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Posts tagged Web Design.

Four Design Links: December 10, 2009

Bundle-up with Four Design Links, a curated collection of stories we've been reading this week.

Watercolor of a turkey by Karen Faulkner
Photo by Wally Gobetz

1. The Lazy Designer’s Guide to Success

Pentagram's Michael Bierut offers seven ways designers can work smarter, not harder.

#4. Do as you’re told.
Simply following the client's instructions will yield wonders. For Bierut – who likes limitations – creating the gargantuan sign for Renzo Piano’s New York Times building was fairly straightforward. The Times Square Alliance mandates that all buildings in the neighbourhood feature bright, large signage, to "keep Times Square looking like Times Square,” says Bierut. (He adds that, for Piano, hearing the words large-sign-stuck-on-your-building must have been, "like, the biggest 6-word, ‘F--- you, architect’.”) And so, the almost 6 meter-tall logo was chopped into 893 pieces and applied to Piano’s ceramic rod façade.

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NickDec 10, 2009
 

Four Design Links: December 3, 2009

An eclectic Four Design Links this week. Philosophy, stress management, and a bit of web design tech to round things off.

1. A visual interpretation of Delueze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus

Marc Ngui: A Thousand Plateaus

Check out this collection by Marc Ngui.

2. Time in nature makes us more caring

If we want people to do more good in the world, perhaps greater exposure to nature is the ticket. According to this study, you don't even have to be outside to experience the effect. Some outdoor wallpaper and plants can help make one more prone to care about others.

3. Delegate

This is timely. Feeling overwhelmed? Perhaps you need to learn how to delegate.

4. Google Analytics goes asynchronous

Google's new update promises "faster tracking code load times" and "enhanced data collection & accuracy". Time to revise those CMS templates?

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NickDec 3, 2009
 

Four Design Links: November 19, 2009

It's time for Four Design Links, a curated collection of stories we've been reading this week.

1. Facebook Now Accounts For 1 In 4 Internet Pageviews(?)

Database marketing firm Drake Direct claims that Facebook represents 1 in 4 pageviews in the US. By comparison, Google gets 1 in 12 pageviews using the same dataset.

The data sounds questionable, but it made me think. These days, I probably visit Facebook at least as much as Google. I wonder how that traffic breaks down in terms of Facebook applications vs. socializing? How much of those numbers are games, for instance?

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NickNov 19, 2009
 

Four Design Links: November 5, 2009

Thursday brings a fresh batch of warm pumpkin-scented Four Design Links.

1. Lying Through Visualization?

Information Aesthetics: Lying through Visualization: AT&T Sues Verizon over Coverage Maps

An interesting bit of infoviz ethics here. AT&T is suing Verizon over a commercial which features a map comparing the two companies' 3G wireless coverage.

AT&T alleges that although the data may be accurate, the presentation is misleading. According to the complaint, although the map compares only 3G coverage (which Verizon has more of), the blank spacing in the map suggests that AT&T has no coverage of any kind in those areas.

I'm fairly certain legal action is the wrong play here. It only seems to validate Verizon's claims that AT&T is inferior. The map may be correct, but the message is not. AT&T has data coverage in those "blank" areas, just not 3G. AT&T should turn around and make an ad with a map comparing where iPhones work. Plenty of blank space for Verizon there.

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NickNov 5, 2009
 

Four Design Links: October 8, 2009

The leaves may be changing, but Four Design Links never changes. We're here every Thursday, rain or shine.

1. Now this is how to market something

This harrowing video shows a skier wearing a helmet-cam, buried by an avalanche for several minutes and dug out by his friends. He survived the encounter because he was experienced, lucky, and had the right equipment. It was one of the most oddly compelling (if unintentional) marketing episodes I've ever witnessed.

Survive an Avalanche with an Avalung
Left: the viral video in question; Right: A Black Diamond Avalung

Before watching the video, I had no idea what an avalung was, but I do now. It's a device that helps skiers breathe easier if they get caught in an avalanche. According to the comments on the video, it probably saved the skier's life.

One wouldn't even dream of trying to stage something like this --a life or death situation-- for marketing purposes, but I can't get over how effective the whole experience was. To watch this event through this person's eyes and survive(!) was so compelling, I just had to learn more. I could see the value of the product and I was convinced even though I have no intention whatsoever of attempting such an activity. That's powerful stuff.

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NickOct 8, 2009
 

Four Design Links: September 17, 2009

It's wouldn't be Thursday without Four Design Links. Get 'em while they're piping hot!

1. How do you build for evil?

Evil architecture studio'

This fall, Kazys Varnelis? is teaching a graduate architecture studio on the topic of evil.

If one simply does not care about playing by the rules of the game, but only about seizing power to further one’s own ends, it becomes possible to shed layers of complexity and thereby continue society.

The human cost, of course, is quite high, as Mussolini’s quest to get the trains to run on time in Italy demonstrates. Still, with the recent economic success of authoritarian regimes—and the open advocacy of such regimes as clients by notable architects such as OMA—evil is on the table again as an option for architects to pursue.

This studio looks at how one might design for an evil client... How do you build for evil?

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NickSep 17, 2009
 

Four Design Links: August 27, 2009

Four more Design Links this week. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

1. Measuring the quality of visitors rather than the quantity

Marketing blogger Helge Tennø raises an interesting question: in the age of social media, what are we missing from our current web analytics?

Helge Tennø: Quality vs. Quantity'

It is easy to measure page views and sales, but that still leaves a lot of room in between. How do we track the number and activity of different user types that make online communities work? There's no good answer yet, but it's something to chew on.

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NickAug 27, 2009
 

Four Design Links: August 13, 2009

This week's Design Links are a potpourri. We've got a book, a blogpost, some photographs, and a cool tool. Dig in!

1. Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People

We've written before about how green design gets attention, but often misses the mark. Here's something we can get behind: a book about good design that does good for people.

Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People

Via.

2. Are You a Digital Sharecropper?

Jeff Atwood has a thoughtful post about the investments we make in user-generated content. He asks: in the long run, what's really in it for us?

In essence, any website where user generated content is the website, that is also a for-profit business (not a non-profit organization, ala Wikipedia) -- is effectively turning their users into digital sharecroppers. Digital sharecroppers typically get nothing in return for the content they've provided, and often give up all rights to what they've created.

The issue is complex —not something that can be resolved in a blog post— but it got me thinking. What are the design ethics of user-generated content sites? Atwood hints at this when he says there should be a "healthy, reciprocal relationship", but I'd like to develop it further....

3. People as pixels -- soldiers line up to create American images

Check out these photographs. These images are, in fact, thousands of US soldiers carefully arranged to depict symbols of the USA and US Military.

The Living Emblem of the US Marine Corps
The Living Emblem of the United States Marines
Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas, Photographers

Impressive. Those are buildings in the distance. That's some serious scale!

4. CrossBrowserTesting.com

Paul shared this great service the other day. It's a virtual client where you can view your websites in nearly any version browser on any OS. Useful!

CrossBrowserTesting.com
You can check out what your design looks like in, say, IE6 on WindowsXP without needing another rig.
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NickAug 13, 2009
 
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