Design is design

A conversation with a long-standing, well-known, old-school designer about how design is design, regardless of medium.

My favourite quotes:

“Yes, web designers work like print designers. They look at the issue, they look at the client, they look at the brief, the circumstances, the user – they don’t have to keep looking at the technology anymore. But ultimately, we always had our constraints. I had to cut paper. With glue, for christ’s sakes.”

“If you design a typeface, it’s very much like writing a pop song. You can’t stop anybody singing it in their bathroom out of tune.”

Thanks, @dos4gw for the link!


Food packaging influences how we perceive tastiness

A new study from the UK has found that biscuits seem tastier when they come in fancy packaging.

The biscuits that were given with their packaging scored significantly higher overall, and were perceived to taste better than their wrapper-less counterparts.

Read the article: Tastiness All in the Eye of the Biscuit-Holder



How to write good on the internet:

The writer of this article is a giant robot dinosaur named FAKE GRIMLOCK who is on a mission to “DESTROY SUCK ON THE INTERNET”.


You can enjoy more of his advice at

Why you shouldn’t create a viral (and what happens when you try)

When a viral happens authentically, you know you’ve earned some pretty sweet social brownie points. But setting out to “make a viral” deliberately most often gives you the opposite of that.

From Why You Shouldn’t Create a Viral Video:

It’s unoriginal
Even wildly successful viral videos, like the “Old Spice Guy” or “Kony 2012″ have seen lackluster results in follow-up videos attempting the same success. So, instead of trying to think about how you can create the next copy-cat video, spend some time thinking about how you can leverage the next big thing, rather than the last big thing.

It’s impossible to predict
Given our sometimes irrational and fickle human nature, some things resonate with us and some things don’t. No matter what your brand benefits are, or how many funny, shocking or awe-inspiring clips you include in your video, there’s no way to really know whether your video will be shared on a viral scale.

It’s ineffective
Think about the last viral video you watched. How many views did it have? More importantly, do you know the name of its creator? Did you visit a website or buy anything as a result of viewing the viral video? Chances are that you enjoyed the video, perhaps shared it with some friends and then went on with your everyday business.

And what happens when you try:

That said, we’re 3 years on from when that video was made. The world is more aware of how cringe-worthy a deliberate viral can get. Now could be the golden era for these guys…


The importance of storytelling


When most people think about marketing, these are the tools they think of: print, radio, TV and the web. None of these, however, are ingrained in us as much as storytelling. We’ve been telling stories for thousands of years, but we don’t have to go back that far to understand storytelling’s powerful effect on our hearts and minds. Go back only as far as your childhood, when you begged your parents to read your favorite story—the one you already knew by heart—just one more time. Why did you do that? Why was it so important to hear that story?

Stories and the art of storytelling play a major role in content marketing today. Not all brands realize the importance of unearthing their core story and learning to tell stories in ways that endear new fans and motivate advocates.

Source: 7 Reasons Storytelling is Important for Branded Content

I’m not keen on storytelling driven by marketing, but that’s not to say it’s bad – storytelling can be done well and with integrity. Just like SEO, used car sales and Christmas.

Principles of User Interface Design

Tb;dc (too busy; didn’t click):

  1. Clarity is job #1
  2. Interfaces exist to enable interaction
  3. Conserve attention at all costs
  4. Keep users in control
  5. Direct manipulation (of interface) is best
  6. One primary action per screen
  7. Keep secondary actions secondary
  8. Provide a natural next step
  9. Appearance follows behaviour (aka. form follows function)
  10. Consistency matters
  11. Strong visual hierarchies work best
  12. Smart organization reduces cognitive load
  13. Highlight, don’t determine, with colour
  14. Progressive disclosure
  15. Help people inline
  16. A crucial moment: the zero state (the very first impression)
  17. Existing problems are most valuable
  18. Great design is invisible
  19. Build on other design disciplines
  20. Interfaces exist to be used

When bad design happens to good content

A quick, short read on good practise for styling text:

And something more recent from Smashing that uses more big words:

Additive vs Subtractive Colour Systems

Did you know that colours on the computer are different to colours in real life? True facts. The difference is due to dealing with stuff that absorbs/reflects white light vs the colour of the light itself.


Subtractive colour applies to stuff like paint, crayons and other substances that absorb certain frequencies of light – thereby subtracting those frequencies from the light you see. For instance, red paint looks red because all the other light frequencies have been absorbed by the paint, leaving only red to be reflected.

Additive colour refers to mixing lights of different colours, aka. adding them together.

Learn more about it at the site I stole the picture from:

And if you wanna have some fun, go enjoy this (additive) Color Theory flash game.