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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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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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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Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau Engages 3.7 Designs and MLive Media Group

Named one of the top 10 islands in the world by Conde Nast and top 10 sustainable islands by National Geographic, Mackinac Island is a familiar vacation destination to Michiganders and beyond. The island’s tourism bureau is responsible for providing information on all its events, activities, lodging, shopping, transportation, dining, and more. The new responsive […]

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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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Planning a Website or Website Redesign: First Things First

There is no greater factor in website success than the planning phase. You might be tempted to start planning with consideration to time, budget, and functionality, but doing so is putting the cart in front of the horse. Before you can figure out what you need to spend, how long it will take and what […]

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