Design is hot. Design executives are being tasked with being design-driven, but don't have the tools or processes to sustain this effort. They embrace design thinking, but it's unclear how their companies will embrace its ideas. VC's are telling founders to hire a design leader, but it's not clear who this mythical, unicorn person is who will drive the design approach across the company. It's entirely possible to grow this person in an organization, but not likely to be someone who comes in with magical fairy dust to make everything Apple-esque.
Design thinking is a broad term with no specific directives. It's open to a lot of interpretation. It's too big and too lofty for most businesses to embrace. Throw in a couple inexperienced designers who are students of the idea and you've got yourself a mess. Most designers don't have the authority (nor desire?) to...
Cyndi Lauper was wrong when she said money changes everything. Well, wrong when it comes to designers. Of course, she probably wasn't talking about designers, but that's another story. When we surveyed designers on the reason they'd leave a job, we expected that money would be the number one answer. It wasn't.
Designers said they'd bolt if there was no advancement. But what the heck did they mean by advancement? We did a follow up survey of 100 designers. Once again money took a backseat. The top answer was new skills training.
Money came in number two, followed by more responsibilities. These three things seem to be the trifecta of advancement — and what really motivates a designer.
Money Isn't Everything
Let's face it: Building CSS grids can get complicated fast. Even using Foundation 5 — or what we call Foundation for Sites — sometimes finding that one stray
</div> tag can be tricky.
Today, we're launching a new way to build, share and store Foundation layouts: Morse Code, a shorthand lingo for Foundation grids. Here's an example:
That's a row with four large columns, eight large columns, and another row of six and six large columns. As one of our designers pointed out, an entire page can become a tweet.
At first glance it looks like gibberish. It's writable once you learn the system, which we describe on its Playground page. But to help speed things along, we also wrote two plugins for our favorite code editors, Coda 2 and Sublime 3 — just in time for the impending launch of Coda 2.5. These plugins encode Foundation...
It's been a neat experience this last couple months reaching out and talking to some of our favorite Foundation fans. We've received some great feedback on our code for a new Flexbox-based grid. We've also had some great tips about our upcoming Motion UI codebase. We're getting ever closer to a comprehensive release that we just know y'all will love.
In the final part of our three-part Foundation for Apps saga, we'll discuss our AngularJS Integration and how it helps you produce single-page web apps. So let's get into it.
Designers have been building pages since the web began. All the tools we've created have gone along with that mentality. Yet, in a web where pages are becoming more rare, so will those tools.
Many people are attempting to bridge...
Think of a designer. You might work with a designer, or you might have seen one in passing with that unmistakable designer affinity for apple products and snark. You might even be one yourself! Now picture this designer working. You're probably imagining this person heads down at an immaculate desk with a Moleskine in hand and earphones in their ears. She's blissfully pushing pixels around a screen until they're just right. Ah, DESIGN!
What this designer has done is isolated herself far away from her customers.
Design is a Conversation
In Let's Make Mistakes, Mike Monteiro talks about the hiring process for designers and doing designer tests. A common test is to give the designer a popular site or app and ask them to "redesign" it. In the podcast, Monteiro's rather succinct and appropriate response to this practice was “You're not designing d*ck.”
Design is a process that...
We're experiencing yet another growth spurt here at ZURB. This month we're boosting our Design Apps team with not one, but two new ZURBians — one engineer and one customer advocate! So without further ado, let's meet…
Bill Tran, Rails Engineer
Bill grew up copying comic books because he wanted to draw like a comic book artist. Yes, he was that kid who who drew Bart Simpson and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles everywhere he could find a place wide enough to fit "kowabunga!" As a teenager he taught himself how to breakdance, draw graffiti art and, best of all, to customize cars. That's when he found his calling.
Bill's interest in cars, especially building custom vehicles, revved his career in prototyping. He fell in love with industrial and automotive design, dreaming up ideas, iterating through designs and building the real thing. So he spent the last 10 years...
It's hard to accept you might be wrong and don't know what you're talking about. That's because we're socially ingrained to think that questions are a burden, that we need to have the right answers all the time. And if you don't you could be seen as an impostor.
We learn that it's wrong to ask people questions, such as "why did you paint your house that color" or "why are you still dating that person." You can be seen as offensive for asking why. Why? (See what we did there.) Because it implies that someone made the wrong decision. But that doesn't necessarily have to be the case, and it certainly doesn't mean the questioner is being confrontational. Really, in most cases, the asker wants to understand the thinking behind a decision.
Why is a powerful thing to ask if you really want to get to the bottom of something. Journalists ask lots of questions to get...
With the clock ticking last Thursday on our seventh ZURB Wired, the day began with intense brainstorms. It ended with a visual direction, print materials and a tone for a website. During the night, we toiled in code, creating a brand-spanking new site for nonprofit Sacred Heart in 24 hours. Today, we're officially launching that site redesign — the culmination of our work to mobilize the nonprofit for its upcoming holiday campaign.
We worked alongside Sacred Heart in a coffee-fueled 24 hour frenzy — and snapped 500 photos of our time together — to create an entire marketing push for their campaign that provides food for individuals and gifts for children during the holidays.
We're counting down the hours to tomorrow's ZURBwired event, our yearly design sprint to help a nonprofit through a marketing campaign. And we couldn't be more excited to work with Sacred Heart, this year's nonprofit! We want to thank all the nonprofits who sent in so many excellent proposals!
The timing couldn't be more right for Sacred Heart. This year, they're celebrating 50 years of their mission — to help struggling families get food and gifts for their children they need during the holidays.
Not only did the folks at Sacred Heart have a strong mission, but their team had the magic mix of energy and clear goals we look for in a nonprofit. And they're willing to lose an entire night's sleep to get things done.
We're impressed with Sacred Heart's overall mission: end poverty in the community they serve. They help more than 75,000 people and families that...
Product teams competing on features are racing to the bottom. The design process and the design feedback loop are crucial to a successful product, and this feedback isn't just important on fleshed out prototypes, but for initial rough ideas as well.
We talked about PRDs and the unnecessary constraints that an archaic document will place on the team and how that hinders innovation. Here, we will look at the situation from the opposite point of view — what kind of product will result from an uninhibited flow of ideas?
The Engine of Design Thinking
You'll hear us talk about this a lot. This is design thinking. Designers cannot succeed without a feedback loop made up of design work, feedback, and iteration. At the center of this is the design work, which is not important in itself, but it is a way to solicit feedback and get the conversation started. Feedback is the...
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