I Produced these three a few weeks ago after I decommissioned an old disk. I’m now trying to choose the best outlet to sell them. Recommendations welcome.
For some time now I’ve been thinking about writing a post on designing for previews, those small boxes that pop-up over links on all kinds of sites.
My mind has been focussed by a few chance events that have lead to a striking example of the difference that adding a few design elements to a layout can make.
My (current!) blog layout is fairly simple, I’ve stripped back foreground images and simply have a title ‘tab’. For reading, it’s probably fine, but in a thumbnail preview at under 300 x 200 pixel dimensions, the layout does me few favours in grabbing and retaining viewer attention and inciting, inviting them to click.
We have precious little time to grab reader attention at higher resolutions, never mind when they’re taking a split-second to peek through the letter box.
So when you consider the great pains many of us go to create pixel-perfect, high usability, flexible or fixed layouts to get our brand, our ideas or our tone expressed it makes sense to make sure that when you have content worth linking to that it does the same.
So the story of this post goes like this: I took a photo on the Sunday at BathCamp, of the stencil they used to brand our complimentary camping chairs. A marketing masterpiece in their own right, snaps of these chairs bearing the BathCamp logo are turning up everywhere.
The next day I wrote up my thoughts on BathCamp, and sent them live. Shortly after publish (nothing’s ever really finished is it?) I added the stencil snap.
This morning I see a link to my post on Ann Oldroyd’s Blissfully.me blog, and saw my page appear in a pop-up when I hovered over the link.
Without that image the small type, small header, no medium-sized design elements would have made the page look simply like a page of text.
With it, it makes that one post signify in no uncertain terms what the posts about and adds some visual interest to another otherwise textual page. In some ways image is enhanced by the lack of surrounding interface elements.
Words are useless when you can’t read them, so in my case previews clearly matter. In this instance the preview service understands this and has picked out keywords to aid the reader.
All of this will be considered with every new post, new site I develop and with any future redesigns I undertake.