Julie Walsh advises on how to ensure consistency across your social networks. With “14.4% of social networking accounting for Americans’ time spent online,” and social media being a predominant communication outlet, I agree that cross-platform consistency is key. So consider Walsh’s strategies for maintaining a professional corporate image online—in the digital age, it’s a must for a streamlined, positive public image.
In her article “Small Business Owners—Get Online!,” Larissa Harris compels the smart business owner to establish and maintain an online presence. The end result: building stronger relationships with current clients and capturing the attention of prospective ones—the 21st century way, that is. Who can argue with that?
Design is inescapable. We encounter it in our day to day lifestyle, as it surrounds us and is moreover the foundation and shaper of every environment. While those with sharp, attentive-to-detail eyes are more likely to praise the good and discuss the bad design elements of every day things, the careless or aesthetically unaware observer will subconsciously accept the good, and make it a point to verbalize the bad designs they encounter.
As one who falls into the former category of observers, I am eager to boast about good designs, why I can classify it as such, and what makes it so appealing to a user like me. Top of my list: ease of use, accessibility, efficiency, customization, integration—but of course this list is subject to change depending on the medium to which these ideal components apply. How typical that I would list features that I consider critical to a “good design” for technology-related products and services alike. However, in reality, the importance of design stems beyond technology, playing a vital role in architecture, product development, advertising, marketing, communication services, and nearly every other system we engage with, whether tangible or intangible.
Everyone loves a good design. (This revolutionary product speaks volumes cross-generations.)
And when it comes to good design, some instantly proclaim it, while others contently accept it. But when it’s bad, you often can’t be silent. Not when a bad design is so painstakingly obvious, or when it affects productivity, or any of the other design ideals outlined above. That’s when there’s a problem. As a user, bad designs irk me—but admittedly, I still have a love/hate relationship with them. While I love to learn from bad designs, and instinctively start thinking about what I would do to improve annoyances “x, y, and z,” I hate it when a poor, ill-thought out design encroaches on the task at hand, and undermines the vitality and overarching importance of accessibility. Because good design puts accessibility at the forefront.
Larissa Harris, in her article 8 Steps to Good User Interface Design on TalentZoo.com, discusses how the principles of UID, User Interface Design, pertain to website and application development. Seeing as I’m building my own personal website, hard-coding HTML at my job, and am more generally interested in hearing good design tips, I found this a quick, worthwhile read. Harris’s eight steps are simple starting point solutions that will help gear your interface in the “good design” direction: