As I look around the room I am sitting in, I notice that most of the products that fill it are mass produced. There are hundreds perhaps millions just like them sitting in other rooms across the world. Mass production has taken away the human touch from these products. For an ordinary person, symmetry, proportion, finish etc maybe some of the hallmarks of perfection and these goods just reek of them. Sickened by the soullessness of these products I have recently taken a liking towards hand crafted goods.
The tiny imperfections you see in these hand crafted goods are the signatures left by their human creators. They go onto show that they were painstakingly crafted by humans just like you and me and not mass produced in a factory floor. There is a beauty in these tiny imperfections, a beauty that is beyond the eyes that got tuned to seeing products manufactured by machines and I have slowly learned to celebrate that beauty.
Constraints in design are no different from those in other professions. The only differentiating factor is in how these constraints are overcome. While most professions have a methodical approach (following a set of steps created by someone else) to overcome constraints, designers are expected to do so creatively.
I have written another article for specky boy design magazine titled ‘Ignore the design, please’ The article deals with how and why people underrate design as a profession and how and why they are wrong. It is based on my experience working as a freelance designer for the last 9 years. Although any designer is generally aware of the fact that design was underrated for a very long time and there is a resurgence of design and designers in the silicon valley at present, the picture elsewhere is still grim. The article takes the reader through the common misconceptions of people about the profession of design and how they came about to be.
Read the full article here
This article was originally published in the Specky Boy design magazine
The most important thing a designer needs to have is a good taste. A good taste at identifying great work. It doesn’t matter if your work doesn’t match up with your taste yet. It will slowly but steadily catch up. Ultimately your taste ends up defining your style. In fact your taste will be few steps ahead of your talent in the initial years of your career. Your taste can tell the difference in quality between what you want to make and what you have made. You should listen to this video by Ira Glass of ‘The American Life’ fame if you have not already done so. He talks about taste by analysing his earlier works in a candid fashion Continue Reading »
Recently there was a discussion in twitter about the various titles for a design professional. One side was of the opinion that titles do not matter and at the end of the day they are all designers while the other side was of the opinion that it is important to pay attention to your titles especially when you are working in a large organization. I can understand where these two points of view come from. For a designer working in a small startup titles are the last thing they are concerned about. In a start up almost Continue Reading »
I have been working on a project which has the Follow/Unfollow functionality. The above pic shows how designers usually think about the Follow/Unfollow buttons but while implementing it in the UI I came across some unforeseen issues. Below is the best fit solution I could find.
1) The Follow button instead of Grey should be Green in color to catch the Users attention. A grey button can go unnoticed with all the white space in the background. Clearly the button needs to beckon the attention of the user as it is a ‘kind of’ Call To Action.
2) Once the user has clicked on the Follow button and started Following the user the ‘Following’ button can have the Grey color because now the button need not compete with other elements for the attention of the user. The major action of following the user has already been done and now all the button is doing is displaying that information.
3) A better management of the screen space available will make use of just one single button. ie: one button to Follow and Unfollow an User. So that means on hovering over the ‘Following’ button the button will change to ‘Unfollow’ with the red color. This means that the unfollow button need not have three states but just two (normal & active state) and for the ‘Following’ button just the normal state.
Pic courtesy: Matteodicapua. You can download the PSD for the buttons from 365PSD