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Category Archives: typography


Whew! It’s been quite a time at South By Southwest Interactive–lots of panels, parties, and good eating! Since there are a multitude of people who have taken amazing notes during the panels and core conversations, I’ll spare you those details, but just as important as what’s said during the panels is what you can take away from it! Here is a list of the “take-aways:” the twitter usernames, the Web sites and the books. Here are some ideas and resources you can use right away!

Overarching Themes:

  • Collaboration within companies, collaboration between client & web team, collaboration between web teams
  • Openness with coworkers and with clients
  • Don’t do work for the sake of doing work; create deliverables that have applicable value
  • Some clients (and even workers) respond better to many lo-fidelity steps (sketching, collage, mood boards) to buy into the design process before seeing a polished design
  • Agile development! Working in quick phases to roll out a product. Everyone’s talking about it, but it may not be good for every team or every client

Web Typography: Quit Bitchin’ and Get Your Glyph On

See the slides at SXSW Typography

Links:


Being a UX Team of One

  • Leah Buley – Adaptive Path – @ugleah

Highlights:

  • Ditch the concept of the “singular genius designer.” The designer is the person who takes everyone’s ideas and creates a cohesive solution to the problem
  • Always sketch out at least six layout ideas!
  • Get as many people (developers, clients, shareholders) involved as early as possible

Links:

Books:


How to Create a Great Company Culture

Highlights:

  • A good fit is achieved by every team member having the same core values
  • Always remain passionate about what you’re doing. Even if you find yourself in a situation you don’t like, find a small thing to focus on and remain passionate

Books:


How MacGyver Would Do Design Research

  • M Jackson Wilkinson – Viget Labs – @whafro

Highlights:

  • Do as much dual-work as possible (creating wireframes in CSS/HTML, reusing documentation, etc)
  • Know what not to research; pay attention to what’s already been done
  • Do user testing with fewer people, have them each do more tasks

Links:


Wireframes for the Wicked

  • Nick Finck – Blue Flavor – @nickf
  • Donna Spencer – Maadmob – @maadonna
  • Michael Angeles – Traction Software – @jibbajabba

Highlights:

  • Choose your wireframe type based on the audience; you may do different wireframes for the client vs the developer
  • Feel free to mix hi- and lo-fidelity methods to achieve the appropriate type of wireframe
  • Sketching-style wireframes may make clients feel more comfortable with sharing ideas and adding input
  • Michael Angeles has the coolest notebooks! Sketching the User Experience

Links:


Designers and Developers: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

  • Chris Lea – Media Temple/Virb – @chrislea
  • Liz Danzico – The School of Visual Arts – @bobulate
  • Ryan Sims – Virb – @simmy
  • Joe Stump – Digg – @joestump
  • Daniel Burka – Digg/Pownce – @dburka
  • Andy Beaumont – Flutter + Wow – @drcongo
  • Rob Corradi – NeonState – @ribrob

Highlights:

  • Speak in terms of problem/solution instead of specific features–the developer may have a better way to solve the problem
  • Include a developer in early meetings to avoid promises of unrealistic features and to help brainstorming
  • Designers should make the effort to learn as much as they can

Links:


Collaboration or Collision: Achieving Design Studio Bliss

Highlights:

  • Bring your clients into the brainstorming session
  • Show your clients a variety of mood board concepts; This is the stage for back-and-forth conversations and for feedback. Take this knowledge and deliver one cohesive design mock-up. Delivering several designs diminishes your expertise in finding the right solution.
  • Educate your clients on the value of your product; don’t work to meet unreasonable deadlines
  • Don’t let a single designer get too involved in the “ownership” of his/her design. Take it away and let someone else work on it.
  • Don’t design behind closed doors, open up the conversation!

Books:

In pursuit of finding some free fonts to load onto the new iMac, I stumbled across The Rather Difficult Font Game, which proved not to be toooo difficult, but there were some challenging ones in there. If you think you know your typefaces and are in need of some validation that you’re as awesome as you think you are, give it a go!

After being slightly bitter about my score of 29/34, I decided to search through the rest of the I Love Typography website, and it really has a lot to offer. The blog posts are thorough, and they’ve compiled a significant amount of typography resources that are worth checking out. But for now, I’m going to go study some fonts so I can get my score into the Hall of Fame!

The Rather Difficult Font Game