesting to kinda document the trip with - a social media toy we and a few million of our closest friends have been playing around with a fair bit lately. Treating our snapshots with retro filters as Intsagram does - plus a slew of similar apps out there - has become all the rage with the kids these days. And while the trend towards this kind of treatment can be a bit cheesey, there’s no denying it can make for some neat looking images. I think it was Mél who first suggested incorporating these type of images into the new design. Part of the attraction to these images was their square aspect ratio. Working with square images give us a bunch of design freedom rather than having to accommodate the more traditional portrait and landscape. Plus we’re really liking how the distorted/pixelated images look when stretched to the full size of the browser. In general we’re liking the image background. We’re also feeling that we’d like to use a #grid layout somewhere on the site. Organising content in a grid is something that we’ve worked with before and one that is showing up more and more in design these days. The grid provides both an aesthetic cleanliness and also gives users opportunities for discovery. I kinda like the idea of making the user work a little to figure things out. The trick is to accomplish this while keeping them engaged and not bury the content too deep.