Boxing and unboxing content
by A. GardefjordTweet
I admit it: I’m a bit nit-picking from time to time. But when it comes to your stuff – your content – and how it’s presented in digital, I think I should be.
Having content as your main design object is common on the web. Pinterest, YouTube, Google, Dribbble, Facebook – they all made the design-choice of putting their users content front and center. What brought my attention was is that they design this experience slightly different.
Youtube, Google and Facebook have chosen an unboxed style – to have the content floating free on top of the white web-canvas. Pinterest and Dribbble have chosen to box all their content – to frame it from the canvas [update - Pinterest has now unboxed!].
The theories about framing says that an image should have a border (boxed) if the image itself seams to appear outside of it’s box:
If this would be the case then content which appear outside of its frame should have a border – pretty clear.
But content on the web is not static like that, the frame is static but the content inside can change.
How about probability?
If 70% of the content is supposed to be unboxed let’s make all the content unboxed. Dribbble are made by profesionals, so we could expect that their content is more or less unboxed – fare enough?
But – when I was thinking about this and applying it to different interfaces, something felt weird. On the web we have content that is interactive, ever-changing, user-generated, crowd-sourced…
The content is never just the content in itself. It’s what surrounds it, it’s liked and commented, it’s tagged and named, it’s boxes that frames each other. It’s never just itself.
Perhaps It’s a matter of taste but from a UX perspective the liberation of your users content is worth so much more.
So – which one do you prefer?