Category: Design

Via Daring Fireball

Can we identify with certainty what makes some designers so good at their job? We think so, yes. Because when we look at the designers we admire, these six personality traits surface: ambition, empathy, non-linear thinking, pattern recognition, meticulousness, and tenacity.

Worth a read on Zorb blog.

On the Web, people use the concept of “above the fold” to support layout decisions, call to action designs, ad placements, and more. Here’s why most of these arguments don’t fly.

Nicely illustrated article by Luke Wroblewski.

The New Yorker got unprecedented access to Apple’s Jony Ive and we got a small-book-sized article that gives us a glimpse into their design process. Well worth a read.

What if we designed a new kind of “maker space” — a space that isn’t just for putting pieces together, but also for seeing and understanding a project’s behavior in powerful ways? — Bret Victor

Ryan Singer sums it up nicely. Some points I particularly liked:

The reason I am making a product is to give people capability they lack. That’s why they pay for it. The gap between the person’s current situation and the situation they want to be in defines value for them. They hire your product to do a job. The job is their definition of progress from here to there.

Some people think patterns are formal things written in a book or collection, but they aren’t like that. They are natural and spontaneous just like spoken language. We learn a language by hearing it and speaking it. Words, phrases, and constructions come to mind as if by magic.

This works against you when your work isn’t goal-directed. R&D projects and exploratory design don’t benefit from narrow problem definition. Platform and infrastructure projects are different in kind from product projects because the platform is meant to enable products on top of it, which are themselves targeted at specific situations.

Robert Hoekman writes for Smashing Magazine:

Following is my list of 13 beliefs on the value of user experience strategy, design, and designers, one for every year I’d been in the web industry at the time I wrote it in 2012:

Tenet 1:

“User experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with a company, be it marketing collateral, a customer service call, or the product or service itself. It is affected by the company’s vision and the beliefs it holds and its practices, as well as the service or product’s purpose and the value it holds in a person’s life.”

Read it. I identify myself with all 13 of them.

Robert is the author of Designing the Obvious which is worth a read too.

Via @sixrevisions

Ryan Singer is from 37signals and writes also his blog.

Jon Myers for Medium:

Researchers have identified over 18 visual cues wired into our brains and the list keeps growing. These cues range from the orientation of lines, thickness of lines and blinking, to the density of visual objects to motion, velocity and so on. The cues are illustrated below.

Hakim strikes again.

I think this could work.

Matt Gemmel in thoughtful essay:

We forget that physical objects are also just specific embodiments – or presentations – of their content and function. A paperback book and an ebook file are two embodiments of the text they each contain; the ebook isn’t descended from the paperback. They’re siblings, from different media spheres, one of which happens to have been invented more recently.

The biggest intellectual stumbling-block we’re facing is the fallacy that just because physical embodiments came first, they’re also somehow canonical.

That’s what [Jony] Ive is talking about, I think. He’s not saying that skeuomorphic or embellished design is “bad” in any absolute sense, but rather that it’s false. It’s obviously false on the visual level, but the issue runs much deeper: it’s false because it implies that you can generalise experiences from different realms of interaction. It’s making promises that not only inevitably fail to deliver in some way, but also actually compromise the uniqueness, and quality, and essence of what you’re creating.

Piotr Walczyszyn created nice tool in Responsive Inspector (Chrome Web Store link).

jQuery, 5KB.

Nice article about the classic dropdown menu problem – the one with the mouse cursor path. Even better, the post ends with a jQuery-menu-aim thingy :-)

Flat UI - Logo
Free Web User Interface Kit.

Think of it as a WordPress template but for your next web application.

Blueprints by Codrops starting with full width image slider and elastic content slider.

ThreeSixty and Threesixty-slider.

Native views and web views are good at different things.
Native is good for high fidelity interaction, animations, responding to gestures. However the native APIs are bad for designing “documents” — that is, layouts where elements flow within a container and push each other around. That means that things that are extremely easy on the web can be painstaking in native UI without much upside.
Web views have limited interactivity, but they have other advantages:
* Faster iterations. You don’t need to push a build when a webview changes.
* Document-style layout, as mentioned above.
* Higher density. We found it easier to show more information on the screen with HTML/CSS than the native controls. Looking at other apps out there makes me think it’s an attribute of the medium, not just us.
* No need to sync data or duplicate logic. Sending HTML down the pipe is simple.
Finally yes, we get the multi-platform advantages because the web views are also served to people who hit the regular mobile web version of the app without any wrapper.

Hacker News

Via @keff85

Dieter Bohn and Ellis Hamburger writing for The Verge:

When Page took office, his first directive was clear. “Larry said ‘hey everyone, we’re going to redesign all of our products,’” recalls Jon Wiley, lead designer on Google Search. Wiley and co had just two months to give Google a fresh coat of paint, and to start thinking holistically about how Google as a whole was perceived. “We had a mandate to make this all look good,” Wiley says.

I would just add that, as Steve Jobs said:

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

And there is a lot of emphasis on the “looks” of things in the article and video. That said, the new Google Maps on iOS are great, better than Apple’s.