Design

Mozilla Thimble for Web Page Building Noobs

Tired of teaching your relatives about technology and groaning at the prospect of having to do a quick tutorial on building a Web page for nephew Johnny?  You’ll be better off pointing them to the recently launched Mozilla Thimble, which lets anyone learn how to create web pages in their browser. Thimble is a WYSIWYG (What you See Is What You Get) editor. It lets you edit the html and CSS text in the lefthand edit pane while immediately showing you… continue…

How to Create Great Experiences From Your Designs

To say you’re a user experience designer or developer is redundant. Everything you’re creating is ultimately going to be used by someone. That’s why Aral Balkan (@aral) refers to himself as an experience designer. “We need to better understand humans so we can design for humans,” said Balkan in his presentation “A Happy Grain of Sand: Great Design Gives People Superpowers!” at the Future Insights Live conference in Las Vegas. When you develop a great product with great design, you… continue…

Developers Admit What’s Wrong with Their Process

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I’m always jealous when I meet someone who works at a company with an amazingly smooth development process. It’s not common, but they’re out there. Unfortunately, what’s more common is process frustration. Almost every developer and designer I speak with wishes theirs was more agile and that their communications were better. At Future Insights Live, I was surrounded by developers and designers. So I asked them, “What’s wrong with your development process?” Here’s what they said.

Effective Companies Live Their Messages

Voice is what we craft to tell a story. But, says Aarron Walter (@aarron), user experience lead for MailChimp and author of Designing for Emotions, we’ve been faced with a lot of companies telling us dishonest stories. In fact, we’ve been told tons of dishonest corporate stories. In a presentation “The Real Me: Crafting Honest Customer Relationships” at Future Insights Live in Las Vegas, Walter gave the following examples: Vitamin Water, which is sold as a healthy drink, has the… continue…

How to Improve Your Web Design Process [Video]

While we’ve seen Web design advance dramatically over the past few years, the process by which Web designers work with their clients hasn’t. The first visual representation in any design process is usually a collection of three full comps or mockups. Those are then picked apart by the client, for whom the designer is now charged to create a “Franken”-comp. At least that’s how Samantha Warren, Design Director for Phase2 Technology, put it in her presentation “The Future of Web… continue…

How to Build a Remote Digital Business [Video]

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Theoretically, if you create a digital product like applications or websites, you could work from any location. But if that were true, why is development talent concentrated in areas such as Silicon Valley and San Francisco? It’s because location still matters, even with digital goods. However, Dan James has proven that doesn’t have to be the case. James is founder of silverorange, an 11-member design shop based on Prince Edward Island, Canada. The company has produced logos and Web design work for… continue…

‘Detroit’: The Auto Simulation Game I Want to Play

Some game genres only exist as desktop games, board games, or mobile games, and not as multiplayer games. Even with the best artificially intelligent player, though, there’s something special about playing against human opponents. One such genre is business games, typically simulations where you can run an airline or a transport company, as in Transport Tycoon Deluxe, or TTD. There are two open source versions: openTTD and Simutrans. OpenTTD has a multiplayer mode for up to 255 players, but Simutrans… continue…

Design Essentials for Developers

“Developers do tons of design work and often have bigger impact on the design than the designer,” say RJ Owen, Design Researcher, and Michael Salamon, Lead Experience Architect for EffectiveUI. The two led a session at the Future Insights Live conference entitled Design Essentials for Developers. Given that developers are so integral to the process, they need to understand the language of design in order to better communicate with designers, and vice versa. We talked about the biggest mistakes designers… continue…

Why Support Teams Are An Engineer’s Best Friend

We’re all engineers, here, right? I’ve got a little secret to share… Our support team is our best resource – but we’re not using them. We build software that gets used in the real world. If we want to know what happens after it leaves the confines of our build system, the support team is the first in line to find out. Sure, product management can tell us all the wonderful things the software should do. We build software that is… continue…

TouchUI: The Misunderstood Paradigm – Part 1

Everyone has a vision of the ultimate mobile UI, but few are in a position to actually implement improvements. Of those who are, some are either unaware of or dismiss user interaction history and studies on how interfaces work. Global Moxie founder Josh Clark proclaims that “buttons were an inspired UI hack.” Among other things, he calls for more familiar human gestures that allow people to work with less visual clutter on small screens and direct manipulation of content. The SOOMY Tao… continue…