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by John Wooten

The older I get, and the more experienced I become in web design; I find my approach to design becoming: clean, minimal, and powerful.

In my younger years as a designer, I would often get sidetracked by flashy effects and adding features to a site because it was the trend at the time. For example, we would setup splash pages forcing animation and audio on a user before they could get to the home page…you know, because folks want to wait 30 seconds before they can see any info on your website. =)

I firmly believe design solves problems. Design is beyond the aesthetics of a product. It’s also how the product works, how it makes you feel, and the problem it helps solve. The aesthetics of a product can help solve the problem, but often times aesthetics cannot solve a problem alone.

I firmly believe design solves problems. Design is beyond the aesthetics of a product.

This is why we start our web projects by defining the main goal(s) of the site, current pain points or frustrations users may have, and we aim to achieve the goal(s) of the site and solve problems.

We do this in a variety of ways:

  • Project Discovery
  • Site Outline
  • Wireframes
  • Design
  • Testing

Today, I came across a product I believe fit the “clean, minimal, and powerful” design approach I try to achieve. I’m actually using it to write this blog post…

Dropbox Paper

https://www.dropbox.com/paper

Clean

When I first loaded the interface I was impressed with how clean the design looked. It is not cluttered. I know exactly what to do: write.

Minimal

Dropbox Paper is not as feature-rich as Google Docs, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s purpose is simple, and the design of the interface conveys that.

I highlight text and the formatting options appear right by my cursor:

I click the plus icon to add a new item to my paper and I’m presented with a simple menu:

Powerful

Dropbox has made it incredibly easy to work with media in Paper. I paste in a YouTube/Vimeo link and the video appears, photos come up in lightboxes to view larger versions, I can even show a Pinterest board or an audio file. I’m betting more integrations will be available in the future.

Conclusion

For me, it’s hard to explain exactly why Dropbox Paper made me want to write this post in the app. I could have written this post in the WordPress editor, or a Google Doc. But when I saw the design of the app, just from the typography and colors used, I wanted to type.

When I saw the design of the app, just from the typography and colors used, I wanted to type.

It’s our goal at Artillery to have the same affect on your users. When they land on your website, we want them to experience the feeling we’ve designed for them. They can’t explain why, but the site “feels right”. It has the right design from the typography, colors, and images used. It prompts them to take the next step we’ve designed for them to take.