Wednesday, May 31, 2006

MyEyes Hurt Courtesy of MySpace: PSA on Design

Ye gods, some of the kids who use need basic design lessons. Since a bunch of my aging hipster friends are setting up MySpace accounts, I trolled around the site for awhile looking for their profiles. (And, by the way, I felt like a big ol' stalker.)

Anyway, here's a coupla tips for the would-be graphic designers who have set up their very own, cool, unique, hip, aneurysm-inducing spots on MySpace:

1) Background images work ONLY if you (a) lighten them images up A LOT so that you can see text over it, or (b) have a solid block of color layered on top of the background images so that text is visible.

2) Black background + neon font = eyeball explosion. Same goes for a neon background + any color font.

3) Fonts should between 8 points and 12 points.

4) Pictures work best if they are small or medium 'cause the big ones bleed off-screen.

5) This isn't so much a visual thing, but putting music on your MySpace profile is lame UNLESS you change it with some regularity. Otherwise, I will start to associate you with indie goth rock, and you will forever be the chick/dude with a fetish for The Veils. Plus, it becomes fairly obvious when the casual office drone is surfing MySpace when "Lavinia" whooshes from the 'puter's speakers.

6) Don't list everything you've ever liked, ever, under "Interests." When your "Interests" column is longer than your "Friends' Comments" column, it makes you seem less, um, interesting.

7) Don't let Tom chill in the #1 friend spot (um, unless he's actually a really good friend of yours).

8) Tagging other people's comments sections is like slapping a bumper sticker on someone's dream car. They've got everything just the way they want it, and then you come along and smear it with something that sparkles, doesn't match anything, and, horror of horrors, MOVES. You can't look at anything else when one of these things is dancing around in the comments.

9) The use of lots of graphics, pictures, animations, etc. translates into a page that loads about as quickly as, um, the evolution of a species.

10) And finally...I know that this started out as a design critique, but this one's for da kids: remember when you were little and your parents didn't get you any t-shirts or jackets with your name emblazoned across the front? Wanna know why? 'Cause they didn't want strangers to have any opportunity to walk up to you and fake like they knew you 'cause they knew your name. Use the same principle when it comes to MySpace. DON'T post the following information about yourself:
  • Your real, full name
  • Home or cell phone number
  • Address
  • School
  • Work place
  • Schedule (i.e. "Omigod, I can't believe I'm starting in the softball game we're playing against Perry Hall High tomorrow!")
  • ...and anything else that a stranger could use to identify you.

If I have inspired just one person to clean up their MySpace page, then the visual agony will have been worth it.

1 comment:

farley said...

Being a designer for 30 years, I commend you for your design tips and hope both young and old take notice.

Accolades to you!