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Beautiful & Useful
Some	rules	of	thumb	for	building	software	
that	looks	and	feels	great	without	designers.
A. Guy
ash@ashguy.com /	@theashguy
SOME RULES
You	don’t	talk	about	fight	club.
Innovation
A	note	on	not	freaking	your	users	the	hell	out.
consistency
Making	design	easy.
P add ing +
About	the	human	eye.
Simplification.
Colour
What	things	look	like	to	everybody.
Font / Type
Opposites	attract.
No.
-Theft-
The	art	of	heist.
What	users	want.
THE
1. Only Innovate one thing in any design. Save this for your main mechanic. Everything else should be
established patt...
Go forth and build
awesome things.
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Beautiful & Useful

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Some rules of thumb for building software that looks and feels great without designers.

Initial presentation of this talk at CompCon in Brisbane, October 2016.

Would love any feedback and comments on the content and presentation. Keen to continue to develop this talk for future conferences (Let me know if you know any where it would be appropriate!).

Hit me up on ash@ashguy.com / @theashguy to chat!

Published in: Design
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Beautiful & Useful

  1. 1. Beautiful & Useful Some rules of thumb for building software that looks and feels great without designers.
  2. 2. A. Guy ash@ashguy.com / @theashguy
  3. 3. SOME RULES You don’t talk about fight club.
  4. 4. Innovation A note on not freaking your users the hell out.
  5. 5. consistency Making design easy.
  6. 6. P add ing + About the human eye.
  7. 7. Simplification.
  8. 8. Colour What things look like to everybody.
  9. 9. Font / Type Opposites attract.
  10. 10. No.
  11. 11. -Theft- The art of heist.
  12. 12. What users want.
  13. 13. THE 1. Only Innovate one thing in any design. Save this for your main mechanic. Everything else should be established patterns. 2. Decide on a set of rules, and stick to them throughout. This helps establish brand, and focus your user. 3. Whitespace is important. Include your padding rules in your consistency. Separate groups of things by a larger gutter than things that should be grouped together. 4. Once you’ve got something, start looking at every single line & shape and ask yourself– what the hell is this thing for? 5. Don’t rely on Colour to distinguish one thing from another, but do use as part of your solution. Couple with pattern and shade. Lighten and darken 10% to create levels. Use swatches from Kuler. 6. Pair a Body and Header typeface. Make sure your body copy is at a min 14pt, but more like 16pt’s. 7. Friends don’t let friends use gradients. 8. Keep a design you love up while you work and constantly look at your design next to it. This will stop you falling in love, and give you plenty of inspiration. 9. Never forget what the user is trying to achieve on any screen. Make sure you’re giving them feedback on how they’re doing.
  14. 14. Go forth and build awesome things.

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