Category Archives: Thoughts
Microsoft and Apple have a lot to answer for. Yes, Xerox PARC created Bravo, seen as the first WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface, but Microsoft and Apple made WYSIWYG the expected interface putting content into a computer. What we called “word processors” were actually desktop publishers, giving users the ability to see on the screen something very similar to what would come out on the printer.
That user expectation crept into the world of web designers with HotDog, WYSIWYG content management systems (CMS) and phrases like “above the fold”.
At the time none of us were thinking about screens as their own medium. WYSIWYG refers to paper. “Above the fold” refers to paper. Websites have nothing to do with paper and WYSIWYG should have no place in creating websites.
Over at Dear Design Student today, Ross has a piece on the value of both specialists and generalists.
Generalists and specialists each approach the world from opposing viewpoints. Specialists often think of generalists as focus-free dilettantes, while generalists can’t think of anything more boring than going through a career with a single area of interest.
Pop over and have a look.
Design can be a difficult job to get a hang of. There are no apprenticeships, hardly any mentors, and people guard their experience jealously because it’s a competitive advantage.
Now there’s Dear Design Student, a new publication featuring working designers (including yours truly) who take the time to answer the questions that have been on your mind. The writing team includes Erika Hall, Jennifer Daniel, Dan Mall, Mike Monteiro, and Liam Campbell — all very talented people with a wealth of experience to share.
If you’ve got questions about the business and practice of design, head on over and ask a question.
We’ve done a lot of work over the last 12 months for sporting codes, energy companies and banks. (Maybe plural is overselling it. It was one of each.)
As part of that we built user personas.
Creating user personas is hard work but totally worthwhile. They give us a sense of who it is we’re really designing for: an audience to target. They help us ask questions like: “Is Jamie interested in getting the latest scores while at his desk?” and “How important is it that Sonja see an incident report immediately.”
The personas help us make the myriad decisions that we might not otherwise be equipped to make. They boost our empathy.
But there’s a hole that clients and colleagues often fall into when it comes time to create personas. Read more
If we want to build, we have to know about our foundations.
The standard of work was very high at last week’s graduate exhibition for the Tractor Design School in Melbourne. Some of it was exceptional. Tractor is getting good work from its students and, obviously, from its faculty.
I asked the graduates I spoke to the same series of questions I always ask young designers: What are you excited about? Where do you think the next three years will take you? Which designers have been an influence on you so far?
The last question always flummoxes people. Only one graduate had an answer for that question. That’s not good enough. It’s akin to saying you want to be a writer but haven’t read a work of Shakespeare, or a physicist who can’t be bothered learning the rules of thermodynamics. Read more