Designers have been told that they have a gift, or are somehow different or more creative. They've been classified as right-brain thinkers. We know the brain is divided into two hemispheres — the common notion, psychologically, is that the left side of the brain holds language and is more logical, while the right brain is more creative. The problem is, it's not true.
Creatives are right brain dominant, or so the theory goes. Over time we've perpetuated a myth that designers have been given special creative talents. It's hurting our ability to create great products.
Moving Beyond Creative Stereotypes
Research has shown that it's not that simple. We use our whole brain. In our last article on gut-thinking, we discussed the problem with companies not trusting designers — part of this lack of trust is built on the myth that creatives might lack the sense of logic or reason that comes...
Five years ago, it was all about UX, but we saw through that. At the time, we were pretty stoked about figuring out the best way to get to answers in product design (still are!). However, we realized that there aren't a lot of designers out there that understand what it actually means to be a product designer.
UX is one part of it, but what are the rest of the pieces? This is the story of how you too can become a product designer. So stop being a UX/UI guru or prophet or whatever and start solving problems.
The Values of a Product Designer
Product designers not only need to have a core set of skills, but a few key values as well. Embodying these values is just as important as being able to solve an interaction design problem or code up a page.
Balancing customer needs and business goals
This is the bread and butter of a product designer — the baseline...
Our newest marketer hit the right note when we first met him. Not only did he impress us with his marketing skills, but his musical talents were off the charts. So without further ado, let's introduce you to ...
Daniel Codella, Marketer
Daniel spent his high school years traversing the globe, learning about different cultures. Most of all, he learned about his passion — music. You see, Daniel is the son of two musicians, so you could say music is in his blood. He's released several indie albums and singles, and had a chance to work with Jason Slater, a former member of Third Eye Blind.
Daniel was also a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Career wise, he thought he become a writer, but music kept calling his name so he pursued that instead.
However, the music industry changed with the arrival of MP3s and streaming services. So instead of the...
With the imminent release of Foundation for Apps, we've been chatting a lot about apps and how they're built. We've discussed the topic internally with our team, externally with our clients and with tons of our amazing ZURB friends. Much of that discussion revolved around not just how to produce apps, but what an app really is, how they differ from websites and even the future of where they'll go.
Before Apps There Were Applications
In the early days of computers, apps — or applications as they were once known — were pretty much the entire computer experience. You'd take a physical object, such as a floppy, put that in your computer and then use the digital version of the application. It was amazeballs. With the emergence of the internet, we saw people attempting to take what was once reserved for operating systems and move it online. CGI Applications like Hotmail...
Last week, we wrote about the the conundrum design agencies and in-house design teams face in growing successful design teams. While it paints a rather doom-and-gloom picture, the reality is that these are company problems. The role of being a designer is flush with opportunity. The challenge for designers, however, is picking a direction that provides the most professional growth and fulfillment. But there's a catch.
While design opportunities are plentiful, most jobs don't provide designers with a way to shape design problems and create enough value in an organization. Companies are struggling to utilize the talents of designers in a meaningful way. But it's not every company's fault. Companies need to trust their designers to make decisions. Designers, for their part, will have to think. Gut-think.
The Stupidfication of Design
Solving 'user experience' problems won't be...
Designing and building products is incredibly invigorating. It's the adrenaline high that's been moving industries forward in giant strides for the last hundred-some years.
When the muse strikes, it's easy to string one idea after another and imagine the product coming to life in fine detail with grand success. But these ideas can turn out to be a well-considered plan without users giving a damn when brought back to reality by tough questions. We, then, turn to Progressive Design to get us back on the right track, grounding the product in reality and challenging the castle in the sky vision.
We turned to Progressive Design with our recent work with Mozilla. Their team already had a concept for a content site centered around advocating for open systems, and we're already far along in their planning. In many ways, the entire operational plan was in place before we started...
The design agency world has turned upside down with the recent news of Adaptive Path finding synergy with a bank, Smart Design calling it quits in Silicon Valley, and [insert design shop here] getting scooped up by the Faceoogleboxes. Silicon Valley, which is known for putting whole industries on notice, has quietly killed the design agency. Or have they? While Silicon Valley isn't afraid to eat its children, it's also thinking an internet generation ahead as it produces hit after hit. So with chaos comes clarity, then chaos. It's a cycle. Until the next innovation.
The Design Industry is not immune to this fact. Silicon Valley wants to scoop up all the star design talent. But it's not as easy as hiring design talent in-house. You need a way to scale and bring purpose to the work at hand.
The Traditional Agency Model for Product Design Won't Survive
ZURB is a...
We looked high and low, and after a long search (OK, maybe not too long) we found her: a fantastic Operations Administrator to keep the engines of our HQ purring so our team can focus on designing. So without further ado, say hello to …
Nathalie Smith, Operations Administrator
Our newest ZURBian was originally from nearby Los Gatos, and then Carmel, but spent most of her early years growing up in mysterious (and hot) Las Vegas. There she watched movies, went bowling, hiked through mountains, watched movies again — there's only so much a minor can do in "Sin City."
Yep, she's our youngest ZURBian to date — fresh out of high school, class of 2014, which she said was an amazing experience. She wishes she could go back — except that she found ZURB.
The chance of expanding her skills in a real office environment was too good to pass up, and now she's helping to make...
You're a designer ready for the next big thing in your life. Maybe you just finished school or a boutique training course, or maybe you're ready to move on to a new adventure. Whatever your reason you're fresh on the market and you're ready to crush it! That's all well and good, potential employers like people who are excited. The problem is that excitement alone doesn't always get you very far.
We've learned something from 16 years of hiring designers. And we have a few tips for you to amaze a person looking to hire their next designer. After all, you're just one drop in a sea of drops. You have to stand out! Let's take a look at a few ways you can do that and what we tend to look for in a candidate.
Wow Them at the Start
Your email/cover letter has to be unique for every place you're applying to. It doesn't have to be amazingly complicated. The reality is,...
Foundation recently turned three years old. It is hard to believe how much it's changed especially considering it was the first responsive design framework first built in Sass and modular mixin partials, and the first to take a mobile-first approach. The code has changed a ton, but one thing hasn't changed throughout this time. The level of dedication and passion the people who use Foundation has constantly impressed us.
Some of the biggest improvements to the framework since we launched Foundation 5, now known as Foundation for Sites, have come from our community. Despite having over 7,790 commits, we have opportunities to continue to tighten up all the details of what a framework can be. The community has really embraced these challenges and worked together to resolve them. Whether they are fixed or not, these efforts are what open-source is all about and...
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