What is Design?
- We can loosely define To design as:
- deciding upon the look and functioning of ( building, garment or other object), typically by making a detailed drawing of it.
- for the web: deciding upon the look and functioning of (a website, user interface or app), by creating detailed, informative and helpful guides and digital representations of said product.
Heuristics of Good Design
- Elegant Simplicity /over/ Conspicuous Featurism
- Too many features = bad!
- It’s always easy to add features, it’s hard to take them away
- Maya principle - Most Advanced Yet Acceptable Aestic
- If something looks too average looking people aren’t into them, however if you move more and more towards novely, just to the right of center, you find the sweet spot.
- Think what would happen if you applied this to landing pages, email newsletters, or any other web widgety thing.
- “progressive reduction” - when you apply actumzs razor to products
- Inside-Out Craftmanship /over/ Bait-And-Switch Craftsmanship
- Craftsmanship MATTERS!
- Great Designers are finatical about final execution
- Don’t Bait-And-Switch Craftsmanship
- 3 sided brick homes
- the unfnished surface in a dresser
- Embracing Failure /over/ Fearing Failure
- Failure is part of the process.
- Learn to fail fast, build and break through those prototypes
- Never Leave Well Enough Alone /over/ If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
- Design tastes keep moving and evolving
- Your design has to constatly move with it
- “Design is not actually timeless”
- Don’t just improve the weaknesses, improve the STRENGTHS as well! (Continuous Improvement) TQM
- How can I use the best of webdesign and dev to futther the products I build
- Reframing Problems /over/ Accepting Problems
- Don’t accept the problem as defined, what do people really want
- When asked to redesign a drillbit becaus sales are down, rethinking that it isn’t drillbits people want. It’s holes! but wait … maybe it’s more about a solution to hang a picture and no holes at all. Rethinking the problem!
- DO NOT ACCEPT THE CONSTRAINTS
- Customer Doesn’t Know What’s Right /over/ Customer is Always Right
- it is the intersection need of customer needs and engineering possiblities
- customers opperate in a contrainted frame, innovation comes from thinking beyond what people already know
- focus groups don’t know the answers Example: the Walkman would have failed a focus group
- put engineers in wheelchairs to find the flaws people bound to wheelchairs may not know what’s possible
- Analogical Insignts /over/ Analytical Thinking
- Compairing things vs over-analyzing everything
- Eat your own dog food /over/ Observe Dogs Eating
- First Principles /over/ Fashion Trends
- Ignore Trends, focus on principles
- Check out the natural world and mimic the natural world
- The Queue drum vs carrying water barells in Africa
- Zealous Missionaries /over/ Indifferent Mercenaries
- Great designers are crazy pitchmen. They learned they had to learn to sell and pitch and convince them of THIS way vs not
- Become a leader and master showmen
- Get used to the idea that you have to sell yourself
- Go from invisible to visible
- I wonder if it’s also true that great designers are hyper-learners, always exposing themselves to new ideas and content.
Steps in building a website
- Come up with purpose statement
- Research and Discovery
- competitors, your client’s industry, audience, goals, relevant design styles
- Build a Content Hierarchy
- Create core content
- Build Sitemap
- Sketch Ideas Down
Planning a Design
- The most important part of a design project is Content
- how it fits together
- how the content hierarchy works and fits together
- work with real content
- when receiving content from a client, mark good content green, okay content, amber, and unnecessary content red, discuss with client
- create a hierarchy, how does content relate to each other?
- always think how it fits
- Think about using headings, lists, quotes, imagery and more to break up the content and make it easier to communicate more focused messages to the users
- Get a sign-off on content hierarchy
- Pattern Libraries are like Style Guides but describe usage
- can be sign-offs
Thoughts on Content and Layout Design
Sketch Down Ideas
- Avoid using a computer first, sketch out ideas by hand first.
- Note down as many ideas you have as quickly as possible.
- Go with the flow
- Play around with whatever you’d like
- Sketch out whatever
- try something, iterate and move on
- Have fun with it
- Pick up a sketch book and sketch away!
- Explore your ideas
- The main point of sketching is to get ideas down and explore them
- The more time you spend on this step the better foundation you start with
- Document your ideas
- Write about what you have done and why. PROCESS!
*This is why I have started creating
_processfolders in my projects. A place to add my process. I wonder if I should further celebrate the process by creating a page dedicated to it?
- try something, iterate and move on
Great bit from the web
Good designers take orders and hand over exactly what a client wants. Great designers dive deep to uncover what a client actually needs.”
Questions to ask
- Have you ever worked with a designer before?
- To help setup expectations