Design and Innovation Daily

Lessons from the Interaction10 conference

Posted in interaction design, philosophy, product design, theory, user experience, web design by Dan on February 25, 2010

Around three weeks ago, the Interaction Design Association held its annual conference, Interaction10. I finally got around to reading some of the attendees’ recaps and notes from the conference. I’ll post a couple highlights today, and more tomorrow.

Johnny Holland Magazine published daily synopses of the conference sessions. Two notable talks were those given by Nicolas Nova and Jon Kolko, both towards the end of the article: “Live at Interaction’10: day 1.”

To go along with that, Nova’s slides can be viewed here; I think the compelling title speaks for itself: “Design and Designed Failures: From Observing Failures to Provoking Them.”

Jon Kolko followed up on the conference in Design Mind: “An Emerging Divide: Some Thoughts from the IxDA 2010 Conference.”

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Steve Krug on the least you can do about usability

Posted in usability, web design by Dan on January 18, 2010

This week I’m going into intense-code-writing-focus mode. It is my self-imposed requirement that, regardless of how complete they are, my website and blog are uploaded and running by Saturday; I better make sure they’re functional and presentable by then.

So, this blog will receive less attention this week. Soon after I get my site running, this blog will move over there, either in its current format or in some new format.

Meanwhile, here’s a talk from the Business of Software 2008 conference by Steve Krug, the author of the essential web usability book Don’t Make Me Think. The talk, as well as the book, is a must-see for anyone who does web or software work, but designers in other areas will learn a lot from what Krug has to say about how users approach and interact with the medium: Steve Krug on the least you can do about usability

Resources for web typography

Posted in graphic design, web design by Dan on December 4, 2009

If you design for the web, having a knowledge of typography principles will make your designs more readable, clear, and balanced, and ultimately more effective in communication, even beyond the limits of the text itself. Typography is a broad and complex field in its own right, but a familiarity with its principles can go a long way. For the weekend, here are a few resources that will get you started.

This article gives a short introduction to web typography: “Web Design is 95% Typography.”

To get into the mechanics of typography, take a look at Jeff Croft’s slideshow, “Elegant Web Typography.”

Then read Mark Boulton’s “Five simple steps to better typography.” This is the first of a series of five articles; links to the other four are listed at the bottom of the page. Boulton is a very clear, precise writer, and this is a solid guide.

Finally, to really get into the details of typography, read the definitive guide by Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style. If you want to remain focused on the web, however, webtypography.net is an in-progress adaptation of Bringhurst’s classic that explains the same principles as they apply to web design: The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web.

Insights on designing for the web

Posted in graphic design, interviews, theory, usability, user experience, web design by Dan on December 1, 2009

Paul Boag writes about the current trend of poster-like web pages. As always, one must design for the medium, and a designer cannot treat a web page like a poster. Nevertheless, poster design has a few lessons for web design: “Stop designing websites, start designing posters.”

Mark Riggan takes the same approach, but from a different direction: “6 Things Video Games Can Teach Us About Web Usability.”

In this interview, Matthew Curry talks about running the website for Wiltshire Farm Foods, which sells food mostly to consumers over 80 years old, online. Targeting this audience means addressing the most extreme instances of users’ needs and disabilities. Yes, it’s possible—it’s all about usability: “Q&A: Matthew Curry on selling to older folks online.”