Think Blog

Design ideas, wit, and wisdom from Think Brownstone.

Our Team at Barcamp Philly 2016

The Think Brownstone team looks forward to BarCamp Philly every fall, and this year was no exception. The all-day “unconference” held at Wharton’s Hunstman Hall gives technology and design lovers a chance to speak about and listen to talks on lots of topics—and the casual sign-up-day-of format creates an environment of interesting, non-curated discussion. Talks range from informational technology and design sessions to more general discussions about community interests and shared hobbies. We love watching the evolution of this event year to year. Our own Dave Thomas, a long-time BarCamp Philly organizer, and Dan Gautch, a long-time annual attendee, share some thoughts below on … Read more of the post Our Team at Barcamp Philly 2016

It’s Election Time: Data Journalism, Design, & FiveThirtyEight.com

I started at Think Brownstone right when the 2008 election season was heating up. Our first design space was a storage room (in an undisclosed location) where Carl, Brian, Russ and I would work our tails off on a pretty important project. When we weren’t working on that project, the discussion would typically go into one of three directions: Examples of design we either respected or thought needed improvement How to get the word out that Think Brownstone was here and ready to make some noise Crazy things that would make us laugh so hard that people walking by would … Read more of the post It’s Election Time: Data Journalism, Design, & FiveThirtyEight.com

Are Designers Judges?

Every few weeks, our team has a high-level chat in Basecamp about a UX topic we’re interested in as a group. We call these DIG (design interest group) discussions, and they’re a great opportunity for us to regularly share and expand upon our team’s collective knowledge. One of our good friends, Stephen Miller, recently posed the following set of questions to our team, and we really enjoyed the conversation that followed. Here’s a transcript of the chat—please join the conversation and share your own thoughts or questions in the comments! *** One of my favorite professors, Erik Stolterman, has long championed … Read more of the post Are Designers Judges?

Design as Evolution

The hammer is a beautiful tool. I like to think it exists as the result of a very slow evolution. We can imagine early humans first lifting sticks and rocks to crush other objects. After generations, someone discovered that rocks of a certain shape gave a better grip. With only a primitive sense of physics, they found that sticks with a heavier swinging end provided more leverage. Then, one day, Elon Cavemusk strapped a rock on the end of a stick and the world changed forever. We went from using the objects we found around us to assembling disparate components … Read more of the post Design as Evolution

Standards, Empathy, & Accessible Web at An Event Apart

Amanda and I had the opportunity to attend An Event Apart in Washington, D.C. this summer. So, what did a developer and a project manager take away from each talk at this conference? We both shared our reactions and key takeaways below. Overall, I heard four themes emerge from the conference: Current web design is boring, and it might be because of our reliance on front end frameworks Design for people who are not you, your client, or your key persona using progressive enhancement Keep your code semantic, accessible, and navigable Design without content is decoration   Designing with Web … Read more of the post Standards, Empathy, & Accessible Web at An Event Apart