Sean Juárez Design

22 January 2011

Dashboard Light Experiment

I work for College of Life Sciences at Brigham Young University. I'm part of the web design/graphics team along with my fellow design nerds Hannah Hillam and Kristin Gulledge. We're responsible for making the Life Sciences website look pretty. :)

Recently we started using a site our web team created called SciNet for computer support and employee management. Given my experience with code and design, I was tasked to create the skin for the site. I was thrilled about it since it was my first chance to really try my hand at interface design, (which is one of my design obsessions.) I started off taking all kinds of liberties and when I first showed my coworkers they were blown away. My boss even commented on it looking LCARS-esque, (which was not quite what I was going for, but flattering nonetheless.) Unfortunately I soon learned there would be a public-end to the site, so the skin would need look clean, professional and normal for the faculty and staff who would be using it, too. So I reworked and finished the skin modeling it after Kristin's design for the main Life Sciences site. I haven't been able to work on the old skin since. :(

Despite the change of design focus, the creative explosion that happened inside my head was so thrilling that I haven't stopped thinking about it. While making tweaks to the skin, I haven't been able to help thinking "oh! on the other skin I can design it like this!" I almost compulsively want to design things in the style of the other interface so that they'll be more easy to "read" and look cooler while they're at it.

Recently I was changing the style of a text field that displays a ticket's priority. I originally picked some bright colors for the design, but after finishing the new skin it was obvious that wouldn't work. Rather reluctantly I found some pastel colors I could live with. As I did so I kept thinking about how cool they would be if they had the glowing look of a light on a car dashboard. I was thinking about it the whole day.The next chance I got I mocked-up an example of what I was thinking of for the heck of it. It turned out better than I thought and I loved it so much I wanted to post it. So there you go.