Archive: November, 2010

Lessons from The Future of Web Design, day 2

Adding to yesterday’s wrap up of talks from The Future of Web Design NY, several additional trends emerged from the conference on day two:

  1. Simplicity and focus are critical to good web design.
  2. Successful designers and developers are multi disciplinary; they learn skills outside their purview.

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Lessons from The Future of Web Design, day 1

Today I attended a full day talks from The Future of Web Design NY. The conference showcases a diverse set of speakers, ranging from the design focused (wireframing, typography and music) to the more technical (a HTML5 crash course, responsive CSS design.) This diversity and the short nature of the talks can lead to a bit of information overload, but a few trends stood out:

  1. It’s the small details that can make a design resonate with its users and stand out.
  2. Get your web design ideas in front of clients and users quickly, early, and repeatedly. Focus on speed and repetition over perfectionism.
  3. Give users what they want by keeping text and clear calls to action of primary importance. Conventional graphics can get in the way.

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Three minimalist Mac apps worth your time

As attention turns to Mac applications with Apple’s upcoming launch of the Mac App Store, it’s worth highlighting the work of three small, independent teams that I use regularly: Helvetireader, Alfred and Hibari. All have the hallmarks of what makes the indie Mac software scene so great, namely focused functionality, minimalist design and excellent value for the money (two of the three apps are free.)

The three I’m highlighting today cover high trafficked areas of many users’ workflow: Quick app launching and web browsing, RSS feeds (in the form of Google Reader) and staying abrest of the latest on Twitter.

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Staying productive with the Pomodoro Technique

For anyone looking for a way to manage their time better and stay focused in the office, all it can take are a few simple rules, a timer and 25 minutes. That’s the idea behind The Pomodoro Technique, a dead simple concept that’s made a noticeable change for the better in my day to day workflow.

Distractions and productivity manifestos

Like many, my normal “plugged in” work environment is filled with distraction; Emails, instant messenger and questions from coworkers often compete with my attention on the task at hand. To stay focused I’ve tried many different productivity techniques with little success. Getting Things Done, one of the most popular productivity techniques among tech circles, never really clicked; the startup work and the perceived day to day complexity were a stumbling block. I struggled with how to fully organize my projects list, and clearing off my inbox of actionable items was a chore that took longer than I wanted.

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