“Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable” Software Design

Ever had a refreshing ice-cold Mexican Coca-Cola in that sweet glass bottle? The bottle just looks and feels right. Now close your eyes. Imagine the Shell Oil logo. It became so iconic that the company dropped its name from the displays at their filling stations. What about the fuselage of Air Force One? It pops instantly into mind, right? Anyone who has ever been to Johnson Space Center in Houston will also remember the interiors of Skylab and the Apollo moon mission capsules. All these objects are the work of one man: Raymond Loewy. Read more on “Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable” Software Design…

Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 2 – Story Mapping

Welcome to our series on Design Thinking methods and activities. You’ll find a full list of posts in this series at the end of the page.

Story Mapping

Primary Goal To get a detailed understanding of the user’s experience.

Read more on Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 2 – Story Mapping…

Using Nested Symbols in Sketch to Build Powerful, Customizable, Enterprise UI Mock-ups – Part 3: Putting it All Together

In the previous two posts, we went through creating some basic building blocks, such as colors and icons as symbols, and combining them into nested symbols for buttons and table cell elements.

If you’ve already read those two posts, I hope you were able to think of other elements that could be “symbolized”–such as primary and secondary navigation, form elements, and other widgets.

Today, I want to talk about how we can put all of these elements together to quickly create Enterprise UI mock-ups that are flexible and customizable.
Read more on Using Nested Symbols in Sketch to Build Powerful, Customizable, Enterprise UI Mock-ups – Part 3: Putting it All Together…

Using Nested Symbols in Sketch to Build Powerful, Customizable, Enterprise UI Mock-ups – Part 2: Buttons and Table Elements

In Part 1, I covered some basic building blocks for nested symbols—colors and icons—as well as grouping symbol groups and proper naming conventions.

In this post, I want to expand on nested symbols to create buttons and table elements that you can quickly customize on the fly. Read more on Using Nested Symbols in Sketch to Build Powerful, Customizable, Enterprise UI Mock-ups – Part 2: Buttons and Table Elements…

Using Nested Symbols in Sketch to Build Powerful, Customizable, Enterprise UI Mock-ups – Part 1: Getting Started

If you have found this article, chances are you are working on some Enterprise-level UI mock-ups. Chances are, you find yourself recreating the same navigation elements, buttons, filter lists, table headers, and cells…Chances are, you’ve noticed that there are many elements that are quite similar, but have minor differences. And chances are, using customizable symbols is going to drastically speed up your process! Read more on Using Nested Symbols in Sketch to Build Powerful, Customizable, Enterprise UI Mock-ups – Part 1: Getting Started…

The Whats, Hows, and Whos of Empathy for Software Makers

Practicing empathy is for more than designers. Having empathy makes you a better designer software consultant. The notion that being empathetic can make you a better consultant is not a new one. The word “empathy” is thrown around a lot in software, but usually in a buzzword-like fashion. So, what does being empathetic mean in our line of work? How should we practice it? And who deserves it? Read more on The Whats, Hows, and Whos of Empathy for Software Makers…

Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 1 – The Love/Breakup Letter

Welcome to our series on Design Thinking methods and activities. You’ll find a full list of posts in this series at the end of the page.

The Love/Breakup Letter

Primary Goal To identify positive and negative attributes/elements/features in your brand, product, company, or event.
When To Use During a kick-off session with a group that is familiar with a pre-existing concept, brand, event and/or application.
Time Required 30-45 minutes
Number of Participants 2-6 (ideally)
Who Should Participate? Stakeholders, Users, or Product Teams
Supplies Pens or pencils, lined sheets of paper (bonus supply: heart or smiley/sad face stickers for dramatic effect)

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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.
Read more on Why and How to Discuss Design with Developers…