Designing Fun

by Debra Levin Gelman

19 Reader Comments

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  1. Sometimes I think that we get too caught up in what I call “Safety net design” We make a clean and safe design, that while it looks good. It doesn’t have that soul, it doesn’t break that boundary that others are doing. Google is a good example of taking a logo and making it interactive and fun during special events. As of this writing, Lucy Ball’s birthday was the last one they presented in a fun way. Great article!
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  2. Thanks, @jcgallaher! Interesting take.  I think “fun” is less about breaking boundaries and more about finding opportunities for unexpected engagement.  And I agree, Google does a great job of this with their doodles!
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  3. Nice article, and broadly I agree with it. Not sure about the Bloomberg v Reuters example though. I agree that the Reuters map is superficially more attractive, and ‘playable’, but you assume that both UIs share a common purpose, and that users approach them with the same goals. If I want to understand where each stock exchange is located, then Reuters does that best. But, if I want to quickly compare and contrast the state of various indexes, then the Bloomberg table wins hands down. I can process the data on Bloomberg quickly and efficiently. On Reuters comparisons are more difficult to make. The Wanderfly v Orbitz example though was a better example of improving the user experience through ‘play’. Again though, each site begins with different assumptions about its’ users. Wanderfly, that you don’t know where you want to go, and so it will help you find out. Orbitz, that you know where and how, but need to book the flights, hotels etc. Neither approach is wrong, they are just catering for slightly different customers. This doesn’t undermine your article, but it doesn’t provide the reinforcement that the argument deserves.
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  4. BarryRichards, thanks for the insight. I agree with you.  The Reuters example is more enjoyable to use if you’re looking for information about a specific market, but the Bloomberg one provides additional context and scannability.  Thus, the comparison is a little off.
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  5. This has a lot of useful insight into meeting client expectations. I think the title of the article sells it a little short - this is relevant whether you’re designing for ‘fun’, or for ‘vibrant’,‘quirky’, etc.
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  6. Thanks for your comments!  Agreed, the process works for whatever adjective you’re trying to design. “Fun” seems to be a big one these days, as we move away from purely task-based systems to contextual “experiences.”
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  7. I’ll defintely agree with your insights. With that ‘steps of designing of fun’ to follow you’ll achieved the said design you’ll think is fun.
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  8. I was going to point out that you could do a search and replace on the word “fun” in your article with buzz word du jour, but then in your response to Heyjames you made that exact point. Doesn’t it seem odd to approach a right-brain, emotive, empathetic need with a left-brain formulaic approach? (“Look at all these fun things I’ve added to our website that I got off of A List Apart”) Honestly, has your best work come about because you followed a process? Or because you felt emotionally engaged and excited, creative, passionate, and you knew the client felt the same way?
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  9. i like the way youve broken down the design process into a type of system. sometimes people think design is an ethereal type procedure like an artist with a flash of inspiration but you showed that design involves methodical groundwork does anyone have any good recommendations for online design courses - i can build a website but my design needs help!
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  10. Always a tough brief to create fun especially the first time you do it. But it seems to fall back into the category of most sites you develop for your clients. Take the time to understand/research their business/motives and you will be a long way down the track to a mutually pleasing outcome.
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  11. Great article Linda, thanks for the read. As you mentioned at the start, in almost every project you’ll get clients requesting that the website must perform some kind of generic phrase (pop, flow, urban, etc). While many insist that the specifics are up to you (the designer), this is rarely true. Probe the client, discuss it with them, and you’ll often find out exactly what they’re after.
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  12. martypdx - I don’t at all believe process is separate from emotional engagement.  And I can honestly say my best work HAS come about from following a user-centered design process - a process that made me feel engaged and excited.  If a process feels “formulaic” to you, it may be because it’s the wrong process for what you’re trying to do. That being said, I agree that there’s definitely a right-brain, “more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts” component to any type of design.  My thinking is, if you, your client and your users are in sync in terms of what “fun” (or “cool,” or “pretty,” or “interesting or or or) is, you’re one step closer to “getting it right.” You’ll have a better opportunity to channel your passion and creativity into something that will instill the same passion and creativity in your audience. Deb
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  13. Definitely a must to have fun with the design, need not be tedious and annoying our work, anywhere can do more nice things. Let’s Fun :)
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  14. We completely agree, sometimes it’s hard to find out exactly what the client wants. Adding textures and features to the site does enhance the viewers’ time on the site; it makes it more pleasurable. At our company, ONDABOX, we allow clients to input their own text. They can also choose their side bars or rearrange their site in any fashion that they want. This makes it easier because they, the client, know exactly what they are looking for; this greatly eliminates the guess work. Thanks Again! This article was very insightful. http://ondabox.com
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  15. Websites nowadays not only need to present the information, but also to create an intriguing user experience.
    Web designers are almost like film makers: they need to tell the story, generate users/audience’s response, consider sound/music, form, transition, and function etc..
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  16. You really get a lot of benefits by designing fun.
    Still the dominant role in Website SEO Optimization is played by site filling that is content.
    As it is known, searchers especially love novelty and originality of a content, but how can you impress the visitor of a site, telling, for example, about transport services, cottage building or furniture? It is good, when your site is dedicated to some new product or service, in the case of traditional themes to create original content almost impossible - here the web designer can use fun.
    Try to look at the advanced goods from this point of view, having replaced boring descriptions with funny stories, pictures or “cases from life”.
    Remember that site traffic with a humorous web design one of the highest; therefore, the use of fun can increase the so desired traffic of your website.
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  17. @for Website Quote Well! I like the way youve broken down the design process into a type of system. sometimes people think design is an ethereal type procedure like an artist with a flash of inspiration but you showed that design involves methodical groundwork. Thanks for nice work on your article.
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  18. For me, they can take advantage of those good design and apply for make money online. Actually graphic design will work if they are professional and attractive.
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  19. Ohhh I love designing fun! I’m absolutely in love with the content of this article and with the site! Thank you. Lesen Sie mehr
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