Shadow Element


Thoughts on a Variety of Subjects

Some designers create intuitively. That works sometimes. But intuition is not a substitute for thinking hard about a problem. Some designers are primarily concerned with visual aesthetics. But visually pleasing work also needs to smoothly assist users in meeting their needs. Some designers try to solve problems by copying features from other related sites. But that often results in bland, generic solutions that fail to wrestle with the unique communication and interaction issues raised by a particular project.

At its core, good design is about applying a deep understanding of human cognition and behavior to a particular problem.

Cartoon showing two very different people looking at a piece of art, each with piles of suitcases.

Each of us brings our own baggage.

As business people, we believe in ethics and delivering value. Here, we discuss how to create successful projects while not spending too much.

As designers, we believe that design is much more than decoration. We outline a three-stage design process to ascertain the needs of the audience, the goals of the business, and the constraints on the project.

As interface designers, we believe in satisfying users. Good interface design is about making it enjoyable for users to meet their goals.

As project developers, we believe that individual skills are not enough. A synthesis in design and execution is the key to successful projects. Project management is much more than cracking a whip.

As educators, we believe that students must be engaged to learn. We present some ways to do that. We also believe that educational products have to support learners, but those supports must get out of the way as students develop expertise.

As programmers, we believe that good code has a certain geeky beauty. Good code does more than work properly. It is well organized, simple, comprehensible, performant, and robust. This underlying craftsmanship furthers its maintainability and future compatibility.