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Design

  • Wireframing is out, prototyping is in: here’s why

    OK, so it is a bit of an inflammatory title for an article, but I think for a lot of web development projects, it is now true. A few years ago, the standard process for building a decently complex website involved an initial stage of producing wireframes. These were generally static, greyscale 'blueprints' for the layout of the website, illustrating where content would be positioned, what kind of UI (User Interface) elements are to be used, and how data will be input by users, and displayed when output. It's conceptually an essential part of a successful website development project,...

  • Check out this designer’s gorgeous re-imagining of Twitter

    Twitter's not afraid of big changes. There have been several "new" Twitters over the years, but what if the social network was completely re-imagined? What might it look like? Thanks to Australian designer Fred Nerby, we have an idea. Nerby, whose version of Facebook went viral earlier this year, has turned his attention to the 140 character or less social network and the results are pretty damn spectacular. The design isn't just a re-tooling of the social network to make it look a little prettier either. Nerby's actually thought about what would make Twitter better and how to push...

  • 2 very good reasons why a smart designer is essential to any website

    It’s been said that the worst mistake a company can make when they need to build a website is to leave it to a web designer. But of course somebody who designs websites is by definition a website designer in much the same way as a pilot flies planes or a writer writes articles. What’s more we all know that the worst mistake a company can make is potentially much more catastrophic than hiring a web designer. But I digress. If we take it as given that a web designer is somebody who designs websites for a living, here are the...

  • Elon Musk’s Hyperloop transport system not a vacuum tunnel, here’s all we know

    A simple tweet is all it took. Elon Musk, tech billionaire and founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has sent the tech world into giddy excitement by announcing the date that he will reveal early designs of his much-anticipated Hyperloop transport system. Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013 At this stage no one knows 100% what the Hyperloop system is, or how it works, but it could be a direct rival to the planned California bullet-train that will travel the 343 miles (552km) between...

  • 7 reasons a designer shouldn’t take responsibility for your site

    When you need a website, most companies will try to find a graphic designer, web designer or simply brief their advertising agency. This is the worst mistake a company can make as designers have the wrong priorities when it comes to web design. To get the best results when looking at web design you need to get someone in marketing to do your website design. The number one priority of marketing types is to generate revenue, and this should always be the number one priority of your website design. Here are the main reasons why you cannot trust a designer...

  • Adobe kills Creative Suite, moves to service-based Creative Cloud

    Adobe Creative Suite is no longer a product. It's a service. What was once just an option, will become the only way to access the Adobe Creative Suite family of applications come 17 June. Creative Suite (CS) will officially be replaced by Adobe Creative Cloud (CC), a subscription-based service with all the bells and whistles that come with the cloud. Announced at Adobe's MAX conference, and received with mixed reactions across social media platforms, the move marks Adobe's official shift from a product-driven company to a service-driven one after experimenting with it for the last two years. This means that...

  • The future of furniture is here: it’s the self assembling foam chair

    The future of furniture is approaching fast as designer Carl de Smet from Noumenon plans on manufacturing a foam chair which can be compressed to five percent of its original size. This initiative works with polyurethane shape-memory polymers (SMPs) to compress chairs and other pieces of furniture into flat slabs that can be easily stowed and moved until they are ready to be used. The polymers are the key chemical compound in the manufacturing of the fixtures. Smet makes these pieces (in this case a chair) in its original form. Through applying heat, the polymer bonds loosen, enabling the...

  • Engineering the Internet of Things, ‘climate responsive’ tech and serendipity

    All tech giants seem to be redesigning and creating newer, smarter campuses. Google, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo have been undergoing changes to their employees’ work spaces by engineering a ‘smarter’ work environment that could increase creativity and productivity. "Smart buildings will become smart cities," Microsoft's Darrel Smith says. "And smart cities will change everything." Many companies rely on what is called ‘living buildings’ having designed the structure in order to promote as many chance meetings as possible in order to promote creativity. Others rely on green, sustainable tech or even 'data blankets' used to analyse environments through sensors. Berlin’s flughafen...

  • The human body as interface, and a new language of interaction

    As it stands, we have moved through a few core paradigms in terms of how we interact with computers and software. From the earliest days of physical levers and punchcards, through text (DOS etc.), onto the GUI and windows/Mac OS type interfaces, and recently now touch, gesture and voice. These last three have signaled a major shift towards a more natural way of interacting -- making use of the kinds of behaviours we understand intuitively, either because we have evolved to perform them, or because we learn them from a young age, as useful behaviours in a range of...

  • Is responsive design really the future of web development?

    While most hail it the future of web development, the concept has received its fair amount of skepticism. Regardless of your stand point on the subject, responsive web design is making tidal waves in the web development world. But before you jump into the sea of fluid grids and media queries, or pay someone to do it for you, let’s help you get a decent understanding of the concept first. What is responsive web design and what is it about? Responsive web design is a front-end development approach aimed at crafting device agnostic sites. What this means is that it...

  • 7 things you should keep in mind when designing a data warehouse

    Enterprise data warehouses (also known simply as data warehouses) are similar to what existed before we had computers, when there were central filing systems. These filing systems of yesteryear got information from several sources ensured that this was properly managed for efficient storage as well as retrieval, and delivered information to several sources for the purpose of analysis. Now these systems helped reduce data duplication and to a large extent did eliminate problems with regard to finding lost files. Yes, in a similar way, enterprise data warehouses are very much like central filing systems. It is a central...

  • 11 life lessons from top design blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg [SXSW]

    Among the cynicism and complaining that usually accompanies conferences of its size, SXSW manages to deliver a healthy dose of inspiration. Tina Roth Eisenberg gave a keynote address that quickly became one of this year's highlights. Growing up in mountainous Switzerland, and being influenced by renowned Swiss design and "a lot of fresh air", Eisenberg moved to New York and began establishing various businesses despite the uncertainty that surrounded the onset of her life in the Big Apple. Often referred to as "SwissMiss," she now runs a popular design blog out of Brooklyn, New York, which has an audience...

  • Mobilising the masses: getting responsive web design for mobile right

    The term “responsive design” is being bantered all around the online community at the moment as the ultimate technology solution to dealing with multiple screen sizes and resolutions across mediums like desktop and mobile and is being confusingly associated with the use of HTML5. Firstly, we need to separate the terms responsive design and HTML5 as they are not mutually exclusive. Responsive design is a methodology, not a technology, whereas HTML5 is one possible enabler to perform responsive design but it is one of many solutions and not necessarily the best solution. So what’s the actual need for responsive design? With...

  • 5 people you really don’t want designing your website

    Everybody seems to be an expert when it comes to web design. If you are tasked with maintaining or redesigning your website, then be warned: everyone will have an opinion, and most will insist that their opinion is correct. Most people tend to think that the way they use a website, is the way all people use it. I think it’s human nature to think that way. Someone once said that there are as many opinions in a room as there are backsides, or perhaps he used another term! In general, there are five types of people to watch...

  • How to get your digital agency working on results-focused design

    As clients set ever-tougher objectives to judge the effectiveness of their digital properties, agencies need to constantly revise their strategies to ensure that they can meet and exceed the expectations to retain these relationships. It is easy to focus on results at the end of the development process -- pull some reports and produce the odd insight to justify the budget the client spends on analytics -- but it’s a whole lot harder to design and develop with results in mind right from the beginning. Traditionally, designers receive the brief for a new website, meet with the client and immerse themselves...