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Shawn Roos

The life, times, thoughts & finds of a guy in Cape Town

Showing 70 posts tagged design

The bad news: Design is complex, ambiguous, & defies categorization. The good news: Design is complex, ambiguous, & defies categorization.

This is so so so true.

The main issue is that designers and developers approach their respective crafts from very different perspectives. Design is about composition— how to put hundreds of tiny elements together so that the whole makes sense. Development is about deconstruction— how to break down the whole into pieces that can be implemented effectively. That creates a disconnect that is difficult to overcome if there isn’t empathy between the two groups.

Rian Van Der Merwe in “Making it Right”

If you want to become a designer, don’t start by learning software. Start, by learning to ask why.

Rand’s view was that every single mark you as a Homo sapien could leave on earth could be done with care and taste and attention to beauty, or carelessly, thoughtlessly, without attention. If you stick with the first way, the world would be improved, in the second way, it would be degraded.

Design is not “Who you are” it’s “What you do.” A lot of people wear the badge but never roll up their sleeves.

Some insights into Paul Rand’s philosophy and approach, by the incredible Michael Beirut 

Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost. That idea is hard to accept. We all have an emotional equity in our first draft; we can’t believe that it wasn’t born perfect. But the odds are close to 100 percent that it wasn’t.

William Zinsser

The only way to experience an experience is to experience it.

Bill Moggridge  sums up why you can design as much as you want to on paper and in PSDs, but the experience only happens when it’s coded in the browser and integrated with the server side layer.  So get there, quicker.   

Prototyping can help all of us who are building mobile products create better products. And if that wasn’t enough, it’ll bring your team together and make your clients — or “stakeholders,” if you must use that word — happier, more in the loop, and more apt to buy into what you’re building.

 shares some thoughts on prototyping, specifically for mobile, but ultimately for anyone.

We Need More Boring Designers ⇢

Cap Watkins could have called this article “The Adult Designer” because that’s what a boring designer is.

There are too many kid designers these days.

Talented, sure. But also Impulsive, volatile, unreliable, uncommitted, immature

Design is a job.

Be a a professional. Be an adult. Put down the Dribbble porno. Read a book. Learn about best practice. Solve a problem.

Design is a set of decisions about a product. It’s not an interface or an aesthetic, it’s not a brand or a color. Design is the actual decisions.

One of about a billion quotes I’ll be sharing from one of the best “work books” I’ve read in years — Making It Right

Gov.Uk Design Principles Are My Design Principles ⇢

1. Start with (User) needs

2. Do less

3. Design with data

4. Do the hard work to make it simple

5.  Iterate. Then iterate again.

6. Build for inclusion

7. Understand context

8. Build digital services, not websites

9. Be consistent, not uniform

10. Make things open: it makes things better

My heart belongs to the details. I actually always found them to be more important than the big picture.

Nothing works without details. They are everything, the baseline of quality

Dieter Rams (via dieterrams)

We call it user research not user testing. We test our design, our words and our ideas. We don’t test our users… It’s us being tested, not our users, and that’s a good thing…If people can’t use the thing we’ve made, that’s a reflection on us, not our users.

Some great words from Leisa Reichelt of Gov.UK on what we wrongly call User Testing. 

If you aren’t solving a problem, you aren’t designing.

Kyle Steed

We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.

Winston Churchill, on the importance of architecture in shaping a society.

Everything is designed, but…