Design, tech, writing, and other creative matters.
Tagged with “design” (26)
In Episode No. 80 of The Big Web Show ("Everything Web That Matters") host Jeffrey Zeldman interviews Daring Fireball author John Gruber.
If I asked you to close your eyes and mimic the action of using one of the simple human interfaces of everyday life, you could probably do it. Without having a button to push, you could close your eyes and pretend push a button, and that action would accurately reflect the action of pushing a real button. The same goes for flipping a switch or turning a door knob. If you closed your eyes and faked the movement, it would sync up with its real world use. Now if I asked you to do the same with a car’s steering wheel, you’d think you’d be able to describe steering accurately and mime the correct movements with your hands in the air, but you’d be wrong. Very, very wrong. You’d probably kill a bunch of imaginary people. Our friends at Humans in Design, Tristan Cooke and Tom Nelson, bring us this story about how our brain knows how to steer without really knowing how to steer and what that means for steering wheel design. They interviewed Dr. Steve Cloete, from The University of Queensland, who conducted the blind driver studies.
In episode three of Using Blue we talk with Jeremy Keith of Clearleft about how HTML5 snuck up on him, responsive web design, catch phrases and catch phrases.
We head down a great path of discussion with Jeremy while we talk about:
- Buzz words in the industry.
- How maybe UX and design are really the same thing.
- Brian Rieger and his work on yiibu.com
- How content management systems need to structure their content.
- Responsive web design as the most exciting thing to hit the web, maybe ever.
- Is Drupal a CMS or is it a framework?
- How naming conventions in Drupal can cause confusion.
- Who is Drupal really going after as their target audience.
- The concept of Drupal distributions.
- Native apps vs the mobile web with progressive enhancements. Jason Grigsby has a good post on how you can’t link to an app and the issues with that.
- The mobile first approach that Luke Wroblewski writes and talks about and we love.
- Getting into the browser as fast as possible. Essentially designing in the browser whenever possible.
- Style tiles as an excellent communication tool in the design process.
- The upcoming dConstruct conference. An excellent conference in Brighton, UK on September 2, 2011.
- Also the Brighton Digital Festival.
Episode 111 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week Louis Simoneau (@rssaddict) talks with Jeremy Keith (@adactio), a UK-based web designer and author of several books on web design. We talk about Jeremy’s views on Responsive Web Design, and how Jeremy feels this is creating an exciting time to be a web designer.
More types of devices are accessing your web content everyday. Have you figured out how to accommodate them? Ethan Marcotte is leading the charge in this area, with his work on Responsive Design, which can help your content scale and adapt to new devices.
Ethan’s methods use media queries, fluid grids and other CSS3 elements to create beautiful and adaptable designs across a variety of platforms. Recently, he discussed his techniques during a UIE Virtual Seminar, The How and Why of Responsive Design. Ethan and Adam Churchill address some questions from that seminar in this podcast.
As we use social tools on the web, design patterns are emerging. Social design must be organic, not static, emotional, not data-driven. A social experience builds on relationships, not transactions.
In 2008, Yahoo!’s Christian Crumlish introduced the idea of social design patterns to BayCHI. He returns in 2010 to share what he learned over two years. With his Yahoo! colleague Erin Malone, Christian created a wiki to gather social design patterns and published a snapshot of the wiki in book form.
Among the many principles of social design, Christian presents five:
- Pave the Cowpaths: Watch what people do, then support and adapt to that behavior.
- Talk Like a Person: Use a conversational voice. Be self-deprecating when an error occurs. Ask questions.
- Be Open: Embrace open standards. Support two-way exchange of data with other applications.
- Learn from Games: Give your application fun elements, like collecting and customization.
- Respect the Ethical Dimension: Understand the expectations people have in social situations and abide by them.
Christian then describes five practices:
- Give people a way to be identified and to characterize themselves.
- Create social objects that give people context for interaction.
- Give people something to do, and understand the continuum of participation, from lurkers to creators to leaders.
- Enable a bridge to real life.
- Let the community elevate people and the content they value.
Finally, he discusses five anti-patterns, commonly-used design choices that appear to solve a problem but that can backfire and pollute of the commons. Examples:
- The Cargo Cult: Copying successful designs without understanding why they are successful.
- Breaking Email: Sending an email alert, but rejecting or silently discarding the reply.
- The Password Anti-Pattern: Asking people for their password to another service encourages poor on-line hygiene.
- The Ex-Boyfriend Bug: Connecting people who share a social circle but who have reasons to avoid each other.
- The Potemkin Village: Building groups with no members. Instead, let people gather naturally.
Christian stresses that social design is an ecosystem in which designers must balance many trade-offs. Not every design pattern applies to every application, but good designers can use patterns to strike a balance that works.
In an age of high-speed living and info overload, visualized information has incredible potential to help us quickly understand, navigate and find meaning in a complex world.
The use of infographics, data visualisations and information design is a rising trend across many disciplines: science, design, journalism and web. At the same time, daily exposure to the web is creating a incredibly design-literate population. Could this be a new language?
In his session, David will share his passion for this merging of design, information, text and story to unveil some of the interesting, unexpected and sometimes magical things that happen when you visualise data, knowledge and ideas. And, admitting that his book is as full of mistakes as it is successes, he’ll also explore some of the common pitfalls, traps and FAILS that dog this young design form.
Using examples from his book and blog, he’ll share thoughts on what makes a successful information visualisation and journalistic tips, especially for designers, on how to zero in on interesting data and subjects—and how designing information can expose your own biases and change your views about the world. Oh yeah!
David McCandless is a London-based author, data-journalist and information designer, working across print, advertising, TV and web. His design work has appeared in over forty publications internationally including The Guardian and Wired. He champions the use of data visualisations to explore new directions for journalism and to discover new stories in the seas of data surrounding us. His blog and book ‘Information Is Beautiful’ are dedicated to visualising ideas, issues, knowledge and data—all with the minimum of text.
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