Patrick Coyne on Web DesignThe May/June 2009 issue of Communication Arts presents the results of the magazine's fifteenth Interactive Annual competition. Editor Patrick Coyne introduces the thirty-five winners with an Editor's column that is basically an anthology of comments on likes and dislikes from the competition's jurors.
Coyne's thought-provoking column doesn't seem to be available online so, with the advice that you try to get your hands on a copy of the May/June issue, I'll provide something of a teaser by citing some of my favorite passages.
"A common thought that pervaded all discussion among the judges was that we really appreciated the minimalistic approach to design, user experience and navigation this year." (A comment from Amber Bezahler, managing director of an ad agency in Vancouver.)
"I was really excited to see some of the mobile stuff, like the iPhone Apps and the smaller Web sites, because they take the other extreme [from info- and media-heavy sites]. They're very small, very efficient experiences, and some are really beautiful and meticulously done." (A comment from Michelangelo Capraro, co-founder of an interactive design firm in San Francisco.)
The dramatic increase in the use of video has been the big topic over the last several years, and this year's jury was particularly critical of its overuse.
. . .
"People still don't know how to handle [video] properly because we're experiencing these crazy-long wait times. For what? As a user, the impact that you're getting in terms of what you're investing timewise isn't quite there yet." (A comment from Stacey Mulcahy, a Flash designer)
"A lot of companies are trying to engage audiences and they thought games would be a good way to do it. In the end I voted most of them out because they were trying too hard, and the amount of fun that you actually were able to have wasn't worth the effort." (A comment from Jason Ring, creative director of an ad agency in San Francisco)
"It goes back to that basic question we ask ourselves a lot, 'Why does this brand need a Web site and who would ever want to go there?' That's not to say that people don't want to interact with the brand or the brand doesn't have something to say to them, but it's really looking at where the right place is for that interaction to take place with the idea of reaching people where they already are as opposed to driving them to a place where they're not." (A comment ftrom Jay Zasa, executive creative director at a New York ad agency)
You can see the winning interactive projects here.