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Ask HN Designers/UI Folks : New Project Design Challenges
3 points by Chirag on July 28, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments
Folks, I am getting started on a new project a social tool. I am working on the design and ui theme for the web app but hitting some virtaul wall. Most of the new ideas I am getting, seem to be copy of friendfeed or twitter or another popular web site. Please help me on how should I approach this so we have a unique look and feel with a different webapp personality.

One of the processes I fall back on when I'm stuck, creatively-speaking, is sketching according to LATCH.

LATCH is Wurman's idea that information can only be organized in five (six) ways: by location, alphabetically, by time, by category and hierarchically (also randomly).

I take all of the information I have to present, and I sketch out as many ways to lay out, structure or present that information in each of those six ways. Give yourself five minutes for each one, and try and do six to eight layouts for each. Discuss the pros and cons of each one and keep iterating on specific designs in the same manner.

Maybe you'll discover that all the layouts and structures are sub-optimal, and a feed-style layout is the best way to present the information, but you'll probably have made tweaks to it and it won't be organized precisely the same way, with the same visual and structural weights, by the time you're done.

Thanks I think this will be a good start for me. I'll start first collate all the data I have and then put them in different filters.

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