History of Design in Michigan

While most known for automotive, Michigan has a rich history in design. As a designer myself, I wanted to learn more about Michigan’s design roots. Not knowing what to expect, I found Michigan is home to many historic designers, several innovative design-forward companies, and top design schools. Automotive is a source of Michigan pride, but […]

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The Psychology of Grid Based Layouts in Design

Grids are a fundamental design tool that have been used since the modernization of visual design. Using a grid is such a de-facto standard that you may have never stopped to think about why grids improve your designs. I’d like to explore the psychology behind grids. Let’s start by examining what happens if you design […]

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Emotional Web Design

If you have designed a site that addressed five of the six layers of design you have surpassed most sites on the web. Even great designers will fail to address the first five layers in a design. Stopping here however, would ignore one of the fundamental aspects of being human, having emotions. Emotion is the […]

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Using Design Adjectives to Determine Look and Feel

One of the biggest challenges in interface design is deciding what this visual layer needs to communicate and how it should make users feel. Commonly referred to as “look and feel,” this terminology glosses over an important caveat–something can be aesthetically pleasing while communicating the wrong message (i.e. a website for kids could look beautiful […]

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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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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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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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Practicing Reliable Design

You may question first how reliability has anything to do with design, but it’s one of the most important aspects of design. I prioritize it over both usability and aesthetics. By the end of this post you will understand why websites commonly fail due to reliability issues and what you can do to prevent reliability failures […]

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Getting Past the Blank Canvas

I’m sure you can picture a time when you’ve been ready to start a new design, opened up Photoshop or Sketch, stared at a blank canvas and felt totally clueless about where to start. This used to be a common issue for me but less so these days. While there is always some low level […]

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Designing with Intention

Anytime you design there exists a choice to do so intentionally or intuitively. The intuitive approach uses one’s instincts to feel out the needs of the design. They piece together the layout, information architecture, and visual style based on what feels right. It tends to be a trial-and-error process. Intentional design, on the other hand, […]

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