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Glue is a guiding framework for ongoing product design, based on common elements and visual language that make up the current brand & product proposition, with flexibility to allow for vertical expression.

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Example Glue entry

UX + Design Guiding Principles

Place a strong emphasis on familiarity, leveraging existing patterns to create a predictable and comforting environment. Establish easy-to-remember conventions and apply them throughout the products, creating an efficient, trustworthy system that requires no re-learning by the user. Place a strong emphasis on familiarity, leveraging existingpatterns to create a predictable and comforting environment.Establish easy-to-remember conventions and apply them throughout the products, creating an efficient, trustworthysystem that requires no re-learning by the user.

Start with nothing and only add what is absolutely necessary. Don’t overemphasize; if you draw attention to everything, you effectively draw attention to nothing. Decide what the primary objective of the page is and focus on that, making it clear. Successful organization can make even the most complex systems appear simple.

Nothing conveys trust more than organization, clutter-free, comforting experiences. Tell the user what they want to know and let them feel in control of their information and experience. Save steps whenever possible. Accept blame for errors and when in doubt, apologize.

Create an atmosphere that is always active, like a 24/7 party. No matter what time of day someone stops by, they’ll find people talking, new content being offered up and plenty to discover.

Don’t force users to be constantly bothered by minor details (check this box, scroll this way, now that way, etc.) The vast majority of usability issues are in the details, and small annoyances that add up break the overall experience for the user.

Anticipate the user’s needs from end-to-end, delivering the right information at the right time. Emphasize discovery, be reassuring about processes, avoid dead ends, and make it easy to recover from errors.

Create open lines of communication with the user. Respond to interactions with simple visible changes (status bars, alerts, feedback on buttons – no extra confirmation windows or anything that goes against the flow). Be their guide through the experience – feed back and feed forward – keeping a friendly and conversational tone.

Give the user necessary tools to tailor-fit their experience to their individual tastes and preferences, allowing for the delivery of unique and different content to each user based on those interests. The more control they have over their environment, the more personalized their experience will be and the less likely they will want to leave.

Self-expression has been and continues to be one of our strongest suits. Keep the design simple and give the user boundless opportunity to express their identity outwardly by adding customization tools to add creative elements to their space and better ways to share what they find.

Through it all, allow for our heart and soul to shine through in brief moments like badges, pre-rolls, etc. Our personality should come out and surprise you from between the lines, not be an over-the-top presence that you can’t get away from. We’re just the host, not the party.

Beverly Hills, 2010

Earlier this year, we were tasked with designing the new Myspace. We had recently committed to a new brand strategy focused on social entertainment – that is, delivering tailored content experiences to our Gen Y audience. The new approach narrowed our focus and marked a return to our core strengths, which have always been a deep understanding of social, our wealth of entertainment content, and the ability to surface emerging cultural trends in real-time through our community. Ideally, Myspace needed a design that was both new and different and that enhanced the things we’ve always done well, and it was our job to come up with the design that would support this return to form.

From a technical standpoint, redesigning a site as massive as ours was no easy feat. The original site map (which we jokingly referred to as “the human genome project”) was unnecessarily complex and contained sections and features that didn’t reflect a single, coherent vision. We knew we had to address this by sunsetting features that weren’t important to our users (I’m looking at you, “Horoscopes”) and then re-architecting the site from the ground up. All of that said, Myspace has a valuable heritage in social and music discovery that we wanted to preserve.

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We approached this project with an almost industrial focus, drawing inspiration from the way innovation leaders IDEO tackles problems of this magnitude. This included research, narrowing our objectives to a core set of needs, brainstorming, and ultimately prototyping and testing possible solutions. While the majority of IDEO’s success has been in the context of industrial design, their problem solving approach served as an effective model for arriving at a solution that not only met our goals, but was ultimately well received by our test participants.

Aside from the site’s information architecture, one of the projects we tackled very early on was our logo. The new logo – the word “my” followed by a bracket – illustrates our strategy perfectly by enabling users and artists alike to showcase what they’re into. And while the new logo might seem like a radical departure from its predecessor, we still retained a nod or two to our brand heritage. For example, we stuck with a sans serif typeface, upgrading the old Arial Rounded to a modified Akzidenz-Grotesk medium, which allows for a cleaner, more stylized look without losing the minimal theme.

With the same approach in mind, we chose a neutral black and grey color scheme that enabled the content to jump into the foreground. It’s also important to note that we didn’t completely abandon our roots in blue. While the original Myspace blue had become cold and corporate (as indicated by our test groups), we did want to hold on to this piece of our history. In the new design you can see hints of a more vibrant ‘electric blue’ around actions and features that are intended to spark social engagement and discovery.

The result of our countless hours of empathizing, imagining, designing, testing, tearing down and building is a new user experience that speaks to our focus. Now on Myspace you’ll be able to discover and connect to the content you love, let the world know about your interesting passions, while enjoying the boundless nature of a completely re-imagined product.

This is the new Myspace. We’re incredibly proud of it, and we hope you enjoy it.
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