Why and How to Discuss Design with Developers

In Art & Design School, design critique can be brutal. It’s often focused on judging whether or not work is “good” or “bad.” Reviews of work can be scathing, leaving art and design students running from the studio in tears.

Many professors say that critique is part of preparing students for work in a real world where creative directors possess brutal egos focused on crushing their underlings. I’m not sure that world is anything but a delusion. I’m also skeptical that this form of critique does anything but leave students scarred with bad memories, hesitant to throw themselves into collaborative environments.
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Design Thinking Toolkit, Part 2: The Supply List

This is the second post in a series on Design Thinking methods and tools. You’ll find a full list of posts in this series at the end of the page.

Before we dive too deeply into design thinking exercises, I want to help you set the stage with the proper tools and materials. At Atomic, we’ve been holding workshops and project kickoffs for 15 years, so we’ve done all the user testing for you! Here, you’ll find a collection of our most loved and used tools for group activities. Read more on Design Thinking Toolkit, Part 2: The Supply List…

Creating a Dynamic Catalog with InDesign Templates & XML Data

My task for a recent project was creating a print catalog. The catalog content was constantly being updated, but each entry needed to have the same visual style. I knew there must be a way to do a majority of the design work and then “data merge” the content to the style, but it sure wasn’t easy to figure out. 

It took a ton of time piecing together a number of blog posts and experiments to find a repeatable process that worked for me. So here is my solution, combining InDesign and XML. Read more on Creating a Dynamic Catalog with InDesign Templates & XML Data…

How InVision’s Inspect Can Give Your Team One Source of Design Truth

Turning your visual designs into a polished product can be a challenge. This is especially true when the person creating the visuals is not the one to create the code. Depending on your project’s team structure, you as a designer may have heard questions like this:

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Five Things I Wish I’d Known As a Design Student

I was recently asked to serve on an internship/job panel for design students at a local university. Upon reflecting on my post-graduation life, I realized some things I wish I knew as a student about to enter the workforce. I compiled those realizations into a list of advice for soon-to-be graduating students.
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First Thoughts with InVision’s Craft Plug-in for Sketch

I have been quite a fan of the products from InVision.  They make creating clickable prototypes a breeze.

For quite a while now, InVision has supported uploading entire Sketch files, which has reduced the user’s pain of exporting each asset individually and then uploading those assets to InVision.  They are now taking things one step further with the Craft tool. Read more on First Thoughts with InVision’s Craft Plug-in for Sketch…

Radio Buttons, Checkboxes, and Toggles, Oh My!

Lately, I’ve been noticing radio buttons, checkboxes, and toggles being used almost interchangeably on a lot of apps and websites. Perhaps I’m just noticing the issue more since it’s one I’ve been extremely careful to avoid on my current project. It’s like when you buy a new car and suddenly everyone on your street is driving the same one. Regardless of the reason for my sudden realization, the bottom line is this: Radio buttons are not checkboxes. Checkboxes are not toggles. Toggles are not radio buttons. Each one of these elements serves a distinct purpose.
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