Think Blog

Design ideas, wit, and wisdom from Think Brownstone.

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

The Myth of Intuitive Design

We had high hopes for my Grandpa Ben’s new phone. My mother and I decided the Samsung Galaxy was right for him because of its screen size and Android’s level of customization. He was so excited! Finally, he was going to be able to listen to his voicemail. Make calls. Text. Even check the weather! Except, there was one, small issue: he couldn’t do any of those things. We tried our hardest, finding the most basic launcher possible, simplifying his home screen, using 32pt system fonts, etc. But as hard as we tried, it never worked. He could barely wake up the … Read more of the post The Myth of Intuitive Design

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research: Which Should Come First?

Every few weeks, our team has a high-level chat about a UX topic we’re interested in at the moment. Someone poses a question on our DIG (design interest group) thread—usually about a recent challenge or something they’re learning about—and the rest of us weigh in with thoughts and questions of our own. This is a great practice for the team because it allows us to expand our collective knowledge on a regular basis. Alli started our most recent chat about qualitative and quantitative research. When should we use one approach over the other? When should we use both? And in what … Read more of the post Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research: Which Should Come First?

Presenting a Design Concept? Facilitate a Conversation Instead

Several months ago, my design lead Chris and I met early at the studio ready to start our day. We situated our workstations, spent a bit of time recapping the week, and took an assessment of what was on deck for the morning. As we reflected a bit on some of the conversations with our stakeholders, Chris spoke at length to the notion of being a facilitator versus being a presenter. As experience designers consulting for other companies and organizations, we are tasked to achieve specific goals and deliverables. As such, we are in the unique position to also foster and … Read more of the post Presenting a Design Concept? Facilitate a Conversation Instead

Build Kits: Not Just for Building Your Web Site

For as long as I can remember working with teams on the web, I’ve been a big proponent of developing style guides and code pattern libraries as part of any web project. A style guide, for those not familiar, is a deliverable created by designers to lay out the design patterns and rules for the project. The pattern library is the translation of that design language into code for the use of developers and software engineers (some folks consider code libraries to be part and parcel of “living” style guides; I agree and call out each one for clarity here). At … Read more of the post Build Kits: Not Just for Building Your Web Site