Mark McGuiness compiled an interesting list of free e-books. All of them are licensed for free noncommercial distribution — as long as you credit Mark as the author, don’t alter them in any way, and don’t exploit them commercially, you are welcome to download and share them with your colleagues and contacts.
Download: How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself)
Download: Time Management for Creative People
Download: Creative Management for Creative Teams
Pedro Monteiro posted an interesting article about “The Complex Grid“. Karl Gerstner designed this grid for his work on the CAPITAL magazine. This is actually a six-column grid with a four-column grid superimposed. Karl suggests that this grid requires considerable study, and a designer would have to spend a great deal of time working with it before he could make free use of it in a creative sense.
If you’re just getting started with mobile design, you may face a number of hurdles, including the cost or technical challenge of designing and maintaining a second site—or a simple lack of understanding of how people on the go might use your site. This article discusses a first step toward mobile design that uses CSS to maximize interoperability across platforms. By starting simple, you can provide a decent initial experience, solicit user feedback, and iterate toward a more mobile-friendly design. This is the approach we are taking in our redesign of the W3C site.
Return of the Mobile Style Sheet, by Dominik Dominique Hazaël-Massieux
“Transformation” takes the best of “design thinking” and “innovation” and integrates them into a strategic guide for the unknowable and uncertain years ahead.
Article by Bruce Nussbaum: “Innovation” is Dead. Herald The Birth of “Transformation” as The Key Concept for 2009.
Most clients are good clients, and some clients are great clients. But some jobs are just never going to work out well. Herewith, a few indicators that a project may be headed to the toilet. Guarantee: All incidents taken from life.
20 signs you don’t want that web design project, by Jeffrey Zeldman. Amen.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to attend last night’s AIGANY Design Remixed with Michael Lebowitz and Joshua Hirsch of Big Spaceship. Thanks to Michael’s post I was able to get an idea what they were talking about. I would have loved to attend for two reasons: a) Michael is a fantastic presenter and knows his stuff when it comes to digital design and b) I am going to be giving one of these talks myself in february. Did anyone else write about last night’s presentation?
Information architecture (IA) means so much to our projects, from setting requirements to establishing the baseline layout for our design and development teams. But what does it mean to your clients? Do they see the value in IA? What happens when they change their minds? Can IA help manage the change control process? More than ever, we must ensure that our clients find value in and embrace IA—and it’s is our job to educate them.
If we want our customers to embrace IA, we must help them understand why we need it. IA is about selling ideas effectively, designing with accuracy, and working with complex interactivity to guide different personas (potential customers) through website experiences.
The following talking points may help your clients understand the value of IA.
Flexible Fuel: Educating the Client on IA, by Keith Laferriere
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
– Steve Jobs, The New York Times, 2003
Designers Accord, founded by Valerie Casey is a call to arms for the creative community to reduce the negative impact caused by design, and to work collaboratively to inspire positive change in industry and consumer behavior.
Adopting the Designers Accord provides access to a global community of peers who share passion and ideas around environmental innovation. The theory is that our influence grows exponentially when we act together.
Read more about it on the Designers Accord website.
My personal take is that for any given task, our minds constantly shift between two modes: review and do. Review-mode give us perspective on the big picture and keeps us on track toward reaching our destination. Do-mode is focused on implementation—building, typing, moving pixels and making changes.
The problem is that when we’re in front of that blinking cursor, everything is so easily editable that we get caught up in do-mode. When we try to review things, we think, “oh, that’s an easy fix, so I’ll do it right now,” and instantly return to do-mode. We keep bouncing back and forth between the two without maintaining the proper altitude to see the bigger picture. To use the forest-from-the-trees analogy, it looks something like this:
Jack Cheng (who came visit our studio today) on Permanence
The next Spark Event on Tuesday October 28th sounds promising: Ed Abel’s 30+ years of entrepreneurialism and business ownership brings a huge amount of value to business owners trying to grow and improve their own companies. He will speak to us on how to bring your business to the next level.
(Spark is a group of independent designers who meet monthly to enlighten each other on the business and creative issues that are relevant to small design studios. Members come to share their experiences, gain knowledge and ignite inspiration. Spark is a valuable support system for all who strive for excellence in business and design practices.)
Today’s Feast Conference was truly inspiring and made me think! What impressed me the most were the attendes; every person I spoke to was a “Doer”. Jerri Chou and Michael Karnjanaprakorn of All Day Buffet did a fantastic job in organizing The Feast and I can hardly believe this was their first attempt at organizing an event of this magnitude. Can I just say that today’s lunch was the most delicious catered food I’ve ever had? I can’t wait to see what Jeri and Michael pull together next year, when The Feast continues.
I was prepared to live-blog like the other day at CLICK but unfortunately they didn’t have wireless. Here’s a quick summary of some of today’s presentations:
Sustainable Urban Agriculture: The Vertical Farm Project by Dickson Despommier, Columbia University:
Dickson Despommier (how cool is this name?) spoke on trying to find new ways to integrate agriculture into city environments. Why? In 50 years from now it wont be possible to feed the people the same way we do today, as there’s just not enough resources. By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. The solution: Vertical Farming.
Interesting fact: NYC consumes food that needs the state of virigina to grow!
Tom Szaky of Terracycle spoke on Eco-Capitalism 2.0: The Next Generation of Green Practices That Increase Profits.
I was hugely impressed by Tom Szaky‘s presentation, founder of Terracycle. He was speaking on the next Generation of green practices that increase profits. The TerraCycle Story is a tale of ultimate Eco-Capitalism. The company’s flagship product, TerraCycle Plant Food™, is an all-natural, all-organic, ‘goof-proof’ liquid plant food made from waste (worm poop) and packaged in waste (reused soda bottles)!
Big corporations took note of Tom’s cause and are building partnerships. As an example he mentioned how they teamed up with Target and created the first reusable shopping bag made entirely out of recycled plastic bags. Big companies today are craving solutions that are sustainable as long as they can prove it.
Tom’s credo: There’s no garbage that can not be upsycled into something else.
Joshua Onysko of Pangea Organics talked about the The Fringe of the Fringe:
Joshua got into making soap out of a desperate ‘bonding attempt’ with his mom, little did he know that it would soon change his life. He is now the proud owner of the fastest growing organic skin care line in the world that brings you the fastest growing packaging in the world. What impressed me the most is Pangea’s innovative packaging. All product boxes are made with Zero Waste process with 100% post-consumer paper and organic seeds like sweet basil and amaranth. Simply slip off the label, soak the box in water for a minute and plant it in the earth. Also, all labels are screenprinted as the labels that you traditionally stick on produce too much waste. Pangeas is just starting a new initiative that will empower the consumer to plant their own trees with seeds that will be in the packaging of their product. Joshua believes in getting the consumer in touch with what we can do on our own. Impressive!
Scott Belksy of Behance on Make Good Ideas Happen:
Scott Belsky believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive. As such, Scott has committed his professional life to help organize creative individuals, teams, and networks and is the founder of Behance, a company that develops products and services that boost productivity in the Creative Professional Community.
Tips & Best Practices: What especially productive creatives do
Generate Ideas in Moderation: Don’t get off track with a new idea. Too many ideas can be a problem as well. (The IdeaSyndrom)
Organizing with a Bias to Action: How to balance the two. Compromise! Always focusing on whats actionable.
Measure a meeting in action steps! If there are no action steps after a meeting, should we have had that meeting at all? Have a culture of capturing action steps: After a meeting you make the round and go through the action steps. Duplications can be avoided and missed actions can be pointed out.
Share ideas liberally. Leverage the community around you. Don’t be scared of sharing ideas. Sharing ideas early is a great way to hold yourself accountable and making them stick.
Share Ownership of Ideas. Distribute Credit.
Fight your way to breakthroughs. The most productive teams encourage fighting and discourage apathy. As a leader of any type of idea you have to make sure people keep on fighting.
Value the Team’s Immune System. Ideas are often the syndrom that ideas don’t happen.
Leaders Talk Last (Silence the Visionary) If you speak first you fail to listen to new ideas as your your team will just follow your lead. Listen first!
Hiring someone? Judge Based on Initiative (Not Experience) Focus on the Initiatives they showed in their past. People that show that they take initiative to things that are important to them are likely do to the same for you if you get theme excited about your idea.
Unique is Opportune. We all have to gain confidence. Nothing extraordinary has been achieved through ordinary means.
One new service Behance is offering is the Action Method, a radical approach to productivity and project management. Unfortunately he ran out of time and couldn’t tell us more about their new online service. View and Action Method Demo.
In this post Michael explains how he finds good stuff on the web. He got me hooked on opening my ‘daily reads’ in tabs. Yes, I open about 200 blogs in tabs. I know! I know, oh so very analog! RSS readers just don’t do it for me. I want to see content in its original environment…
Do you have a different method of finding great stuff on the web that isn’t via rss feed readers?