Form vs. Content

It’s not so rare in the realm of design that you fall for forms that are empty of content. Potato salad’s kickstarter project is a funny example of media production that its form primes your brain to absorb something serious and smart but the real content is as shallow as it gets. Watch the video if you haven’t already!

While this was an exaggerated example, there are more subtle version of that all around us. Parallax is a good example that you can find numerous versions of it in different marketing sites. To describe it, it’s a technique that lets you move two layers of content with different scrolling speed. I saw the first example of that more than two years ago in spotify’s marketing site. The first layer had different selling points and second layer had touchy pictures of people simply enjoying music. The designer in that example was able to marry the form and content perfectly. But this is another example from another popular service, google drive:


Let’s talk about what we see. The page starts with a hero shot that shows your work and laptop and cellphone. So far so good. But the second shot is the man from behind that is going to surf. Maybe the last place that your files don’t matter and data consumption is not possible/recommended.
The image after is a stock photo of a party while people are eating. I get the remote connection of sharing but come on… Dinning table… the number one place that you are advised against digital data consumption.
The last image seems to be from a hipster packing for a trip and an analog camera is the highlight of the shot. Of course, that’s more nostalgic and better looking than many of the digital cameras out there. But how possibly would you move those pictures to your google drive? Well, it’s technically possible but would you? The designer here has managed to gather all the scenarios where google drive has no use. To me, that’s is an epic case of falling for a form and failing to use visual to deliver a specific message. Something that we should all watch for in our work!