Ken Zinser

Behind the pixels

It helps to imagine the person behind the pixels. The person whose job it was to design the landing page for that white label credit card website payment portal. A conversation about credit cards. I walked by the store just to see. It has been seven years, just about long enough to propose. I knew I wanted a simple ring—not because it was cheap, although that made it easier to decide then and there. No, I wanted it simple because it felt timeless.

So I got a card. Huge logo. When you went to setup automatic payments, you went to a microsite. A subdomain off of the main financial institutions url. I wondered about the business arrangement where the diamond company worked with the bank who worked with the payment processor… and it made me think about the partner program the bank must have, to support clients like the diamond company. And somebody has to make the website, so there’s where some designer comes in. Picking colors and hex codes and making PNGs of the artwork. Deciding between a pinkish gradient or maybe a bold outline in the button. Something, anything different felt like the excitement of a heist movie.

Curiosity for the way things work, how they came to be, how they are, what arrangements were made. This thinking helps you tell stories. Because it helps you imagine a world reconstituted from different memories and perceptions, feelings and pictures based in reality, but put together in new ways. Almost like a machine learning algorithm making totally fake passport photo style portraits of people.