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User Experience Design @ Youtube February 26, 2010

Posted by Megha Narayan in Uncategorized.
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[Posted on behalf of John Park]

Last week, Haas students in the Design Innovation Speaker Series heard from Elizabeth Windram, Senior User Experience Designer at Google, on some basic principles of visual design and how they are applied to her work at Youtube.  Though the Google front page is definitely Spartan (by design, of course), other Google franchises such as Youtube require more visualization and concept illustration work. This was readily apparent as Elizabeth went through the many different ways that text, graphics, and rich media can be positioned on the webpage. For example, font sizes and types yield certain types of responses to the end user ie. Times New Roman is very formal while other fonts such as Verdana and Calibiri are softer and more pleasing to the eye. We also learned about spacing issues between text lines and paragraph shapes along with some concrete do’s and don’ts. Finally, we were taught how different grid organizations and formats are visualized in catalogs and websites – the most glaring example being the grid product ads in IKEA catalogs that conform to very structured 2 X 3 formats per page.

 After spending time on theory, Elizabeth shared how these concepts were used to design the Youtube frontpage and video search results layout. Again, grid structures dominated most of the conversation with concept illustrations done by hand capturing much of the prototyping.  The highlight of the talk was Elizabeth’s discussion on how advertisements and financial considerations can affect the visualization and concept illustrations of the final layout ie. Youtube’s prominent placement of rich media and banner ads at the top and right-hand side of the front page.

Overall, a fantastic informative session on theory and real life application of design concepts. Big thanks to Elizabeth and Google for an awesome presentation!

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