Design for Software : A ux playbook


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Didn't go to design school? Have a taste for good design, but aren't sure what it takes to get there? This talk takes a "playbook" approach to the mechanics of design a with process inspired by art & science. This is not your typical abstract design theory talk; you will take away to-the-point techniques you can start using tomorrow. This talk will guide both the creative-minded technologist and tech-saavvy artist through a practical design process that produces well-designed software.

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  • 10 years in the making…
  • The market is getting saturated with developersSoftware is getting easier to writeHybrids are starting to be the most valued employeesMany people think design is magic only “creative” people can design. That’s not true. Devs are highly creative problem solvers.
  • Took me the better part of a decade to create a design process that makes sense for software.These 10 things are the things I wish I knew as a new designerThis is not the typical abstract design talk. These are real nuggets of information you can use tomorrow to enhance your software.Best for something and worst for something else. Cherry pick what makes sense for you.
  • Photo from:
  • There are many types of research. I choose to do the most obvious one, because it is easy and painless.
  • The most basic form of research is user interviews. Motivations are the triggers that lead to desirable behaviors. This is the most powerful research technique you can use. There are plenty more forms of research, but if you aren’t doing any of them today, this is where you should start.
  • Case Study from Adaptive Path:
  • This is when I started realizing that other people’s designs had an element of polish mine didn’t.
  • These are the places I find most of my inspiration now.
  • This can be a great way to start collecting ideas. And reference then in the future.
  • Specific Knowledge of products and people + general knowledge of life and event = ideas.
  • If there was only one think you took away from this talk…this would be it.
  • Define patterns Be consistentReduce steps
  • Borrow ideas from other industries
  • Establish layout patterns Visualize interactionsGet stakeholders buy-in
  • Picture from Wikipedia. ENIAC – the firstcomputer
  • Too many people get hung up on the word “innovate”. The ability to “fail fast” is invaluable in an organization that is used to throwing money away.
  • Muscle fatigue happens really quickly. 55” in touch screen examplePeripheralADA concerns
  • Interactive prototyping is really the focus
  • Sketching in c#This can be really powerful. Some times you can easily animated the visuals and get a sense for the way the software “feels”. This can be done with the storyboards built into wpf or silverlight. You can also use applications like Microsoft Sketchflow.
  • Quote from Anchor Man:…no matter how low the fidelity is…a working prototype will be more well received compared to a static comp.
  • Time check28 Min Elapsed16 Min Remaining
  • This is pretty hard stuff. I feel like I barely have scratched the surface of type. Its something of an underground cult thing.But when its done right it can make all the difference. Simple rule of thumb for mixing serifs and san-serifs. Thanks to Robby for the inspiring talk from MIX
  • Discordance when you don’t use sizes in a scale These two scales will suit most typographic needs
  • Simplicity“what is your design really saying?”Clean UI?ConsistencyLogically organizedAnd
  • Rule of thumb:Groupingby size, content, color, action.I identify the relationships between the elements on the screen then start to group them.
  • Grouping of artists, albumb, and songs. All visually similar .
  • Aligning things to a grid is the simplest way to create order and hierarchy. I usually tend to design by gut….then align to a grid. Some people put the grid on the page…first thing they do.
  • Thanks again to Robby Ingerbretson for his awesome slides on design 101. Check out his work here:
  • Photography :
  • What? Windows apps do this the best?
  • Design for Software : A ux playbook

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