Archive for: June, 2014

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


Hollow Icons

Curt Arledge ran a user test to find out whether hollow icons perform any different to solid icons. Hollow icons are an icon aesthetic popularized by iOS7 — icons that are composed of thin lines rather than filled in shapes. It was previously theorized that this icon style required more cognitive processing, and thus would perform worse than typical solid icons. Arledge found no significant variation between the icon styles. One combination performed worse than others: white hollow icons on a black background. Others performed similarly, irrespective of whether the icon was on a white or black background. What seemed to matter most is not the style itself but how meaningful the design of the icon itself is. For example, a filled in speech bubble is less recognizable than a hollow one because a speech bubble is something that is often depicted as an outline. On the other hand, an…

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Design Trend Predictors

Joel Unger approaches the blurry, semi-transparent window aesthetic, recently introduced in iOS7 and now making its way to OS X Yosemite, from the standpoint of evolutionary biology. He argues that the reasons for this latest trend, as well as other trends, are: 1) the visual effect is relatively rare, and 2) the effect is expensive to achieve (in this case expensive in terms of graphics processing power). Both of these go hand in hand given that what is expensive to achieve is probably also going to be rare, at least for the period it still remains expensive. While these two things are initially the differentiator for the trendsetter, they will inevitably me mimicked by others, resulting in a design trend. Drupal Developer

The Share Icon

Min Ming Lo analyzes the various designs of the share icon currently in use. He concludes: The best icon is not the one that is the simplest, nor the one that makes the most sense. Instead, the best icon is one with which most users are already familiar. An effective icon is one that requires minimum effort for the user to translate that symbol to an action. I think part of the problem with coming up with a good share icon is that the concept of sharing physical items doesn’t directly map onto the concept of sharing digital resources, which oftentimes simply involves posting a link on a public feed. The latter is closer to broadcasting a message rather than dividing up a resource or experiencing a thing simultaneously. Icons with more specificity — e.g. a tweet icon, a Facebook like icon — are unambiguous; they relate directly to a…

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Tobias Frere-Jones on Apple's Choice of Helvetica as a UI Typeface

Co.Design asked Tobias Frere-Jones of Hoefler & Co. to give his thoughts on Apple’s choice of Helvetica as an interface typeface for the upcoming OS X Yosemite update: Despite its grand reputation, Helvetica can’t do everything. It works well in big sizes, but it can be really weak in small sizes. Shapes like ‘C’ and ‘S’ curl back into themselves, leaving tight “apertures”—the channels of white between a letter’s interior and exterior. So each shape halts the eye again and again, rather than ushering it along the line. The lowercase ‘e,‘ the most common letter in English and many other languages, takes an especially unobliging form. These and other letters can be a pixel away from being some other letter, and we’re left to deal with flickers of doubt as we read. This reminds me of what Erik Spiekerman wrote about Helvetica: [Helvetica] really wasn’t designed for small sizes on…

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