By Yuting Jiang
This cover story of Pitchfork is very engaging and touching for its great unity between content and design. The design presents the story naturally and elegantly. Comparing to many other online storytelling projects which have lots of cool interactive elements to present information and visuals, this one is particularly simple but very beautiful. I love this piece for I always believe the golden rule of design- less is more.
It’s basically a profile story of a musician, so the simple design style just matches with the content. It opens with an eye-catching whole-screen portrait of the artist with the title on the left. Noticeably, the whole design is black and white, which helps it to reach a great sense of unity and build an artistic atmosphere as well. Moreover, the web designer avoids the monotony by interchangeably using black and white as the background color and having the pictures of the musician on different sides of the screen with different sizes. This also forms contrast in design. Also, the fonts of the title and quotes are specifically well chosen and the use of quotes as an individual page to interrupt the story flow is actually smart. It gives both readers’ eyes and minds a rest.
What amazes me the most about this piece is its multimedia part- the moving pictures with the musician’s poses. It’s also very simple but beautiful. While scrolling down, the pose of the musician changes and all together they become like a piece of dance on the screen. Noticeably , for online storytelling, readers used to scroll down pages very quickly at first just to look through. Then if the content/design engages them, they go back and read more carefully. One thing about this one is when users looking through it very quickly, the poses of the musician flow more smoothly and makes the design even cooler to look at.
Although comparing to others, this one might not be very fancy technically , it does have sound to go with the moving poses. The music here kind of dissolves into the musician’s dance as well as the story. Again, simple and harmonious.
Navigation is easy as well. The story unfolds as scrolling down and there are “return to beginning” and “back to homepage” bottoms at the end of the story, which easily direct readers to places they might want to go.
In a nutshell, this design is clean, coherent and beautifully blended with different media elements.