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Category: Designinformer

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Why Should We Design Emotional Systems?

Before the very first page of a book has been read, you've already analyzed it in countless ways without even noticing. The paper stock, the thickness of the binding, the aroma, the color of the type and even the texture of the cover; the very character of the book is being dissected by the hand and eye at every moment.

A Craft Of Consequences: Reader, Writer And Emotional Design

In this brief second there is a dialogue between the reader and the object. This conversation is subtle and complex, but for most people it is entirely subconscious. This is because we rarely think about these things  —  we feel them instead.

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Designing for the Mind

Do you know what makes a design good? Is it merely an opinion, or is there something more to it? Breaking design down seems like such an abstract thing. Even the designers who are able to create thought-provoking work seem purely talented and have natural abilities that can’t really be nailed down to a process. But what if there were principles that captured why design and art worked the way that they do?

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The Process of Creativity

The creative attribute has always been a highly debated and researched component of the human psyche. The “designer” job title seems to be one that calls to the more creative minded among us and according to some, requires the highest level of creative processing. This idea does lend itself to the truth, web designers are called upon to find creative solutions every day. However, we certainly aren’t alone.

Contrary to previous belief, creativity does not limit itself to the “right-brained” artistic types. The ability to find creative and innovative solutions to problems holds value in almost all aspects of life. Even those with highly analytical jobs and hobbies benefit from the ability to approach a complex issue from different perspectives and foresee alternate outcomes. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to suggest that creativity itself is more rooted in a process than random visionary moments.

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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.

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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?

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The Selfless Designer

Becoming an effective designer requires embracing universal design principles and best practices. Over the years, I have come to see that reaching maturity as a designer is a continual process of reassessment and letting go of potentially damaging baggage.

This can include jettisoning your ego and dumping your assumptions, prejudices and even your own opinions. There can be no sacred cows when you try to become what I call a selfless designer.

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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.

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Design Talent or Design Skill?

I've always wondered this: "Is there such thing as a talented designer? Or is good design a skill? Or maybe to be a great designer, you need a combination of talent, skill, and experience." Well, I guess it would depend on your definition of what talent and skill is. I looked in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and this is how it defines the two words.

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The Personification of Design

Just how we are constantly trying to fit in with a certain crowd or to be seen in a certain way by our peers in real life, we are doing the same in our digital lives. And by digital lives I mean our social media profiles. If you come to think about it, our online profiles are a lot more than just an extension to our real lives.

I truly believe that in the online world, we are given a lot more freedom to be our true selves as opposed to in ‘the real world’. In the same way many people find it easier to ‘text’ bad news rather than to share it via phone or in person, social media allows us to be the person we want to be without having to face the immediate physiological reactions from others.

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The Best Free Fonts for Designers

I've been meaning to write this post but just haven't had the time to do so. I've received several messages and emails asking me about fonts that I use on some of my design projects. I have a pretty large font collection. Some of them are paid, but a lot of them are free! First of all, I suggest investing in some of the best typefaces out there but I also suggest that you take advantage of the free resources that can be found online. [Content Care Oct/21/2016 - expanded]

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Why Can’t We(bbies) Be Friends?

The Web industry is loaded with some of the globe’s brightest minds and revolutionary technologies. Yet, designers, developers, copywriters and other Web types repeatedly fail to reach their full collective capacities. The blame is typically put on big egos or lack of understanding, which is in line with such generalizations as the following: Designers care only about a website’s looks and have no regard for business objectives or user experience. Developers just want a website to work right, and will kill the design to make it happen. Copywriters want to show off their flashy vocabulary—and cause countless rounds of revisions.

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Web Design Tips for Beginners – Everything I Wish I Knew When I Started

We recently turned to our beloved followers on Twitter—as we like to do from time to time—to help us demonstrate one of the greatest things about the online design community: its willingness and eagerness to pay knowledge forward. We asked our friends in the community to share their favorite design tip with us, and they responded en masse. There were so many fantastic responses that we felt it would have been a wasted opportunity if we didn’t compile them for our readers and discuss them with the community at large.

Web Design Tips for Beginners

There was such a variety of fine responses that distilling them into a single comprehensive post was difficult, but we managed to do just that (for the most part). So, take a look at some of the best advice the design community has to offer to all those who file within its ranks.

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