Centerline’s Brenna Mickey & Lenae Boykin take a minute (or two) to reflect on their time in the Peace Corps (spoiler alert: they both served in the Peace Corps in Albania, at the same time), sharing with us how they’ve applied those lessons and learnings to their personal lives, as well as their careers here at… Read more »
Maybe it’s the smell. Maybe it’s the texture. Maybe it’s the utility. I can’t fully articulate my passion for traditional tools, even as I work in the digital space for a digital agency to help our clients reach their customers through digital channels. The same tools I loved as a kid—pens, pencils, paper, and markers—are… Read more »
“What use could this company make of an electrical toy?” – Western Union president William Orton, responding to an offer from Alexander Graham Bell to sell his telephone company to Western Union for $100,000.  It’s easy to dismiss new technology as a passing fad. I remember looking at an iPhone in 2007 and scoffing at how… Read more »
I believe that experience designers should use the power of art to make digital experiences more compelling. You might think, “well, that’s great but I’m not an artist. I can’t draw or perform music or dance or act. How am I supposed to use art in my designs?” To be completely honest, I don’t know exactly, because everyone is different. Everyone will have a different process — or perhaps no process at all — for creating a sense of artistic expression in digital content, whether it be through visual, auditory, interactive or narrative devices. What I have come up with, though, are three points to help you discover your own approach.
To understand how web designs and interactivity effect the end user, I’ve been reading up on website design, modular layouts, adaptive hypermedia (web content that adjusts to the specific user – mostly seen in educational settings but could also be interpreted as suggested links or products), and spatial hypermedia (where the web user can move and adjust the website – adjust the layout or other elements of the webpage). Sounds kind of nerdy (and it is!), but doing the research taught me a few key points that I think should be considered for every digital project.
The designer Milton Glaser is an advocate for inquiring about meaning, and encourages us to be mindful of slipping into surface-deep observations and assumptions. Designers, writers and marketers (or any creator, really) should embrace doubt. Welcome it. Because certainty leads to stagnation. Doubt leads to iteration.Read More »
When American Airlines revealed their first brand refresh in 45 years, a lively debate followed. Some people loved the new look while others thought it sacrilege to change a classic logo by a legendary designer. Maybe you, too, followed the lively online debate. As content creators and designers who support large brands, we believe there is no “right” or “wrong” opinion, just different ways to interpret what a brand is attempting to communicate.
Within any relatively young area of study, the boundaries, patterns and development of that field are frequent discussion topics. In this edition of Centerline Sessions, Cennydd Bowles of Twitter and our own Kate Williamson exchange ideas on the current state of user experience and its future direction.Read More »
As UX professionals, it is our obligation to serve users and to put others first, above our own bottom line. By providing the best user experiences, we gain trust over time, making honest UX both an ethical practice and a sustainable business plan.Read More »
User experience speaks louder than words.
While honest UX gains trust and long-term loyalty, deliberately tricky tactics send a message that a company doesn’t value its users. What does Amazon’s checkout process say about their opinion of shoppers?Read More »
More people are realizing the importance of UX and giving it consideration during their design processes. They’re trying out various methods as supplements for content planning, and their eagerness to be less rigid and publicly resolute is reflective of the fact that UX designers aren’t robots following a process “recipe.” So methods such as sketching and wireframing haven’t replaced IA. Rather, they are two useful tools in a toolbox of many for problem-solving and expression.
The new Fiat 500 is an attempt by Chrysler to relaunch the Italian brand in the U.S. market after a 25 year absence. Unfortunately, the brand does come with some baggage. The last time Fiat sold cars here, F.I.A.T. stood for “Fix It Again Tony.” But the reintroduction of the Fiat brand to the U.S. is a great example of selling your brand via strong design.
“Logos are dead! Long live icons and avatars!” Marty Neumeier wrote those words in The Brand Gap way back in 2003. What he meant was that logos evolved as a way for people to identify brands rather than differentiate them. But when conceived well, an icon is a repository of meaning. It contains the DNA of the brand, the basic material for creating a total personality distinct from the competition. An avatar goes even further by becoming the symbolic actor in a continuing brand story.
Meet the new breed of brand avatar in these examples. Are icons like these a long-term trend or flash in the pan?