Information Design – Public Design

On a recent visit to the local mall I encountered a scenario that is likely occurring more frequently these days, and I’m certain all can relate.  Without any “hoopla” or farewell wishes, a local department store closed its doors, and went out of business seemingly quietly and discreetly.  BonTon (http://www.bonton.com/) a steadfast staple of the three local malls in the area, maintained a niche location in each, and catered to a niche patron who was interested in a “middle of the road” product priced at a discounted price point. 

Similar to Target’ (pronounced tar-zjay), BonTon carried most name brand products, and provided an exemplary customer service experience, while at the same time wallowing in the challenges of maintaining an “everything store” within a medium of shopping specific stores that exists in a local mall setting.  Think in terms of the stores within your local mall, a department store will simply maintain in this format, while product specific stores seemingly flourish.  The times of JC Penny, Kmart and the like able to coexists with product specific stores has waned and will continue to diminish in the wake of the Wal-Mart explosion.  So in this instance not only have the “mom and pop” small business owners been inundated with an inevitable overthrowing by mega giant (Wal-Mart), larger stores as well have found it to be an insurmountable endeavor to compete.

            Consider your last visit to the local mall; were there intentional purchases or impulse buys?  More likely than not, these purchases were made impulsively and most may not have intended to shop initially.  In the case of BonTon or other department stores visits most visited these stores under clear, intentional requirements.  “I need socks”, “I’m running low on my favorite scented lotion”, “I need laundry detergent”, are all likely viable scenarios for your department store visit.

            When considering information design, one can presume at some point there was signage or notice of some sort, pertaining to BonTon’s pending closure; however in this instance just a small posted printout taped to a window pane could be seen.  The large BonTon moniker was removed from the outside of the building, leaving the remnant  of a weathered outline against the building brick.  The BonTon logo was not removed from the “you are here” map near the now closed BonTon entrance, so as it pertains to information design this map was incredibly flawed in its delivery.  Considering the Wayfinding factor, without prior knowledge of BonTon’s existence one would presume the dark empty space, may have been vacant for many years.  While in actuality BonTon’s commercials in 2011 were a part of the onslaught of early December advertising inviting the public to visit the store to Christmas shop.

            Why the air of secrecy?  Visiting the corporate website there is no mention of the closing.  In fact the store hours are still shown:

Bon-Ton Greece Ridge

Greece Ridge
98 Greece Ridge Center
Rochester, NY  14626
585-227-1040

 Sun: 11am  – 6pm
Mon: 10am  – 9:30pm
Tue: 10am  – 9:30pm
Wed: 10am  – 9:30pm
Thu: 10am  – 9:30pm
Fri: 10am  – 10pm
Sat: 10am  – 10pm

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Information Design – Interaction Design

When considering Information Design and specifically honing in on the interaction component, one may automatically and innately look inward to those designs that impact us on the most familiar levels.  It is known that Information “Interaction” Design is composed of three different variables, which are all working toward the overall successful Sensorial Design.  Sensorial implores our most cognitive “senses”, which for the intent of this post will focus on the communications medium of music.

What innate feelings does music stimulate?  Depending on the receiver some music may evoke feelings of joy or sadness, or when considering physicality some may enfluence movement or being simply stationary.  When we interact, by design music is meant to persuade in some form or manner.  Standing in a quiet pub, sipping on your favorite beverage with your closest friend evokes a pleasurable feeling for some.  Now add the caveat of hearing either the best or worst music you’ve ever heard loudly.  What emotions would derive?  Would the atmosphere of comfort change?  By design Sensorial Design is intended to make that distinction.

Below are some music choices that I find enjoyable.  There are also some examples of less enjoyable Sensorial Design examples that are notable for me personally.  Can you presume which are my enjoyable examples, and which are not based on my blog page, or rhetoric?  What clues has the design my blog offered toward this presentation?  Feel free to supply additional thoughts, and or music.

MI

live at the barbecue

Information Design – Color as a Design Tool

Colors have been thought to evoke emotion, spark memory, and create texture within a successful design.  Considering that an image created in a muted or dark tone can communicate a muted or melancholy translation.  While conversely a bright fiery color such as bright red, or orange can evoke feelings of happiness, and movement.

Static is created also when designs require a distinction between images without implicitly stating the obvious.

In the above example, the eye is drawn to the center of the flower intentionally, and coupled with the additive of the grouping shown slightly out of focus, the yellowish orange centered flower is highlighted as the focal point in the hierarchical scheme of importance.

When considering the propaganda at work when considering a design, the color choice should be contemplated.  As Roam contends referring to the process centers of the brain, the design itself automatically creates an interest from the audience, as we make an attempt to understand and interact with a design by sheer impulse; implicitly the attractiveness (concerning color) would be welcomed element the design in totality.