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...
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:
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!