AIGA Eye on DesignBy Alexis Thornlow
October 10, 2017
AIGA Eye on Design is a microsite covering all things graphic design published by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, which is the oldest and largest not-for-profit membership organization for design in the United States. Of course their website had to be as unique and cool as the artists they feature. Here's why I chose this website for our Site of the Week.
Upon landing on the website homepage, you are greeted with an assortment of eyeballs scattered across the page, which is the eye from the AIGA Eye on Design logo. You start to see these eyeballs peppered throughout the site (page loading icon; at the bottom of footer; at the end of every article), which reinforces the brand and possibly give you a chuckle. Once you click anywhere on the site, the eyeballs disappear.
The hamburger menu takes over the entire screen which pops down a mega-menu, holding four columns of information that allow you to filter your navigation. However, I found it odd that the search bar wasn't behind the hamburger menu. In fact, it's outside the drop-down, appearing in a static position on every page, vertically on the left side in a small-sized font. I had to search for the search bar, which its placement is indeed unique, but also lost 5 seconds of my attention span while trying to find it. Directly across from "Search" is a label called "Something Different." This holds featured articles which I think is a clever title to entice someone to click on it.
After you select an article to read, you immediately begin scrolling to continue the narrative. As soon as this happens, the title of the article (paired with an eyeball as a preface) and social media sharing icons pop to the top of the browser in the a coral banner and attachs itself there throughout the entirety of the story. This is a great way to remind the reader what the title of the article is without having them scroll all the way back up to the top. The articles are full of inline videos as well as bright and lively imagery which pop into lightboxes allowing you to scroll through all of the images. At the end of every article are three rows of related articles to keep you interested in the topic.
My favorite part though, which is sort of like an easter egg, is discovering that if you leave this website up and don't click on anything, every 30 seconds an eyeball will randomly pop up on the screen. I figured this out after I walked away from my computer for about a half hour and upon my return, the entire screen was full of eyeballs and I couldn't see anything behind it. This definitely made me smile and appreciate the small details the designers thought about when creating this unique site.