Design tools

Content is King

Interactive Design
The primary purpose of many of the apps and sites you will design will be to deliver content ... Content that will inform, teach, or entertain ...

The best designs provide users with content that is easy to find, relevant to them, current, and simple to watch, read, and listen. To make good design choices, it is essential to understand what kind of content your designs will deliver, where that content will come from, how it will be created, and how it will be updated. [page 54]


The best interface is no interface : the simple path to brilliant technology

The best interface is no interface

If you want to see some highlights, you can start here, but you want to read the Safari Books Online book.

Our love for the digital interface is out of control. And our obsession with it is ruining the future of innovation.
[1. Introduction: Why Did You Buy This Book?]
When the design process for new technology begins, it often starts brilliantly ... It's a practice that can unmask new opportunities, uncover unknown yet common problems, illuminate regular routines, and find those things that are actually important to the end customer.

And just a few weeks of these open-minded observations and conversations with customers is a marvelous first step that many smart people in technology use today to create something useful ...

Walls are covered in imagery. Mood boards are created around the emotional qualities of aspirational outcomes. User stories, personas, scenarios, and other means of aggregation provide an enormously useful guide into what must be accomplished to make something great for the customers. But then, the creativity stops.

The amazing stack of unique problems is forgotten. The rich pile of specific insights disappears. Instead, from the unique opportunities emerges the expected. Organic insights are morphed into mechanical results. One-of-a-kind is turned into a square peg for a square hole. Because screens come before problems.
[10. Lazy Rectangles: That's a great wireframe. We nailed it. We're going to make a billion dollars.]

Read as much of this book as you wish, skip around if you wish, but come to class on Tuesday planning to discuss what it has to say to us, as we begin the design phase.