Visual Design and Usability Yellow Brick Road

The yellow brick road is the users’ visual path. It allows them to follow a pattern to not only find their final destination, but also to always know where they are within the broader context of the site—no matter how many turns, bumps, distractions, and forks in the road they traverse along the way.

Visual paths guide users from one element to another, and allow designers to control how information is being perceived and in what order. Because readers can only absorb a certain amount of information at one time, it’s imperative to present content using a phased approach. Guide users through information-carrying areas that will help them determine which turns to take next in order to arrive at their final destination or, at a minimum, their next turn/action.

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by Tammy Guy

One of the main disadvantages of online shoppingcompared to in-store shopping is the lack of guidance.

 Walking into any retail location, customers may be greeted with a smiling face asking, “May I help you find what you’re looking for?” Online shoppers, on the other hand, are often forced to find their own way, and secretly wish for that smiling face to help them.

Visual designers have the power to change this scenario and pave the yellow brick road for users, creating a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience that can replace the smiling greeter at the door.

The yellow brick road is the users’ visual path. It allows them to follow a pattern to not only find their final destination, but also to always know where they are within the broader context of the site—no matter how many turns, bumps, distractions, and forks in the road they traverse along the way.

Visual paths guide users from one element to another, and allow designers to control how information is being perceived and in what order. Because readers can only absorb a certain amount of information at one time, it’s imperative to present content using a phased approach. Guide users through information-carrying areas that will help them determine which turns to take next in order to arrive at their final destination or, at a minimum, their next turn/action. Leer más “Visual Design and Usability Yellow Brick Road”

The ProcessBehind Good Illustration – According to a Young Illustrator (Part II)

Good Process and Good Design

It’s easy to think there’s no way you can make anything look good because you don’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator, or can’t draw people worth beans, etc. And if that’s your concern, don’t worry one bit — skill-related knowledge is nothing that can’t be built up with practice and time. Those that have natural gifts will get there faster, but the doors are closed to no one. There are, however, staples to illustration that have nothing to do with how good you are at drawing or using Photoshop — they transcend into the realm of good process and good design, and I’ve believed that studying illustration is much more about this than about the former.

In this second part of the article, I’d like to share some of these practices that have been invaluable to me as an illustration student, and ones I think I will carry with me for a long time to come.

This part deals a lot more with actual practice, technique, etc. — so, not everyone will think and work this way best. My goal here is not to provide an exhaustive and definitive list, but just to share a few tips that I felt have really pushed my own learning leaps and bounds.

Without further ado…
Part II: So how do we do it?


by Natalie Sklobovskaya for DesignInformer

Good Process and Good Design

It’s easy to think there’s no way you can make anything look good because you don’t know how to use Adobe Illustrator, or can’t draw people worth beans, etc. And if that’s your concern, don’t worry one bit — skill-related knowledge is nothing that can’t be built up with practice and time. Those that have natural gifts will get there faster, but the doors are closed to no one. There are, however, staples to illustration that have nothing to do with how good you are at drawing or using Photoshop — they transcend into the realm of good process and good design, and I’ve believed that studying illustration is much more about this than about the former.

In this second part of the article, I’d like to share some of these practices that have been invaluable to me as an illustration student, and ones I think I will carry with me for a long time to come.

This part deals a lot more with actual practice, technique, etc. — so, not everyone will think and work this way best. My goal here is not to provide an exhaustive and definitive list, but just to share a few tips that I felt have really pushed my own learning leaps and bounds.

Without further ado…

Part II: So how do we do it? Leer más “The ProcessBehind Good Illustration – According to a Young Illustrator (Part II)”

Integrative thinking and the misuse of power

The cascade

Some say that the power affects the world view and I agree!

Some experiments show that people in a position of power shows to have patterns of behavior usually associated with fault zones of the cerebral cortex that control the empathy and the ability to imagine the world from the point of view of others .

The power destroys the ability to understand that there are other perspectives in addition to the hierarchy. The hierarchy works like a waterfall.

But there is no easy cure for the paradox of power. [Más…]

Keltner argues that “the best treatment is transparency, and that the worst abuses of power can be prevented when people know they are being monitored. This suggests that the mere existence of a guard dog or a regulatory active directory may help deter people from doing bad things.

However, people in power tend to reliably overestimate their moral virtue, which leads them to stifle oversight” Lehrer

But power can also be refined in other ways and become a lever for success as declaring the Mattimore Laura, Procter & Gamble.

“Integrative Thinking has become an essential component of the training and development program for our most senior managers at P&G. Our executives are able to take the lessons of integrative thinking back to their jobs with them, putting the tools into action to solve the thorniest issues in their businesses.”

How integrative thinking can help managers and holders of power to look into the “world” and for people as an important part in their decisions ?


The cascade

Some say that the power affects the world view and I agree!

Some experiments show that people in a position of power shows to have patterns of behavior usually associated with fault zones of the cerebral cortex that control the empathy and the ability to imagine the world from the point of view of others .

The power destroys the ability to understand that there are other perspectives in addition to the hierarchy. The hierarchy works like a waterfall.

But there is no easy cure for the paradox of power. Leer más “Integrative thinking and the misuse of power”

A Closer Look at Hierarchy in Web Design


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Many times designers will depend on other great designs for inspiration, trends, or ‘tricks of the trade’ to get by. However, learning the basic design principles and getting a feel for how they are applied to web design is essential for the career of any designer. In this post, we’re going to take a close look at one of those basic design principles, and how it applies specifically to web design.

Hierarchy Web Design

Hierarchy is the element that makes users look where they do and when they do it. The top hierarchical element on a web page will be the first thing the user sees, and the lowest will be the last. It’s easy to see why hierarchy has such a profound effect on web design — it’s all about the user experience, and any website‘s presentation to the user. In this post, we’ll cover some of the basics of working with correct hierarchy, and how it specifically applies to web design. Leer más “A Closer Look at Hierarchy in Web Design”

The circles (no more strangers)

It’s so tempting to seek out more strangers.

More strangers to pitch your business, your candidate, your non-profit, your blog… More strangers means more upside and not so much downside. It means growth.

The problem is that strangers are difficult to convert. And the other problem is that they’re expensive to reach. And the hardest problem is that we’re running out of strangers.


Circlesofcustomers It’s so tempting to seek out more strangers.

More strangers to pitch your business, your candidate, your non-profit, your blog… More strangers means more upside and not so much downside. It means growth.

The problem is that strangers are difficult to convert. And the other problem is that they’re expensive to reach. And the hardest problem is that we’re running out of strangers. Leer más “The circles (no more strangers)”

When The Future is Open and Global…


by Stefan Lindegaard

… we get lots of unanswered questions. I recently read an interview with Gary Hamel in which he raised interesting questions related to his work of transforming management as a discipline. This interview led me to his blog post, 25 Stretch Goals for Management. Great read!

I have decided to look further on the ideas of Hamel and his colleagues through an open innovation perspective and combine this with my belief that the future of innovation – and perhaps business in general – will be open and global.

I got lots of inspiration the last couple of days and I think this will shape many of my future thoughts on open innovation. It would be great to get your perspectives as well… Leer más “When The Future is Open and Global…”