Archive for category design

designing an app vs creating a design framework

roundel-original-c1925So when it comes to designing an app the first thing most designers think if creating a user flow and then just filling in the screens one by one. Although looking at flow is of course the first thing any designer should do the filling in of the blanks much too often happens in the present state of the app. Why present state? Because that’s what is being build right now and design has always struggled with the slower and changing pace of development of an app vs design. Many designs right now are create in one go. If things are missing there are issues, if things are added there are issues.

But there is a way for design to work with and in sync with development. A way where design is a tool, like code, for the direction the app is going in.

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Finding quality in layers

If we try to define quality we will use many different parameters to make it measurable. These parameters differ from subject to subject. This makes it almost impossible to compare quality of a movie versus a book, even if they have the same story. But the medium does not simply allow us to say that one is better than the other, we mostly use our gut feeling to judge this. Although subjectivity is a big part of quality we still want to make it measurable, making it more objective.

We tend to measure quality to very specific parameters that apply to a medium or subject. This does not allow us to compare two different pieces. Even comparing a comedy movie with a action movie becomes really hard. But is there a universal way to measure quality?

I think there is!

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color in design 101

Color is a big part of our life. Color influences our emotions, it tells us things about our surroundings and it is often seen as a form of beauty. A well colored plate of food will taste better with nice colors. The food on your left will look tasty even if you might not like the taste of it. How come?

Imagine getting a place of French fries in front of you but instead of golden brown the fries are light blue. Would you eat it?

Graphic design is not really different from food design. Color is important to give the viewers a proper impression and the right message.

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Web-designing upside down

In a regular web-design process a design is created with some sort of graphics tool. After that is finished a web-developer or web front-end developer will take those designs and implement them into a HTML, CSS and Javascript interpretation of that design. This process has been working for years and have been generating great results. But, like in any design process ideas can get lost in translation. Design decision can not always be made in time to look into the limits of the technology.

So, for the past few months I have been working backwards! How is that working out? Actually really well!

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defined VS. sandbox – applications

There is all this talk about guiding your users and creating simple applications. Apple, 37 signals and others are masters in this art of creating simple and efficient interfaces for a user. On the other side there are companies like Microsoft that provide more of a sandbox environment for their users. They proved that they are successful and a platform like Linux has a growing user base.

Both have great ideas at their foundation and they both work very will in their own way. Both also have a fanatic fan base. But which one is better… The simplistic directed approach or the elaborate sandbox approach?

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Web-forms: a first look

Getting users to fill in a field to give you their information is hard. Even when it is to do something the user would like to have it always seems to be a break-off point in the process. A user want to respond to a blog post but he needs to fill in a name and an email. It is more likely that the user will leave the form and not comment at all then fill in the form. Things like external account integration (facebook login), asynchronous  forms (javascript and ajax) and natural forms are a way to solve this. Web-forms are as much a science as they are an art. Nuances can make or break a good web-form so let’s give the science of web-forms a better look!

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What will our next laptop need?

I’ve been thinking about getting a new laptop for a while now. The only thing holding me back is actually finding what I want… I’m a “traveling” web developer and designer and I work a lot at flex workspaces. When I get there I try to get a hold of an extra monitor and I’m ready to go. Everything I need should be in my bag… WRONG. I’m finding things I could really use on a daily basis.

I do have a lot of ideas how a new generation of laptops could look like. is it possible? maybe…

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Why failing IS an option

This might sound really strange…. but failing does not necessarily mean that you have a problem!

As some of you are aware, creating flawless software is a difficult and long process. Mistakes are common and your users will undoubtedly have some sort of bad experience somewhere along the way. No software is perfect! So if it is unavoidable, what do you need to do about it!? Well, preparation is key!

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A beginners guide to kissing

Have you ever used a device or app where you had the idea you were pOw3nd before you touched it? Well your not the only one!

Interaction designers have come up with a lot of stuff that actually does not make sense at all. Making the interface beautiful and all interactive, working with new visual effects and trying to suck in the user to use their program every day because it has so many cool features. Well… those designers deserve a kiss, a Keep It Simple Stupid kind of kiss. Interaction design should not concentrate on creating features, but on narrowing down features so that the essentials of the device or app are clear and well defined.

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