Design by Artificial Intelligence

I’ve always been interested in web design and have made my share of web sites. I haven’t made a whole lot of websites but I’ve made enough to be able to appreciate how time consuming and how much of a hassle it can be to fiddle around with CSS and HTML. Yes I’ve had those times where I’ve spent hours just trying to format an image properly or create responsive columns that work properly.

Finding a really great template or wordpress theme is great. But sometimes, as the goals or content focus of your website change, you may want to adjust or change the way your website presents your content. Of course, making the jump to change the way your website looks is always a huge hassle, which is often avoided probably even more often never done.

Earlier this month, a San Francisco startup announced the launch of a new project that could make pain of website design go away.

The Grid is creating a new web site platform which uses artificial intelligence to designing your web sites for you, and to do it on going as you continue to add more and more content to your web site. Check out the video below for a bit of a preview.

Yes the promises being made are pretty big promises. Whether they will pull it off or not successfully, is a big question. However, it’s a really exciting idea and I would love to see it happen.

The grid is headed by two guys that used to work at Google: Brian Axe and Leigh Taylor, which adds some more weight to their promises.

At the moment they are raising money through crowd funding with the hopes of raising $70,000 to start production. They’re expecting to be able to open doors to its first members in late spring of 2015. They’re planning to offer the service for $25 a month, but are offering its pre release supporters the chance to lock in a membership fee of $8 per month.

I was seriously considering signing myself up to be one of the founding members, but decided to wait a little bit. I’m not really sure what holding me back.  They say that their website was made by their artificial intelligence platform. I loaded their website on my phone as well as one of my friends phones, and their site didn’t quite work as expected. I guess I’m not quite fully a believer yet and I’m willing to risk paying an additional $13 a month later if it does turn out to be good, as opposed to paint for a year’s subscription upfront that a potentially may not end up using. But, I’m still hopeful, we’ll keep an eye on how things unfold, and we’ll be sure to sign up if deliver on their promises.

Vancouver Photo Booth Rental Branding

I was on Facebook or Google Plus about a week ago and I meant to write a post about what I saw, but you know how it is… things are busy and things get pushed back. Today, I finally got around to doing it. So my friend had posted a picture of himself at a wedding he went to in Vancouver somewhere. He was wearing some crazy looking hat, ginormous glasses and a paper moustache. hahah… what?!

Well, he had good reason to—he was in one of those new fandangled photo booth thingies that are so popular these days at weddings, birthdays, grads and stuff. I’ve been in a couple myself, once at a work event and another at my buddy’s birthday party. They’re a lot of fun!

Naturally, I was intrigued so I took a look at some more of the photos and then checked out which company was behind it all.

The guys, or should I say “guy”, behind it all was Vancouver’s That Photo Booth Guy. I only talk about branding, design, and websites that I’m impressed by on this blog… so here’s what impressed me about this photo booth rental company:

1 – EPIC LOGO

Most of the logos that I’ve seen from photo booth companies here in Vancouver are either:photobooth-guy-vancouver-logo

  • boring plain text
  • “fancy” text logo that’s almost always poorly done and makes me cringe
  • a super cheesy graphic of something to do with either a lens, camera or photo booth (again, always poorly done and looks dated) OR
  • an attempt at a graphic logo but always looks like awful clipart from the 90s…

So, finding this happy little guy was a real treat for me. The logo is not only well done, he’s cute, has good character, tasteful, and he’s wearing some fun looking props that sort of makes you want to get into a photo booth yourself.

Again, unique, very original and not some lame cookie cutter thing that looks like everyone else’s logo.

2 – WEBSITE DESIGN

that-photo-booth-guy-website

  • Fixed Navigation and Sidebar
    When you scroll up and down, only the centre part moves. The navigation on the left and the quote form on the right stay in place. I think this is really neat because it’s always handy to have the navigation visible so you can click to another page without needing to scroll up and down. Having the navigation on the left hand side is quite unique. The fixed sidebar is also a neat way to keep the call to action conveniently accessible.
  • Responsive
    that-photo-booth-guy-website-mobileEverything is responsive and it’s quite the feat when you have tricky features like the fixed navigation and sidebar. Go onto their site and try it out. The first thing to shift is the sidebar, which gets sent to the bottom of the page. This is a little bit of a bummer because the call to action is no longer nudging the user to act, but the little link at the very top is a nice touch to make it easy for people to get a quote.Once you shrink things down a little more, the navigation pops up to the top and it rearranges itself to what you see in the image to the right. A little nice touch here is that the menu button actually says “menu” instead of the typical “three lines” icon.
  • Simple and Classy
    Overall, the website is really simple and classy, yet has that charming quaint character to it. The simple monochromatic color scheme lets the photographs really shine, which is a really smart play and does the job well. The only other color you really see there is the eye-catching green. The green is only used for the call to action—textbook awesomeness.

I took a look at their other social media outlets like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter, and there doesn’t seem to be much action there—something they can definitely improve on… They do have some consistent cover graphics going on though, which is great.

Really cool, “That Photo Booth Guy”…. really cool…

I’m impressed by your branding and I hope I get to try out your photo booth service in person sometime in the near future. I’d like to see the product behind this cool branding and see if it lives up to the reputation ;).

Signin’ off,

D