In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on Behance.net that were especially admired in our community. Fred Nerby designed a Facebook redesign concept that has absolutely exploded on the web – over 300,000 views, 15,000 appreciations and counting! He streamlined the experience, adding responsive panels, splitting the News Feed into two columns, for example. Take a deeper look into how this was created below!
What was your inspiration for this project?
As funny as it may sound, the project was not actually inspired by visuals or UI work created by other platforms, but more so a deeper understanding and a personal interest in user behavior. For a while I’ve been researching Systematic Design and what it actually represents and how it’s best applied in the digital space because it’s changed the making of media in the modern world and also how digital agencies are now working.
Understanding behavior and the psychological success behind a platform such as Facebook is crucial before you get in to the creation or execution of design. People around the world are already connected on a personal level with the platform (or the brand that is Facebook) for many different reasons; main factor is that it’s fulfilling a need in people that wasn’t there a few years ago. If you understand the power of systematic thinking then there are ways of drawing that emotional connection out of people with clever design that will make the experience even more powerful and engaging for the user; and that is where it all started.
Can you describe your process in creating this project?
First off, when dealing with a platform such as Facebook, which is heavily focused on a suite of behaviors you need to get an understanding of how to actually design for that. The process of thinking is very different from how people have worked in the past at more traditional agencies. It’s important to understand that most traditional agencies are coming from a pure narrative space where the idea is to interrupt you to think of a brand you haven’t thought about and connect you through a story. Their greatest challenge in the modern world of media right now is to recognize that you can be creative within “Systematic Design”.
For example, the world is embracing the products and media invented in places such as the Silicon Valley (Apple) and the innovation that has been driving such places forward is NOT the innovation of narrative, it’s the innovation and more importantly the understanding of systems and behavior. And today; that has become a creative discipline! Companies like Apple and Facebook are focusing on creating platforms and it’s a new world where you “invent media to frame behavior”, which in itself means that the production is now creative and your relationship with the “making” is very different. If you want your UI to be successful you need to have a solid understanding of all this before you move on to architecture and design when taking on a platform.
All in all, the setup was thought through before I got into the making of design so the overall process of creating the artwork went fairly smooth with a few minor hick-‐ ups on the way. Again, you can’t jump straight in to a design of such a project without understanding the user behavior and then try to figure things out as you go along. That will never work!