Cool Toys Pic of the Day – Hack Design

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Cool Toys Photo of the Day – Hack Design
website design principles
Image by rosefirerising
Hack Design:

In their words:
“We know tons of hackers. They’re the modern-day Renaissance men and
women who love to learn, explore, build, and take things apart. A
hacker can make software do anything. We know design can seem nuanced,
subjective, and inaccessible sometimes, but we’re working on this
project to help change that.

We’ve asked some of the world’s ideal designers to help us curate the
best and most useful blogs, books, games, videos, and tutorials that
helped them learn critical elements of design. We’re organizing them
all into a digestable and iterative lesson plan so you can apply this
knowledge to your own project”

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t have time to get all I could
from my formal education. In this case, it means I don’t get a chance
to take all of those User Experience courses that I would love to
integrate into my curriculum, because my schedule is already jam
packed. That’s where Hack Design comes to the rescue. These are bite
size chunks of programming and design wisdom to help those of us that
want to have a deeper understanding of web content and design
principles. While I greatly appreciate the nuts and bolts discussions
of my current web programming class, the teacher freely admits that
she has terrible taste in colors and design and encouraged us to look
for external resources to fill that gap.

This site does a great job of pooling the collective wisdom of a
variety of astonishing web designers from small and massive companies as
well as thought leaders in individual experience. Currently there are six
months of lessons that are broken down into 4 week chunks and each
week is a new lesson (see screenshot). Each lesson gives a profile of
the designer who curated it, a brief synopsis of what to anticipate and
why it is important for design, and link(s) to materials that more
fully develop the theme for that week and contribute to the overall
theme for the month.

You have the option of viewing all of the lessons from the website, or
you can subscribe to the newsletter. Subscribing means a new lesson
is e-mailed to you apiece week for the duration of the program (see
screenshot). This is great if you happen to be a mortal that signs up
for a lot of services and then… maybe… occasionally completely
forgets that you’ve signed up and therefore forgets to check the site.
Yeah, I don’t know anybody like that!

While I’m only on week two, so far the lessons are simple and enjoyable
to follow. I’m hoping that they will continue to iterate and help me
apply design principles to more than just coding. In fact, I wish
there were more professional development opportunities that work this
way. I find that I learn superior when I get small chunks over a period
of time rather than trying to cram it all in at once. You can also go
back and review previous lessons so if you get to the next week and
realize you don’t remember anything from the previous week, you can
always go back and review it again.

This is a guest post by Chris Bulin (@Arduanne), a graduate student
assistant at the Taubman Health Sciences Library.

Irrational Studios: looking for a Junior Designer
website design principles
Image by *spo0ky*
Irrational Studios is a specialised individual experience, information design and branding studio.

Our primary client, Travelstart, is expanding to 15 countries in 2007 and we need some extra help handling the design roll-out.

We found this quote from Terry Irwin about hiring designers. It rings very true for Irrational Studios too:

"It was always a useful litmus test for interviewing prospective designers to place a 1040 Income Tax Form on the desk and ask them how they would like to redesign it. If their eyes glazed over or they broke out in a cold sweat, I knew it wasn’t likely to be a good fit."

So to paraphrase: if you’re not passionate about making complex information understandable and meaningful to human beings, please don’t apply!

You’ll be responsible for:
– Design of promotional material for both print and web within brand guidelines (business cards, competition updates, email signatures, wine labels, signage, newsletters, web banners etc)
– Maintenance work on the 15 international Travelstart websites (everything from preparing images to rolling out templates)
– Assisting with regular studio tasks

We know it’s not glamourous, but the position offers the opportunity to learn in an environment where ideal practices in UX and Info Design are being implemented for a successful international online business.

– Photoshop
– ImageReady
– Illustrator
– Basic understanding of the principles of HTML + CSS
– Flash MX
– Affinity for grid systems
– Undying love for Edward Tufte 🙂

Personal Skills/Attributes
– Willingness to learn
– Capability to think systematically
– Disciplined
– Obsession with detail & clarity of communication

Remuneration: Negotiable
Province: Western Cape
Education level: Diploma
City: Cape Town
Type: Permanent
Job level: Junior
Benefits: Negotiable

Anne-Sophie Leens
Irrational Studios
+27 21 462 6062

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