Articles in 'Design'

First HoloLens experience, and here’s what happened

Upon launching my public relations career, I knew most days would consist of writing and media relations. But I also knew I would occasionally get the unique opportunity to try new technologies that others have only read about. After all, it is a perk of the PR game. And boy, did I get one of the ultimate perks recently when using a Microsoft HoloLens running mixed reality apps from our client, Taqtile. Why all the fuss? What’s mixed reality? What’s the HoloLens? Let me break it down for you. What …

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Six creativity unblockers

Popular TED speaker Tina Seelig models the source of creativity as an Innovation Engine with six elements: attitude, imagination, knowledge, habitat, resources and culture.   To get all elements working, these simple approaches can help open the flow of good ideas and winning solutions. Rephrase the question. If you are just answering yes or no questions, you’re stuck. Open-ended questions literally open up possibilities. Pay attention. You never know where the seed of an idea will be found. Stay mindful and you may see solutions flying right to you, from …

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Google gives away million-dollar Material Design guide

Working with the world’s greatest designers, Google has released their design bible, Material Design, a compilation of design principles to create user-friendly desktop, tablet and phone screens. Material Design will change the way we design, evaluate and use apps and websites forever, making onscreen experiences more intuitive, more consistent and even more accurate. Did I mention it’s free? Even if you don’t fancy yourself a UX or UI maven, you’ll gain perspective on a “…visual language that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.” That …

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Boost your website performance

Forty percent of visitors will leave if your site takes longer than three seconds to load, and each second of delay increases customer dissatisfaction by 15%. You need fast loading — you need to boost your website performance. One cause of slow loading web pages is big, fat image files. Since images are the top user of site space, performance optimization starts with images. Size right: start by matching image resolution to display size. Even when you double the size for high-definition displays like Retina, there’s no reason to load big …

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Lay the groundwork for great creative with a great creative brief

As the saying goes, a goal without a plan is just a wish. The basis for a good design plan is a creative brief that outlines the background, the opportunity and the constraints that a creative solution has to incorporate. “Just do something cool” gives the writer or designer free range to spend time developing a solution that doesn’t reach the right audience with the right message to ask for the right outcome. When the variables are defined, the solver is empowered to create an answer to the need, a …

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Stretch your (online) vision

“The lack of limits might be our most notable limitation,” says Eric Karjaluoto, Creative Director at smashlab and juror at the prestigious Communication Arts Interactive Competition. Instead of fighting bandwidth and resolution issues, today’s best interactive design examples demonstrate new styles of interactive storytelling. Delivering information and entertainment onscreen requires systematic thinking to cross platforms, media habits and cultural behaviors. Ginny Golden, a judge from akqa adds, “…we are all connected, anytime, anywhere. That means we must design the right experience for the right device, seamlessly and purposefully.” Winners ranged from well-known …

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7 free designer resources

Even the simplest idea gains value when it’s presented well. The driest Excel report will benefit from a cool color scheme, photo or infoicon graphic. Here are seven online storehouses of free designer resources, tools, fonts, photos and tricks. Gridzzly lets you make custom gridded paper that adds accuracy and scale to even a scribbled image. Choose dots, lines, boxes, even honeycomb hexagons to organize your sketches or diagrams. Fribble is like a free gift shop of psd (Photoshop) elements for mockups, websites, icons and patterns. Professional hands holding iPhone …

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Hello marsala. Buh-bye radiant orchid, emerald and oh-so-tired tangerine tango

The mavens of color have spoken: Marsala, the color for 2015 will make “an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.” You’ll be relieved to know that Pantone 18-1438 is “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” to enrich our minds, bodies and souls. Not to mention racks of fashion, shelves of home décor and gallons of paint and pigment. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director for the Pantone Color Institute, has more to add about the Pantone Color of the …

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How to screw up a big presentation

Presenting is a core skill. It’s theater, it’s sales, it’s Speech 101. Putting good work before smart clients can actually be fun. Done correctly, presenting adds to the value of the creative work and can sometimes even improve it. Whether you’re presenting ideas, initiatives or programs, here’s a short list of mistakes to avoid in your next big presentation. Don’t see the client as someone you have to please. You’re not there to make a friend, you’re there as an expert with an expert solution. Not standing up. Inspiring confidence …

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Ten smart steps to a new website

Refreshing your online presence with a new website takes more than redesign. It takes serious planning, goal setting and strategy. If your present website doesn’t use a CMS, doesn’t deliver results, look good on a phone or looks outdated, it’s time for a fresh start. Benchmark your metrics. Take a look at your traffic, time on site, bounce rate plus SEO rankings, lead generation and sales generated. Set new goals. Do you want to look bigger, increase site traffic, build leads or boost SEO? Inventory your strengths. The assets on …

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