artist // designer // entrepreneur

Designing Conceptually

I think designing conceptually is always what's powered my web interfaces. At first it was themed but now it seems to have evolved. Here's Pragmatic Energy as an example of a recent project where conceptual thinking led to a different approach in slideshow execution. Pragmatic Energy is a product that essentially allows food manufacturers to save energy in their processes. Saving energy equates to saving money and the environment, the hot button topic right now.

The Concept

[caption id="attachment_282" align="alignleft" width="625" caption="Click for full view"]Pragmatic Energy[/caption]

The first thing we wanted to do was to make an impression and to do so, what best way that using some infographic to communicate the problem being solved. We focused it on hard facts about how the industry wastes energy. By highlighting the problem, it makes the product Pragmatic Energy is working on more a necessity than anything else.

Beyond that, the concept was to design a slideshow that suggested to people how they can save by using less. Here's how it works: According to W3C Schools 85.1% of users have resolutions higher than 1024px. This means when vision the website, you're likly to see two slides (1.5 the least) instead of just one. The slide on the left indicates Pragmatic Energy as the safe zone. The slide on the right indicates the waste zone. If you resize your browser, you commit an act of saving which aligns with Pragmatic Energy. By having such a high resolution... well, you're wasting and yes, I know, that's an assumption. It's a fair one though because a 15" display certainly doesn't pull the same power as a 13".

So what's the concept? Well, it's a slideshow that subliminally communicates Pragmatic Energy's mission.

I know some of you might be going... "I don't get it. How do you expect anyone to get it?" Well, you're right, I don't expect anyone to get it because they don't have to. The point is that designing conceptually led me to a very different approach in designing this slideshow. I'm sure you know of all the types of slideshow but admittedly, the execution and application of this one gives the site a unique look and feel.

So the point being made here is not the communication of the concept but rather how conceptual thinking led to a more creative approach to what I could have been generic. It would have been nice to have explored the concept further to make communication clearer but budget and time didn't allow.

Nevertheless, I'm happy with the outcome and hope that point is clear... conceptual designing can lead to better design. What are your thoughts?