Chip Kidd doesn’t judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book -- and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs.
Moreover, by making real decisions we can really guide the user to whatever behaviors will ensure they have a great experience. If there are only a few options on the page and of those options they do 80% of what you're looking for, we can still capture that intent and use it to help make the product better for everyone. A lot of products fail to make strong decisions because each one they make clearly defines a product into a confined space, but when you provide too much choice another, far worse problem is created: you don't do anything at all.
Each of these main decisions really fell out of a single principle of keeping things as minimal as possible. It's not enough that the product is simple, but even the values and strategy underpinning it should be simple and straightforward.
A: One of the things we’ve really learnt over the last 20 years is that while people would often struggle to articulate why they like something - as consumers we are incredibly discerning, we sense where has been great care in the design, and when there is cynicism and greed. It’s one of the thing we’ve found really encouraging.
Q: Users have become incredibly attached, almost obsessively so, to Apple’s products - why is this?
A: It sound so obvious, but I remember being shocked to use a Mac, and somehow have this sense I was having a keen awareness of the people and values of those who made it.
I think that people’s emotional connection to our products is that they sense our care, and the amount of work that has gone into creating it
Design is shrinking the gap between what a product does and why it exists. Designing is not just about picking the right font or gradient. Stop thinking about design in terms of wire frames or visual style; it is about the product as a whole. Designing is figuring out the purpose of your product and how you orient everything else around it. And that means that everyone within a company plays a role in the design process. And that means that everyone in a company needs to learn design literacy. It’s a hard task. Everyone tells their MBA-wielding friends that they should learn to code: “Anyone can do it,” or “It’s going to be the new literacy.” People think code is the basis of a working product. But what about design? How often are people told that they should “learn to design”?
If you’re trying to convert visitors to customers, you’re exceptionally interested in maximizing the clicks on primary calls to action that turn that visitor into a subscriber, fan, or purchaser. More clicks in the right spot means more potential customers.
Here are techniques that have proven to generate greater clickthrough rates (CTRs) on all kinds of sites.
Lead with your benefits – ScoreBig does a great job with this on their sign-up page. Their headline is “Members save up to 60% on sports, concert, and theater tickets.” It’s clear and compelling.
Clear call to action – Make your call to action clear, prominent and enticing. Use tempting buttons with visual styles, such as arrows, that signify forward movement, compelling users to keep going.
Visual hierarchy – What is the information priority on the page? What do you want people to see and absorb? Use typography, font sizes and emphasis and visual cues like in line iconography to draw the user through the page.
Remember AIDA – Awareness, interest, decision, action. Conquer the first three and you get the click, the action. Create awareness and interest, then provide information to allow for a decision.
Yves Béhar’s prolific industrial design studio Fuseproject has dropped its latest sparkler: a new soda maker from the Israeli home-carbonation company Sodastream called Source.Source is a minimalist, fizzy-drink fiend’s fantasy.
If you had to give an award for the year’s most breakthrough piece of consumer tech, there’s a good chance it would go to Lytro, a camera company which recently unveiled its first product. Unlike other cameras, you never need to focus it.
Sad news for Porsche lovers: Ferdinand Porsche, the creator of the iconic 911 sports car, passed away today, the AP is reporting. Porsche, grandson of the company's founder, was 76. He died in Salzburg, Austria. Known as F.A. to his colleagues, Porsche was head of the Porsche design studio in the early 1960s when the 911 was conceived, according to the AP. Porsche's creation is a rarity that has been in continuous production for 50 years. And while a few aspects of the 911 have changed over the years, even more, like the location of the engine and the distinctive shape, have stayed the same.
In architecture, we laud the possible that looks impossible, the mind-bending sensation of looking at endless pools and the tallest skyscrapers. It’s beautiful design, made possible only by the latest science.
We all think about user interface more often than we realize. From our cell phone, to our DVR, to Facebook, or the parking garage kiosk we fight with leaving work each day, UI is everywhere – and has truly become a functional art form. And as we continue to add more devices and electronic gadgets into our circle of daily interactions the quality of that experience continues to grow ever more important.
User interface/experience is a topic that comes up again and again at tech conferences like SXSW Interactive. Last year, UK designers Cennydd Bowles and James Box gave an excellent presentation on how interaction design is like music. This year saw another outstanding presentation on the subject, this time from Dave Hogue, who heads up Experience Design at San Francisco interactive agency Fluid – but who came to the position from a successful (and still ongoing) academic career, with a doctorate and stint as professor of psychology at Xavier University in New Orleans.
Located in the former vault of a historic bank on Rembrandtplein, the new shop will be a showcase for sustainable interior design and slow coffee brewing, with small-batch reserve coffees and Europe’s first-ever Clover, a high-end machine that brews one cup at a time. But the most radical departure is in the aesthetic: the multilevel space is awash in recycled and local materials; walls are lined with antique Delft tiles, bicycle inner tubes, and wooden gingerbread molds; repurposed Dutch oak was used to make benches, tables, and the undulating ceiling relief consisting of 1,876 pieces of individually sawn blocks. The Dutch-born Liz Muller, Starbucks concept design director, commissioned more than 35 artists and craftsmen to add their quirky touches to the 4,500-square-foot space.