Hi, I’m Brian Dys — a photographer from the inside looking out · a composer entangled in electronic music · a UX designer · a spouse, a parent, & everything in between.
Previously, we have tackled an introduction to recreating Dorset Cereals. Now, we’ll begin with doing the initial work that will be the basis of the HTML and CSS.
- Convert content into text
- Group and label texts
- Structure groups via header, main, footer
The first step of RE:Creation is to convert the content (in this case, the visual elements) into text. As you can see in the figure above, we have itemized the elements of the front panel and we have also grouped related elements together. This kind of visualization makes it easier for us to accomplish this stage.
Step 1: Convert content into text
- Let’s go from left to right, top to bottom in converting content into text
- For symbols, if they have a corresponding Unicode character, let’s use them (e.g., use ℮ for estimated sign, ® registered sign)
- For illustrations, we could describe the type of style they have
Step 2: Group and label the texts
- There are elements that need to be grouped together and there are elements that are standalone
- “Pioneer Centre” and “326.00” can be grouped into “Store tag”
- “Dorset Cereals®” is standalone and can be labeled as “Product name”
- Label everything, both elements and groups
- Identify and label “main” elements based on the contents’ visual hierarchy (e.g., “Product main description” — “main” is depicted based on the elements position and size in the visuals)
- Labels can describe the content’s literal meaning (e.g., “Product content percentage description” instead of simply, “Product description”)
Step 3: Structure groups via header, main, footer
- “Header” group contains identifying information that help the consumer immediately identify the product
- “Main” group contains the details that help the consumer decide to buy or not buy the product
- “Footer” group contains other information that supplements the details when the consumer wants to learn more
- Distribute the labeled groups into the header-main-footer structure
- Arrange the groups according to the importance of its containing information (e.g., “Main illustration” is placed last because other information are more important in terms of helping the consumer decide)
- At this point, there is no information that fits in the “Footer” group
You might have noticed that we’ve replicated the capitalization of text to simplify the process. For example, the store name could be styled as “Pioneer Centre” but we opted to replicate it as “PIONEER CENTRE”. Capitalization has a nuance in the brand’s style of writing. In any case, CSS can handle modifying the capitalization, and we’ll get to that later in the process.
That’s it for Text stage!
Now, we already have a basis for coding in HTML and CSS. Go to the next stage, which is HTML (markup).
- Get Hired: Building a Solid UX Design Portfolio
- Our industry needs more designers. Most importantly: a different type of designer.
- Teacher to UX designer: A roadmap
- Front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end web development
- How to Handle Dominating Participants in UX Workshops: 3 Tactics
- Things I wish UX candidates would ask me during interviews
- Greeking Versus Designing with Actual Content
- Citibank just got a $500 million lesson in the importance of UI design
In this episode of RE:Creation, we’ll be recreating a cereal box in HTML and CSS. One thing I like about consumer product packaging is that almost everything is written there in that little space. It’s like a website in the palm of your hands at a grocery aisle (or at your breakfast table).
First, let’s lay down all the steps that we will take in order to make this happen.
- What is the goal?
- How to approach this thing?
- What are the elements involved?
- Converting to Text
- Converting to HTML
- Converting to CSS
- Wrapping up
- Did we achieve the goal?
- What did we learn?
In order for us to have a clear scope of this exercise, we need to see the all the elements of the packaging through an expanded view.
The main goal is for us to recreate it using HTML and CSS and learn various concepts of design and coding along the way.
First, look at the information and identify which are important compared to others — that will be the arrangement of contents in HTML. For example, the front of the packaging comes first before the sides and back.
Next, look at how the panels are laid out — that will be the visual arrangement in CSS. For example, the back of the packaging is at the leftmost — which means, it comes first before the sides and front (for left to right direction).
We’re breaking down the packaging to its individual elements by panel and flap. We have 4 panels and 9 flaps, for a total of 13 segments — this is also how we are scoping each section of the recreation. For example, we will tackle the front panel first, then back panel, and so on.
It was more than 10 years ago since I bought a Swatch watch called Something New. It was tiny classic black and white watch that had a plastic strap that cost one-third of the watch’s original price (and it breaks every year, the strap). This is what really deterred me from buying from Swatch. Metal and leather straps were me when I was 14 years old but not anymore. Durability and style require delicate balance.
After that, I switched to Casio, with another classic — an F-91W which is a cheap ₱999 watch whose strap also breaks — but this time, every six months. Again, the strap cost a third of the original price. After around 3 strap replacements, it is now again in a brink of breaking. Planned obsolescence for “bottom-of-the-line” products — these watch makers have perfected a ploy.
Just a couple of days ago, I couldn’t leave the mall without taking home this greenish-looking watch called We in the Khaki Now. With it, I partnered another watch for Jaycelle as a surprise — Sunblush (Swatch has a really fun way of naming their watches).
Of course, after eyeing these two awesome watches, my first question for the salesperson was, “What kind of straps do they have?” I was glad not to hear “plastic” or “rubber” — but “silicone“. It’s time to give it another try.
When I got home, I searched for more information regarding the straps and found out that We in the Khaki Now has a “bio-sourced material” strap. I just hope that this time the straps would last for years.
- The One, Simple Secret To A Successful Career
- Matt Mullenweg: Collaboration Is Key
- Nielsen Norman Group
- Early-career UXers: Your most impressive work is missing from your portfolio
- Best Story Wins
- How People Learn to Become Resilient
- 12 Life Lessons From Mathematician and Philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota
One of the things he taught me early on was make reversible decisions quickly and irreversible ones deliberately, and I still return to that on a weekly basis. If it’s a reversible decision we’ll probably learn a lot more by doing it.Matt Mullenweg
Sign up for the email newsletter
Every week, I publish a reading list. Get it straight to your inbox by subscribing to the newsletter.
- What Do You Call a Word with Capitals in the Middle?
- Grelling–Nelson paradox
- Sophrosyne: the art of mindful moderation
- The Rules of Margin Collapse
- Paul Graham
- The Best-Case Outcomes Are Statistical Outliers
- To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself
- It’s time we say goodbye to pixel units
- How to Write Your First Freelance Invoice