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Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love

Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love

The book suggestion of this week is about design and how it has helped products to be more than just useful but also pleasant to use. Well-designed products create a emotional bond with the user and therefore distance themselves from the competitors. The title of the book is Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko. From Design Thinking to Design Doing Innovators today are told to run loose and think lean in order to fail fast and succeed sooner. But in a world obsessed with the new, where cool added features often trump actual customer needs, it’s the consumer who suffers. In our quest to be more agile, we end up creating products that underwhelm. So how does a company like Nest, creator of the mundane thermostat, earn accolades like “beautiful” and “revolutionary” and a $3.2 billion Google buyout? What did Nest do differently to create a household product that people speak of with love? Nest, and companies like it, understand that emotional connection is critical to product development. And they use a clear, repeatable design process that focuses squarely on consumer engagement rather than piling on features for features’ sake. In this refreshingly jargon-free and practical book, product design expert Jon Kolko maps out this process, demonstrating how it will help you and your team conceive and build successful, emotionally resonant products again and again. The key, says Kolko, is empathy. You need to deeply understand customer needs and feelings, and this understanding must be reflected in the product. In successive chapters of the book, we see how leading companies use a design process of storytelling and iteration that evokes positive emotions, changes behavior, and creates deep engagement. Here are the four key steps: Determine a product-market fit by seeking signals from communities of users. Identify behavioral insights by conducting ethnographic research. Sketch a product strategy by synthesizing complex research data into simple insights. Polish the product details using visual representations to simplify complex ideas. Kolko walks the reader through each step, sharing eye-opening insights from his fifteen-year career in product design along the way. Whether you’re a designer, a product developer, or a marketer thinking about your company’s next offering, this book will forever change the way you think about—and create—successful products. Jon Kolko - Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love from Midwest UX on Vimeo. Buy Now

Skateboard Designs by Konstantin Shalev

Skateboard Designs by Konstantin Shalev

Konstantin Shalev is an illustrator from Russia with a really cool style. He grew up skateboarding and now he designs graphics for skateboards which was one of his dreams. Check out his collection! For more from Konstantin Shalev visit behance.net/Ripper. Skateboarding always was my passion, I was skating 6 years.. at the beginning of my skateboarding carrier I was dreaming to became a skateboard graphics designer and have a chance to make base graphics for famous companies, and this is it I have done over 25 skateboards for different companies and going up for more. Thanks to Jeremy Fox and all flip team.

$101 Dollar Bill

$101 Dollar Bill

$101 Dollar Bill is part of a marketing campaign for TranferWise. Designer and Illustrator Greg Coulton had the task to create the illustration for the new bill and design it. Check out the process. For more from Greg Coulton visit .gregcoulton.com and behance.net/gregcoulton. My task was to illustrate and design the new Bill. The note itself features tongue in cheek references and jibes towards the old world of finance, plus the all important engraved style portrait, emulating the archetypal style of a genuine bank note.

Basic Stamp Designs by Duane Dalton

Basic Stamp Designs by Duane Dalton

Duane Dalton is a graphic designer and artist from Dublin, Ireland who loves design and stamps. He decided to start this project where he can merge his passions and create some amazing Stamp Designs. Enjoy! For more from Duane Dalton visit duanedalton.com.

Beautiful Work of Tom Alex Buch

Beautiful Work of Tom Alex Buch

Yesterday we posted a really cool animation project by Tom Alex Buch and upon discovering his work I realized he deserved a full feature post here on Abduzeedo. His work is strikingly beautiful. For this post I selected some of the projects that really caught my attention but of course there are too many to choose from so be on the lookout for more posts featuring Tom in the coming months. Tom is an english designer, 3D artist and animator. His work places emphasis on using cutting edge technology in conjunction with traditional taught design/illustration skills and is fueled by a drive to create original and impactful work. He loves what he does. He has worked in house at world class design studios in both the UK and US since graduating and now has a growing number of international clients freelancing. For more information check out http://www.tomalexbuch.com/ SOHN DRIVEN Seven Lions // Worlds Apart Amnesiac Animation

Amazing Stamp Design from Hungary

Amazing Stamp Design from Hungary

Hungarian designer Boglárka Nádi decided to take on this amazing project for her final thesis. She designed all the stamps based on Hungarian Folk Tales and the result is amazing, check it out! For more from Boglárka Nádi visit behance.net/bigibogi. The world of the tale sare close to my heart and I noticed that there were some stamps made with this kind of theme, however there was no series made with an emphasis on just the Hungarian folktales. This good news made me quite happy, because I wouldn’t have considered making a self-serving work and I hoped I could pleasure a wide range of audience. I may be an optimist, but I think there are only a few people who are not delighted by these wonderful stories.

App Icon Sketches by Ramotion

App Icon Sketches by Ramotion

Ramotion is a digital design agency with incredible works. In this post we selected some app icon sketches they have as part of their app icon design process. Take a look at these icons before they become fully digitalized. For more form Ramotion visit http://ramotion.com/. An application icon is all about creating an image of a product. It should clearly define the application's philosophy and create an image memorable to the user.

Animal Logos by Ivan Bobrov

Animal Logos by Ivan Bobrov

Amazing collection of animal logos by the Russian designer Ivan Bobrov. Each logo is very colorful and created from a round shape composition. Enjoy! For more from Ivan Bobrov visit .

Poster Collection by Quim Marin

Poster Collection by Quim Marin

In this post you wills see an amazing poster collection by Quim Marin, a designer from Barcelona, Spain. His style is really simple, using shapes, colors, and typography these posters come to life with a really strong message. Enjoy! For more from Quim Marin visit quimmarin.com, and behance.net/quimmarin. In such a visually polluted environment I try to come up with fresh and memorable designs with a clear aim at essential beauty and equilibrium that, at the same time, will ensure communicative effectiveness.

Editorial Design Inspiration: Influencia Magazine

Editorial Design Inspiration: Influencia Magazine

Influencia is a French magazine about communication and trends. It's always cool to see design from different countries and this issue of Influencia was designed by Violaine & Jeremy straight from Paris, France. For more from Violaine & Jeremy visit violaineetjeremy.fr.

Wake - A Private Space to Discuss Design Work

Wake - A Private Space to Discuss Design Work

One of the most important things during the design process is feedback. Collaborating with your team, designers, product managers and engineers is vital for a great execution. The process is certainly much easier said than done however. From the chaos, countless emails, presentations, printed boards, to you name it, a centralized service is long overdue and that's what Wake was created to streamline, "A private space to share and discuss design work with your team". What is Wake? Wake is an enterprise web, desktop and mobile platform that makes it super easy for designers to share work and collect feedback from their team. It was created by former Facebook product designer Chris Kalani and the Norwegian digital agency Bakken & Baeck. We built Wake because we couldn’t find anything that would allow us to quickly share visual work as a team. Our communication was fragmented across different apps and nothing allowed us to seamlessly capture our design process. Slack, email, IM, Flowdock, HipChat and Basecamp were great for text­based communication. But none of these tools were designed for the type of work we do. We needed something that would allow us to freely share ideas while keeping everyone in the loop. “Wake has filled the gap between formal design reviews at Medium in a collaborative and lightweight way. It has increased transparency, continuity, and communication during our design process. We love it.” — Dustin Senos, Head of Design at Medium Quick History The guys behind Wake started building their first prototype in January 2014 to solve the needs of Bakken & Baeck.The product was well received and quickly became an irreplaceable tool for the team. With the success of their own internal usage and the growing interest from external parties, they decided to spin Wake off into its own company. In August they announced a private beta and received nearly 2,000 invite requests within the first day. Since then, they’ve been working with about 70 companies, observing usage and iterating on their feedback. These companies include teams within Yahoo, Twitter, Cisco, Artsy, Medium, and BuzzFeed. Along with dozens of great startups and several large Scandinavian media companies. For more information visit http://wake.io/

Hungarian Paper Money Design

Hungarian Paper Money Design

Hungarian designer Bernát Barbara came up with these banknote series for her MA degree project. Hungarian euro banknote series. The common side of each note features european animals, the other side shows related species of plants. The banknotes are original etching prints. For more from Bernát Barbara visit behance.net/Bidka and barbesz.tumblr.com I designed and prepared five denomations of ten etchings, all etched in separate copperplates. This subtle and refined form of reproduction enabled me to imitate the original technique used during the production of banknotes, intaglio printing. My goal was to create a complete series with clear design, that transcends the tradition of banknote making. Design Process I only wanted to keep the essential visual elements of a banknote. The most important parts beside the graphics are the denomination, the serial number, the issuing authority and the authorized signatories. I left the the unnecessary security graphic elements behind, to get a clear visual impact. I wanted to emphasize the animals and plants, the typography and the security marks are secondary on my notes. I started with thumbnails, they evolved to more detailed sketches, which lead to my final layout. Serial Design Printing Process I made 1,5 scale graphite drawings of each species, which were the outlines for the final the etchings. The etchings are directly printed on digital print basis. All of them are inked and hand-pulled by me. Details

Scent Design : Juniper Ridge

Scent Design : Juniper Ridge

Wallpaper magazine's January beauty news inspired this post on Juniper Ridge, a fragrance distillery founded in 1998 and located in my new stomping grounds of Oakland, CA. I'm personally obsessed with the art of perfume making simply because of the rush of vivid memories one experiences when smelling a particular scent. Juniper Ridge is the world's only wild fragrance company comprised of hikers and backpackers, not your typical fashion or luxury goods folks. Their process entails distilling colognes and perfumes from the backcountry like in the good old days of how perfumes were first made. Juniper Ridge is special because the entire scent design is contained in house, from beginning to end. Here we feature some vivid imagery showcasing the process of "designing" a perfume, from foraging around in the backcountry to the end result bottled up and evoking the quiet beauty of such dreamy places like Big Sur, the Mojave Desert or the Sierra Mountains. Also enjoy a glimpse into the new packaging artwork designed by Chief Storyteller of Juniper Ridge, Obi Kaufmann.

Beautiful Design Composition

Beautiful Design Composition

I can't get tired looking at beautiful and simple compositions. More and more the web is bringing back the classic principles of good graphic design with attention to typography and grid systems. Besides that it seems that the web is graduating from the phase where everything should be above the fold, where density is better than well organized and spaced out compositions. My goal with this post is to illustrate some more examples but also to pick some of them and attempt to recreate in HTML/CSS/JS in the next couple of weeks as a way to exercise not only my design but my coding skills as well.

Designing for Web in 2015

Designing for Web in 2015

Every beginning of a new year we make our resolutions, we set plans and as if everything starts from the ground up, we talk about trends for the new year. I am one of those but I believe that most of the time the new trends are nothing more than an evolution of something that started before, even crazy changes like in 2013 with the big switch from skeuomorphism to flat design. For 2015 I have been reading a lot of articles about this topic, if you check out on Pinterest there are some infographics and a bunch of boards about it, some have really nice insights, but nothing that someone following the web wouldn't assume. Here's an example: I agree with some of the points the author listed, but mobile first approach has been around us for over 2 years. Also I believe parallax is overused and hijacking the scroll is not very user friendly. Besides that Clean and Simple Layout is not a trend but a goal for every design project. In my opinion I think what we will start seeing more the more and more use of animation to give context and affordance to the most important parts of the UI. Technology and powerful hardware will make this possible more than ever, and we already see some good examples, like the beautiful work of that Jongmin Kim put together giving life to to Google's Material Design Principles That said here is a list of things I think will be on top of our minds in 2015 Motion Design beyond After Effects: We have been seeing more and more beuatiful animations and motion design work being shared on Dribbble and other design sites. I think it's time for us to see the same level of quality in motion on the Web. We know that it can be achieved, thank you Jongmin! Prototyping: In 2014 we saw a bunch of new tools being created to help us to prototype our work, tools like Frame, Pixate, Form, Invision and so many others. I think any designers that wants to have quality work must learn how to prototype and test their designs on the device, not on the laptop/computer screen. Material Design: Google has done a great job putting creating a very comprehensive set of guidelines and a beautiful new visual language. Dead of blank screens while loading new content: with motion design and technical capabilities, we finally might start seeing some native looking animations and transitions on the web. As you could see, I didn't mentioned anything related with visual design per se, I think the visual language will always depend on the branding of the product or service we are designing for. Most of the topics I mentioned are related to creating engaging experiences with refined and beautiful behaviors. I hope these things become true in 2015, otherwise there will always be 2016.

Editorial Design Inspiration: Snow Wolf

Editorial Design Inspiration: Snow Wolf

In this editorial design inspiration we are displaying Snow Wolf, a product brochure for Xuelang aka Snow Wolf. Designed by Tom Jueris, this Asian style brochure is wild and outstanding. Check it out! For more from Tom Jueris visit behance.net/surrge.

Editorial Design Inspiration: 99U Quarterly Mag

Editorial Design Inspiration: 99U Quarterly Mag

In this editorial inspiration we'll take a close look at the 99U Quarterly Magazine Issue No. 3. A print publication offering our best creative insights packaged in a beautifully designed pixel-free format. Enjoy! At 99U, we recognize that reading about idea execution online is a catch-22: the web browser isn’t always the ideal environment to lean back and shun the emails and notifications that distract us in our day-to-day. To help offer a reprieve from the madness, we are happy to publish the 99U Quarterly, a print publication offering our best creative insights packaged in a beautifully designed pixel-free format. This issue we went big on bold conceptual illustrative elements to introduce each feature article. Our normal palette of black and white was freshened up with teal (Pantone 333U) and we relied on the beautiful Vitesse as our accent font of choice. All of these elements were put into play with new, elegant, thin patterns that acted as section breaks and interstitial quotes. The cover, by MUTI, is a counter-intuitive take on the concept of fall, which is usually viewed as the beginning of the Earth's yearly cycle of decay and renewal. Instead, we viewed fall as the time to begin anew: this is when school begins, sports seasons start, and it becomes much easier to get back to work after a long summer layoff. Close observers will see the actual early bird grabbing its worm. Credits CREATIVE DIRECTION: Raewyn Brandon & Matias Corea DESIGN: Alejandro Torres Viera EDITORIAL: Jocelyn K. Glei, Sean Blanda, & Sasha VanHoven ILLUSTRATOR: MUTI