Redesign of mtv3.mobi

We just gave MTV3 Mobile website a redesign.

The recipe:

  • Simple and usable
  • MTV3 News look & feel
  • Easy access to sections, cross promoting services and sibling websites
  • As simple a design as possible: After contemplating how to differentiate between link types, we chose not to—Everything needs not to be conveyed to the user
  • Perfect partner: Besides coding, Conmio handeled the UI/UX while we concentrated on content and brand

Mobile specific website simplified to the max. UI/UX Design: Tommi Koirikivi, Conmio

 

Advertising Concept: Opening page

Display advertising displayed on top of regular layout such as rich media ads must subside in given amount of time. Squeezing elements into limited screen space results in crowded layouts. Banner ads are notorious for their poor performance. Good isn’t enough—Banner ads must be downright awesome for more than 1 per cent of the viewers to click on them.

Opening page concept in practice, Design by ad agency

In collaboration with our sales department I modified the concept of the ’Opening page’ for their product portfolio.

Demo page (check out the subtle CSS hover-effects)

If you can’t change it, make a feature of it

Journalists may see ads as necessary evil, but younger consumers usually feel more relaxed towards advertising. The are ad-literate, they realize commercials are out there to manipulate them—And They are OK with it. High end magazines realize this and have embraced advertising for years. Readers welcome Cosmo and Vogue for the ads as well as the stories.

Play with an open hand and present ads for what they are—commercial content. When user interface behaves as expected, nobody will mind.

Like button will give the campaign points, and winners are recognized with Best Pixels of the Month -award.

…but you still need the creative to run a successful campaign.

Don’t give in to the Dark side

Advertising is tricky. Everybody understands that advertising’s primary objective is to manipulate people’s behavior in to consuming products X and Y. However, people are ad-literate and manipulative behavior will quickly earn you a stigma. An interesting collection of User Interface designs to trick people are demonstrated among the Dark patterns. Don’t give in to the rage–Don’t go on to the Dark Side. Consumers do not care whether you will fill your quota or not, and anxious mindset will only earn you negative results.

Corporate identity for “Time of Music” Festival

Time of Music is a contemporary music festival in Viitasaari, Central Finland. The festival needed a corporate identity, and decided to organize an invitation-only competition for the logo. The winner of the competition would then provide the complete corporate identity. My entry came out as the winner. The festival used this identity from 2005 to 2011.
The logo has shapes of musical instruments. Colours match the Keski-Suomi (Central Finland) Region’s coat of arms.

Time of Music logo. The geometry pays homage to Luigi Broggini.

There is a lot more to Corporate Identity besides the logo. The Style guide consists of:
  • Logo originals for print, web, broadcast, MS Office, newspaper ad masters
  • Style guide
  • Business cards
  • Letterheads and Document templates, compliant with the SFS 2487 lay-out standard defined by Finnish Standards Association SFS.
  • Envelopes
  • Folder
  • Greeting card

Style guide covers document templates for business card, envelopes, letterheads and more.

Time of Music Folder

The Folder hosts A4 documents and has a slit for a business card. Inside is a map of Nordic countries, indicating the festival and its closest airport.

 

 

Football UEFA EURO 2012

MTV3 Internet graphics for UEFA EURO 2012 tournament

UEFA EURO 2012

As Art Director I designed the look for Football UEFA EURO 2012 Tournament using the recently redesigned UI, general Sports styles and official Tournament graphics.

The official Style Guide was impressive featuring detailed instructions of logo usage, broadcast graphics key visuals and mascots – just about everything besides the tournament itself.

MTV3 Internet Euro 2012 site

Ice Hockey World Championships 2012

Graphics for MTV3 Internets Ice hockey World Championship 2012 website

MTV MEDIA is the official partner, broadcasting all 64 games. Therefore the MTV3 website for 2012 Ice Hockey World championships got to be larger than ever.

As Art Director I designed the look using the recently redesigned UI, general Sports styles and official World Championship game graphics in sync with television broadcast graphics with references to International Ice Hockey Federation. The look also featured the Hockey Bird, designed by Toni Kysenius of Rovio Entertainment.

The website also required large amounts of cross-promoting throughout the rest of the website and tv-channels.

The website

 

Don’t be afraid to step on my toes

Business owners might choose to work with external agencies instead of in-house design department. It might be the in-house design team is lacking the necessary design talent, or projects extend beyond their skill set. It might also be just that the schedule is too tight

And you know what? I’m ok with it, but whatever the reason to get hired help, don’t be afraid to include me or another in-house designer in any project in a consultative role. I need to be there to question changes and conflicts to the house style, to find if they are justified and necessary. We will improve speed, and get the project to goal. We will communicate with agency designers the nitty-gritty of brand elements and house style.

I will not steel your credit. I will not get carried away in artistic self expression, or apply bland house style.

I expect design agency to

  • Present high quality creative work
  • Present the message in a way suitable for the media. Communicate emotional and qualitative arguments and appeal
  • Create an immediate emotional response with the recipient

As in-house designer I must:

  • Understand effectiveness and productivity
  • Have realistic vision of company strategy and financial status
  • Supervise design and production stages
  • Manage the brand
  • Communicate within design team and between other teams.

Or else…

Lack of design management may result in problems such as:

  • Design guides the product – the final design may be in style and zeitgeist, and yet off brand and short-lived the same time.
  • Personal visions lobbing
  • Us–them thinking instead of teamplay
  • Values vacuum – failure to understand how this project correlates with the company’s previous & next project.

I have witnessed wag-the-dog situations resulting from alien design affecting much larger processes that were originally intended. It is not realistic to expect that an external designer could be able to self-consult themselves with your brand elements. In any design products there are several choices and I will help you and our team to find the best ones.

What’s wrong with this poster?

I apologize, but I’m going to be critical now. I love old toys and this exhibition has been promoted a lot, but the poster does not appeal to me at all. I have been seeing this poster around town ever since the exhibition opened in Helsinki Art Museum, but  haven’t been there yet—due to the fact that the poster bugs me so.

Helsinki Art Museum poster

The bad:

  • Typography is like being hit in the head with a blunt object
  • It’s not evident that the bears head is actually a bear-mask the freaky doll is holding
  • Why pick two dolls for the poster, when exhibiting all kinds of toys, instead of just dolls?
  • Besides, dolls are quite similar and from almost the same era
  • Who is the poster for? Isn’t there anything for designers, little boys, or little boys inside grown men (like myself)?

The good:

  • This design concept is simple—aiming for toy museum rather than a toy store

What kind of poster would have gotten me up off my butt then? Perhaps a simpler, clean design had done it. Finnish name of the exhibition ‘Lelun lumo’ translates to enchantment or fascination. This arouses some very interesting design ideas.

What went wrong?

I’m thinking of the design process—Did the designer offer a simpler, clean design with just the classic doll. I tend to think this might have been what the designer was aiming for, and they’d have nailed it had they succeeded. Was this overruled by a committee of city officials? Did the designer finally grab the check and give up? I don’t know, I just guessing here. Clean design is a delicate issue, and easily torn apart by Lets-fill-up-the-empty-spaces -monster. If this was the case, my heart goes out to you. I’ve been there myself.

Alternate route

If a client is dreading empty spaces, a less elegant, fuller design, or even a photo wall might have worked. I think an enchanting poster could have done with just one photo. There would have been plenty to choose from: All of the toys below appear in the exhibition.

All photos in this story are shot from Helsinki Art Museum’s display screen in Kamppi.

Juuri Nyt: Design for a News Application

Juuri Nyt is a news application that brings core categories from our main site to mobile users. When user connects to a network she can download latest news on her mobile device (iOS, Nokia Symbian^3 touch, Nokia WP7), where they remain until she updates again.

Juuri Nyt

Application is built by Conmio. They have also built The International Herald Tribune’s application with the same technology. Since the first application was designed for IHT—a newspaper, my design challenge was to redesign the application—economically with as little effort as possible—to our needs, and to convey a look more suited for a digital media brand such as MTV3.

In comparing the two, reading and browsing gestures work the same in IHT and MTV3 applications. Layout and anything that was visually tied to print media has been redesigned for a digital brand.

Touching up a mobile webmail service

MTV3 Mail service ‘Luukku’ has been wanting an overhaul for a long time.

Due to limited screen spaces, it leaves less room for designer to work in. Mobile design is all about function and all aesthetics must be subject to functionality. This means we will be doing quite a bit of more testing than in our other projects. It also means that mobile presence of a brand needs to be boiled down to minimum.

When a service has been untouched for a long time it becomes less attractive for advertisers. Empty ad spaces leave holes in the design—something I did not foresee when designing this layout several years ago.

How did it get left so far behind? Maybe since the original HTML has been rather well constructed—this old work horse has been made less of a priority—But would it have gotten a make-over much sooner, had it been poorly designed?

Color scheme in Luukku webmail was bright – we might either go with that or introduce brand colors with a strong scheme. Microsoft Metro is all about ”Authentically Digital” – Maybe this approach could give the service a bit of a look of a web application?

Luukku styles
…or maybe not. Playing with brand colors proves that red is far out. In background it’s wild and using red in buttons suggests they all have alert functions. What was I thinking…?
I decided to keep a slightly more traditional approach and gave up the alert colors. With some quick tests that I ran with my colleagues, my options boiled down to these three.
Luukku Color schemes
Fonts for Android is more complex issue
Roboto
Scott Grannemans article about mobile fonts.