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Design

  • Mobile first design: why responding to technology is imperative

    Paradigms change. Sometimes they change naturally. Others need a little nudge in the right direction. Mobile first design is an example of the latter. The idea of Mobile First Design has been around for a while now. Google started floating the idea back in 2010 and really started pushing it shortly after. But Google pushes a lot of ideas and the wake of their changes tend to be both broad and long. There is an enormous audience of developers, advertisers and businesses that respond to the disruptive changes Google makes. It can take a while for all of them to...

  • Design Indaba 2015: Celebrating the continual incubation of ideas

    "Whatever the hell this thing is, it's amazing. I never even heard of it until this guy sent me this weird fake film And now I'm here. How did I get into this?" It was the last day of Design Indaba and Dan Wieden, the man who coined the term "just do it", suddenly made us sit up and realise this is a pretty special conference. Every year Interactive Africa invites some of the world's most creative thinkers to share their creative process with South Africans (and a growing international group) over three days at the CTICC. And every year...

  • Robots built to widen access to art on display at Design Indaba

    Imagine Night at the Museum but instead of animals and statues coming to life, four robots roam the darkened halls -- robots you could control from the comfort of your home. That's exactly what two creatives, playing at the intersection between digital technology and interactive design, dreamt to do and the result blew the world away. Ross Cairns and Tommaso Lanza are two of the many innovative thinkers visiting Cape Town this week as part of Interactive Africa's Design Indaba. With over half a million visitors each year, the conference and expo has become internationally renowned for attracting and showcasing the world’s...

  • Design, process and technology all make big ecommerce sense

    The world of commerce is often presented as a complex place, filled with tainted tactics and mass confusion. And that’s just the brick and mortar variety. Last month we spoke about ecommerce and its evolution to m-commerce -- the point clearly being that companies wanting to get in on the massive action and rapid, warp speed progression of online and mobile commerce platforms had better get cracking, and decisively so. Getting your product, service or solution online and within reach of millions of customers is one giant leap in the right direction, yes – albeit still only one small...

  • Wikiwand is the Wikipedia you’ve always dreamed of

    We can all agree that Wikipedia's interface works on simplicity because Jimmy Wales and his buddies want to deliver the same experience across different machines. Yes, we understand but if we are being honest, we do wish we could get a kickass stylist upgrade to the simple text based UX. Well, the folks at WikiWand have heard our pleas and decided to deliver. The Chrome plugin has taken Wikipedia and twisted its head to give you a slick new interface offering a significantly better reading experience. Installing the plugin quickly transforms all articles on Wikipedia into a responsive page....

  • 5 website bloopers you should avoid at all costs

    The effect of design on a website is like the impact of clothes on you and me. A great outfit enhances our best features and makes us look good, while a badly chosen one either makes us look ridiculous, or worse, makes us fade away into the crowd. This second fate is OK if you’re a person. Not so much when it comes to a website. Users ignoring your site and dropping off like flies is the last thing any website owner or marketer wants. A far cry from the early days of the internet, by now most websites are professionally...

  • 5 things you need to know about becoming an e-learning design pro

    Over the past decade, the significance of e-learning has become increasingly apparent to corporate organisations and educational institutions throughout the world, which has prompted them to make the sensible shift from paper to pixels. This, in turn, has resulted in a massive increase in employment opportunities within the e-learning sector, particularly for specialised positions, like e-learning design. E-learning has evolved from its inception as a fairly boring system of presenting information, into a vibrant and accessible tool. Modules are carefully planned so that the most effective method of presenting the material can be used, and lessons are now presented using...

  • How SodaStream is proving that you can still differentiate through good design

    Despite current political woes, you have to give SodaStream kudos for having somewhat of a renaissance recently design-wise. You know the drill, ordinary water gets fizzy with the ultra satisfying blasts of compressed CO2 injected into it. Experience (and the environmental positives) aside, the biggest area of improvement is the design thanks to a hefty partnership with interior designer Yves Béhar. Béhar is no stranger to brand work working with Herman Miller, Puma, Samsung (amongst others) however he is probably most well known for his work at Jawbone, OUYA and currently with the FUSE Project. ...

  • Motivation, ability and triggers: 3 keys to effective behaviour design

    UX Designers are increasingly being tasked with the design of an application that fulfils a perceived greater need, one that influences or changes behaviour. To do this effectively, you need to fully understand the motivation, ability and triggers that are required to meet your objective. This is the advice of BJ Fogg, a Stanford innovator and psychologist with a focus on behaviour change and persuasion via technology. He says if you’re missing one of these behaviours, change will not occur. For example, in a sign up form, by making the desirable action easier for the user than the undesirable one,...

  • Business at the heart of the arts: what we can all learn from the new National Arts Festival site

    Just like the National Arts Festival itself, the new festival website has plenty of colour and personality. The site got a much-needed makeover just in time for the 40th edition of the Festival, held in Grahamstown 3 – 13 July 2014. And, again like the event, under all the colour, images and nifty transitions, there is a business basis making this a site that does more than entertain. Look and feel Blame Medium.com and the one-page app sites, but bold width-spanning images and scrolling central blocks of text are certainly have their moment in the sun in terms of web...

  • #Anotherlightup: tweet and donate to illuminate public art (and a township)

    What do a graffiti artist, Twitter, a design conference and a South African township have in common? They're all part of #anotherlightup -- the latest social media-fuelled campaign hoping to make a difference through the power of public art and crowdfunding. Launched at this year's Design Indaba, the #Anotherlightup project is hoping to raise funds to install 80 street lights along a 700 metre path between public water points in Monwabisi Park. It aims to make the neighbourhood safer by ensuring these frequently visited spaces are well-lit at night -- especially considering the area sees a spike in crime...

  • Adobe DPS now powers over 75% of mobile digital reading

    Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) -- a codeless app generator for publications -- now powers more than three-quarters of all digital issues consumed on mobile devices, Adobe has revealed. Newly unveiled data from Adobe shows that DPS -- which releases publications compatible with iOS, Android Tablets, and Kindle Fire -- seems to be driving the growth of digital reading, increasing both circulation and reader engagement for notable publications such as Wired, Time, National Geographic and GQ, amongst others. Since Adobe DPS was released less than three years ago, thousands of publications have taken it on to power their digital offerings --...

  • All flat and Instagrammed: Shutterstock’s 2014 global design trends

    What would you do if you were one of the world's top stock image sites, with users generating a terabyte of data a day? If you're smart, you'd put all that information to good use... and maybe make an infographic to go along with it. Well, that's exactly what Shutterstock has done with the most recent iteration of their global design trends report. The stock image and video site put crunched the numbers to give an overview of major current influences in the world of design, taking into account over 350-million downloads of its stock imagery and information on...

  • 6 reasons why your website needs to be conversion-driven

    When you walk into a retail clothing store, you’re not just walking into a room randomly filled with garments. You’re entering a carefully organised space specifically designed to get you to buy products. Items from the newest range take pride of place while images of gorgeous models flaunting the items plaster the biggest walls. The perfect jacket to compliment that pair of skinny jeans is displayed nearby, with a helpful shopping assistant on hand to suggest you try them both. Special deals displayed at eye level catch your eye on the way out. These are all important tricks of the...

  • Starting a website? Tips on going niche, working smart and growing fast [WCCT]

    If you’re looking for examples of niche, it’s difficult to imagine a slimmer area of focus than one page websites. But it’s an interest in that specific area that has helped Cape Town-based developer and WordPress fan Rob Hope expand a side-project into a fulltime commitment, driven by the allure of the focused and inspiring. Hope is the man behind One Page Love – a design platform which highlights, reviews and showcases the stories behind single page websites. It’s a niche in modern web design, and one which is becoming a serious trend Hope has capitalised on. His site...