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thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history
Monday 12|30|02
Loop 6

The latest issue of Loop - AIGA's journal on interaction design - is out and is focusing on the history of experience design.

There is a really good virtual panel discussion about what the history of this field should be. When does it start, how it should be archived and documented as well as taught to up and coming practioners?

The panelists are from a range of disciplines and current experiences - educators (Philip Meggs, Brenda Laurel, Jodi Forlizzi, Peter Lyman), IAs (Peter Morville), interaction designers (Hugh Dubberly, Nathan Shedroff, Challis Hodge). They raise some good questions and offer some interesting answers.

There are two other interesting articles on archiving the Web - an interview with Brewster Kahle, creator of the Internet Archive - and a paper commissioned by the Library of Congress.

Posted by erin at 06:35 PM | in Magazines :: | Link

Saturday 12|21|02
Mini Book Reviews

Quick mini reviews of over 60 books from the staff of Boxes and Arrows. I wrote several mini-blurbs for some of my favorite books that are listed in my Reading List. Check it out and support B&A by buying via the links from Amazon.

Posted by erin at 07:06 PM | in Books :: | Link

Friday 12|20|02
Steven Heller

Is interviewed at speak up.

The interview asks some good questions about Steven's thoughts on the field of graphic design.

There are also interviews with Rudy Vanderlans (Emigre), Art Chantry and the co-founder of 2 Rebels.

The interviews are interspersed throughout this really nice blog on graphic design.

Posted by erin at 04:41 PM | in Graphic Design :: | Link | Comments (0)

Tuesday 12|17|02
Designing without research?

Having just survived the recent batch of AOL layoffs, my team and I are now coming to the realization that we lost our team of user researchers. Now, don't get me wrong - we have a user research team on the east coast and they provide a lot of valuable insight to us. But our team here was more integrated into the design process and were partners with the UI team. We have been spoiled by having these people on our teams. Whenever a project was put together, UI and research were assigned together as a team, sometimes even before visual design was assigned. As a team we worked together to identify where we needed user feedback and what types of methods to use.

I am coming to terms with this and now realize we need to get extremely creative about integrating user research into our process now that we have to do it ourselves. We are committed to continuing this important part of the design process and I believe we can't create good products without it.

Any advice? Tips? Tricks? How have you solved this problem? What types of low budget, guerilla tactics have you used? How have you compensated users with no budget?

Posted by erin at 10:58 PM | in User Centered Design :: | Link | Comments (4)

Sunday 12|15|02
Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli was awarded an honorary doctorate at my alma mater RIT this past fall as part of the centennial celebration of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences of which the School of Design is a part.

From the RIT News:

"Massimo Vignelli has dedicated his efforts to helping people understand the important role that design plays in business and life," explains Nancy Ciolek, RIT associate professor of design. "He has given freely of his time and knowledge to assist design students by lecturing and holding workshops at numerous schools and universities, including RIT."

I met Mr. Vignelli on several occasions while in grad school and afterwards when I was on the board of the Rochester chapter of the AIGA. I met him again in NY in 2000 when I was attending a conference on design history and criticism.

Posted by erin at 11:15 PM | in Graphic Design :: | Link | Comments (0)

Saturday 12|14|02
In the past few days

A few things have transpired over the past few days. Work has gone through some real turmoil - layoffs. I lost several folks on my team, as well as my boss. I am now dealing with the aftermath and what that means. I have a new boss that I am really looking forward to working with - but she is on the East Coast. I have my core team intact, but no visual designers or user researchers. So we are figuring out how to work without these folks and already miss our friends who are gone.

On another note, Philip Meggs, the author of the landmark History of Graphic Design, died November 24. Long, a part of the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University, Meggs was instrumental in developing a serious chronicle of the history of graphic design.
Nice post on Meggs at
Newsday Obit
NYTimes Obit
NY Times Obit on GoogObits - a Salon blog that compiles Obits from Google

Posted by erin at 11:04 PM | in Graphic Design :: | Link | Comments (0)

Saturday 12| 7|02

If you appreciate new typography and follow the release of new typefaces, want to read interesting articles about design, and have a penchant for new musical talent then the online magazine Jazz is for you.

The articles are presented in English, but are also available in Spanish and the current issue is the third in the series. Brought to you by Argentinan graphic and type designer, Ramiro Espinoza and with articles by Marcelo Soler, Marta Zatoni and Jaap Roos, I guarantee you will enjoy every page of this smart, well designed and well written site.

Posted by erin at 12:01 PM | in Magazines :: Typography :: | Link | Comments (0)

Thursday 12| 5|02
Aspen Magazine

From 1965 to 1971, a multimedia magazine of the arts was published by Phyllis Johnson. Dubbed Aspen, the magazine was to feature "culture along with play," was bundled and sent to subscribers in boxes and each issue designed by a different artist and editor and included multimedia - way before we were calling things multimedia (this meant inlcuding phonograph records and a reel of super-8 film.

This site is a web version of the magazine. There is a rich description of the original premise and includes issues 1 through 9. Guest artists and editors included Andy Warhol and David Dalton, Quenton Fiore, George Maciunas and Dan Graham. Contents of the magazine include the work of William Burroughs, Marshall Mcluhan, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and David Hockney among others.

Posted by erin at 10:07 PM | in Magazines :: | Link | Comments (1)

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DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Coloring Outside the Lines

Modeling the Creative Organization

Coming of Age

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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