Giving an actionable design critique can be a daunting task, especially for the non designer. Here, I outline three steps allowing you to give a well rounded and actionable critique on design. Continue reading “3 Steps to Critique Design”
Time management is a skill everyone should develop and varies for each person. The notion that creatives rely on random inspiration and fly by the seat of their pants is simply not true. To be efficient and effective as a creative you need to have a time management system in place. I have outlined a few principles in time management that will help you set up your own schedule for optimal performance.
As a graphic designer, creativity is essential to my job. I have to conjure up creative ideas at a moment’s notice. So how can one make creativity consistently happen when it seems it should only come through inspiration?
I will share a few ideas I have about making room for creativity so it can be conjured up when needed. These ideas only take a few minutes of the day. I practice them regularly and they help me keep the creativity flowing.
Redesigns are always stressful. There’s always someone that won’t like it for whatever reason. Most of the time, it’s just people unhappy with change. As a designer and administrator, I’ve been involved in many redesigns over the past twenty years.
I’ve worked for a few media companies, and I’m familiar with the politics involved in a redesign and the user experience that people expect. Most projects will involve someone in a powerful position that doesn’t have the experience or training to make decisions that they are responsible for making. People often make frivolous statements like, “It’s too busy” or give advice on how things need to operate or look without taking into account how things should operate and look. By the end of the process you have a website that doesn’t have the users’ best interest in mind.
Apple’s iPad is one of my favorite design tools.
I use it for drawing, creating wireframes, sketching, emailing, and other things such as a second monitor using Duet Display and as a drawing interface for Photoshop and Illustrator using AstroPad. Continue reading “Looking forward to the iPad Pro”
As Ignitro’s primary visual and UX designer, there are a few what I would deem as indispensable tools that I use on a regular basis to get our work done. I’m currently reviewing front end design tools like Froont, Webflow, Macaw and Pinegrow. Continue reading “Indispensable Tools For My Design Workflow”
Being a partner in a young design and development firm means you wear many hats.
For example, I have a big part in running our business, meeting with clients, and driving the design for our company. I know many companies are structured similarly, and whether you are working with a team or by yourself, it’s easy to have many tasks pile up.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, projects will slide, and it can cause an avalanche of work that is overwhelming. I’ve had this happen to me time and time again, and fortunately there are a few things that I have learned to do in order to overcome the avalanche of work:
1) Get Organized
It helps me to write what I have to do down on a piece of scrap paper and scratch them off one by one as I accomplish them. This helps me feel like I am making progress.
2) Divide work Into Digestible Chunks
Divide your tasks into digestible chunks of about 4 hours of work at a time.
3) Take A Real Break
Make sure to do something totally different during your break. Exercise, play video games or go shopping. Give your mind a break.
4) Don’t Do The Hardest Things First, Or Last.
Don’t start out with the hardest thing you have to do, but don’t save it for the end, either. I like to put my toughest tasks in the middle of my list so that I feel like I’ve got momentum as I get to them.
5) Sketch It Out
It always helps me to sketch concepts quickly. This allows you to think through your design and gives you a plan of attack.
6) Set Boundaries and Communicate Those Boundaries
It’s unreasonable for clients to expect you to work 24/7. Give them realistic timelines. If you can not meet the timeline, as yourself, is it really worth it? Make sure your clients know that it’s not OK to contact you during your personal time.
7) Is That Meeting Necessary?
Sometimes people like to have meetings about meetings. Do you really need to have that meeting, or can it be handled in an email, via Slack or group chat, or short telephone call?
8) Say No
It’s liberating to say no. Sometimes you have to. If you take on too much, then all of your work, and personal life, will suffer. Only commit to what you have to.
9) Eliminate Distractions
Sometimes disconnecting from the internet is a good thing. Turn off your phone. Don’t check your emails. You’ll find that you will get more done without any distractions.
10) Set Goals
Once you have your list of things to realistically do, set goals to get them done and reward yourself when you get them accomplished. After all, you just climbed a mountain.
The key is just to not freak out. You can’t stop time. You can’t slow down time. You are one person and you can only do so much. As long as you have a plan, you will get through it and be ready for the next tidal wave.
Having a bad user experience is simply burning money, and will drive people away from your website. Continue reading “10 UX mistakes that drive people away”
In your personal life, you visit a doctor when you are sick and a dentist when you’ve got problems with or need maintenance on your teeth. You typically trust the information they give you and accept the treatment they prescribe. After all, they went to school for their field and have years of experience dealing with problems similar to yours.
And what happens if you try to deal with the problems yourself? You aren’t a lawyer, an accountant, a doctor or a dentist. You may be able to get by with your situation, but not without a lot of pain and grief in some form.
So why is it that so many people think that they know better than the User Experience Designers that they’ve employed?
Imagine this scenario:
You’ve got a pain in your side. You’ve done research on the internet, but you aren’t sure if it’s appendicitis or some other kind of pain. You’ve got a couple of symptoms that indicate it could be appendicitis, but you aren’t sure — because you aren’t a doctor.
What do you do?
Continue reading “Why you need to trust your designer”
As a sports fan, you want to be proud of your team. One thing that can’t always be controlled is how the team performs on the field, on the court or on the ice.
Fortunately, your team having a great identity is relatively easy to do, that is, if the ownership is willing to understand that branding and identity is important.
A good case study for this is the new Charlotte Hornets — the team that was formerly the Charlotte Bobcats. The franchise realized that 1) the Bobcats brand was terrible, 2) the Hornets brand resonated with people in the Charlotte, NC metro area, and 3) that the marketing of the Bobcats was never going to be successful due to the stigma that the franchise had around the name.