Lotus KMInformer

Client: IDG.net & Lotus / Contract: Proposal

International Data Group has a thing about naming its publications something-World. All the well-known World magazines are IDG properties: PCWorld, Computerworld, NetworkWorld, InfoWorld, MacWorld. If some bizarro version of IDG exists in Lynchverse, FleshWorld (Twin Peaks) is no doubt a part of the IDG family.

But sometimes, the world is not enough. Operating under the assumption that most IT people don't have time for artfully named sites, the powers-that-be decreed that -Informer was a good no-nonsense name for electronic publications. When IDG.net started to pitch niche-content sites (referred to as microsites) to every single company they could think of, I came to hate that decision. First of all, it gets really long. Second, a one-hit wonder from my high school years by a Canadian rapper called Snow would automatically start playing in my head. Infor-mer / You know say daddy me snow me-a (gonna) blame / A licky boom-boom down...

While the whole microsite craze meant I could do more design and coding, it also meant that I was expected to produce original site designs on demand in matter of days, then hours. To be fair, I don't think many of the marketing people who would casually ask me to "have something ready" for their pitch tomorrow really understood what kind of labour this entailed. After all, they were home and in bed long before I shut down my machine. I got to know the cleaning staff and the thrill of running for the last train of the night and learned to hoard food as everything in SOMA closes at 5.

After the first 4 or 5 mockups, it dawned on me that none of these pitches had produced any contracts, and were fairly unlikely to. I was of course never invited to any of those meetings, but it seemed to me that our marketing people really didn'y care what kinds of mockups they were showing to people, as long as it had all the navigation items they asked for, the client logos and a "custom look". To test that theory, I started to produce slightly more freakish mocks.

"Sputnik" is one such design. Originally a proposal for "Lotus DataBasement" (IT people mistake puns for hipness), it had to be changed at the last minute to "KM Informer" when it was discovered that databases were tired, and knowledge management was wired. Don't ask me about the font; I just wanted to see if it would provoke some sort of a response, but not so much.

Original design proposal
  1. "Laika"
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