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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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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In Defense of Beautiful Web Design

Designing for “beauty” has come under fire by many bloggers (including yours truly.) The claim is that design is not making things “pretty,” it’s creating something to fulfill a defined objective. A beautiful spoon’s purpose is to hold liquid and is a failure if it can’t. Yet if you reverse the situation the design is […]

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Designing for Users and Stakeholders

A site’s purpose can be split into satisfying the needs of two very different groups: stakeholders and users. The stakeholders are the people who are commissioning the creation of the site — the individual(s) paying your bills (or salary). The users are the people who will actually visit the website and interact with it once […]

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Great User Experiences Manage Ego Depletion

Ego depletion… it sounds like something Freud would talk about or maybe what you had for breakfast (that’s Eggo, not ego), but it’s actually a concept highly relevant to designing and building websites. Despite what it sounds like, ego depletion doesn’t refer to self-esteem but the energy you use to make a decision. Just like […]

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Think Twice About Adding that Feature

Anyone managing a product will often be tempted to add features as a way of improving the product. Most often the temptation is prompted by customer feedback. This is sometimes mistaken for validation, if customers ask for it then it should be added, right? Well, not always. Adding a feature is no trivial matter. Even […]

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