The Three Levels of Emotional Design

To design positive emotional experiences you must understand human emotion. The subject of emotions is complex largely because everything we do is either influenced by, or directly caused by, emotion. Factor in the range and capacity different individuals have for emotion, add in the fact most emotions occur subconsciously, and round this out with the […]

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What is cognitive load and why does it matter in web and interface design?

Successful design manages cognitive load. Cognitive load is a technical term for “mental effort,” more specifically it’s the total amount of mental effort required for a given task. Completing any task requires some level of mental effort. This includes learning new information, analyzing stimuli, and working with short and long-term memory. Mental energy which has […]

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Alternatives to NOAH AMS (Association Management System)

Some might tell you the only way to manage your association is through a “one size fits all” Association Management System like NOAH. While these tools have their place, they are not the best solution in all situations. In this article, we’ll discuss benefits towards assembling a custom Association Management System using open source tools […]

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Emotional Design Model – Designing Enjoyable Interactions

The vast range of design styles should be an indicator of just how different personal preferences can be. A style characterized by high gloss and polish may be loved by one group and hated by another. The design could be viscerally appealing and behaviorally enjoyable and still result in this outcome. Remember logic assigns meaning […]

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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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What to Know About Using Third Party Technology on Your Website

At one time every website feature was built from scratch. Even the programming languages used were in their infancy and required more effort to fulfill basic requirements. Today, we have an overwhelming amount of tools, frameworks and APIs to leverage. We can create feature rich websites and online application in less time and lower costs. […]

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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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Designing with Archetypes

Visual design, like people, has a personality. I’ve said it many times before, visual design is communication. How a design is executed will tell viewers a story about the subject matter represented. The typography, colors, imagery, spacing all work together to form what we often refer to as visual language and design tone. Much like […]

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Psychology of Beautiful Web Design

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you might have noticed I can be critical of visual design. The underlying implication that visuals received a disproportionate amount of attention during the initial stages of page layout and construction. A qualification is now in order: Visuals don’t make a design great, but they’re an essential […]

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Paper Prototyping for Design Sprints

In an age of abundant user behavior data it’s advantageous to adopt a methodology of release, test, learn and iterate. Why spend six months redesigning your website or application based on speculation when you can launch quickly, continually make improvements, and learn what works and what doesn’t. What I’m describing are design sprints. Design sprints […]

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