Intuitive – not so much – and other iOS 7 thoughts

Have you tried using the new Air Drop sharing tools in iOS 7? I have. A few points.

  1. It is so not intuitive. I had to look up directions to even get started.
  2. Even with directions I couldn’t make it work.
  3. The option I wanted – to send images from my iPad to my computer – never worked for me even though all my devices confirmed that they saw each other and were ready to receive.

In addition to that frustration with iOS 7, I want to register the complaint that the dull grey color scheme doesn’t help me find anything and the white text on a grey background is hard to read. A little color would be useful to help find the important things – everything looks alike.

I get it, Apple wanted to move away from the skeuomorphic elements in their look. The pendulum traveled a bit too far. Let’s bring it back to the middle, okay?

Useful links: Responsive elements, Zeldman on design, web history

Start Up

Responsive elements is a breakthrough idea. Check it out.

You must listen to this interview with Jeffrey Zeldman: Why Designers Need to Craft Words, Not Pixels.

Here’s a wonderful resource for teachers: Web History, a timeline. Thanks to John Allsopp from Web Directions for compiling this and hosting it.

10 Steps on the Path to be a Graphic Designer

design is …

The Internet has undoubtedly changed our world and has become a solid source for research, instant information, and a virtually endless stream of new ideas and thoughts. However, while most people have a basic understanding of how to use the Web as a search tool and to perform basic tasks and many can set up basic websites or blogs, the people who create the means for getting the information to you, provide the graphics, define the search engine protocols, and all the other activities that go on beyond the screen are not as numerous as many may think.

Thus anyone looking for Internet career opportunities that go beyond basic web knowledge has many options available to them. There are a variety of opportunities people can pursue, skills they can learn, and ideas they can explore to become more involved in making today’s Internet even more dynamic.

1. Past Accomplishments—Don’t reinvent the wheel: There are a lot of good ideas for using the web. Some have been implemented, some have not. Take time to learn about trusting instincts, determining what needs to be on the web, and what impact the wealth of information on the web will have on the education process.

2. Graphic Design—Remember a picture can equal a thousand words: The old adage about pictures being worth a thousand words has been somewhat misleading. A picture or a good graphic can convey a considerable amount of information. However, both elements are required in a good design.

3. Design Courses—Teach yourself or earn a degree: Like most professions there are differing opinions over whether a person who is self-taught can provide the same quality of work as those designers who have degrees. Regardless of which view you share, there are a number of free or low-investment graphic design courses online that can enhance design skills. By taking these courses you can bolster up your professional portfolio, whether you’ve obtained a degree or not.

4. Typography—The real foundation: Despite any advanced techniques you may learn, please do not overlook learning the basics. Decisions about typography can make or destroy any design, no matter how good or bad it may be. A free course on typography that was developed by MIT is available on About.Com.

5. Designing Logos—Making it great: An inexpensive course is a great investment. With this course you can explore logo artwork that will help you create unique logos for clients and brand images.

6. Photoshop Basics—Learning the secrets: Photoshop is an outstanding program with countless features, however you don’t need all of them. As a part of the PSD Tuts Plus “Sessions” Series, this course will help you improve your designer skills.

7. Talking Type—Logos influence emotion: A $20 course by Skillshare will explore the role that typography plays in designing logos. The course helps to explain how the designer can learn to select the best logo typography for a particular project.

8. Design School—A MFA alternate: The curriculum of the Graphic Design School covers most aspects of graphic and web design. The fees are higher than the other non-degree options—about $2,000. However, such a fee would be less than the cost of earning a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree.

9. Other Options—Picking and choosing: There are other options that are available that may provide the additional training you need to make your current skills more marketable and make you a better designer. It is important to check out these courses and make certain they will provide training that will be useful to you.

10. Other Courses—Quick overview: There are numerous other courses that can help any person improve their design skills, from basics to mastering such programs as Illustrator and Dreamweaver. The important thing to remember is that you have to find the courses. They are on the Internet, but it is up to you to find and select the courses that will best serve your needs as you move from being just another graphics designer, who does a little design work along with his other work, to a master designer, who creates the concepts that other people will remember.

In other words, you have to design the path you want to take to be a top designer.

Guest Author Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.


Fads and Fashions

Lately flat design is in fashion. So is the huge feature image for every post, a trend which results in a page full of images and very little text.

I’m happy that there are fads and fashions in web design. It creates job security for a lot of web design firms.

I don’t mind the flat designs. They don’t interfere with getting to the content you want. But the trend toward pages full of nothing but images with few words and required clicks to get to the content bugs me. I guess I’m just a word person. Images are nice, but I want the content.

I know there’s a lot of research that proves that images attract the attention and gather the eyeballs. But do they really mean more people are actually reading the content? There’s no image with this post. Did you read it?

Useful links: 3D printing, Open Edu, Prosthetics

How 3D Printing will Impact the Web is speculation, but it’s fun to think about.

Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom On New Online Education Initiatives: “If This Doesn’t Wake Them Up, I Don’t Know What Will” Must reading for educators. Here’s one quote:

The Open Education Alliance can potentially be an extremely disruptive model because it addresses what Thrun and Newsom acknowledged repeatedly as one of the biggest problems that the higher education system faces: The skills gap. Today, education is geared towards assessment — towards preparing students for some illusory, state-driven, assessment-driven goals, which may have no relevance in the end to giving them the skills and preparation they need to thrive outside of higher education.

And while we’re on the topic of interesting and challenging new tech ideas to think about in a disruptive future, consider The Six Million Dollar Question: How Will The Future of Prosthetics Affect Human Performance and Self Esteem?

Useful Links: Responsive Recruiting, Yahoo logo, meta fizzy

Why Responsive Web Design Can Transform Higher Ed Recruiting. One of many interesting tidbits in this article: “According to research from Higher Education Consultants Noel-Levitz, 68 percent of college applicants have viewed college websites on mobile devices. And if a college’s website isn’t optimized for mobile, these potential students drop off: 24 percent of students would leave a website after a poor internet experience.”

Here’s a view of the changes that Yahoo! went through in building its new logo. It’s simple, and the exclamation mark is animated. What do you think of it?

I’m feeling just a bit cross-eyed after seeing the meta-fizzy effects created in MetaFizzy Effect with SASS at CSS Tricks. Let’s not all go out and do this, okay?