Day 9: Agile design

Already day 9, the clock is ticking but I wanted to take a day in order to improve the look of this web site.

Be prepared to see some change here, and a lot more information about what we are doing at WE ARE CLOUD in particular with paperboy.

Just a few words about the UI design strategy of WE ARE CLOUD.

Paperboy is a business tool. It should be appealing but not too much because it is designed to be used on daily basis by our users. All 'special effects' must be justified in some ways in the process of increasing the efficiency or pleasure to use it. I guess the best illustration of what I am trying to explain here is Buzzword: a slick user interface with a twist of visual sex appeal.

A website, at least its home page, has a much narrow focus : show the world what you are doing and who you are in the most appealing way.

In our opinion, the two filters for defining a good home page are :

* is the message clear ? I guess the best example of a clear message on a home page is 37signals (a bit easy to point again those guys, but they are definetly good )

* is it appealing ? the 'WOW' effect at its best. I guess the expected consequences of it are :

1) sustain the message. Good text is good in order to convey a message but good text + beautifull effect that reformulate the text in a visual way is better.

2) increase credibility. A small company like us starts with an obvious competitive disadvantage : no one knows us. To fight that, we think the people who hit our web site must know that we have some serious skills.

I don't pretend in any way that we did good the first time but I do pretend that we will succeed to go though the two filters we defined about a good home page. Let's apply some Agile practice to the field of web design, let's work in increment. We get some feedback from you then we improve the existent.

That's it for the reasonnable part of the story. The unreasonnable one is : frustration. While we were working on Paperboy we didn't use the full power of the flex and flash plateform (the 'with great power comes great responsabilities' usual stuff) and we were calling for a good reason to play with 3d engines, physics library or distortion effects...