Tips & Advice

What Designers REALLY Do

Most people think they know what designers do….but often, they don’t. Consider these responses heard by many of us as you’ve just revealed yourself as a designer:

“Ohhhh, you pick the colors for web sites.”

“Ohhhh, you do graphic arts.”

Uh, no.

Personally, I’m fond of saying if it didn’t GROW there, somebody designed it.

Regardless, I stumbled across a pretty interesting description of what exactly people like me (and maybe you) do all day. Below are the core expertises of Design according to Chris Conley, Professor and Director, Product Design Graduate Program, Institute of Design, Chicago:

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UI Design

On the continuing importance of great visual design

Here’s what’s on my mind today: With all the incredible advances in mobile technology in particular, I remain utterly shocked and surprised at the vast number of systems, games, apps and even devices that exhibit stunningly poor visual design. I guess I feel like anyone who’s paying attention should have learned at this point that the stuff that sticks is also the stuff that visually engages, enhances and  communicates. But companies keep trying to do otherwise… and they keep failing. And I am finding that when I look closer, to figure out why there’s no user loyalty

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Tips & Advice

What separates GREAT designers from good ones?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about what separates great designers from their merely competent brethren. And my best friend Google led me to the following, courtesy of the AIGA. Everything here is tried and true, folks – and I don’t see these requirements changing anytime soon. Further proof that great design is about a hell of a lot more than visual talent. Enjoy.

  1. Ability to create and develop visual response to communication problems, including understanding of hierarchy, typography, aesthetics, composition and construction of meaningful images
  2. Ability to solve communication problems including
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Customer Experience

Starbucks Brand Identity Change – Hit or Miss?

A friend just tipped me to the Starbucks brand identity change below…interested in hearing reactions. Take a look:

starbucks logo change 2011

Will people still recognize this – immediately, as in a 2 second glance while driving?

Most people probably will, but I think this is a bad move for the brand. The majority of their brand equity is in that word at the top — and I think the name resonates much more powerfully than the mermaid image ever did, ever does or ever will. When you have that much

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Tips & Advice

IT vs. The Business: What’s the Cause?

IT-vs-the-business

I recently posted an answer to the age-old question of the great divide between IT and the business, almost to the extent of being like a Dilbert comic. Why is that, the poster asked. Here’s what I wrote.

The age-old scenario of IT vs. the Business, to me, is driven by company culture. The symptoms stem from the organization and hierarchy of the company itself, the org chart. Even after all we’ve learned about the makeup of successful companies having the flexibility and adaptability to thrive

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UI Design

INTERACTION design does not equal interface design

If I had a nickel for every conversation I have where  a senior-level practice manager or executive considers Interaction Design to be the same thing as Interface Design…I’d be retired and living on an island and not bothering to complain about this stuff here.

The belief seems to be that that Interaction Design starts and ends with coming up with metaphors for the system. And that’s precisely what drives me crazy. Interaction designers don’t deal in metaphors or ways of information presentation – information architects and interface designers do that. What interaction designers focus on is human

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User Experience

Expanding the definition of UX

kristen halvorson of brain traffic

Just finished reading a tremendous article by the always brilliant Kristina Halvorson for Interactions magazine titled Intentional Communication: Expanding our Definition of User Experience Design and felt compelled to share. Just like the profession of design has expanded to become a multi-disciplinary practice post-internet, so too is the practice of UX beginning to undergo a similar transformation, particularly when it comes to content. Content, according to Kristina, is too often overlooked as the strategic endeavor it truly is —

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User Experience

Why Businesses Need UX Strategy

Strategic, effective experience design is the critical difference between limited use and broad adoption. And only one of those scenarios delivers positive business results.

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Customer Experience

App Store Infographic: Worldwide Stats

Check out this impressive app store infographic – interesting info on an even more interesting format. Who says data has to be boring?

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Customer Experience

The power of social media: A $180M cautionary tale

I’m admittedly late to this party, but I caught wind of this story today and felt it was waaaaay too powerful not to share. As is usual for me, there’s a powerful moral to the story that companies would do well to heed: the value of your brand is directly proportional to the level of customer service (read: experience) you provide. And when that level of service is bad, social media will spread the word like wildfire — and will burn you badly.

And now, sit back and enjoy the tale of how one Dave Carroll and

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