Responses by Mathias Høst Normark, cofounder and design director, Norgram.
Background: EverydayExperiments.com is a web-based platform by IKEA and SPACE10 that showcases a series of digital and explorative experiments created by some of the most interesting technology and design studios. Each experiment explores how today’s technology can pioneer new ways of interacting with the spaces we live in.
The reason for sharing these early stage experiments and innovations with the public is to trigger conversations among the design- and tech-savvy communities around the world. The exploratory nature of the platform makes it possible for other designers and developers to gain insight into the creative process, and to give feedback and exchange ideas at an early stage. That is what Everyday Experiments is about: designers and technologists come together to play, share their work, exchange ideas, engage in discussions and inspire each other on how advanced technology can create a better everyday life at home.
Core features: We designed a simple, clear, editorial-style platform that put the focus on the content rather than on the design. We wanted to create a stage for all the playful, colorful and bold technology experiments that let them shine. We focused on being precise, offering a pleasant reading experience and let the content run with the visitors’ attention.
Favorite details: I really like the progress line we designed that is at the bottom of each experiment on the desktop version. It serves two purposes: First, it gives people a clear overview of which experiments they can experience next, but secondly it also serves as an alternative menu bar as the toggle switch extends the progress line into a full overview of all experiments—this way people can navigate through all the experiments in a novel way.
Challenges: One interesting challenge was that Everyday Experiments is a collaboration between SPACE10 and IKEA, so the design of the website needed to reflect that. We wanted it to be recognizably IKEA as well as having a SPACE10 flavor. Our starting point was therefore the IKEA brand identity.
We used the IKEA typeface Noto, icons like the famous IKEA arrow, an IKEA color scheme with light backgrounds and IKEA’s familiar yellow color—as well as elements like block quotes, which IKEA is fond of. But then we hacked IKEA’s brand identity through a SPACE10 perspective, so everything became a bit more bold. We also paired Noto with Noto Mono, which is part of the same family but also reflects the lab nature of the project—as well as being one of our programmer’s favorite typefaces.
Navigation structure: When you enter the site, you are immersed into the first experiment from the get go. Our entire idea behind the UX was creating a feeling of ‘endless experiments,’ as you can scroll from one experiment to the next in an intuitive fashion.