Tall Tales from a Large Man
I really wish I was able to go to more design conferences. But damn, conferences are expensive! First you have to pay the registration, then get there, have a place to stay, maybe eat some food… its not cheap! So I’ve really come to appreciate conferences that post their speaker videos online after the conference and who knows, maybe next year I’ll be lucky enough to attend in person, for now, the video…
Aaron James Draplin of Draplin Design Co is not only an amazingly talented speaker and designer, but he’s the all-american type of good guy that you just want to sit down and have a beer with. This is the type of guy that that you want representing America in the design olympics, not only because of his simply elegant approach to design, but because of his ability to charm the pants off the world.
Tall Tales from a Large Man is a 45 minute journey that will kick you in the ass, make you laugh, and seriously consider your entire career as a designer. If you are ever in a design slump, I recommend a few minutes of this to get you going in the right direction again.
Oh, you don’t have 45 minutes? Draplin’s words of advice:
- Work hard and love the shit you do
- Say yes a little more than you say no
- Do good work for good people
Watch this very inspiring talk >
*Image courtesy of Typo Berlin 2015 & Norman Posselt
Today’s big fun was working on a super, top secret project. But luckily I can share some fun details. Take a peek at the animation of a status input box for a feed.
Jump on the Shapanda Express
When one of your best friends is getting married, its time to step up to the plate! My friends are getting married at the end of the month and to kick off their wedding weekend they are sending all their guests of a bar crawl in some of Chicago’s best drinking neighborhoods. Pretty awesome idea, right? Even better, it’s called the “Shapanda Express!” Enjoy!
I like chickens too!
It seems like there’s a new viral video/image/article/etc. happening every week these days. From Dumb Ways to Die to this or perhaps one of my new favorites, that will probably only go viral amongst marketing/ad folk. Check out Mash+Studio, a Brooklyn-based content studio who is making a splash with their slideshow Jenny and the Chicken.
Not only is this an entertaining story, packed with personality and great hand drawn images, it drives home the core messaging of design: knowing your audience and solving the correct problem.Far too many times I am approached with projects that have no clear vision or problem to solve, instead the client would just like to make something that they find appealing. So props to Mash+Studio for educating clients everywhere. Spread the word!
Notepad UI – WIP
It’s Friday again and unfortunately its a gloomy, gray, rainy day in Chicago. So while my plans for a refreshing beer on a patio are out the window, I’ve been working on my take on a notepad application. Here are a few shots:
Daily Dose of Design
Lots of new projects are in the works. Here’s a sneak peek at a user interface design that is in the initial design stages. Trying to keep the design as minimal, clean and flat as possible, while also finding moments of uniqueness in the details – such as the use of diagonal lines. More to come!
New wireframing tools
I’m always on the lookout for a new, cheap (aka free), wireframing tool that can easily communicate ideas and workflows to development teams or clients. Today I stumbled upon Moqups, which claim to be “The most stunning HTML5 app for creating resolution-independent SVG mockups & wireframes for your next project.” Survey says: I dig it!
The UI isn’t the most glamorous design I’ve ever seen, but more importantly the user interface is intuitive, simple and easy to use and at the end of the day, that’s all I’m asking for. I don’t want to spend hours wireframing ideas that are going to get tossed away like my post-it notes. It also comes with standard templates for mobile and responsive web designs, plus it is a Chrome extension!
Giant Post-Its – YES!
Those that have worked in an office with me know, if there are post-its around, I might hoard them or cover my desk with them or go on a 20 minute rant about how many ways I find to use them in my life. So imagine when I was reading some daily dish from DesignTaxi and I found out that 3M is now making giant Post-It notes…(Yes, there was a happy dance involved!)
Sure there are about 1,000 different types of sketch pads and specific templates out there that set you up with all of your wireframing basics, but for me, a plain ol sheet of unlined paper works best. My sketching is always fairly abstract and contains a lot more notes than actual designs/artwork so these would be perfect!
Caution to my co-workers, I see post-it wallpaper in our future!
Whether you’re building a company, building a brand or building a website, you, as the designer, are responsible for ethical design. As designers, we have great powers to build these tools, but we also have great responsibility!
With great power comes great responsibility!
We have all seen some “bad design” or bad user experience. (ahem… Ryanair!) These days, we are seeing this more and more often and it is being coined as “Dark Patterns” by Harry Brignull A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase, signing up for recurring bills, lengthy and difficult opt-out processes — they are not mistakes, they are carefully crafted with a solid understanding of human psychology, and they do not have the user’s best interests in mind. Check out darkpatterns.org to see definitions of the numerous types of unethical UX practices, along with examples. You can even submit your own example and add to the wall of shame!
With our great responsibility, it is time that we take a stand and create new web standards. Do it people!
*Images courtesy of DarkPatterns.org
New Projects – Sneak Peak!
2013 has come roaring in with tons of work flowing around. I’m looking forward to sharing all the details of these projects as soon as I can. But for now, here are a few sneak peaks into what I’ve been up to lately: