How to be a
                              better designer
                                  Jason Robb
                   ...
Design better

                                 Jason Robb
                               Harvard Web Working Group
      ...
Agenda
                                   Intro
                                  Design
                                 ...
Introduction


                               @jasonrobb • #designbetter
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Introduction



                              What I am
     Visual thinker, User researcher,
      Usability expert, Inte...
Introduction



                              What I am
     Visual thinker, User researcher,
      Usability expert, Inte...
Introduction




                              Who I work for
                 Small businesses, startups,
               ...
Introduction




                              Who I work for
                 Small businesses, startups,
               ...
Introduction


                              What else?


                        UX Book Club, Boston
                   ...
Introduction




                              Why I’m here
            Get people excited about design



Wednesday, Octo...
Design


                              @jasonrobb • #designbetter
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
1
                                      Design



                                 Designers
                             ...
2
                                   Design




                              Everyone is a
                              ...
3
                                     Design



                              Design (noun)
                             ...
Design




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design




                                       flickr.com/dragondrop/
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
4
                                            Design




                               Tools don’t
                      ...
Design




                                  Mike Rohde - flickr.com/rohdesign
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
5
                                   Design



                              When to sketch




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design


                                    Baking

                               Simple?          Complex?
            ...
6
                              Design




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design


                              Breakfast




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design


                              Interfaces
                              Email

                              Passw...
Design


                              Interfaces




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design


                              Interfaces




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
7
                                          Design




                              Why?
                                ...
Design




                                     What?
                              “We need a login form...”




Wednesda...
Design




                              No context
                              Email

                              Pas...
Design




                              Why?
                “People need access to private
                    health-re...
8
                                         Design

                              Always get
                              ...
9
                                               Design



                                    Vocabulary
                ...
Design


                              Contrast




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Design


                                            Contrast
     Email                                                  ...
Design


                                            Contrast
     Email                                                  ...
Design
                     Everyone’s a designer
                      Tools: fit your needs
                   When to sk...
People


                              @jasonrobb • #designbetter
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
10                             Working
                              with people
           This is your first priority, mo...
11
                              People




                      Who plays a role?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010
People




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
12                     Listening ≠ doing
           This is your first priority, more
           important than pixels or p...
13                     Listening ≠ doing
                   Don’t expect change. Always
                      reflect befor...
14                             Filter out the
                                 bad stuff
                              Gut...
15                            Nurture ideas,
                              prune in time
                              Gut...
Co&ect ideas, good and bad




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Share them when the time is right




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
16                        Building rapport
                              How valuable is
                              des...
Mood boards




Wednesday, October 13, 2010
17             Building consensus
                              A& good
         Disagree                       Bad design...
This is the norm
                                   A& good
          Disagree                           Bad design



Wed...
Rare, painful
                                 A& good
         Disagree                          Bad design



Wednesday,...
Rare, no design
                                  A& good
         Disagree                           Bad design



Wednes...
Design + People


                                 @jasonrobb • #designbetter
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
18
         Presenting & Critique
            Agenda. Who? Time? Outcome?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010
19             Use email sparingly
                              Phone        Email
        Face time                     ...
20                            How to ruin a
                              relationship
                   Reaction > Distr...
21
                  Resolving conflicts
                   Assume you’re wrong. Test it.
                     Get an outs...
Black and white?
                                      Right
                                      wrong
                 ...
Black, gray, & white
                              Right   Right
                              right   wrong
             ...
22
                Give people choices
                              Choices = (eedom
                              No cho...
Q&A


                              @jasonrobb • #designbetter
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Q1
        How can I get
    requirements up front?
                          You can’t. They’re always
                  ...
Q2                 How to get started
                    when the end is
                   nowhere in sight?
           ...
Q3       How do I dumb-proof
            the UI but not
           patronize users?
           Simple as it has to be, no ...
Q4
                  Why are designers
                     so weird?
                        Curiosity, sensitive to idea...
Q5
                         How do I make it
                           beautiful?
                              Learn the...
Thank you!


                               @jasonrobb • #designbetter
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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How to be a better designer

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Your job depends on you making design decisions every day. I'm not talking about the kind of design that uses color theory, typography, or spacer gifs (joking).

Here are the kinds of things that have made me a better designer. I think they'll help you, too:

• Pencils before pixels will save you tons of time.
• Understanding how to start design projects where the end result isn't quite defined yet.
• How to nurture (or destroy) relationships with your clients and colleagues.
• How to think in extremes to help you know where the boundaries are.
• Sketching is an activity, not a just deliverable.
• Asking the right questions tease out the most important details.
• How do you know when you're asking the wrong questions?
• And lots more...

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How to be a better designer

  1. 1. How to be a better designer Jason Robb Harvard Web Working Group October 13, 2010 @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  2. 2. Design better Jason Robb Harvard Web Working Group October 13, 2010 @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  3. 3. Agenda Intro Design People People + Design Q&A Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  4. 4. Introduction @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  5. 5. Introduction What I am Visual thinker, User researcher, Usability expert, Interaction designer, Visual designer, Front-end developer... Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  6. 6. Introduction What I am Visual thinker, User researcher, Usability expert, Interaction Designer designer, Visual designer, Front-end developer... Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  7. 7. Introduction Who I work for Small businesses, startups, agencies, non-profits... Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  8. 8. Introduction Who I work for Small businesses, startups, People who need design agencies, non-profits... Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  9. 9. Introduction What else? UX Book Club, Boston Next book: Gamestorming Wednesday Nov. 3rd, 7pm uxboston.com Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  10. 10. Introduction Why I’m here Get people excited about design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  11. 11. Design @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  12. 12. 1 Design Designers Creators of tangible or intangible objects Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  13. 13. 2 Design Everyone is a designer Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  14. 14. 3 Design Design (noun) …is a plan for the construction of an object Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  15. 15. Design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  16. 16. Design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  17. 17. Design flickr.com/dragondrop/ Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  18. 18. 4 Design Tools don’t matter (much) Use whatever medium and fidelity that suits your practical needs and design goals http://dub.washington.edu:2007/projects/fidelity/pubs/ Walker_HFES_2002.pdf Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  19. 19. Design Mike Rohde - flickr.com/rohdesign Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  20. 20. 5 Design When to sketch Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  21. 21. Design Baking Simple? Complex? No sketch! Sketch! Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  22. 22. 6 Design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  23. 23. Design Breakfast Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  24. 24. Design Interfaces Email Password ttttttttttt Remember me Login Forgot password? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  25. 25. Design Interfaces Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  26. 26. Design Interfaces Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  27. 27. 7 Design Why? How? What? Simon Sinek - startwithwhy.com Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  28. 28. Design What? “We need a login form...” Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  29. 29. Design No context Email Password ttttttttttt Remember me Login Forgot password? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  30. 30. Design Why? “People need access to private health-related data...” Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  31. 31. 8 Design Always get context! Manage Value account prop Email Update Signup form Password ttttttttttt your status Remember me How to get Import started Login Forgot password? data Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  32. 32. 9 Design Vocabulary Order, unity, variety, contrast, symmetry, asymmetry, rhythm, harmony, dissonance, interval, tension, balance... Paul Rand - youtube.com/watch?v=4yOjts0tpco Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  33. 33. Design Contrast Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  34. 34. Design Contrast Email Email Password ttttttttttt Password ttttttttttt Remember me Remember me Login Forgot password? Login Forgot password? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  35. 35. Design Contrast Email Email Password ttttttttttt Password ttttttttttt Remember me Remember me Login Forgot password? Login Forgot password? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  36. 36. Design Everyone’s a designer Tools: fit your needs When to sketch; when not to Always start with “Why?” Learn the vocabulary Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  37. 37. People @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  38. 38. 10 Working with people This is your first priority, more important than pixels or pencils. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  39. 39. 11 People Who plays a role? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  40. 40. People Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  41. 41. 12 Listening ≠ doing This is your first priority, more important than pixels or pencils. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  42. 42. 13 Listening ≠ doing Don’t expect change. Always reflect before acting. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  43. 43. 14 Filter out the bad stuff Gut reactions are okay, keep them to yourself Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  44. 44. 15 Nurture ideas, prune in time Gut reactions are okay, keep them to yourself Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  45. 45. Co&ect ideas, good and bad Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  46. 46. Share them when the time is right Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  47. 47. 16 Building rapport How valuable is design to them? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  48. 48. Mood boards Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  49. 49. 17 Building consensus A& good Disagree Bad design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  50. 50. This is the norm A& good Disagree Bad design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  51. 51. Rare, painful A& good Disagree Bad design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  52. 52. Rare, no design A& good Disagree Bad design Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  53. 53. Design + People @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  54. 54. 18 Presenting & Critique Agenda. Who? Time? Outcome? Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  55. 55. 19 Use email sparingly Phone Email Face time IM Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  56. 56. 20 How to ruin a relationship Reaction > Distraction > Distortion > Deconstruction Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  57. 57. 21 Resolving conflicts Assume you’re wrong. Test it. Get an outside opinion. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  58. 58. Black and white? Right wrong Wrong right Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  59. 59. Black, gray, & white Right Right right wrong Wrong Wrong right Wrong Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  60. 60. 22 Give people choices Choices = (eedom No choices = slavery Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  61. 61. Q&A @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  62. 62. Q1 How can I get requirements up front? You can’t. They’re always uncovered incrementa&y. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  63. 63. Q2 How to get started when the end is nowhere in sight? Incremental progress Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  64. 64. Q3 How do I dumb-proof the UI but not patronize users? Simple as it has to be, no simpler. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  65. 65. Q4 Why are designers so weird? Curiosity, sensitive to idea crushing, ask why first. Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  66. 66. Q5 How do I make it beautiful? Learn the vocabulary of aesthetics, practice! Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  67. 67. Thank you! @jasonrobb • #designbetter Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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