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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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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One Simple Question to Improve Your Visual Design Skills

“Why?”

This is the question you need to be asking yourself.

Good interface design is a series of carefully thought-through decisions that were made with the user in mind. This is true throughout the entire design process: from the initial idea through defining requirements, sketching and wireframing, interaction design, and on into the visual design phase.


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Tips for Improving Web Typography

Typography is one of the most important aspects of designing a website. Good typography can improve reading comprehension and usability, while poor typography can make even the best site difficult to use.

Fortunately, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to this area. By following just a few key rules, you can greatly improve even the worst web typography.
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You Want Me to Rotate My Device? Really?

I play Words with Friends, but since I use the free version, I have to put up with ads after every move. Annoying–but that’s what I expect if I’m playing for “free.” Sometimes, I see this error:

In my opinion, this is far more annoying than the adverts.

No, I am not going to rotate my iPad just so you can show me an advert. Instead, I quit the app and restart (and maybe mutter some bad words under my breath).
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Technology: More than a Constraint for User-Centered Design

User-centered design that ignores the technical landscape is folly. The designs may tell compelling stories and cause stakeholders to pull out their checkbooks. They may make everyone feel like all those dot voting exercises were time well-spent. But without a healthy view of technology to ground them, they’re nothing but fever dreams drawn in the swirling brainstorm vapors still choking the air in your project room. Read more on Technology: More than a Constraint for User-Centered Design…