IXD103 Element Collage

Dan Mall takes Samantha Warren’s style tyles a step further apply a more collaged approach resulting in an element collage. Mall describes wireframes and moodboards to be too abstract and I have to say I agree. When pitching an idea in the form of a wireframe or moodboard the realisation can be very different to what the clients expectations are. I think this is because it is too difficult to visualise. Find Hall’s blueprint metaphor to be a really good representation of the problem.

“ find it akin to showing someone a blueprint of their dream house and asking them what curtains would fit well in the space.”

In Malls collaged version of the style tyle this problem is addressed as it allows for lots of visual aids to encourage productive conversation and help the client to get as full an understanding of the visual approach being taken as possible. I also like how distinctive element collages are when creating on a landscape canvas against an actual website. I think this is helpful as it allows the client to get an understanding of what they’re looking at i.e. a mix of different styles and ideas rather than a complete mock-up. It also means ideas can be added at any time without having to follow the structure of a website.

Element collage examples

Before creating my own element collage I went and looked at some examples to review the items covered. From the examples I looked at, a couple of which I have included above, a primary focus appears to be on buttons, colour palettes, imagery and text styles. I, therefore, looked at each of these areas in my own element collage shown below.

Element Collage

I also considered elements I felt were important in relation to my portfolio site and that I wanted to consider various options. The included my top nav bar on desktop and mobile responsive view, image groupings and text forms. Overall I found this to be a great exercise to get various ideas flowing and a helpful addition to the UI design process.

What have I learnt?

  • It’s really important to consider how to improve communication with clients during the design process as this is vital in creating the outcome the client is looking for.
  • Element collages are a great visual aid to guide client conversations about UI design.
  • Creating an element collage can be a great way to get ideas out visually without having to create a full website mock-up.

How can I apply this to my work in future?

  • I really like the inclusion of an element collage in the UI design process and this is definitely something I want to continue to do particularly when working with clients or when wanting feedback from other designers.
  • It’s always good to find new ways to improve communication with clients and the end-user and element collage a great way to approach this. I’d also be interested to see if a similar approach could be taken outside of the sphere of UI design and perhaps incorporated in other areas such as logo design and branding.
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