Mastering the Design Approval Process

Being a designer means channeling your soul into bringing something new into the world… only to have a group of strangers tear it — and your self worth — apart. Critiques are an unwavering part of any designer’s life and are easily the worst part of the job. Formally educated designers leave the womb of […]

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The Principles of Minimalist Web Design

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” While Antoine’s message was about writing it very much applies to design. The benefits of minimal design are numerous, but most importantly with everything unnecessary stripped away all the focus […]

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Website Discovery Questions

If you’ve done your job during the sales process, you’ll have a solid understanding of what you’re building when a project kick offs. Knowing what is important, but there is still more to learn before you can actually start designing. Finding the right design approach requires a unique line of questions. We’re always evolving our […]

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User Psychology in Website Design

Usability discussions are plagued with self-reflection. Designers assess how obvious something is by putting themselves in the user’s shoes. The notion behind this practice is if it’s obvious to you, then it must be for the user as well. This approach contains two fundamental flaws: It provides a false sense you’re designing with usability in […]

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The ROI of Usability

Usability and investments are alike in the sense you get what you give. Very few design projects have an unlimited budget, so resources have to be distributed based on priority. Prioritizing usability over other design layers ultimately results in greater returns. Additionally, usability returns are multifaceted. Where other layers have the potential to affect revenue, […]

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Is WordPress Ready to be a Business Application Platform?

WordPress was originally built for blogging. Eventually it evolved into a content management system. Now, many say its future is an application framework. It’s now quick and easy to assemble rich functionality using structured data, user management, and integrations with other platforms. There have been many discussions about using WordPress for consumer targeted applications, but […]

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DRYing out WordPress Asset Enqueuing

WordPress has several handy functions for granular control over external assets. Specifically wp_enqueue_script(), wp_register_script(), wp_enqueue_style(), wp_register_style(). These functions allow us to register assets so they’re available and can be added to the page where applicable. While these functions give a fair amount of control, if you have a complex site you can end up repeating […]

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Usability is more than a checklist

Some designers treat usability as a series of checklists, assuming usability is no more than including the right elements. Usability isn’t that cut and dry. It’s true that using conventions will improve usability, but there are bigger factors at play. Design is usable when it’s created with an understanding of how users think. Usability isn’t […]

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Evolving the Design Discovery Process

The design phase used to be the most time consuming part of our project but now it’s the smoothest. Where we once sought buy-in along the way with wireframes, style tiles, and finally two finished design concepts we now only deliver a single, fully fleshed out concept. While internally designing with the same tools, we’ve […]

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Re-Prioritizing Usability

Everyone agrees usability is important. Yet every day unusable websites find their way online. It isn’t a matter of professional versus amateur designers, as both parties violate usability principles. There is a deeper, more complicated problem. I see two common causes for usability blunders: Informed designers don’t have enough strong enough arguments to talk management […]

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