My First Icon Set

Why Computers?

Sitting down to design four icons from scratch was a challenge that was incredibly foreign to me. I was worried that a lack of artistic ability would end up keeping me from performing as well as I wanted to. I decided to pick a theme for my icons that I was passionate about and familiar with. That’s why I decided on computers.

The Design

When I began to design I found it difficult to make the shapes of the items I wanted. I went to a friend of mine who does a lot of design and he gave me the advice to keep things simple and stick to basic geometric shapes. Soon after my mouse came together in a way I was really satisfied with. After that I got into a real groove and discovered that my next biggest hurdle was finding objects that I could design and have people know what they were. My monitor looked like a TV and my webcam looked like a target. I needed things that people would recognize. The final four icons I settled on all had a similar design and were the easiest to recognize.

The Details

The cool thing I discovered in this project is that less is more. While I designed my laptop my teacher suggested a slight modification. I originally had drawn out a frame around the laptop screen and he suggested just one block of color. I was amazed at how well it worked and how much stronger my design got. After that I removed a lot of colors and lines in my other icons.


Colors are always interesting to choose for me since I’m colorblind. I decided to pick something bright and fun for my accessories because the word accessory makes me think of options. I think of a million different ways that people can express their individuality. When I looked at pictures of mice and jump drives I saw a million different designs so I wanted a color to reflect that. On the other hand I wanted a stark contrast to the more essential hardware parts of a computer. I know there is a lot of ways to express through these as well but my designs made me think ‘business’ so I decided gray would reflect that nicely.



I am proud of my icons. I think that I proved something to myself. I showed that you don’t need artistic ability to keep things simple, even a colorblind person can still have meaning in their colors, and sometimes it’s best to change course instead of plow through a brick wall.





YouTube: A Case for Simplicity

This is the post excerpt.

This is an image many of us will probably be familiar with; the YouTube homepage ( A website that gets 900,000,000 unique views a month needs to be absolutely solid in all basic web design principals and YouTube is rock steady.


YouTube has used proximity here to indicate which videos go together. The white space indicated by the square at the bottom shows the white space that separates groups of videos. The close proximity of the videos at the top shows that they must be related in some way.


Their alignment choices are not challenging to the form in order to make the site easier to use. Have center aligned videos in neat rows makes them easy to browse and the left aligned menu stands out from the rest of the page.


The main source of repetition on YouTube is in the video statistics placed below each video. Having a consistent video option layout makes it easier for users to know where to see video titles and video views while also being easy on the eye for being consistent.

Color and Contrast

YouTube uses a mainly white color palette in order to make the thumbnails on their videos pop more. This makes it easier for the user to browse videos without it being straining on the eyes. They’ve used the same concept in the menu on the side to draw attention.


Overall YouTube has a strong design that emphasizes the basic principals in order to create an easy to browse webpage.