by Kerby Rosanes . July 30th, 2013
This opportunity has triggered Swedish designer and art director Fred Nerby, to create a major makeover concept for Twitter’s user experience design. With the idea of creating a new concept for deeper user engagement, Fred made a fluid and stunning design introducing a whole new digital experience yet not getting away from the visual experience of live tweeting we get used to.
In the short interview below, Fred shared to us an in depth look to this awesome project. Get to discover how the project was conceived, the guiding principles behind it, some notes on the whole creative process and some sound advice from Fred himself.
Less is most often more and you’ll find that the user will appreciate your honesty of getting them straight to the point of what they asked for!
YTD: What are your guiding principles behind this project?
FRED: To create a desktop experience where content is so much more then just data on a wall. Digital has come a long way and today we’re introduced to innovative applications everyday. Design and integration of such data can be so much more and experienced in a whole new way and the best part of it is that it’s all conversational and based on anyone’s input. A Tweet is a story and a big part of the experience, the more people that contributes with content the deeper the experience.
Search an artist, photos and Vine videos
Artist’s Main Page
The approach of this Twitter concept was very much a sketched up world of conversations and how to get a user to connect with those conversations. I made a decision to never steer away from the visual experience of live tweets and it became the glue that held everything together in this concept.
Artist talking to another artist
YTD: Take us to your creative process behind this redesign. From where did you start?
FRED: I’ve had a number of versions leading up to this final presentation, however the overall structure and concept was locked in at a fairly early stage. The story has gone through a few minor tweaks along the way but the majority of the time was spent on fine tweaking all the screens and making it all come together. The execution of design and effects has been a great challenge and some areas required a lot of time and thinking, especially where the interface is stretching outside a locked in
Photo Gallery featuring live tweets
Picture, album and timeline transition
Parts of this concept introduces new ways of handling data and those screens required some tweaking because they’re affecting other areas of the entire concept and story as well, such as converting tweets into visual graphics through custom algorithms and other new ways of interaction in terms of filtering data inside galleries to give the user a more personalized experience.
Create, share and tweet a custom photo album
YTD: Aside from user experience, what makes this design better than the current Twitter?
FRED: Twitter is one of the main platforms for communication online and I wanted to create a deeper engagement and visual experience between users and that content. By bringing conversations and data to life you’re creating engagement and the excitement to explore further turns in to an experience. It’s the classic “Rabbit Hole effect” where you can stumble upon information that leads you deeper in to a digital experience and that opens up new doors for more content, insight and knowledge for the topic of interest.
Pin favorite tweets to a personal board
The concept/story is focusing on three major media distributors, artists, magazines and motion pictures that’ll guide the viewer through a discovery process through the concept. The templates were designed up in a way that enables users and companies to gain more control of their account while also injecting more interactive components, such as turning tweets into graphics and galleries with live tweet feeds etc.
Turn tweets into real time live infographics
YTD: Your previous Facebook concept reached millions, how would you compare this Twitter concept to that project?
FRED: The Facebook project was focusing on a personalized experience for its user and heavily targeting behavior. The Twitter concept does that as well but the concept is leaning more towards a whole new experience when interacting with content and conversations in general. It’s looking at the future of Social Media and how we could possibly engage with data in a whole new way. Looking at conversations, tweets or researching could be so much more engaging then creating yet another static environment that the world has already seen. If you’re after that type engagement (raw content on a wall) then there are applications for phones and tablets that does exactly that, and they do it really well!
GQ magazine main Twitter page
Marvel Studios main Twitter Page
YTD: Would you be willing to license this to Twitter if they offered you?
FRED: My door is always open.
YTD: You’ve done a great job on creating new concepts for Facebook and now on Twitter. What would be the next?
FRED: We’ll see what the future brings. I’m always interested in exploring new opportunities and ideas. I’m sure they’ll be plenty more projects coming out in the near future for sure.
YTD: Your work is featured in many blog posts and it’s clear you value function in design. Why is that?
FRED: Function is key for the interactive world. Understanding behavior is becoming an essential part of UI and any digital product these days. I think too many firms stare themselves blind at statistics and numbers where they try to measure results and placement “call to actions” based on figures instead of researching and testing the success of other platforms. Like anything creative you’ll always find opinions on what is good and bad and how a layout could have been done in 10 different ways but I think too many firms complicates their experience too much by adding cool and funky features (just because they can) instead of focusing on the product and what’s really important. Less is most often more and you’ll find that the user will appreciate your honesty of getting them straight to the point of what they asked for!
If you’re highly skilled in the digital space and you’ve been in the industry for a while then chances are that you’ll get noticed for making a bit of noise around your work because great talent is always wanted!
Cover gallery transition
YTD: Any advice to people hoping to make it in the industry?
FRED: If you’re hoping to reach out and make it big in the world of digital you need to study that space and truly understand the industry you’re approaching or are already in. Have a deep look into what you’re actually able to create within that space because too many people treat it as yet another channel of media and it’s not!
It’s a very complex environment built on user behaviour and it’s constantly moving forward and I’d recommend to do a bit of research into traditional narrative agencies and how they are different from digital agencies today to get a better understanding of where you fit in as a creative depending on what you love to do. As a creative you need to be true to your craft and you need a solid understanding and a full awareness of the craft to call yourself an expert in your field, which is essential and
actually required today in our industry.
If you’re highly skilled in the digital space and you’ve been in the industry for a while then chances are that you’ll get noticed for making a bit of noise around your work because great talent is always wanted! But it all depends on what your goals are as a creative too and I’ve learnt that it’s important to take time out and really think about your goals and where you can see yourself in the future in the digital industry “before you promote yourself” because there are different ways of going
about it depending on the desired outcome.
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Stay awesome everyone!
Kerby is an online marketer who has a keen eye in print design and creative artworks. When not at work, he spends most of his time in completing his sketchbooks with doodles and illustrations from anything that inspires him to draw. He is an avid fan of Japanese Anime, manga and some comic book characters. Check out his illustration blog and portfolio for more info.
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