A blog exploring pharmaceutical relationship marketing, emarketing and innovation with a focus on rare disorders.
The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Fractionization of Design

Posted by | 10:20am on Tuesday, June 3, 2008

There is a fractionization of information going on and our web design should follow.  

old_book.jpgBooks took over 500 years to develop a universally understood interface. The first feature length movies were basically filmed stage plays, and it’s taken 80 years to develop from that into the MTV aesthetic. Is it any wonder it is taking us some time to figure out how to design websites?

When we pick up a book, we already know how to manage its particular interface. We all know that we open books from left to right, that there is a table of contents, pages have numbers, and it possibly even has an index. We look right past this to interact directly with the stories or information — the content if you will — housed in the interface.

Movies first looked a lot like plays since that was the primary way audiences processed information generated through a visual narrative. Over the years, creative people experimented with elements like faster cuts, better audio, and special effects to develop a visual shorthand.

interface.jpgWe are still in the infancy of interface design for the web. Most web sites are building off the book structure, with tabs that look like a table of contents, and a beautiful “cover”. This assumes that people will come to your homepage first and that you are telling a linear story. With the rise of search, and especially Google, this is not a useful assumption.

There is a fractionization of information going on and our web design should follow. We know from Jakob Nielson that people are goal oriented on the web. Really understanding this means that we don’t design beautiful homepages solely to be pretty. We also don’t use linear structures, metaphoric language, and lots of copy to convey most ideas. The whole user experience is now the brand, and brands are about small interactions.

This transformation of how we experience information using the web is happening faster than we expected, and the marketers who do it the best will be the winners in next few years.

Top photo by domesticat, bottom photo by Hobvias Sudoneighm

About Wendy White

Since founding Siren Interactive in 1999, Wendy has been recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of niche pharma brands, patient empowerment and online marketing. Her vision for how the internet can facilitate interactions and provide crucial information that patients, caregivers and their healthcare providers previously struggled to find has propelled Siren to the forefront of relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies.

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