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Dieter Rams On Good Design As A Key Business Advantage

Dieter Rams On Good Design As A Key Business Advantage
Dieter Rams is best-known for his work at Braun--where he revolutionized the design of electronics--and his indelible influence on Apple’s Jony Ive. But he has had a decisive hand in another, much smaller company: Vitsœ, a British manufacturer that has been producing Rams’s modular shelving system for 50 years. To mark his 80th birthday, the German master has allowed Vitsœ to release the transcript of the speech he delivered in New York in 1976, in which he articulates his ethos of user-centered design and some of his famous 10 commandments. In 2012, they feel as if they were written yesterday. Here’s the speech in its entirety: Ladies and gentlemen, design is a popular subject today. The introduction of good design is needed for a company to be successful. Unwavering emphasis on functionality The ideas behind my work as a designer have to match with a company’s objectives. In 1957 I began to develop a storage system that formed the basis of the company Vitsœ, which was founded in 1959.

Don Norman - The Design of Everyday Things The Design of Everyday Thingsby Donald Norman Norman, D. A. (1988). The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Doubleday. ISBN: 0-385-26774-6. A popular book that will motivate the importance of human factors in the design of everything we use. Jump To: About the author: Donald Norman wrote this book and “The Invisible Computer”. Reason for writing the book: Donald Norman wrote the book for many reasons. (top) Summary of the Book: Chapter 1: The Psychopathology of Everyday Things Chapter 2: The Psychology of Everyday Actions People feel bad, sorry, frustrated, stupid for not knowing how to operate mechanical things, especially if the task appears to be trivial The world, and everyday things, are filled with misconceptions Aristotle's naive physics - our 'naive' way of explaining the phenomenon we witness in everyday life - often very practical but incorrect. Chapter 3: Knowledge in the Head and in the World (Memory) Chapter 4: Knowing What to Do Chapter 5: To Err Is Human

Why Focus Groups Kill Innovation, From The Designer Behind Swiffer Think about it: How many great ideas have you had sitting around a table? If you are like most people I know, not many. Yet, time after time, companies looking for a winning idea gather a group of people around a table to ask them what they would like. Other times, companies may actually develop innovative ideas--but then their impulse is to convene a focus group to critique them and, more often than not, undermine them. In my 40 years working in design and innovation, alongside some of the most brilliant minds in the business, I have never seen innovation come out of a focus group. Let me put it more strongly: Focus groups kill innovation. As Steve Jobs famously asserted, true innovation comes from recognizing an unmet need and designing a creative way to fill it. But when the team members actually used an early “experiential model” of the shoe during practice, they were won over by how cool it was to have a shoe form-fitted to their feet. 1. 2. 3. 4. Focus groups aren’t useless.

Going For “Pretty First” Is Wrong: A Designer’s Take On App Development Editor’s note: Chloë Bregman is a product designer working on a new communications startup. Most recently, Chloë designed DrawChat, a drawing based messaging iphone app which is currently being auctioned off, and helped ignite Changemakrs, an inspirational quote site meant to help people inspire and be inspired to change themselves and the world. Follow her on Twitter. Startup founders often ask me to take their app ideas and make them pretty. They feel that they need a beautiful product in order to get funding. I call this “pretty first,” and it’s when a startup focuses on creating a visually beautiful design for an app before determining whether the product has purpose and is useful. This newfound emphasis on pretty first is, in part, a response to the increased importance being placed on visual design within tech products. First, let’s look at products that have been successful: Not all startups, however, are realizing this kind of success. How To Design A Product

Building a Design-Driven Culture Lately, it seems like every company is presenting themselves as design-driven. They tout accomplishments like hiring a designer as part of the first set of employees, striving for simple and straightforward user experiences and deploying visually beautiful sites and apps that garner first-glance kudos from Dribbble and the tech press. This promise of design-led culture is pushed with high frequency on design job boards and recruiting emails. Join our team, they say, we really care about design. The problem is that being design-driven doesn’t simply mean caring about user experience or stunning look-and-feels. Being design-driven means treating design as a partner (and a leader) in the product creation process. The reality is that many companies hire designers, but still treat that part of their product as a resource instead of a thought-leader. When I worked at Zoosk, there was a lot of concern from my CEOs that I would accidentally become a resource. Kudos

16 Of My Essential Design Resources Great tools make a huge difference in how quickly you can complete a task. I’d like to share a few tools and essential design resources I use when designing web applications to help me work faster and more efficiently. This isn’t a massive list of every design resource I could find on the web. Instead, I included just the ones that I and a few of my friends use to create great designs. Nathan Barry is the author of Designing Web Applications, a complete guide to designing beautiful, easy-to-use web software. He also writes about design and business at Patterns & Textures When it comes to patterns and textures, there are two sites that have all my needs covered. Icons I have three go-to sources for icons: The Noun Project, Glyphish, and Fugue. The Noun Project Often it can be hard to decide what visual metaphor best represents a word. Glyphish Glyphish is an icon set originally created for tab bars in iOS applications, but I love using them all throughout my designs. Code

Design Details of Google Maps for iOS I don’t have a car, so the lack of public transportation in Apple’s Maps app pretty much makes it useless to me. This is why I carefully avoided updating to iOS6 up to now. This all changed a couple hours ago when Google Maps for iOS came out. Playing around with the app, I was impressed by the design, and I thought it would be interesting to highlight a couple things. (Note that these remarks apply to the iPhone version) The Google Style The “Google Style” of UI design is a sub-style of flat design where everything is white or very light grey, icons don’t have text labels, and typography looks like it’s been through Weight Watchers. I can’t say I’m a big fan of that style on the web (Google Reader looks awful in my opinion) but it works pretty well on mobile, especially for a maps app. The white UI gets out of the way and puts the focus back on the content, and unlike on the web you don’t get that empty feeling that makes you think the page’s CSS has stopped loading halfway. The Side Menu

Google finds its design voice on iOS From the beginning, Google’s design sensibilities on the web and Android have been unique. Whether you were a fan of the spare, utilitarian feel of products like Search or not, you knew when you were looking at something built by Google. To a degree, that’s still very true. Android apps built by the company have taken on the trappings of overarching design shifts like those introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich. But you still know that they’re Android apps. And there’s something to be said for maintaining that sense of self. But Google doesn’t just make apps for Android and the web. It all began with the release of a startlingly good iOS app for Google+. The app impressed a lot of the folks in the iOS community, who took notice, regardless of whether they actually used Google+ or not. The string of well designed, if not exactly perfect, app updates continued. The difference is evident. Apple’s designs move towards textured, friendly designs that mimic real-world objects. Human

Why Prototyping is Essential to Your Design Process Whether it’s just a quick sketch in your notebook or a post-it note, a wireframe made using your favorite graphics software, or a high-fidelity mockup created by a web app — incorporating some form of prototyping within your workflow is a critical step. I’d like to share some reasons why I believe prototyping is an integral part of the design process. Find Design Issues Early Things we conceptualize in our heads that seem awesome regularly turn out to be terrible ideas when we put them in a more concrete, visual medium such as a piece of paper or a computer screen. Imagine this situation: You’re designing a web form. Maybe you can do away with some parts of the design. First paper sketch of a web form. A simple prototype can instantly reveal flaws in our design concepts. Iterate More Quickly on a Design Concept Creating prototypes allows you to improve a design concept quickly. Let’s look back at my previous example. Second paper sketch of a web form. Compare Design Variations Quickly

Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution By Dieter Bohn and Ellis Hamburger Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps. Great design is not something anybody has traditionally expected from Google. Infamously, the company used to focus on A/B testing tiny, incremental changes like 41 different shades of blue for links instead of trusting its designers to create and execute on an overall vision. The “design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data” led its very first visual designer, Douglas Bowman, to leave in 2009. More recently, however, it’s been impossible to ignore a series of thoughtfully designed apps — especially on iOS, a platform that doesn’t belong to Google. We went to Google looking for the person responsible for the new design direction, but the strange answer we got is that such a person doesn’t exist. They’re talking to each other. Sticky TOC engaged! Project Kennedy

Design Is Hacking How We Learn Google’s No. 1 Asset Is Its Ability To Empathize With Its Users Through Design And Product Development As your Internet use has evolved, Google has evolved with you. And for you. Its ability to make the right decisions about what to work on and at what time is a testament to the leadership at the company. The latest wave in its evolution comes from Sergey Brin and its new CEO Larry Page, the people who started Google back in 1998. If you’ve thought that all of Google’s products looked cobbled together, or are different from one another, it’s because they were. What I’ve also learned while covering Google over the past two years is that it has an uncanny ability to put itself in the shoes of its users, almost to the point where they can leverage data and feedback to build, in essence, the perfect product. Google takes the concept of “dogfooding” to unparalleled levels, putting current and new products through such rigorous real-world testing cycles, that it’s impressive that things ever see the light of day. The Legacy That’s exactly what happened with Search. The Now Human? The Future

A Rare Peek At The Guidelines That Dictate Google's Graphic Design In April 2011, Larry Page took the reins as Google’s CEO. He didn’t waste any time getting down to business. On his very first day on the job, Page launched an incredibly ambitious effort to redesign the company’s main products, including search, maps, and mail. He wanted them to be beautiful--Google had never been known for its visual polish--but he also wanted them to be cohesive, more like a true software suite than a jumble of disparate digital tools. In the years since, Google’s products have improved leaps and bounds, aesthetically speaking, largely while working within the same shared design language. The rare glimpse into the company’s design process comes in the form of two documents--"Visual Assets guidelines"--freshly shared on Behance. The more exciting of the two covers product icons. Google encourages its designers to take a "reductive approach" to product icons. The next few parts deal with perspective. These are small, dry details.

Is There A Scientific Definition Of "Design"? What is design? What makes it distinct from art, science, or engineering? The editors of this site decide dozens of times a day what is or isn’t "design." But is it ultimately subjective, or can it be rigorously defined? Charles Eames offered up a string of impishly oversimplified answers to this question in 1972. Paul Ralph was preparing his Ph.D. dissertation on "the nature of software design" when his thesis adviser, Yair Wand, suggested that "clearly defining what we meant by design was a good way to begin," Ralph tells Co.Design. Ralph and Wand’s paper is dense reading, but that’s just because they took a serious stab at puncturing common assumptions about what the practice of design is. DESIGN: (noun) a specification of an object, manifested by some agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to some constraints. And in the end, what good is it? [Read the paper here.]