Amsterdam, November 13th. Our designers Hugo and Michiel went to Dsgnday Conference. A full day conference with great speakers and interesting presentations to get inspired, but mostly, to leave extra motivated. Practical advice on designing for web on any device. Their first respons? Hugo: 'It was a creative and inspring day!' Michiel: 'It was fantastic!'. They are happy to share some highlights and learnings.
Simon Collinson - The designer's guide to being essential'
Simon Collinson says that we are "Disconnected". Disconnected from who we truly are and what we love. We sit behind our computer trying to be the best designers we can be. But it's the things you do besides sitting behind your computer that shape you as a designer. So, he has a message for us: "Reconnect!".
It's the experiences as a human that help you develop interfaces. Your experiences make you unique. When you incorporate those experiences in your design, no one else could have made what you could. Computers might one day learn to create beautiful designs, but they will never be able to design an experience as well as you can! The indispensable human touch makes us designers essential so that we remain needed.
Bram Stein - 'The science of typography'
Bram Stein is obsessed with 2 things: Perfect typography and calculations. It just so happened to be that those two match very well! Bram has found a way to calculate the readability of a text. By having the perfect mix of typefont, font size, line height, line length and typesetting, a readability score for a text can be calculated. Bram has developed this awesome tool that you can use to check the readability of a text.
Stephen Hay - 'From deception to clarity'
'Deceit is the low hanging fruit of deception'. Stephen states thatdark patterns can unfortunately be found in a lot of interfaces. Dark patterns are a way to deceive the user and make them do something they did not intend to do. For example: swap the buy and cancel button that makes the user "accidentally" purchase something. Stephen thinks that the use of dark patterns is common because we focus on short term goals. However, he claims that we can create persuasive design without being deceptive. We should design clear and honest experiences that will make the user purchases it anyway. He got inspired by a book that teaches magic and came up with the following checklist for design:
- Use fewer props (only necessary things in the interface)
- Use a memory hook (be consistent)
- Visually clarify the props (make sure it is clear what the user can do)
- Visually clarify the layout (-)
- Make the hidden visible (if it needs to be in there, put it in there!)
- Eliminate time lags (make sure the user can do what they want, quickly)
- Don't interrupt the flow (-)
- Procedural directness (Make most common tasks directly accessible)
Dan Mall - 'So... what do I make?'
We often define roles within a team based on what people produce. Managers make documents, designers create graphics and programmers write code. Everyone sticks to their own "lane". Dan Mall is sure to sweep these assumptions off the table. He thinks it is in between those lanes that problems arise. Working in teams, everyone should join in and be concerned about all different lanes and use all the tools that are available. It comes down to not only stick to ' your role' but to create cohesion within teams and between expertises. A developer might have very useful insights into design and visa versa. If the developer has the ability to show his ideas on design, and the designer has a basic understanding of how code works, they can improve each others ideas. Don't let your limited knowledge of tools be the reason why you can't contribute to an idea or an iteration.
Dan has another tip for designers struggling to get started with a project: Write a manifesto! Thats right....Write! Not a pixel of design is needed to get this started. Write out your ideas on the creative direction of the project. It contains a clear point of view ("I think the design should look like this because..."). And explains what it is exactly that you are going to do and deliver. Let the client read this manifesto and see if they have any feedback on it. Feedback on a Manifesto is way easier to deal with than adjusting all those screens you would normally have designed!