Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gladys Chow, Digital Design Section 001

This site caught my attention with the animation of noodles dropping down the page and swinging to the left to transform into the menu bar. There were several different principles and elements of design I found the site to do well. For example, on the Customer Zone page [under UDON menu], the directional forces of noodles strands come in from different directions introducing their Wall papers. The site layout is in the form of geometric shapes with the rectangular page and circular menu and scroll buttons. It uses numerous organic shapes, from the noodles hanging from various pages to the images seen on each page.

Repetition and rhythm of the circular shape is seen on menu buttons, scroll buttons, price quote bubbles (above the images on the Food products and Cooking utensils pages), and on the Merchandising UDON page [under UDON SHOP menu], where animated circles appear sporadically to bring the t-shirt into view.

Time and motion are illustrated from their ‘loading page’ noodle bowl icon - the longer it takes for the noodles and soup to fill the bowl, the longer it takes for the page to load.

Unity of the website layout is not only seen from the repetition of shapes but in the color scheme consisting of grayscale colors and a rich red hue. The red hue adds emphasis to its menu buttons and page titles, and the dark gray background appears as the subordination. With this color scheme and use of simple and direct lines as seen in their noodle mascot, the realistic food and product images added contrast and variety to the pages. The pages are of asymmetrical balance, with images of their products kept at a consistent scale and proportion. Images are larger in scale on certain pages, such as the hand holding chopsticks on the Rice page [under FOOD menu] to occupy negative space and balance the page layout.

I thought this website was easy to navigate throughout its pages, and had some subtle and entertaining sound effects and animation. The interaction provided on the Food products and Cooking utensil pages [under UDON SHOP menu] allowed the viewer to view an image larger in scale when the mouse hovered over the image, and also to control the speed of scrolling throughout the images. Creative noodle/restaurant drawings and images can be seen throughout the pages, examples include the noodle mascot sitting in a sake bottle on the Drinks page [under FOOD menu] and it swimming in a bowl with chopsticks in the Take away page [under FOOD menu].

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