The Dribbblification of Design and What We Learned for the Next Iteration of Forrst

Matt wrote this on June 12, 2014 in . It has 20 comments.

On our Studios projects, we spend at least two hours each week presenting the work we've done with clients. That's pure performance time. It does not include the time we spend doing the work, reviewing it, and then creating a compelling presentation. We're certainly not just sharing our screens and simply asking, 'What do you think about this?'

With our recent shift in the direction of Forrst, we've taken a hard look at what it takes to help designers become more successful in their work. Showcasing work isn't enough. Giving encouragement AND critical feedback is very hard to do. Without an honest view of design work, it's impossible to grow as a product designer.

Dribbble is Not for Critical Feedback

It's "show and tell" for designers, with more emphasis on the "show" than the "tell." Dribble does a great job of this. It fulfills an important part of creating...
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Design, Pizza and Cats. Introducing Our Newest ZURBian

Shawna wrote this on May 29, 2014 in . It has 7 comments.

The title says it all. Those are the three things that roll around in the mind of our former intern turned full-fledged ZURBian. It's all he thinks about. After all, aren't those the only things that matter in life? We think so, which is why we asked him to come back. OK, that wasn't the only reason. He's a really talented fella.

So it's our pleasure to introduce you to …

Geoff Kimball, Designer

photo of Geoff

We've missed Geoff since his internship ended last year, so it's nice to have him back! It's also nice to have another Hoosier in 'da house.

Raised in the quiet suburbs of Fisher, Indiana, Geoff fell in love with technology at an early age — way back in the dark days of dial-up modems. His love grew to include design while studying at Ball State's Emerging Technologies department.

As he told us:

I developed a fascination with how people interact with technology and...
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Get a job, nerd!


via Job Board from ZURB

The Next Foundation

Jonathan wrote this on May 23, 2014 in . It has 46 comments.

It's been almost three years that we've been working on Foundation with you guys, and we've come a long ways. Foundation has been used by over a million designers and developers on at least 330,000 public sites, gone through five major iterations (and many, many smaller ones), and has contributions from almost 500 people. For responsive sites, we're pretty pleased with what Foundation has been able to help people do.

But the Web is changing again. The 'page' is dead. Static sites, simple layouts, basic content streams aren't going to cut it any more, and designers can't rely on creating statically linked pages. These days the most exciting work being done on the Web is in Web apps, and Foundation needs to evolve to support this new standard. Native apps have really raised the bar when it comes to polish, interactivity, flexibility of layout and control, the works, and now Web apps...
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Design Feedback Requires Investment and Why We Turned Forrst Upside-down

Matt wrote this on May 22, 2014 in . It has 22 comments.

We turned Forrst upside-down, and by doing so, we learned a lot about how designers and developers learn. To be honest, it's been a bumpy ride figuring things out, but we're excited to apply the lessons we've learned to make Forrst a whole new experience. Read on.

Feedback Can Really Suck Bad

Let's be straight about this, it's hard to ask for feedback. You're admitting you don't have the right answer and exposing yourself to personal criticism or more work. This is why knowledge work is so much harder to win then something like a baseball game. In baseball, you know who won- you just look at the score (or ask Siri). In knowledge work you have to decide how much you want to win, and then ask for that much feedback.

We like to win at ZURB - world domination is in our manifesto. We also believe that you win at Product Design through feedback. We've written about...
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Pulling Together to Make a Stronger Foundation

Rafi wrote this on April 11, 2014 in . It has 1 comment.

With the recent release of Foundation 5.2.2, it's amazing how fast the Foundation project is evolving. Pull requests are coming in hot and getting merged. Bugs are getting funneled to the proper people and worked on more often. We've learned many lessons from our growing community, and it's made us also evolve our approach to Foundation. We're going to be working more closely with the Foundation community than ever before, especially with Pull Request. We're giving more direction on the priority issues and coaching folks on formatting them properly. A Pull Request is the best way to be listed as one of 462 Foundation contributors. With 310 commits on 5.2.2 , you can see that the community was heavily involved. We'd like to give a shoutout to the top 5 community Contributors for 5.2.2:


All Your Mock Copy, Mocked Up.
Introducing Laura Ipsum!

Ryan wrote this on April 01, 2014 in . It has 5 comments.

Just when you thought we were done at Foundation. Just when you thought we couldn't get any better than "Lol and Order: CSS". Now we're mocking ... up your copy.

We're proud to announce, Laura Ipsum, our newest service and the latest in all your prototyping and mock-up needs. We've even hired a Laura Ipsum (what are the odds?). A 20-something with the wit to write all the Lorum Ipsum you ever wanted for your prototypes.

Totes McGoats! Lorem Ipsum is my fav!

Laura will be writing in her own unique voice, from the perspective of a 20-something living in the high-paced, high-tech world of Silicon Valley. Or is it just the Valley? Doesn't matter. It'll be words to tickle your prototype. Here's what she has to say about her new job:

Totes McGoats. ZURB is total amazeballs. So sauceome. Can't wait to do Fireball shots with the ZURBians. OMG. Right? So cray cray. Turn...
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Earn Points on the Foundation Forum, Get Certified

Rafi wrote this on March 28, 2014 in . It has 6 comments.

Illustration of the Foundation Yeti with a certification flag. He's wearing his cute astronaut suit, way out in space.

"While we teach, we learn," said the Roman philosopher Seneca. It has been exciting to see all the talented and helpful people who make our forum awesome. We have seen interesting discussions in addition to really great solutions to problems. We think it's a great place to learn as well as teach others the techniques and concepts that you have developed.

All this leads to eventually mastering Foundation, which is the technology that helps us make awesome products. We know getting validation for the skills you built learning Foundation will be useful. That's why we are building a system for getting Foundation certified.

Being Foundation certified means you have evidence that you know Foundation and can implement Responsive Web Design. It will separate you from the herd of designers, especially those who don't code and don't get Responsive Design. You will add...
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Creative Direction is Storytelling

Alina wrote this on March 17, 2014 in , . It has 2 comments.

Storytelling and products go hand-in-hand. Crafting a good story requires establishing a tone and mood. What's the feel and messaging you are trying to tell throughout your product? Is it a cohesive tale, being told through visuals and content? These are crucial considerations when crafting a creative direction.

Creative direction isn't a layer we add as an afterthought. Organizations and designers, however, tend to consider creative direction as a singular, herculean task. But it doesn't have to be. Creative direction can be two phases: creative and direction. The former is about figuring out the storyline of your product, the other is long-term execution. It's important to differentiate which of these two phases you're in and how much time should be spent in one or the other.

Creative is Storytelling

Back in the late '90s, when ZURB was a one-man show out of our...
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Emails from MailChimpan-A to MailChimpanzee: Introducing Our New University Sponsor

Ryan wrote this on March 11, 2014 in . Add a comment

We're thrilled when we see tweets like the one above. It's been amazing seeing more and more people using Ink on their projects. We've learned a lot since our launch last year, especially with converting all our newsletters — 12 campaigns that reach over 100K people — to the responsive email framework. We continue to learn more about emails each time we send one out, like how Gmail has a file size restriction for HTML emails and will clip any message past 102 KB.

Easy enough to workaround, but things like file size and image hosting make us grateful for email service providers. Which is why we're happy to announce our newest ZURB University sponsor — MailChimp.

mailchimp logo

We've been sending out our most recent Friday 15 weekly activities through...
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Strengthening The Foundation Community, One Point at a Time

Rafi wrote this on March 07, 2014 in . It has 5 comments.

We're hot on the heels of the Foundation 5.2 release, and we're happy to see how active the Foundation Forum has been since we launched a few months ago. We've reached over 1,500 posts and 4,000 answers with the help of the Foundation community. And we want to recognize people who contribute at a high level. All you have to do is build up your reputation by answering questions and gaining Forum points.

You get a point for each of your answers that's marked "helpful". If your answer is marked as most-helpful you earn 5 additional points. Your points will be displayed on the new "My Forum" page.

Companies constantly ask us to recommend designers and developers versed in Foundation. We saw a need for a place to building a stronger community. Our goal is to build a stronger community that leads the Responsive Design movement. Show off your problem solving skills...
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