A journey of simplicity and user-centricity

In this installment of our Beautifully Effective® journals, Greg shares insights on simplicity and subtlety, an optimised approach to development, and how the collective mantra infuses everything we do as a team.

I look at the statement Beautifully Effective in two ways and, I think, it changes depending on the situation: what makes Salad ‘Beautifully Effective’ and what makes the work I do Beautifully Effective?

Within Salad Beautifully Effective is a mantra, a collective feeling. Although I’m the newest member of the Salad team, having joined in 2022, these are the points that contribute to what I think makes Salad Beautifully Effective as a team.

There is a real level of inclusion at Salad – Everyone is treated equally and on the same level regardless of their job role/position. 

You have a voice – Your voice and opinions are heard with maturity and understanding. The egos are left at the door every day.

Everyone knows their accountability – Each team member owns their work and knows their accountability. At Salad everyone is pulling in the same direction with the same goals and challenges.

Collaborative & adaptable – Often there are times when a deadline’s been moved or a design may not translate as well to digital and we have to adapt. Here at Salad we really pull together in these situations and there is a real collaborative effort from everyone to learn from or help each other.

What is Beautifully Effective Development?

In development, I take a straightforward approach; the site should be simple, efficient and user-friendly. I believe in simplicity and subtlety, not letting unnecessary extras get in the way of the job of communication.

Interactive elements on a page should be effective and subtle, not big and flashy. These interactions also need to be tailored for each project, with thoughtful, logical decisions made to suit the intended audience. I want the user to think “wow that’s a nice little touch” and ‘how did they do that?’. 

The development scope shouldn’t be too complicated, or crammed with many different third-party libraries and external plugins. In fact, overloading your site will lead to an increase in requests, which can impact negatively on performance and therefore user experience. Keeping things lean can help shave off valuable seconds in page loading time which, in turn, will help keep users from abandoning your site.

Advancements in languages like CSS have enabled us to do more with significantly fewer resources. In recent years CSS has seen new, useful features added which were once only achievable in combination with JavaScript. For example, we can now implement CSS-only cards- or image sliders, by taking advantage of new features like scroll-snapping. The resultant reduction in page load speed is achieved by cutting out extra server requests is a benefit to user experience all ‘round, but particularly on mobile where every request counts.

Beautifully Effective is also not doing the same job twice – being resourceful rather than continually rebuilding something from scratch and using a DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) approach when it comes to development. Whether it’s using reusable components from a Salad resource library or taking advantage of lightweight tools like Tailwind CSS or Alpine.js.

So, in conclusion, what does Beautifully Effective mean to me? Firstly, it’s about achieving the desired target in a simple, pragmatic way. But, it’s also a collective mantra amongst the Salad team, reminding us that by remaining collaborative and adaptable, we can help ensure the effectiveness of our work.

Get in touch for more information on our Beautifully Effective approach or to discuss how a digital project could help your brand evolve.

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