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MagicWok
Oct 12, 2006, 09:15 AM
I thought that I would share a site with you guys, that was recently on StyleBoost.

It really belongs here in the Design section, rather than the web development section. It's the online portfolio of a designer called Jonathan Yuen. He harks from my home country of Malaysia, and his website is just great. It's made in flash, but isn't 'in your face' and tiresome as so many flash based website are. Anyway, just thought I let you guys see something that I have to lift my hat off to, as something that makes me glad I chose a design career path.

Great site.

http://www.jonathanyuen.com/



spicyapple
Oct 12, 2006, 09:43 AM
That is a nice site! I like the hummingbirds. :)

ATD
Oct 12, 2006, 11:57 AM
Wow, very cool. It took a little while to get to the work but it was so nice I didn't care.

Mydriasis
Oct 12, 2006, 12:11 PM
amazing :)

I wish i could do that.

aricher
Oct 12, 2006, 01:11 PM
Beautiful and innovative use of Flash. Thanks for posting this.

redbandit
Oct 12, 2006, 02:13 PM
While the site is aesthetically pleasing, it has several flaws.

The splash page seems rather arbitrary. The button which launches the main page is confusing, rather it doesn't have the appearence of a button. I'm not sure what purpose the splash page serves either, it just seems like a waste of server space and an unnecessary hoop to jump through to get to the meat.

Secondly, the mouse cursor used within the site is completely unnecessary. It will confuse users and is difficult to control because it doesn't respond the same as the cursor on your computer responds - it lags. It is poorly crafted and feathered on the edges.

The work itself is wonderful, and as I said before, aesthetically pleasing. However, due to the few issues - especially the cursor lag, I didn't look any farther than the 3rd image.

billyboy
Oct 12, 2006, 06:29 PM
While the site is aesthetically pleasing, it has several flaws.

The work itself is wonderful, and as I said before, aesthetically pleasing. However, due to the few issues - especially the cursor lag, I didn't look any farther than the 3rd image.

You missed out on some more lovely images!

That was a really innovative and conceptual website. Although maybe it sucks cause it doesnt have a php search engine included?

thevessels
Oct 12, 2006, 08:25 PM
so awesome .

redbandit
Oct 12, 2006, 08:33 PM
That was a really innovative and conceptual website. Although maybe it sucks cause it doesnt have a php search engine included?

But, the point is that this is a portfolio website. The intent is to show people your work. The way to facilitate that is by making it easy for the user to navigate it. The stylized mouse cursor is a gimmick amongst an otherwise interesting website. I have no problem with the rest of it, but I do think the splash page serves no purpose other than to "have a splash page" and the mouse cursor greatly inhibits the usability.

Do you think I am wrong?

whooleytoo
Oct 13, 2006, 12:18 PM
I thought it was absolutely stunning. Yet also a good example why graphic designers should never design user interfaces - they seem to go for form over function, every time.

eb6
Oct 13, 2006, 12:33 PM
I thought it was absolutely stunning. Yet also a good example why graphic designers should never design user interfaces - they seem to go for form over function, every time.

"BAD" graphic designers go for form over function. Not "ALL".

whooleytoo
Oct 13, 2006, 12:37 PM
"BAD" graphic designers go for form over function. Not "ALL".


Fair comment. ;)

To go further - I've dealt with a lot of bad graphic designers!

eb6
Oct 13, 2006, 12:38 PM
FYI - my comment wasn't meant to be rude. I just forgot to put a smiley. :D

whooleytoo
Oct 13, 2006, 12:52 PM
FYI - my comment wasn't meant to be rude. I just forgot to put a smiley. :D

No, you're spot on - I was generalising too much!

It's just in my experience (as a programmer who deals with graphic designers to design Flash UIs; plus as an everyday, fussy user who deals with a lot of webpages) too many designers focus on what looks good, rather than what's easy and convenient to use.

As a portfolio page, the original linked site isn't going to be used as repetitively as perhaps an everyday application; and thus doesn't need to be as simple or convenient, but it still has issues.

- It takes a lot of mousing about and clicking to find certain areas.
- It's not immediately apparent where the buttons are
- You need to mouse-over the buttons to find out what they do, but in other parts of the interface, a mouse-over acts the same as clicking the button.
- The animations are stunning, but you wouldn't want to be in a hurry! ;)

All said though, it's absolutely stunning.

Josh
Oct 13, 2006, 01:01 PM
While the site is aesthetically pleasing, it has several flaws.

The splash page seems rather arbitrary. The button which launches the main page is confusing, rather it doesn't have the appearence of a button. I'm not sure what purpose the splash page serves either, it just seems like a waste of server space and an unnecessary hoop to jump through to get to the meat.

Secondly, the mouse cursor used within the site is completely unnecessary. It will confuse users and is difficult to control because it doesn't respond the same as the cursor on your computer responds - it lags. It is poorly crafted and feathered on the edges.

The work itself is wonderful, and as I said before, aesthetically pleasing. However, due to the few issues - especially the cursor lag, I didn't look any farther than the 3rd image.


I agree, it looks nice, but is highly unusable and requires unecessary work from the user.

If a site has something to show or tell me, show or tell me it; don't make me figure out how to navigate an unclear site or "work my way through" it.

shecky
Oct 13, 2006, 01:02 PM
It's just in my experience (as a programmer who deals with graphic designers to design Flash UIs; plus as an everyday, fussy user who deals with a lot of webpages) too many designers focus on what looks good, rather than what's easy and convenient to use.


agreed. while theoretically all graphic design should communicate information, in reality information design is a subset of graphic design, as opposed to being the same thing. just because you are a graphic designer does not mean you are an information designer :)

and i think the site looks good for a wildly overdone, slow, tedious flash site. horrible for a portfolio.

shecky
Oct 13, 2006, 01:03 PM
I agree, it looks nice, but is highly unusable and requires unecessary work from the user.

If a site has something to show or tell me, show or tell me it; don't make me figure out how to navigate an unclear site or "work my way through" it.

QFT

Snark
Oct 13, 2006, 01:45 PM
I'm going to go against the grain on this one, but still concede that a lot of the points above are completely valid as far as general principles go.

The site works extremely well for me as a portfolio of design work. The interface is indeed less than straightforward, but, from my perspective, I don't mind; the "challenge" it presented was nowhere near daunting enough to be a hinderance. Indeed, I found it to be a welcome additional window into his overall aesthetic. I'm not going to try and squeeze the whole thing in during a ten minute coffee break, but it interests me enough that I'd bookmark it and give it time later.

I firmly believe that even in commercial design there is a place for design that challenges the viewer; though both place and audience have to be carefully chosen, certainly.

He may not the guy I'd chose for the next Makita hardware campaign, but a designer like this would certainly have a place in the Rolodex. You can rein his aesthetic in, if need be, but it would be a lot harder to squeeze it out of another designer that doesn't have it naturally.

Snark

shecky
Oct 13, 2006, 01:48 PM
I firmly believe that even in commercial design there is a place for design that challenges the viewer; though both place and audience have to be carefully chosen, certainly.


challenge, absolutely a good thing. but this is not challenging, it is just distracting.

don't get me wrong; parts of it are beautiful but as mentioned before, i think its just overdone, especially as a portfolio site. if i am an art director wanting to see this guys work, after 5 seconds of swimming fish instead of seeing work i am closing the window.

MacRumorUser
Oct 13, 2006, 02:32 PM
amazing. utterly beautiful

Cloud9
Oct 13, 2006, 05:43 PM
I felt as if I had entered a diferent world. The feeling is not one of a website. If it were supposed to feel like a website it would have been designed as such.

Instead it feels like a place to play and explore. The most serene place I have visited on the web. The cursor has issues, and they can be worked out, but I feel I have received his creation, which is the intention.

THX1139
Oct 14, 2006, 10:56 PM
I agree, it looks nice, but is highly unusable and requires unecessary work from the user.

If a site has something to show or tell me, show or tell me it; don't make me figure out how to navigate an unclear site or "work my way through" it.


Bummer that you had to think or do some extra work. I thought the payoff was worth it. Seems you and some of the other posters feel the site is lacking due to the design of form over function. That maybe the standards were broken and therefore the site was unusable? Well, maybe some of that is true if you are shopping for shoes or reading a forum... but as a portfolio site, I think it stands quite strong. Imagine the world, how boring it would be, if everyone followed exact standards. I think the best thing about rules are breaking them. If it offends or keeps some people from enjoying the experience, then I say "good", the site isn't intended for them. When a website is a work of art, I think they should get a pass on some of the more technical issues if it serves the broader purpose. What would you have done to improve the navigation? Put rollover buttons along the top or side?

Those of you who just don't get it... you have my sympathy.

SRSound
Oct 15, 2006, 01:58 AM
This discussion reminds me of a friend who always said he loved making websites but hated design - there's a spectrum of possibility between form and functionality, but this site is by far the most wonderful *total* experience I've seen. Sorry to those of you (like my friend) who think websites should be purely functional and don't appreciate the design aspect.

apfhex
Oct 15, 2006, 02:34 AM
/Spectacular/ as a flash website, but, I don't know, I didn't have the patience to view any actual content on the site. I'm with shecky.
if i am an art director wanting to see this guys work, after 5 seconds of swimming fish instead of seeing work i am closing the window.

p.s. while writing this post I went back and actually looked through the site more, so you can't say I didn't even bother. :) Frankly, it's just so tiring. I also think it really distracts from the actual work posted on the site (don't get me started on the "slideshow" format used that doesn't let you look at any one image for more than a few seconds and at the same time forces you to wait for the image to cycle if you want to see the next one for the project you're looking at).

redbandit
Oct 15, 2006, 10:56 PM
I felt as if I had entered a diferent world. The feeling is not one of a website. If it were supposed to feel like a website it would have been designed as such...The cursor has issues, and they can be worked out, but I feel I have received his creation, which is the intention.

That is a copout for a good idea with poor execution. This person obviously has the ability to make something intriguing and in your case serene, but that is no reason to let them get away with selling themselves short.

Bummer that you had to think or do some extra work. I thought the payoff was worth it. Seems you and some of the other posters feel the site is lacking due to the design of form over function. That maybe the standards were broken and therefore the site was unusable? Well, maybe some of that is true if you are shopping for shoes or reading a forum... but as a portfolio site, I think it stands quite strong. Imagine the world, how boring it would be, if everyone followed exact standards. I think the best thing about rules are breaking them. If it offends or keeps some people from enjoying the experience, then I say "good", the site isn't intended for them. When a website is a work of art, I think they should get a pass on some of the more technical issues if it serves the broader purpose. What would you have done to improve the navigation? Put rollover buttons along the top or side?

Those of you who just don't get it... you have my sympathy.

I think you are the one missing the point.

It looks as if there is a general consensus that the actual content is nice and that people like it. But, there is a split between those that think a good idea that got half baked equals a beautiful cake and those that can taste that it could have stood an extra 5 minutes in the oven.

And, I think you are confusing usability with creativity. Something that has a well designed interface doesn't automatically become drab and boring with "rollover buttons along the top or side". I don't think anybody insinuated that.

Also, Website as Work of Art justifying driving some people away because "'good' the website isn't intended for them" is a load of bull. This is a portfolio site. If the person isn't trying to get as many people to look at their work, then who are they targeting? Maybe...a specific company or art director? If it were me putting my work out there, I wouldn't want to sacrifice creativity, but I would want to make my interface transparent or complementary to the experience.

In the end, do I think the work is good? Yes. Do I think the site is well designed? The concept is interesting, but the execution fails in certain areas. Have I set out to rid the world of creativity? No.

Do I want to restrict the world to Helvetica Neue only? No. But do I love it?

Yes.

shecky
Oct 16, 2006, 06:56 AM
Do I want to restrict the world to Helvetica Neue only? No. But do I love it?

Yes.

hahaha. you need one of these (http://www.subtraction.com/archives/2006/0913_what_everyon.php). show the love.

redbandit
Oct 16, 2006, 01:33 PM
hahaha. you need one of these (http://www.subtraction.com/archives/2006/0913_what_everyon.php). show the love.

Got a good laugh out of that. I might even actually buy one, haha. Wow, quite hilarious. I'm glad you saw the humor!

EDIT: All they have left is XL and I'm afraid that I am a small! Oh well...next time round!

Nym
Oct 26, 2006, 08:27 AM
Visually it's great, however, show this website to Jakob Nielsen (usability guru, search google), he'll point 1000 usability flaws. IMO being a graphic and multimedia designer, I think that the site is very "original", however, when people search for a webpage they are looking for information, simple as that, and this site does not make information the main subject, the true webdesigner challenge is to make a visually great website (which runs on 1024x768 or lower) without compromising the access to information, simple and straight forward.. and from that point of view, this site lacks some "easyness".
But's that just me.

a great website: www.mutabor.com

shecky
Oct 26, 2006, 08:46 AM
jakob nielsen is satan. ignore anything and everything he says. his definition of "usability" is "badly designed crap"

redbandit
Oct 26, 2006, 09:52 AM
a great website: www.mutabor.com

the problem with this site is that you spend too much time reading things and not enough time looking at things. the actual work is buried in the references section with a confusing interface.

it looks nice though.

MagicWok
Oct 26, 2006, 06:22 PM
Usability Guru? Hmmm.

Sorry, but I couldn't think of any title worse than that to be 'honoured' with... lol - Just thinking about the word usability makes me yawn!

POHeerwig
Oct 26, 2006, 06:42 PM
I agree...from a design perspective it's really terrific; though for web sites people don't generally want to wait...they want "instant information"!

Thanks for the link!
Tricia

Mr. Anderson
Oct 26, 2006, 07:43 PM
It was nice to look at, the art was great but like so many have said, navigation is more than painful - quite obtuse, actually.

D

thedude110
Oct 26, 2006, 07:43 PM
More websites should be such acts of discovery.

There's a lot of beauty in this, our goal-oriented world.

Snark
Oct 26, 2006, 09:45 PM
You never know, the "obtuse" interface could just be a method of filtering out those he might not like to work with. ;)

Snark

Nym
Oct 27, 2006, 05:18 AM
I guess that good design must have a function, and a visually good site doesn't make it a good one, take the www.apple.com website, it's very eye pleasing and usable, what I'm trying to say is that complicated isn't always the answer. Simple and efective, pleasing to most users, this has to be the designer's goal.
You can't agree with everything that Jakob says, however, it was he that implemented most usability functions that you see in Flash, so, give the man some credit.