Design Machines

When we let the success and failure of others superficially guide design decisions, we skip over the context and uniqueness of what makes our products different. Design becomes a game of catch-up. Not an intelligent pursuit of finding unique formulas that help the organization stand out on its own.

This is one of those articles that as I read it I found myself nodding along to more and more. It’s easy in a world of short deadlines and on demand solutions to default to what we know works, or at least what appears to work when we’re approaching a new job. But what’s most important in these situations, is that this kind of behvaiour/design does a disservice to our clients.

I’ve lost count of the number of times over recent years that we speak about being professional designer, or designers growing up to be on the level of lawyers and accountants. Experts who know what they’re doing and, in many cases, have earned that respect. The trouble is, that the web doesn’t always portray that, and the glimpses of the web in this piece certainly seem to be back that up.

Each client and each job is unique, treat them that way. There is no one size fits all when it comes to design.

The Social Page

Your website is your home on the web. And in a web where we’re increasingly fractured between social networks, having that sort of “home base” on the web seems increasingly important.

A nice clean and simple solution from Ian Hines as he seeks to solve the problem he so succinctly set out in the quote above. It looks great, although the last two items aren’t necessarily what I would’ve chosen for their relevant actions.

The Web Aesthetic

To put it another way, we’re embracing “responsive” but neglecting the second part: “design.” We’re replacing fixed-width divs with fluid ones. As we undergo a period of reassessment, both of our practice and of our tools, now is the right time to seek out an aesthetic that is truer to the medium.

I, like many, love the notion behind responsive web design but one thing I’ve noticed is that more often than not sites start to look the same. With a little more, well maybe a lot more, consideration we can start to produce designs that are appropriate to their medium (aka screen/bandwidth available) rather than just shrinking or collapsing sections of a web page.