16 Jul 2009 6 pm eastern

Brighter Planet beta

The Happy Cog-designed social network for Brighter Planet is now in public beta. Come on down and kick the tires. Brighter Planet helps you take control of your environmental footprint: measure your climate impact, discover simple ways to reduce it, track your progress, and share your experiences with other people who who want to make a difference.

Happy Cog‘s New York office developed this project. The team:

This truly collaborative project could not have been conceived or completed without the brilliant and generous work of Brighter Planet team members including:

  • CTO Adam Rubin (bio, blog, Twitter)
  • Co-founder and Product Design Director Andy Rossmeissl (Twitter, bio)
  • Senior Systems Engineer Seamus Abshere (bio)
  • Rails developer Rich Sturim (Twitter, bio)

Not only is this young, passionate team dedicated to reducing climate change and all things green, they are also marketing kingpins, shrewd user experience designers, and badass developers.

We love our clients. These folks and this project are dear to us. And it’s a fun way to make a difference. I hope you’ll check out Brighter Planet’s new beta social network.

[tags]brighterplanet, climatechange, beta, site, launch, launches, webdesign, projects, work, happycog[/tags]

Filed under: climate change, Code, Community, Happy Cog™, social networking, User Experience, UX, Web Design, Websites, work, Working, Zeldman

9 Responses to “Brighter Planet beta”

  1. Benjamin Alijagić said on

    Simple and nice but that header looks empty and weird, coz of center aligned navigation I guess. Some subtle illustration in header would be great too.

  2. Josh Stodola said on

    Wow, this is anything but vintage Happy Cog. I don’t like it! The purpose of the site is fantastic, but I think this design is totally subpar (for your agency). The navigation doesn’t feel right at all (centered). And regardless of what Christmas brings, red and green simply do not belong together. And it looks like Hamid used his site as a template for this one. Boring. Where’s the creativity?!

  3. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Wow, @Josh, harsh. Everyone to his or her tastes, of course, but we like this design. It feels friendly and organic yet not too crunchy-granola. We feel that the design is a simple platform that will only get better as it fills with content. It is a low-key design to be sure. We were not going for flashy. More like Facebook in earth-tones. We were going for something clean and unobtrusive that facilitates user activity and won’t outwear its welcome. Maybe it doesn’t grab you initially, but it grows on you over time.

    That, anyway, was our hope and goal, and I think Naz Hamid did a spendid job on the design. There are a couple of placeholder illustrations on the home page that are fine for now but not great, I’ll grant you. Those will be replaced soon. But the overall design, to me, strikes a nice balance between formal and casual, and facilitates a great deal of activity without feeling cluttered.

    If we failed, it’s my fault as creative director, but I feel the design has an understated merit and winning, quiet friendliness about it that feels right for its community and the company behind it.

  4. Mike Gray said on

    @ Benjamin and Josh

    Try to keep some perspective guys. Those are very subjective comments based on your own personal opinions.

    The measure of success for ANY design project is that it meets the objectives set by the client and design team. Regardless of any expectations you may have of a design agency (whether it JZ’s or any other) if the design achieved its objectives and the client is happy with the job, its a winner. Simple as that.

  5. Ronald's Website - News Feeds said on

    [...] Brighter Planet beta The Happy Cog-designed social network for Brighter Planet is now in public beta. Come on down and kick the tires. Brighter Planet helps you take control of your environmental footprint: measure your climate impact, discover simple ways to reduce it, track your progress, and share your experiences with other people … [...]

  6. Brighter Planet Blog » Web app update: another release out! said on

    [...] And Jeff Zeldman — founder of Happy Cog, our design partner on this project — had some nice words, as did Happy Cog colleagues Whitney, Aaron, and Naz. Thank you all!! What a great pleasure [...]

  7. Peter Magellan said on

    Love it! Clear, simple, readable, easy to navigate. I reckon it’s a triumph. The only fault I could find on a quick trawl is that it doesn’t recognise UK postcodes, but what did I expect? It’s a US site.

    I’m with Josh on the red/green thing – but I don’t see them being used on BP, so no issue.

    Nice one – I’ll be a frequent visitor!

  8. Josh Stodola said on

    You’re right, the design has grown on me significantly. It is effortless to navigate, and has quite a bit of quality content. In fact, I am memorizing some conservation tips and plan to start exercising them on my trip to Philly next week.

    I do still feel the main navigation should be left aligned and a different hover color (currently goes from green background to red). Regardless, I had no right to say anything negative about the design without putting the site to use first. Sorry!

  9. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Sir, you have every right in the world to say what you think. I appreciate your honest feedback. Thanks!

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