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Three Ways To Digitally Detox your Smartphone via Fastcompany

Three Ways To Digitally Detox your Smartphone via Fastcompany | Must Design |
I was determined to digitally detox. But after trying two different “dumbphones,” I realized that the simplest solution was to change how I used my old smartphone.
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Original Art Rules 2019 Marketing via @Curagami with Video  

Original Art Rules 2019 Marketing via @Curagami with Video   | Must Design |

Five Reasons "Original" Art Rules 2019 Marketing

We share five reasons "original" art, illustrations and videos rule 2019 marketing. 


  • Death of Brand Killing Stock Images.
  • The Art, Marketing and Data Collision.
  • Originality Gets Shared.
  • Pictures Matter More Than Words
  • Smartphone Attention Span/Seratonin Addiction


Read More on 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Reading a gaggle of predictions for 2019 design and marketing we found agreement. "Original" art, illustrations, videos, and ideas will rule marketing in 2019. Original is in quotes because you, me, and everyone we know will use stock images next year, 

The post shares tips on how to modify stock images to eliminate the soul and branding killing sameness. Making something original out of stock takes ten minutes. But most websites won't invest a little extra time to create original art, illustrations, and videos. 

Want to know how to make millions online? We share two rules with our consulting clients. 


  1. Take a little extra time to BE ORIGINAL.
  2. When in doubt refer to Rule #1. 

The bad news is there's no free lunch in digital marketing anymore. The good news is 99% of websites don't care about being original. Ready, set, GO, GO, GO. :). Martin 

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Five Web Design Steals from the Chrysler Museum of Art via Curagami

Five Web Design Steals from the Chrysler Museum of Art via Curagami | Must Design |
Five Web Design Steals
Here are five web design ideas you should steal from the new site.

Hero with subtle, effective Calls To Actions (CTAs).
Color as warmth and invitation.
Whitespace to lower intimidation and encourage interaction.
Teases promoting clicks and control.
Storytelling with text, images, and testimonials.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

My take on the Chrysler Museums new website and what it can teach us about web design. 

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The 7 Major Graphic Design Trends of 2019

The 7 Major Graphic Design Trends of 2019 | Must Design |
Prepare yourself for 2019, with this look into the biggest design trends of the year. We’ve covered it all, from typography to illustration and more.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Look Closely At Trends #2 and #3
Immersive Design (#2) and Exposed Mechanics (#3) are related. Immersive Design looks toward virtual reality. VR is a subset of a more significant trend - experiences are the new branding. 

Why would people pay to run through cold, mud, and over rocks and steel? Tough Mudder knows experience is the new branding. And I agree with the founder. Will Dean when he insists no social media means no Tough Mudder. Tough Mudder is immersive and built for sharing. 

Exposed Mechanics elevates process. Process becomes a shareable product. Exposing mechanics creates and shares vulnerabilities. Sharing process in real time or near real time removes a barrier, encourages engagement, and creates conversations. Perfect is left in favor of content capable of producing, rewarding, and inspiring a tribe. 


Sharing process, warts and all, break the third wall - the wall between visitors, viewers, and creators. We develop enough of a framework to receive feedback and then cooperate with those special customers to shape a two-sided dynamic conversation. Happening NOW.  


Experience always happens NOW — these two trends, immersive and exposed, wreck marketing as practiced in favor of community, conversations, and customers. Control, still a figment of a marketer's imagination, moves from marketers to curators and analysts. 

After such a shift any message meant to brainwash a passive audience sound false, thin, and discouraging. Experience moves passive consumption out in favor of active collaboration. Once the DVR, streaming and a ubiquitous Internet change consumer expectations in favor of exposed mechanics and immersive collaborative tribal experiences going back to passive consumption is impossible and annoying. 


Maddening means now there's a penalty for being only slightly out of touch. Create a passive one-sided campaign, and you'll do more than spend money carelessly. Preach without conversation, and you'll pay with cash and brand equity. And the later is the vastly more valuable and hard-earned currency. 


Promise to blog about this topic further on M 

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Mirror Designs Use Images to Arrest and Engage  

Mirror Designs Use Images to Arrest and Engage   | Must Design |
Stephan Schmitz creates editorial illustrations that offer a reflection on modern life. The poignant images are a mirror to how we deal with technology, our families, and more.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love design that uses one element to make another point like some of these dramatic and arresting examples. 

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Graphic Designer Freebies For 2019

Graphic Designer Freebies For 2019 | Must Design |
40 Best Freebies for you. Start your New Year 2019 with these Freebies and Free Resources. Big list of handpicked freebies for designers and developers.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Couldn't live without freebies and fremiums (stuff you use for free until you can't stand it anymore and choke up the pro money). 

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Minimalism in Game Design: Examples, Tips, and Ideas

Minimalism in Game Design: Examples, Tips, and Ideas | Must Design |

Minimal Is Hard

I love this post about how to be a game designer minimalist because doing less is the hardest thing. The ideas shared are applicable to web design too. 

This may be the most important two paragraphs for anyone creating a website to read:

The Basics

"The general purpose of minimalism in game design is to accentuate a game's specific elements by limiting the scope or detail of the other surrounding elements. For a simplified 'real world' example, imagine wearing a blindfold to place a greater emphasis on your sense of touch. 


An entire game can be designed with minimalism as a core concept, but minimalism can also be invoked only when needed. Art, sound, gameplay, and narrative can all be subject to minimalist interpretations."


Read a great book, The Paradox of Choice by Schwartz, to understand why most websites lower conversion with too much choice. Designing a website creates the idea you can do more than you should. It's easy to create mess. 


"Limiting" is an important word for any new web designer. Even as i write this I know chances are poor anyone working . on a websites wireframes is listening. There is something busy, chaotic and endless about web design. 


Because we can do something doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great post for any web or graphic designer to read. 

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Blockchain Design Principles – Design at IBM 

Blockchain Design Principles – Design at IBM  | Must Design |

Blockchain Be Coming

Blockchain is coming and disruption will follow. Bitcoin is an example of a blockchain, but don't stop there. If currency can be "mined" and understood as an extension of those who use it isn't that statement true for all things? 

Yes is the answer to that question. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Insight into how blockchain will change web design. 

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Designing The Perfect Slider Is Tricky - A Smashing Magazine How To 

Designing The Perfect Slider Is Tricky - A Smashing Magazine How To  | Must Design |

Smashing Perfect Sliders
Sliders, those moving images at the top of your homepage or other key pages, can be effective communication tools. They can also, when done badly, drive traffic into the night.

This Smashing Magazine "Perfect Slider" tutorial helps define when sliders are a good idea and how to execute them for conversion, not aversion. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great, comprehensive, and illustrated "perfect slider" tutorial from Smashing Magazine. 

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Blockchain and the Future of Web Design via @Scoopit

Blockchain and the Future of Web Design via @Scoopit | Must Design |

Blockchain Disruptions

As we shared in BI Revolution and Curation RevolutioBlockchain isn't just for Bitcoin anymore.  Imagining a distributed, verified and all but fraud-proof transaction network will change how we think about designings websites too. 


Websites are Dumb
Today, as social media proves, our customers want collaboration, community, and conversations. Google understands the value of highly personalized results. 


The Google "float" where you and I can type the same search at the same time and receive different results is an example of hyper-personalization blockchains are sure to bring to e-commerce. 


Websites powered by algorithms to read a customer's blockchain show the most relevant information to convert now. Lectures die in favor of predictive analytics and conversations. 

When we learn, thanks to the blockchain, a customer just purchased something related to what we sell why show customers anything other than the products our data tells us will convert visitation to transactions? Answer: we wouldn't. 


Internet of Things

The "life is better" promise suggested by the Internet of Things (IOT) is a harvest we only reap with creative use of blockchain. If everything knows everything about everyone, where we are head anyway, our ability to turn chaos into meaning, efficiency and a better life depends on a multipoint, verified and shared network. 

As we noted in our Curagami post The Blockchain Disruption Is Coming Sun Microsystems John Burdette Gage was right - the network is the computer. And the only way our lives don't dissolve into a puddle of chaos, confusion, and anger is by using community blockchain to inform, personalize, and humanize the Internet of things. 

Read our friend David Amerland's great What If We Had A New Value System for Goods and Services to understand the need for, the promise of, and difficulty to create a meaningful, fair, and efficient future. 


How Blockchain Change Web Design

Web design changes from static to flexible, from we create to we curate and from lectures to conversations. Like Google, we won't create a single, static, boring page. Instead, thanks to the blockchain, we will design interactive experiences capable of changing on the fly. 


And we'll have flying cars too. We realize we've heard similar mostly unfulfilled promises before. And there are significant hurdles such as how most merchants feel about their customer information - highly proprietary. 


If the web proves anything, it is the absurdity of "highly proprietary" thinking. What is exclusive when what we do is digital and so easily shared instantly and around the world? Answer: nothing is uniquely yours anymore. 

We don't see the usual drip, drip, drip of acceptance for blockchain empowered, flexible and personal web design. Everyone goes, or no one and the undeniable benefits of using a "dispersed ledger" to inform our digital marketing is so holdouts will lose share, traffic, and loyalty. 

Best to LEAD in innovative ways to use blockchain to inform your web designs since to do otherwise is to risk...well everything. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

How blockchain will make the Internet of Things possible and change web design. 

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20 Free UX eBooks You Must Read via WebDesignDev

20 Free UX eBooks You Must Read via WebDesignDev | Must Design |

UX Must Reads

If you're new to web design do yourself a favor and read at least two of these free User Interface (UX) design books. You'll save yourself time in the end if you know how to design for conversion, engagement, and functionality. That's not to downplay the need for excitement, but nothing turns more users off faster than a hard to understand website. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Free UX books will help save you design time, energy, and frustration. 

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Ten Cool Wireframing Tools To Help ROCK Your Web Designs via Shopify  

Ten Cool Wireframing Tools To Help ROCK Your Web Designs via Shopify   | Must Design |

Wireframing Is A Pain But Less So
Wireframing, the act of prototyping web designs before writing code, is a pain. Less of a pain with these 10 wireframing tools all new to us. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

We have used any of these tools, but xeroxing our wireframing template is old, hard to share, and takes too long. 

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Why Rich Animations Will Make Your Website Fun – via Medium

Why Rich Animations Will Make Your Website Fun – via Medium | Must Design |

Rich Animations

Video is a must, but so are "rich animations". Rich Animations are infographic-like, fun and instructive graphics that come alive, play, and run much like a video. 

Find examples in this Medium Post 


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Watching The Story of Stuff we realized there were some things, some hard things, better told via animation. A human narrator would have made the hard stuff too hard, but animating the devastation even our favorite stuff like iPhone create stopped the "rejection reflex" long enough to listen. 

Not hard to see why animation is so effective. We've been brought up on cartoons, Sesame Street and Simpsons. If you aren't using animation to teach, engage, and make points you might otherwise not be able to make your website is less fun, effective, and profitable. 

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How To Design Search For Your Mobile App via Smashing Magazine

How To Design Search For Your Mobile App via Smashing Magazine | Must Design |

Mobile app users are a different breed. They go to mobile apps for different reasons than websites. In sum, they want a faster, concentrated, and more convenient experience. However, since smartphone screens have limited space, it’s not really feasible to include an expansive menu or set of filters to aid in the navigation of an app.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

What changes do you need to make to be "mobile first" with your search bar and search results? This Smashing Magazine post shares reasons why virtually any mobile application needs a search bar. 


You’re going to find a lot of use for search in mobile apps:


  • Content-driven apps like newspapers, publishing platforms, and blogs;
  • e-Commerce shops with large inventories and categorization of those inventories;
  • Productivity apps that contain documents, calendars, and other searchable records;
  • Listing sites that connect users to the right hotel, restaurant, itinerary, item for sale, apartment for rent, and so on;
  • Dating and networking apps that connect users with vast quantities of “matches”.
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Favorite 2018 Illustrations & Why Original Art Rules in 2019 via Fast Company & Curagami 

Favorite 2018 Illustrations & Why Original Art Rules in 2019 via Fast Company & Curagami  | Must Design |

Take a look at some of the Fast Company Art Department’s favorite illustrations from 2018. From our World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies to Most Creative People in Business, we’ve tasked talented illustrators to visually interpret subjects ranging from pharmaceuticals to video game worlds to the Girl Scouts of America.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Why Illustrations Rule 2019
I'm working on a mashup of web, graphics and e-commerce trends for 2019. To create such a summary I read a gaggle of predictions for 2019 trends looking for agreement and interesting outliers.  

One rather large area of agreement is the rise of original illustrations. I have theories on why colorful, original illustrations will be important marketing tools in 2019. 


  • Death of Stock Photography
    Stock photography is a very bad thing in the hands of the unskilled and 90% of sites and marketing campaigns are "unskilled". Feels like my eyes are being burned away by boring smiling empty people. 

  • Art, Marketing, and Data Collision
    Brand consistent, arresting, original art lights up analytics as the distance between creative left-brainers and quanty right brainers continues to shrink. 

  • Originality Gets Shared
    One reason analytics spikes assure cogent marketers will create more cool illustrations next year is cool stuff gets shared thus creating the winning self-fulfilling prophecy - original illustrations arrest and engage generating shares reinforcing the need for more cool graphics. 

  • Pictures Mean More Than Words Now
    Hard to imagine Hemingway, Faulkner, or Cheever in a blogging age. Our eyes control so much of our time, brian, and desires these days reading almost anything requires a great visual and a headline writer who knows how to set a hook. I'm not saying quality wr