Monday, August 16, 2010

Make a Zine!

(via makingstuffanddoingthings.com)

Here's a way to brush up on that anti-procrastination attitude in preparation for another semester. Make a Zine! Send it to Istambul! Didn't see that one coming did you?!

Seriously now...you only have a couple more weeks.



________________________________________________________
even my mum can make a book
fanzines, zines, independent publications and artist books are acting as a response to the mainstream media with an activist manner. as they are a way of understanding our relation with society and even with ourselves, maybe slower but more attractive for sure.
however in times of limitless possibility to spread information virtually through the network; communication with printed material is decreasing. the proportion of people who make zines and people who write blogs or collect images of everything is a good example for this. but actually arranging collages, drawings, texts, photos etc. on paper, as a medium itself, has so many possibilities that adds more value to our thoughts.

the aim of the project is to bring together independent publications and to encourage people to distribute their ideas, thoughts via printed or handmade materials. it is about to share obsessions, passions and things in your mind on paper that can be shuffled and touched. it is an open call for everyone to enhance these form of expression!
all these publications are going to be collected in form of an archive that is continuously extended and meant to be traveling through different venues in turkey and abroad.

first exhibition will take place in 15th september 2010 in manzara perspectives in istanbul.

so everybody, we are waiting for you to make your own editions, or send the ones you already did. you are completely free about topics and format, you can even ask to your mother to collaborate with you.

we want people to go home and lie on the floor and make zine!

send your editions until 31 of august to manzara perspectives
                                                           tatar beyi sokak 27 kuledibi beyo─člu
                                                           istanbul/turkey

please include, a short biography, full contact details, date of birth and nationality.

http://evenmymumcanmakeabook.tumblr.com/
http://www.manzara-perspectives.com/

User-Center Design

(via tutsplus.com)

User Centered design is a a process of design that considers the user every step of the way. It involves many of the other fields that I describe in this post but as a whole is a technique that spans from planning your site to writing content that focuses on the needs of your users.


The process could include planning your site, collecting data from users, developing prototypes, writing content, and conducting usability testing with users. Usability.gov describes the first step to involve clearly defining your organization and users’ needs, goals, and objectives. With these things documented and in mind, then a design no longer takes on the shape of what a designer perceives as what users might think, but instead what the users really need.



Cennydd Bowles makes a clear distinction in his blog post The perils of persuasion when comparing User Centered Design to Persuasion Design. He gives a great example when saying that UCD aims to increase user efficiency and in turn will create more word of mouth referrals. The goal is not to drive traffic through marketing, where the results are much easier to measure. Of course this lack of analytics available often creates an environment where it is hard to sell UX.

Related Links:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Design Professionals



Below is an article from Creative Review about certification for designers. In the UK the Charter Society of Designers have filed an application to their government proposing a system allowing designers the opportunity to gain chartered status. The goal of the Society of Designers is to improve the status of the design professional. I'm not sure how this will all work being that the designers would be judged on skill, knowledge, creativity, and professionalism. Some of those standards are pretty concrete, but creativity? How will that be determined?

What do you think? Should this be something that should be approved? Should the US do the same?

Here's the article:

The Chartered Society of Designers has filed an application to the UK Government to approve a system of professional certification for designers. A much-needed step toward elevating design's status? Or an expensive irrelevance?

As our sister title Design Week reported, the Chartered Society of Designers has applied to the UK’s Privy Council to allow it and other professional bodies to be entitled to assess and award designers with ‘CDes’ chartered status. Designers would then join the ranks of other ‘chartered’ professionals, such as accountants, surveyors and engineers.

How will it work? “To gain the CDes credential, designers would be assessed on their professionalism, skills, knowledge and creativity, the last of which would be gauged ‘much in the same way that degree courses manage to appraise creativity’, says CSD chief executive Frank Peters,” Design Week reports.

So, would the design profession in the UK benefit from such a scheme? Peters says that its aim is to raise the status of design as a profession. For graphic designers in particular this remains an issue – witness the recent furore over a Times article on the NHS 60th anniversary identity in which Tory MP Greg Hands stated “Surely adding two digits doesn’t need to be outsourced at all. Civil servants can do this themselves. Modern graphic design packages surely allow anyone with an average brain to design something as good as, or better than, what we see in front of us here.”

Graphic design is not accorded the respect that its practitioners believe it deserves, but would adding the letters CDes after your name solve this?

Some points for:

*Other professions are accorded status at least in part through a commitment to providing a level of service that is guaranteed by their chartered status. Graphic design could benefit similarly

*By acting now, designers can take responsibility into their own hands before the UK government does it for them. In a lengthy reply on Davidthedesigner’s blog, Peters raises this, pointing out that the Government has recently sought to licence estate agents and landlords: could designers be next?

*It will enhance the sense of community, bringing together a disparate occupation

*It will distance ‘proper’ designers from cut-price, ‘knock out a logo for £50’ merchants – graphic design will no longer be something that 'anyone' can do.

Some points against:

*Designers may not trust the assessment criteria and process

*Clients won’t care about it

*It will load extra cost onto already stretched businesses

*It will make design too exclusive. Some of the most interesting designers did not originally take formal design qualifications – Erik Spiekermann, for example, studied art history as his first degree, Michael Wolff was an architect, Adrian Shaughnessy describes himself as a 'self-taught' graphic designer. If CDes status insists on a graphic design degree will it exclude some of our more original thinkers?

*Being ‘certified’ is just not very cool. This latter point may sound frivolous but there are very many small design practices who will look on the idea of ‘certification’ with horror. Designers are not natural ‘joiners’ and may prefer to try to raise the status of what they do through a less prescriptive, formal approach.

UPDATE: In a lengthy contribution in the comments section, CSD chief executive Frank Peters has clarified some points. CDes would not be exclusive to CSD members, he says. Therefore it is not, as some have suggested, just a means of recruiting more members for the organisation. CDes will accredit a range of competencies, creativity being just one. Assessment would be done by "peer review of designers qualified in their field." There will be no insistence on any degree in any discipline: "a set of competencies need to be demonstrated - how designers come about those competencies is up to them."

Peters says in the Design Week piece that the Privy Council should reach a decision within three months.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Designers These Days...



I found this pretty great list from a link on twitter the other day. Thought it was more than worth posting. My advice? Make it into a check list and get started ASAP.

Designers these days...

… have a good design sense and understand the fundamentals / design principals.
… know all the major design software including the entire Adobe Creative Suite.
… have some basic video editing skills.

… know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
… know enough about server-side languages (PHP, ASP, Ruby, Python, etc) to understand how
they work, what they do, and the possibilities of their use.
… know about servers, hosting, domain registrants, DNS, etc. Setting it up, and fixing it when it
breaks.
… know OS X really well (and enough Windows to get by) or know Windows really well (and
enough OS X to get by) and know a huge variety of utility software that goes with.
… are good photographers.

… can color correct photos and work in RAW.

… can cut clipping paths or otherwise extract objects from photos.

… have a killer online portfolio.
… are a personable, nice people that are good with clients.
… can help clients with anything even vaguely computer-related.

… are quick to adapt to new software and new technologies.

… can train fellow employees.
… can train clients on the use of their websites.

… are good communicators.
… are team players.

… have good taste in art, music and movies.
… are up to date on social media.

… are good at logic and deduction.
… are good at user experience and user testing.
… are SEO experts.
… know about and how to handle web accessibility (and the laws surrounding it)

… understand copyright laws.

… do progressive enhancement and graceful degradation techniques.

… can debug cross-browser problems and older browser bugs.
… can bring your own client base.

… are healthy, well groomed, and wear fancy t-shirts.

… can be on-call at all times for emergencies.
… have college degrees in design-related fields.

… own very nice and expensive computers full of expensive software.
… can design for mobile devices.
… are good typographers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Type Are You?

What type are you? Great question, and to get it answered I took the Pentagram's What Type are You quiz. It's great! Trust me, it's not some cheesy quiz like 'Are you Team Jacob or Team Edward' on a sketchy looking webpage. Nope, this is an elegant, interactive quiz that will teach you a little bit about yourself and continue your appreciation for great typography.

*If you take it yourself make sure you use the word "character" as the password.

Here are my results.

Brittany Loar is Pistilli Roman: Emotional, Assertive, Traditional, and Disciplined