Ton Giacometti, Product Designer at iCasei


What is your relationship to visual design?

Well, nowadays I work more focused on interface design in a platform of wedding websites (iCasei, a pioneer in Brazil). I started my career as a graphic designer dealing with printing, advertising and always flirting with digital and technology area (making websites etc.). After going through this whole process I moved little by little to digital product design, where I am now.

I’ve been learning more every day about digital products, usability, user behavior, minimal design, design thinking, heuristics and more, so I leaped (not so suddenly) from visual and “artistic” to user-focused design and I saw the other face of the design role, the function and not just the aesthetic. So now, having this background I can understand better these two important parts that make a good experience, and then, looking back on the visual design with more authority to produce more consistent and functional digital products.

How did your graphic design background translate to visual design of interfaces?

I think that is a common path for many designers these days. I know a considerable number of people who came from graphic design/advertising. They followed the market and migrated to UX/UI.

Over time, as you learn about design you start to realize that the concept of design is only one and we can apply it to any type of work, with any software: it’s all about how to solve an issue and a focus on users and their problems or goals.

In terms of layout and organization of content and assets a website is not too different from a magazine, for example. And the “rules” of graphic design like contrast, white space, type design, readability, hierarchy etc. can walk along with the heuristics of Nielsen—for example—and guarantee the maximum good experience with a digital (or physical) product.

In my case I had—by curiosity—some experience with photography, retouching, and I’d had jobs related to ads and marketing and other stuff that made me a better professional even as a designer, because different skills and roles can add a lot. Especially when it comes to people.

Now that you’ve got experience with both graphic and software design, do you notice any differences, even if there’s a lot of overlap?

Technically speaking the process of creating for the web is different, in terms of resolution, responsiveness, interactions, feedback. There are certain concerns in interface design that do not exist in graphic design. I believe that one is linked to the other and there are many similarities, but visual design in digital products is more functional in terms of the possibilities that the user can experience.

Do you think interface design loses out on anything, because of that slightly different focus?

I believe that in terms of creativity we can base our work on graphic design. There is a lot of it in what we do today for the web, but a digital interface is more linked to human behavior, to science. Graphic design is seen more on the art side—in my view—which does not mean that we cannot be innovative and create beautiful things for digital. Nowadays we have tools and different ways to achieve all kinds of visual communication.

You said you work on wedding websites. Have you noticed any common visual styles for wedding websites?

Actually we have a platform where couples can create their own websites using drag and drop tools, fill out the the information, the content, and choose one of several templates available.

Since I started in this niche I have realized that there is indeed a common style that users like: romantic elements, soft colors, script typefaces, for example.

Often we try to get away from that, creating some different and peculiar layouts—that are well accepted—but for most jobs we understand that we must follow that visual trend.

Roughly what percentage of people decide not to follow the common style for their wedding website?

I think about 20%.