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April 28, 2017

Top 5 Fridays: Digital Design Principles, UX in Motion, and More!

It would be hard to find a team as enthusiastic about their craft as Ben, Maggie, Ca, and Lindsey, AKA the Blackstone Media design team. From sketching to wireframing to prototyping and beyond, every step of the process is an exciting chance to try new things. That sort of experimentation is always welcome, especially in a field as steeped in innovation as digital design. Of course, there are always outside sources inspiring that creativity, as you’ll see once again in this week’s Top 5 Fridays.

Photo of two young adults sitting down on a couch together and working on digital design projects on their laptops.

Here, we’ve compiled another set of digital design-based articles from some of the industry’s most interesting writers. As always, our design team was more than willing to share their thoughts on each article and how it has served as an inspiration to them. So, take a moment to look at what’s been buzzing this past week before you head out for the weekend!

1. On Effectively Communicating Design — Part I: Using Analogies To Move Through The Product Phases
“It’s sometimes hard to communicate the value of our work to people who don’t necessarily understand the process. Still, communication is key if you want people to truly recognize your merit. This features advice on how you can communicate to clients and others using analogies that will help them understand your process so that they’ll know how to properly judge your finished product.”
-Maggie O’Connor, Digital Designer

2. Design principle: KISS the Feature creep
“Feature creep is a common issue that designers have to fight. The problem is, it’s hard to see coming, and it often leads to projects going over budget. It all goes back to the age-old adage that ‘More isn’t always better’. That’s a hard point to get across, but in design, it’s true. That also ties into the concept that simplicity should always be a goal for designers. Of course, that’s a bit of a paradox, since innovation is far from simple.”
-Maggie O’Connor, Digital Designer

3. Creating Usability with Motion: The UX in Motion Manifesto
“A strong argument that motion UX should be viewed as a more important part of the design process. This is a pretty uncommon stance to hear since it’s often just an afterthought and not a major consideration from the start. It’s always interesting to learn about different approaches and opinions besides the most popular ones.”
-Ca Nguyen, Digital Designer

4. Modal & Nonmodal Dialogs: When (& When Not) to Use Them
“As far as the value of modal and nonmodal dialogues are concerned, there are some thoughtful advantages and disadvantages listed for each. The author does a good job giving equal weight to each side, which really provides unbiased food for thought. Still, like so many things, the most important takeaway is simply knowing when to use one or the other…or neither.”
-Ben Stone, Digital Designer

5. People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently.
“People often just want the exact same thing done a little differently. The California Roll repurposed staples of the American diet into a new package, and in doing so, catapulted sushi into the mainstream. It removed the elements that made the food so off-putting to Americans, replacing them with familiar things thrown together in a new way. But this isn’t an article about sushi, it’s an article about design. Fortunately, the same basic concept often holds true for both.The greatest takeaway from this is, ‘Things that are truly new need to use familiar mental models to gain user adoptions.’ Great quote.”
-Ben Stone, Digital Designer