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Posts Tagged ‘Opinion Column’.

We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Opinion Column’.

Content Meaning

You’ve heard the questions before. “The design looks great, but what are you trying to communicate?” “Where’s the message in your design?” “Did you use this texture here for a reason, or is it just design for design’s sake?”

Okay, enough with the questions. I’m supposed to be answering these, right? (Sorry, another question.) Well, our jobs as designers is to think of these questions before presenting something to our client, professor, peer or anyone with an opinion we value.

I’ll let you in on a little secret that really shouldn’t be much of a secret at all: content is king, and your design will never dethrone it. We live in a world where ideas sell, and everyone is buying.


Design is About Solving Problems

Recently, a couple of things happened in my design career that have made me sit down and reflect a bit on where I’m at and how I can improve what I deliver to my clients and their users. I’d noticed that my source of inspiration had changed and that I was being inspired more by clever solutions and ideas than by visual flourish.

Like many designers, my RSS feed of inspirational websites is full of great work and posts. I’m also active on Twitter, and I meet up with other designers regularly at local events. But I find that at a basic level, I actually don’t draw that much inspiration directly from these things anymore.


The Dangers of Designing for Context

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a growing excitement around mobile or device oriented web design. This excitement is fueled mostly by the high adoption rates of devices that come equipped with full scale browser capabilities but that’s not the only reason. A lot of talk lately has been centered around designing for context. So what does it mean to design for a user’s context?


Ignorance is Bliss for a Creative Mind

The saying “Ignorance is bliss” originates in Thomas Gray’s poem “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College” (1742). The quote goes: "Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise." Face it: you were better off not knowing that, weren’t you?

Generally speaking, ignorance is a detestable state of mind. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to deal with life. But ignorance itself doesn’t equal stupidity. For instance, I view myself as someone who is smart enough to realize his huge capacity for stupidity. I know there are massive gaps in my cultural and general knowledge. I would define my intellectual state as, at times, unaware. But who am I kidding? In some areas of life, I’m just plain ignorant, even if not by choice.


Defending The Generalists In The Web Design Industry

In recent years there has been a move away from generalist Web designers to specialists such as content strategists, user experience architects and front-end coders. Where once there was a single job, there are now many, with ever-narrower spheres of responsibility.

Not everybody agrees with Paul Boag. Anita Hart is convinced that well-rounded individuals have a depth in at least 1 area of expertise. Do you agree?

While my peers are becoming more specialized, I have stoically refused to do so, remaining a generalist. If anything, my interests have broadened, encompassing subjects such as marketing, psychology and business strategy. This has drawn criticism from some who view generalists negatively, which is in line with some of what I am reading in the blogosphere.


Inside Google’s User Experience Lab: An Interview With Google’s Marcin Wichary

Marcin Wichary’s fascination with the relationship between humans and machines began at an early age. As a boy in Poland, he was mesmerized by the interaction between arcade patrons and the video games they played. Years later, Marcin would help shape the way that millions of computer users interact with some of the world’s most popular websites. He would even recreate one of those arcade games for the Web.

Inside Google's User Experience Lab: An Interview With Google’s Marcin Wichary

Marcin is Senior User Experience Designer at Google, but his numerous roles and broad influence at the company are not conveniently definable. His fingerprints are on the code of Google products ranging from Search to Chrome. He gained publicity for his work on the Google Pac-Man Doodle, which he co-created with fellow Googler Ryan Germick. According to Ryan, “Marcin is a genius. He’s a UX designer but he’s also maybe one of the best front-end programmers on the planet.”

Marcin joined Smashing Magazine author Dan Redding for a conversation regarding his professional career, his interest in photography and a curious creation known as the Crushinator.


Web Designers, Get Out There and Make Something!

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I make websites. They usually smile and nod and then ask whom I might make these sites for. I’ll ramble off a random list of clients I perceive to be most impressive. They, again, smile and nod. The conversation moves on. This has happened to me somewhere north of one hundred times. It always feels a little disingenuous.


My day job and clients aren’t the issue. I enjoy most of the projects I get to work on. My coworkers and clients are smart people, with good ideas, who usually have a reasonable expectation and goal for their campaigns.


Relationship Engineering: Designing Attraction

"Look at her: so beautiful, so friendly, so smart. And what a personality. She must be mine. Hooking up with her would make me the envy of all my friends. Sure, she's young and she's gorgeous. Besides, I can easily try something new if I get bored or something better comes along."

No, that’s not an excerpt from Lolita. As cruel and inappropriate as they might seem, these thoughts are fairly common in our society. In fact, in the past year, millions of people have entered into exactly that type of relationship. Don’t bother calling the Special Victims Unit; what we’re discussing here is not what you think it is. It’s the Apple iPad.


Designing For The Future Web

Designing for the future Web. That’s a big subject. Where do we start when we’re talking about something that isn’t here yet? In this article, we’ll look at what the future Web might look like and how we can adapt our current skills to this new environment, as well as how to create fluid websites that are built around a consistent core and that adapt to the limitations and features of the device on which they are viewed.



We’ll also look at how our conceptual approach to designing websites should evolve: designing from the simplest design upwards, and not from the richest website down. But before we get to that, let’s start with a question. What do we mean by the “future Web”?


Dear Web Design Community, Where Have You Gone?

As Web craftsmen, we are living in exciting times today. The frenetic pace of evolution in our industry has created remarkable opportunities for our work. Our established set of design and coding practices is more comprehensive than it has ever been before. Our designs are becoming more usable, our code more scalable, our layouts more responsive. In fact, just by comparing our design processes to those from a decade ago, it's remarkable to observe how quickly we've developed and honed our craft over all these years.

HTML5 Boilerplate is a remarkable example of a cooperation of dozens of Web designers who share their thoughts to create something useful for all of us to use.

However, the maturity of our industry is far from being complete. While producing a myriad of technological advancements, we have outpaced other developments along the way. These developments aren't related to the lack of cross-browser standards support or technical downsides of the tools we are using. No, they have a different nature. They have emerged within our design community — a community which is now so fertile and diverse that it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure its professional maturity.


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