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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UI Design, User Experience

Login UX: stop the bait-and-switch

It was recently called to my attention that a certain Fortune 500 company – remaining nameless for our purposes – decided that in addition to its high-end technology products and services, its site visitors would be interested in their corporate-branded apparel and accessories. Shirts, hats, golf balls, keychain laser pointers. All the good stuff, to be sure.

I understand the logic at work here – you spend money producing all this junk, why not try to recoup a little? At worst maybe you create a small army of walking billboards. So I get how your login UX process

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User Experience

iPhone User Experience: Why Apple’s Winning

As any good Apple fanatic should, I recently purchased the almighty iPhone. And the more I use it, the more I think (OK, obsess) about something that’s always confounded (and astounded) me: Why, with so many examples of the power of user experience in the marketplace, do so many pieces of million-dollar technology look like they were designed by a 3-year old with a learning disability? How can a major software player with years of experience and customer feedback under its belt continue to churn out products that have too many buttons, too many features and require

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UI Design, User Experience

The Psychology of Color (a short primer)

Given the importance of accessibility and usability in the creation of successful applications and sites, I’m always really, really surprised at how little attention is given to color.

There’s no shortage of psychological and scientific studies proving that actual physiological changes take place in human beings when exposed to certain colors. Colors can stimulate, excite, depress and tranquilize. They can affect appetite and physical perception of temperature. For those among you who share my geeky fascination with such things, this is known as chromodynamics.

In the world of UX, the psychology of color is one of the

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UI Design, User Experience

Oldie but goodie: The Cost of Bad Design

This is an article from 2001 I kept about the cost of bad design and inattention to the details of user experience (even though no one was calling it then). Why do I still have it? First, it makes some very powerful points that still hold true seven years later. Second, the last three paragraphs are funny as hell 🙂

The Humane Touch: Bad Design Can Be Costly
(not to mention inefficient, demoralizing, and embarrassing)
Jef Raskin, Forbes ASAP, 05.28.01

Bad user interfaces may be more expensive than you

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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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User Experience

Why IT and Design need each other — now more than ever

I wrote the following nearly 15 years ago; this article spawned a lecture that was easily the most attended and most popular I’d ever done, before or since. I stumbled upon it recently and, after re-reading it, I think it’s every bit as relevant now as then — maybe even more so. Read on and judge for yourself.

WAKE UP AND DESIGN! A call to action for technology companies

First Things First

Let’s start here: 75% of everything you put in front of customers—potential or otherwise—is

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