Reviving the Hierarchy of Design Needs

When I was approached by a large publisher to author a book on design I was humbled by the notion. I spent a great deal of time researching things I already knew but didn’t limit myself to only web-design topics. I explored all different design niches, from industrial to fashion. During this time I came […]

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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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Great Design via Psychology

I was a web designer for over ten years before I understood that some of the best designs were so well executed, they didn’t feel like designs at all. Instead, every aspect of the creation worked so well it seemed obvious why the author had chosen the path they did. The problem I still faced […]

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10 Ways To Approach Design Scientifically

Desired outcomes are the cause of all design. With the commercial web, design primarily exists for two reasons. One, revenue generation and two, expense reduction. From the perspective of producing desired outcomes, it’s more effective to approach design like a science rather than an art form. Not all designs will perform equally, you can browse […]

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Design to Solve a Problem, Not to Use a Technique

Skeuomorphism vs flat design, responsive vs device specific, web vs native app… These are all heated debates of past and present. I say let’s get past shiny object syndrome. Last year we were pushing RWD like it was the only solution to the device diversity issue. This year we are touting flat design like skeumorphism […]

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10 Psychological Principles to Design With

Design is most effective when executed with knowledge of psychology. Knowing how people react to visual stimuli allows the crafting of an effective design, with out psychology you are guessing. Psychology itself is a vastly fluctuating and massive subject, but that doesn’t mean you need a PhD to use it in your design. There are […]

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Emotional Aspects of Usability

Logic and statistics drive many usability discussions. How many users accomplished a task? How long did it take on average? What labels caused delays? Likewise, emotion is often discussed in context of interactivity and aesthetics. Emotion and usability sound like separate topics but they closely intertwined, so much so they are impossible to separate. I […]

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Design, Copy and Mental Processing

Most discussions of speed and websites focus on response time, download footprint and rendering performance. While all aforementioned elements are important, there is another aspect of site performance to be aware of— the speed of the human mind. It’s safe to say the human brain processes information faster than any computer, browser and of the internet, so it […]

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Selective Disregard, Why It’s Causing Your Website To Fail

Few websites are designed with bad intentions. If the designer or stakeholders care about the project you can be sure every element on the page has been analyzed, reviewed and tweaked. This sounds obvious, but it should be disconcerting. Let me explain further. If most websites have had thought and care put into them, why are […]

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