Tips & Advice, User Experience

The real secret behind UX Design skills

Stumbled across this quote today, which I think perfectly explains the core of what drives UX design skills — or those of any creative person:

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive.

To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create,

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Tips & Advice

Four design lessons from the legendary Lou Dorfsman

4 Design Lessons from Lou Dorfsman

Over the course of his career, Lou Dorfsman was responsible for everything at CBS from its advertising to the paper cups in its cafeteria. Every bit of it was executed with intelligence, verve, glamour and taste. Trying to get good work done from inside a giant institution is supposed to be hard. How did Lou Dorfsman make it look so easy?

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Tips & Advice

Design Innovation and Culture Creation, Part 04

Back after a long hiatus, between Thanksgiving, a dead laptop and a nasty upper respiratory infection. Bring on 2009!!

Anyway, here’s the final installment from Matt Mattus‘ great book, Beyond Trend: How to Innovate in an Over-Designed World. More traits of true designers, aka “culture creators”:

Trait 09: They Respect Rarity

Culture creators celebrate rare expressions of individuality. They’re obsessed with not only observing life, but with studying the debris of life, as well. In doing so, they place value on what others deem worthless

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Tips & Advice

Design Innovation and Culture Creation— Part 03

More from Matt Mattus‘ great book, Beyond Trend: How to Innovate in an Over-Designed World. In a world where anyone has access to design tools, to paraphrase Mattus, true designers need to work harder to rise above. Design innovation isn’t a matter of what you do with your hands, it’s more a matter of how you use what’s between your ears. The good news is that designers have a real weapon that cannot be imitated – passion. Passion, he says, defines an authentic designer from

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Tips & Advice

Design Innovation and Culture Creation — Part 02

More from Matt Mattus’ great book, Beyond Trend: How to Innovate in an Over-Designed World. Here are a few more traits of what Mattus calls “culture creators”:

Trait 03: They develop their intellect.

Much like a terrier on the scent, the mind of a culture creator is wired to learn, learn, learn. They have an enormous respect for the history of art and design. Every past movement, every zeitgeist creative leader, every cultural icon in the design world, they love to learn more about and celebrate.

Understanding things such as why the opulence of Victorian style affected the Arts and Crafts movement’s stark purity is just the sort of fact retention that moves a culture creator to learn even more. Culture creators can identify nuances in influence and have an insatiable appetite for knowledge that can affect their creative work. They use knowledge as a building tool that allows them to inject context and relevance into every idea they invent.

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Tips & Advice

Design Innovation and Culture Creation — Part 01

OK, here’s my latest obsession – and it’s a big one. The book is called Beyond Trend: How to Innovate in an Over-Designed World. It’s written by Matt Mattus, Creative Director at Hasbro. The book discusses cultural and creative traits that allow true innovation to occur. As I’m reading it, I find that he’s done an amazing job explaining what I am so often unable to explain about myself – my passion for design, my obsession over the nth detail, my refusal to go for the lowest common denominator. Like many of my peers, I fall into a category of folks Mattus calls “culture creators” – and while that tag is a little egocentric, the more I read, the more the shoe fits.

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Tips & Advice

A peek into my design process

Had a conversation with a very good friend yesterday via IM, and it was one of those times where the conversation takes a turn toward the deep end. We got into this conversation about design and it struck me at the time that some very meaningful ideas came out of it, especially for young designers. While it may be a bit self-congratulatory, I think it sheds some important light on what the creative process is really like and I think it’s a good read. I corrected for spelling and subsituted (laughs) for the traditional LOL. Enjoy.

I

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Tips & Advice

Steve Jobs on keeping the faith…

“I’m pretty sure none of (my current success) would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine but I guess the patient needed it.

Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.

I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large

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Tips & Advice

Do design breakthroughs only happen when we’re young and fearless?

Have you ever wondered why so many people have had their breakthrough idea when they are just starting out?

When we are young, full of energy, passion, ambition and the burning need just to be seen, we are often too naive to know what can’t be done. All of our ideas seem to have equal merit and all seem so easily produced. We have yet to develop scar tissue from years of battle with the powers that be. We are not afraid because we have so little to lose.

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