Does your organization still design print material first then use that as the basis for your online design? If so, you’re not only behind the marketing curve, you’re losing ground at record speed.
Case in point, take a good hard look at Google’s Material Design language, their formal effort to begin standardizing user experience with specs that continuously evolve. Without getting into too much of the geeky details, Material Design shatters the notion that brand is first and foremost shaped by static print design material and instead, relies more on user experience (UX) elements.
Simply put: UX = Brand
It doesn’t matter which artistic medium your organization focuses, your digital experience is an increasingly critical element related to how patrons perceive and interact with your mission driven activity. Whether it’s purchasing tickets, interacting with member content, or any of the host of digital points of contact arts organizations offer, a patron’s interaction with your UX defines the overall experience.
In Google’s case, Material Design has been a lengthy process for the company that began, arguably, in 2011 and ultimately produced their official Material Design library.
It’s a remarkably engaging resource that arts managers, regardless of tech expertise, can use to begin understanding well-defined brand experience that breaks free of old-school print-first dominion.
Although the entire resource is worth exploring, there’s quite a bit there, so here are some shortcuts highlighting some of the most obtainable and applicable resources broken down by level of experience and understanding.
Casual Understanding and Entry Level
- Principles (don’t miss the Motion provides meaning section)
- Color Palette
- Writing: Language (must-read)
- Capitalization & Punctuation (I’m willing to be the sub-section on punctuation will have a few surprises waiting for you, especially when it comes to dashes)
- Global Writing
- Responsive UI Breakpoints
- Accessibility: Navigation
- Material Properties: Movements of material
- Imagery: Best Practices
- Touch Target Size
- Notifications: Content (pay special attention to the Media Playback section)
- Usability: Bidirectionality
- Everything! But keep the What’s New section bookmarked to make sure you stay on top of changes and fresh content.