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on | 4 COMMENTS

Too Dull? Alpha Update and the FamZoo Logo Goes Urban...

Too Dull?

Still thinking about whether I need to jazz up the lettering treatment in my latest revision of the FamZoo logo or just keep it super clean and simple. Here is an example of my recent experimentation:

This injects a little fun and a little color into the lettering without getting cartoonish. It feels a touch unbalanced visually though. I probably need to experiment a bit more. As always, comments are welcome...

Alpha Update

For those of you who may be thinking that I fritter away most of my time tinkering around with the logo in Paint Shop Pro and writing goofy blog entries (ummm, Dad ;-), I just want to reassure you that I have actually been spending the vast majority of my time writing code lately - really!

My first tangible deliverable is an Alpha version of the site for use and evaluation by my own family. Target date: Thanksgiving at the latest. The focus of the Alpha is functional as opposed to visual. In other words, it is about as visually appealing as craigslist - very bare bones look-and-feel-wise. For the Alpha, the majority of my mental energy has been devoted to developing the data model, the "business" logic, and the core page flows (i.e., the key pages on the site and how one moves between them).

My Alpha strategy is in no way meant to diminish the importance of the visual aspects of the site. In fact, an appealing design as well as excellent usability will be essential to FamZoo's success. My feeling (and prior experience) is that I will be far more efficient and successful working with a professional web designers and usability experts if I have a functional, working site for them to interact with in a hands-on way. Allowing them to actually experience the functionality first-hand with real data (instead of just reading, hearing, or guessing about it) minimizes ramp-up time, eliminates conceptual disconnects, surfaces what otherwise would have been unforeseen corner cases, and just generally optimizes communication all-around - particularly if the collaborators are in remote locations (highly likely). If you are interested in reading more about these kinds of product design and development issues, I recommend checking out Marty Cagan's Silicon Valley Product Group Web site and reading articles like this one.

The FamZoo Logo Goes Urban!

As a fun parting note to this week's post, my boys have been working up their own ideas for an edgier, more urban FamZoo logo. Here are their submissions:

Easy extra credit: See if you can match the picture with the associated grade level - elementary, middle, and highschool.

I'm thinking the skull and dripping goop themes might be just a touch off base for a family-oriented site focused on fiscal and social responsibility. Gotta like the artistic and creative efforts though!

4 comments:

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

Bill ... I have to laugh. Sorry. In the IT field that used to be my job predominantly, I had the pleasure of working with many IT engineers, programmers and database administrators ... one thing that I have found to be universally true is that engineers and programmers are usually lousy designers and designers are usually lousy engineers and programmers and database administrators. But you seem to be an engineer with a warring designer sitting on your shoulder ... telling you to create. Honestly ... I think the latest posts are in the category of too dull, but I do think that you had alot of nice submissions from designers that could easily meet somewhere in the middle of dullness and over the top creative. I like the house direction for simplicity, personally, but think the lettering and house need just a bit of spicing up ... just a personal opinion. I'm sure by the time your site is ready, you'll have a perfect logo. I did enjoy seeing these last submissions. AdrienneReitz

BenMac84 aka The Blog Post Author

Bill ... the striped tail on the 'Z' does liven things up, but to my eye it detracts a bit from the house and the "fam" part of the logo. I would opt for the unstriped version, but I could see it going either way. Ben

mmdwight aka The Blog Post Author

I prefer the simple version -- clean and simple. I think the striped tail is distracting (reminds me of Calvin and Hobbs) and makes the logo look amateur.

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

The striped tail seems too fussy.

The strength of the previous logo comes from the simplicity of the colors, font, and recognizable forms.....it seems it would appeal to all ages in a family. Shawn

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