Archive for April, 2009
Jeff Veen from Small Batch, Inc., presented a short and sweet session over at Web2.0 Expo in San Francisco in information graphics and data visualization. During the talk, he focuses on some of the classic examples of information visualization (John Snow pump, Minard’s map, the tube map, Gapminder’s dynamic data visualizations etc.), the issue of “decorative” data versus accessible and usable data, and the emerging challenge to empower lay people to participate in visualizing and analyzing their own data.
3 Key points stood out for creating a good infographics:
- Find a story in the data
- Assign different visual cues to each dimension of the data
- Remove everything that isn’t telling the story
Found via: information aesthetics
Here are the contents:
1. Introduction to being a site admin
2. Changing your site defaults
3. Your blog theme options
—3a. Changing what themes are available sitewide
—3b. Changing what themes are available on a per blog basis
4.Editing your site options
—4a. Standard site options
—4b. Premium site option
5. Site admin tools
6. Working with blogs
7. Working with usernames
8. Configuring Supporter (PayPal upgrades)
Back in November 2008, over at Future of Web Design event at New York, Mike Kus, designer at Carsonified, gave a 15 minute talk entitled “Whatever happened to the Art in Design?”. In it he describes ways in which thinking of web design in a more artistic way will maximize the impact of your site designs.
Here’s a quick summary of his talk:
- The 50% thing: Remember the visible pixels on the screen are only 50% of your canvas
- Preparation: By knowing your subject matter well you will arm yourself with the knowledge to create well thought out and meaningful ideas
- Get Inspired: Get yourself into a headspace where you’re totally consumed by ideas for your project
- Idea, Concept, Story: It’s the idea, concept or story within your design that can take a website from a good design to a work of art
- Ditch your Mac: Get back to basics with paper and a pen
- Execution: Attention to detail is the difference between a good design and a great design
Download a PDF of Mike’s hand drawn talk summary leaflet.
Over at IA Summit 09 (by Boxes and Arrows people), Nathan Curtis of EightShapes presented their super methodical “UX Design & Deliverable Systems”. The presentation is now available as podcast at Boxes and Arrows blog.
From the intro excerpt:
One thing is brutally clear: no teams – in fact, no two individuals – seem to produce deliverables like wireframes the same way. And that’s a shame. Too many designers seem guided by the flawed notion that not just design but documentation too must be ever unique. This leaves readers flustered, confused, and often dismissive. Even worse, not adopting a uniform approach may diminish a team’s influence and credibility, and, possibly, our discipline’s role in the industry.
This session, lead by Nathan Curtis of EightShapes, shares practical techniques that his organization has learned from, taught, and embedded in teams. Just as important, attendees learn to avoid failures Nathan and his team have experienced along the way.
I was listening to the podcast on my was to office, liked the processes a lot. Here comes the great news!
EightShapes released their complete collection of templates, libraries, and other assets as EightShapes Unify, FREE for download! That’s a good enough incentive to start using Indesign.
EightShapes Unify is a collection of templates, libraries, and other assets that enable user experience designers to create more consistent, effective deliverables faster. The system utilizes the Adobe Creative Suite of products; primarily, Adobe InDesign is the key authoring tool.
The system is often used by designers – and larger user experience teams – to rapidly produce artifacts like design strategy, wireframes, style guides, specs, and more. The system has many parts, but the basic templates and symbol libraries are pretty straightforward:
- Document templates (such as an 8.5×11 letter landscape format) that includes text variables for titles, print-friendly versions, varied grids, and a deep reservoir of type, object, and table styles
- Page layouts for approximately 100 common page layouts, such as a chunked wireframe, color palette for a style guide, component specs, mental models, personas, and competitive two-by-two plots
- Symbol libraries for flows, maps, markers (little numbered circles), callouts, frames (like a box with jagged bottom into which you place a wireframe), project plans, reviews, and more
- Scriptable document starting points for when you create standard documents (like a competitive analysis) or need to automate the starting point for a larger document (like a style guide)
The site is loaded with awesome resources, including video tutorials like: Quickstart on Prototyping with Wireframes
Michael Stelzner published a free downloadable report on Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses. [PDF]
We set out to uncover the “who, what, where, when and why” of social media marketing with this report. Nearly 900 of your peers provided the kind of insight that previously has not existed. In this report you’ll find:
- The top social media marketing questions marketers want answered
- How much time marketers are investing in social media
- The benefits of social media
- How time invested impacts results
- The top social media tools
- And much more!
The report says most marketers who use Facebook and Twitter create or link to content and gather followers exposed to their brand and businesses. It’s free, but time-consuming. 64% are using social media for five hours or more every week, and 39 percent use it for 10 or more hours.
But the question still remains as it is – how effective social media is? “They don’t know how to measure how successful they are,” says Stelzner. “But [they] are just realizing that they are getting response, often a lot more than before, using social media.” From what they can tell of their results, about 80% claimed they’d generated exposure for their business while 61% said they’d improved traffic and growing lists. But generating business is a different matter: only 35% said they’d managed do to that using social media.
On the same note, over at GetIT Comms, (my company) Kaashif Ahmed & Joshua Johari published a whitepaper on Social Media Primer.
Cross Posted @ Macchiato