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thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history
Saturday 11|24|01
Designing for the Web

Dean Allen - of Textism writes a great column at A List Apart about Design and Reading on the Web.

He asks:
"How can you design for the web if you can't code? How can you direct photography if you've never worked in a darkroom? How can you design text if you're not a careful reader?"

I would agree with all those statements and have often asked that myself in past situations when working with designers who maybe great brand designers or print brochure designers but know nothing about the web.

Allen, basically, is reinforcing the notion, that a good designer should understand the medium in which s/he practices. This is not unlike a print designer understanding the differences in types of paper, in different printing processes and how those technical considerations affect the quality, the legibility and the experience of a printed message. Likewise, on the web, understanding the limitations of the media, understanding the limitations of bandwidth and the audience's needs on a particular site is equally important to the success of the design.

I think Allen reminds us, that designers need to be smart. They need to READ what they are designing. This simple act, of reading the content, understanding the message and then being clear in the intent of the design to convey the message is an important step in being seen as more than a conveyor of style that so many designers are currently complaining about.

Posted by erin at 02:10 PM | in Typography :: | Link | Comments (1)

Thursday 11|22|01
ASIS IA Summit Call for Papers

The next ASIS IA Summit is scheduled to be in Baltimore, Maryland on March 15-17, 2002. They just announced the call for papers and posters - a more formal version of what we have been doing in the IA Cocktail hours here in the bay area.

The summit is sure to be full of interesting people and presentations, especially if the lists on the conversations and the cocktail hours are any indication. Are you going?

Posted by erin at 09:06 AM | in Conferences :: | Link

Tuesday 11|20|01
Site Improvements

Shifted to Moveable Type which offers archiving by both date and categories (although the categories won't appear alphabetically in the nav until a couple releases from now). Seems to be a bit more stable than GM and has more features as well as ongoing support. Lost the search capability, but will be adding that back in via the Search engine on my ISP. Hopefully this won't break too many links out there.

Posted by erin at 06:34 PM | in Techniques :: | Link

Thursday 11|15|01
Boxes and Arrows

Posting has been light because I am spending my free time here:

Boxes and Arrows is the definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape. There are various titles and professions associated with this undertaking -- information architecture, information design, interaction design, interface design-- but when we looked at the work that we were actually doing, we found a "community of practice" with similarities in outlook and approach that far outweighed our differences.

Boxes and Arrows is a peer-written journal dedicated to discussing, improving and promoting the work of this community, through the sharing of exemplary technique, innovation and informed opinion.

Boxes and Arrows strives to provoke thinking among our peers, to push the limits of the accepted boundaries of these practices and to challenge the status quo by teaching new or better techniques that translate into results for our companies, our clients and our comrades.

There is a call for volunteers to help us out. Join us. Be assimilated. It's easy to volunteer

Posted by erin at 09:17 AM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Monday 11|12|01

A plethora of interesting essays, interviews and other commentary about design, interaction/interface design, experience design, typography and designers can be had for your reading pleasure at the site of Max Bruinsma: freelance critic, editor, lecturer among other things.

I stumbled upon his site awhile ago - may have even written about it, then forgot it. I was doing a search on google this evening and it came up again. Some new editorials have been posted and the link I provided organizes the writings by topic. Some of them are in dutch but most are in english and well worth the time to read.

The editorials are quite interesting and one from Eye magazine, no. 30 vol 8 winter 1998 still seems fresh and relevant to designers - whether they work online or not.

This essay from 1997 is also interesting in that he discusses interaction and navigation and the role of the designer to create clarity from the clutter. In looking at this with the perspective of time, this role now often falls to the IA and interaction or UI designer and not the graphic designer. One has to wonder if the evolution of the web affected the role of design or did design effect the web? Fun screenshots from 97.

Posted by erin at 11:55 PM | in Graphic Design :: | Link

Thursday 11| 8|01
Fibonacci = Golden Mean

Really beautiful flash thought about the Fibonacci series from textism. thanks

I really have an affinity to this set of numbers and resulting visualization of the golden mean. I studied this a lot in graduate school - particularly as a device for spearating and organizing information on the page - be it print or online. I have used the resulting spiral in several photo montage illustrations over the years. It feels good. It feels right and whole in a way I can't really explain.

I talked about this in June.

Posted by erin at 12:04 PM | in Theory :: | Link

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site updated every now and then :: copyright 1995-2007 Erin K. Malone
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DUX—Five Lessons Learned

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Modeling the Creative Organization

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Talking With Jesse James Garrett

The Tool Makes the (Wo)man

AIGA Experience Design Summit #5 - Recap

AIGA Experience Design - past, present and future: An interview with Terry Swack and Clement Mok

Summit Beginnings: Saturday

Chicken Run: Summit Closing: Sunday

design history articles
Foreseeing the future: The legacy of Vannevar Bush

Learning from the Powers of Ten

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