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Ello's Site Design: Simple and Beautiful or Just Boring?

Friday, October 03, 2014

New social network, Ello, has gone viral over the last week due to Facebook’s recent name change policy. Ello promises its members a “simple, beautiful & ad-free” platform where they can connect, create, and share.  It is completely free to use with the exception of adding special features, which are occasionally offered at a low cost for those who want to spruce up their profile. Ello is an invite-only community; to join you need to know someone who is already a part of the network or request an invitation on Ello’s homepage.

Naturally, working at a web design and development company I was curious as to what the Ello website looked like. Once on the site, I was surprised by the very basic and to-the-point design. Very interesting that this company, who is attempting to compete with Facebook, has purposely chosen a color scheme that consists of black and white, a font that resembles a typewriter, and has whitespace consuming the majority of the site. Ello’s use of shapes, mainly circles and rectangles, further portray the site’s elementary layout. However, after only a few minutes of surfing around on their non-membership pages, I made the connection. Their website design choice absolutely supported their branding: Ello the anti-Facebook. Nice work Ello, I get it. Still, the design feels like it’s missing something, or a lot of things, and it makes me wonder if budget constraints influenced this. 

I see plenty of opportunities for Ello to add some life to their site without compromising the uncomplicated layout. For example, on the logged out version, fill up some of the empty space so that it doesn’t look a blank screen. I would suggest adding pops of color amongst all that black and white to create an appearance that is aesthetically pleasing. Choosing a more modern typeface would make it look less 1980s. Also, once logged into the site, I would like to see completely new and fresh features and design. I wanted to be excited by Ello and instead found that the inside was just as uninspiring as the homepage. It seems like Ello combined certain features from Facebook, Tumblr, Google, and Twitter and stripped them down into one plain platform. I’m all about privacy, but in order for me to switch to this platform I need to feel engaged as a user and comfortable expressing my creativity on this network. Although Ello is using a different strategy than their social rivals, they are still competing head on with some of the largest social networks in the world. My concern is that Ello’s dull design will not hold up against these power players and will certainly not replace Facebook anytime in the near future.

I believe Ello can add a lot to their website without sacrificing their “simple and beautiful” message. These simple changes can go a long way and will drastically enhance user experience. I am curious to see what is next for Ello and if they will make improvements to their website design.

Written By:
Deanna Di Marco

About JeTT
JeTT Media group provides full graphic website design and development services that are guaranteed to capture the attention of your site visitors. We work diligently with our clients to ensure we are meeting every design and development need. JeTT utilizes the latest design innovations to create an optimal experience for users. We work with a wide range of industries and can help you deliver your brand’s message to the world! 

Posted by Tracy Ryan