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I’ve seen a million faces and I’ve rocked them all August 3, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, digital strategy, marketing.

Consistency. Consistency is the key to a killer product, service or brand. McDonalds build their business on the premise a cheeseburger you ate in Tokyo would taste the same as one you ate in Chicago. It didn’t matter where you interacted with them, the product would be (for better or worse) the same.

In game design, consistency forms the rules within which your world exists. Getting through a game is basically a process of learning the rules, the fundamental building blocks of that world, and stepping up your own level of skill as those rules evolve. This extends to the aesthetic of the game too, which is why although it has some of the lowest resolution artwork of any game around, people marvel at how beautiful World of Warcraft is. The tiniest detail is completely consistent with the largest, which all works towards a single thing: suspension of disbelief.

Use of consistent imagery and mechanics in design gives the person you’re dealing with an innate understanding and expectation of the experience they’re about to have with your offering. You can imagine if the way you drove a Toyota was completely different to the way you drove a Ford there’d be incredible problems moving from one car to another, but we rarely think about this when dealing with design.

See, 99% of problems in a relationship stem from expectations not being met (the other 1% is always my fault). It is the source of the most frustration, regardless of whether you’re dealing with another human being or a magazine.

Be consistent so you can spend your time with someone getting to know them better, not continually covering off the basics.

Tomorrow I’m going to be look at ING and talk about the difference between knowing your role and playing your part.

Image courtesy of M J M, with thanks to compfight.



1. Stuart McPhee - August 4, 2008

More on consistency, to quote Warhol:

“You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.”

2. Melissa - January 5, 2009

A little unrelated – but i love to read your writing and sometimes will read through and feel the content is quite relevant for a colleague, would love to see a forward to a friend button, i realise they can just subscribe but not all the content may be relevant specifically… Keep up the fantastic work! oh and Happy New Year!

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