sourjayne.comblog → A List Apart: Articles: Words that Zing

Link: A List Apart: Articles: Words that Zing →

February 9th, 2010

Interesting perspective on writing for the web, with a helpful visualization from the Greek rhetorical concept of kairos:

In weaving, kairos occurs in the instant at which the shuttle passes through an opening in the loom’s threads; this is the moment when all the threads come together to create the fabric. Similarly, on the web, the threads of technology, design, content, culture, and user science intertwine to form the fabric—or context—that swathes the opportune moment.

This is the most succinct and powerful way I’ve ever heard to describe the way a design combines elements of visual composition, balance, content, science, and timing to support cognitive understanding and persuasion of viewers.

I loved the examples under selling a service subscription. There is an art to designing marketing content, and the concept of kairos explains this brilliantly. The customer can visualize themselves using the service, and that’s what drives the point home. When designing these examples, the team got into their users’ heads.

The way I read it, kairos is that “Zing” when everything comes together in a way that seems so simple, yet can be so difficult to create. Once you become cognitive of things like psychology and timing in addition to visual composition, typography, etc., and put the right words and images together in the right layout, finally, it happens. Zing.

photo of Sarah A blog full of thoughts and observations on making the web a better place, collected by Sarah Harrison.