The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 1 & 2

Posted by on Apr 2, 2011 in Reading List | No Comments

The Web Designer's Idea BookThis week I purchased these two inspiring books by Patrick McNeil. Packed full of great ideas for web design — these books showcase hundreds of websites and cover the latest trends and styles in web design. Each book has chapters on inspiration and design principles for creating websites, and has samples of great website design grouped by type, design elements, styles and themes, structural styles and elements.

As with any design, sometimes it helps to see how other designers are approaching site design. I’m really looking forward to spending time looking through these books. Inspiration comes from many places and I think these books will be great resources.

Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons

Posted by on Jan 16, 2011 in Reading List | No Comments

Image of book: Design Is How It Works

My first introduction to this book was a captivating radio interview with the author, Jay Greene. In this book, Greene looks at how several companies such as OXO, Nike, Lego and REI design their products to create successful user experiences.

While there are many different design approaches, the most successful companies recognize that design is about creating something customers crave, filling an unspoken need and simply creating “something better”.

It requires knowing who your customers are and what they want or need. It also involves allowing the company (or yourself as a designer) to take risks by trying new approaches even if there is a possibility of failure. This book motivates you into being open to different ideas, being curious and being willing to try new methods as part of the design process.

While I am not a product designer, this book was very inspiring. I find myself looking more closely at products and companies­ — appreciating the thoughtful and innovative design processes that go into creating the user experiences that I love.

Listen to the KUOW 94.9 interview: Considering Product Design: How Products Become Icons and then buy the book.

“Experiences matter, and design can guide companies to create the ones customers want most”

Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons

Posted by on Sep 2, 2010 in Reading List | No Comments

“Design isn’t just the glossy sheen…it’s the experience you create, how the product works.”

Confession: I haven’t read the book yet but I will soon. Yesterday I listened to an enjoyable interview with the author, Jay Green. Although the focus of this book is on product design, it really applies to all design — graphic design, web design, basically the whole user experience.

The best design comes from recognizing a vacuum that needs to be filled. With my work, it means discovering/knowing what the end clients need or want and coming up with a design solution that fits. Perhaps it’s using a web solution over print, emails instead of direct mail, or some combination involving different media.

Being open to different ideas, willing to try new methods are all part of good design solutions.

Listen to the KUOW 94.9 interview: Considering Product Design: How Products Become Icons