Web Design, Branding, Animation
"Burden of Choice" came about from years of personal experience dealing with feelings of overwhelmingness and confusion which occur when forms of decision making take place. And these feelings returned early in the last semester of my bachelor's degree, upon brainstorming ideas for my thesis project. With so many different directions for ideas, I ended up feeling kind of lost in which was the best one to pursue.
So what is "choice overload?" Well, much like the term sounds, it is a phenomenon that describes how when we have too many options to choose from, we feel overwhelmed or "overloaded." And although we assume the more options we have the merrier, reality is much different— this overload effects us poorly, resulting in being unable to choose at all as well as creating negative impacts on our mental health such as increased anxiety and/ or depression.
The use of geometric shapes (circles, triangles, squares, and lines) as visual symbols for "options" or "choices". I challenged myself with a design goal– to find a balance and visual language that will allow me to create "organized overwhelmingness" because "too much" doesn't always mean chaos or messiness.
A mix of duotone colors, clean and solid-color background, with gentle noisy texture inside the shapes helped create a whole world I could play with, while each time breaking apart shapes and putting them together in different arrangements.
The soundtracks in each animation create an immersive world and do so using atypical sounds (elevator noises, door creaks, mouse clicks, duct tape, etc.)
When I thought of "overwhelmingness" one of the first things that popped into my head was shelves from large public libraries, grocery store shelves, and the old CD disk racks that we all used to have in our homes. This visual reference helped me design a grid system of "informational units," while categorizing them using the system of colors and shapes I had designed.
In order to build "Burden of Choice" I chose to work with Webflow as my platform of choice. My workflow consisted of Figma-to-Webflow, building everything as Webflow-native components and then exporting assets into Webflow.
Most of the site is built with the common Webflow tools, but supported and tweaked with coded snippets, while the micro-animations are either Webflow-native or Lottie animations that were imported into the site.
The grid layout and format changed quite a bit throughout the process, starting out more spread out and square to more rectangular and dense. This was challenging, technically speaking, because it was necessary to create a unique interaction but building it correctly so it works across different devices smoothly.
The logo incorporates the variety of shapes seen throughout the brand design. It is dynamic and has two separate versions:
1) a logo icon of a single shape
2) an animated reveal of multiple hidden shapes
The half-half circle, used and as the homepage logo icon, best represents the "split" feeling that we experience when deciding between options.
This project was very special to me; "Burden of Choice" is a personal curiosity that turned into something bigger, something shared with the world and with new people. Presenting "Burden of Choice" to the world—whether in an exhibit, on social platforms, or just allowing it to live online—gave me the chance to see how other people reacted and it was personally encouraging.
My hope for this project is that it continues to lives on for the years to come, reaching a wider audience with the opportunity to educate them, allowing them to find relation with their own personal experiences and/ or difficulties.