Friends of good taste!
Some of you might have seen it already being published about a week ago on my Behance page. Brooklyn Beta conference is one of the best conferences I have personally ever been to.
For the fifth & last final Brooklyn Beta conference we had the honor to help create the visual identity and website supporting this unique event.
It was certainly a big challenge and an unusual branding project. I highly recommend you visiting the Behance Case Study where we put together more details about this project.
Friends! I got many questions lately about how to grow & maintain a beard. I've been fully growing my beard for about 2 years now with occasionally trimming it every 4 weeks and about one year that I also let go on the mustache (which I previously always cut off completely)
Rules for growing a beard
1. The first rule is to just leave the fucking beard alone!
If you're planning to grow one, don't overthink it and just let it go! Don't shave, don't do anything. You can't start maintaining the shit out of your beard if you don't have one yet.
2. Make it through the "I look like shit" phase.
Growing a beard is a lot like growing your head hair. If you have short hair and you're trying to grow it long, there will be a phase where it's not short enough to look good, but also not long enough as you want it to be. It's the shitty phase, be strong and make it through it.
3. Embrace it!
Everyone grows a different beard, some have a fuller beard and some have patches where there is no hair growing at all. If that's the case, embrace the way YOUR beard is growing. It's your own style, if you have patches, embrace them and make the look your own! I always hated that I have a slightly red beard as well as that my mustache is completely white/blond compared to the rest of my beard - I always thought it looks bad, now I'm trying to embrace it.
4. Ignore everyone (who want’s you to shave)
Ignore family & friends, they’re the enemy while you’re in beard growing phase & will try to convince you to shave on a regular basis. Stay strong!
You also want to take a look at why man with beards look better or 25 reasons why a beard can change everything.
Rules for maintaining a beard
1. NO Shampoo
There is a little trick I use since many many years to keep my face/skin clear & clean. I never use soap or any products on my face. I never had any pimples or other problems with my skin & apply the same rules to my beard & head hair. However, I do rinse my hair once a day with clean water - The beard (depending on the weather) every or every second day. The less you wash/treat your beard the better. If you do use shampoo, use it as little as you can and rub it carefully into your beard.
2. NO electric razor
If you plan to trim your beard a bit, please DO NOT use an electric razor, always use scissors. Why? Razors cut the hair in a weird angle which causes split ends. Split ends are single hairs that split up at the end of the hair which makes your beard look fuzzy & out of control. The same happens if you use blunt scissors - Invest in some good hairdressing scissors and you're good.
3. NO touching
I know, you just got an awesome beard and all you want to do is play and stroke it as much as you can. But you shouldn't. You know why a lot of girls have split ends and need to get their hair trimmed on a regular basis? Exactly, because they play with their hair all the time. By playing & stroking your hair constantly you physically stress & damage it which causes split ends. Avoiding split ends is one of the most important things when maintaining your beard and depending on the weather condition this can be a difficult task sometimes.
Beard grooming tips
1. YES to beard oil
It's important to keep your beard & skin underneath moisturized. Your skin and hair will become dry, especially depending on the weather conditions. Beard oil will help protect your beard and even makes him softer, fuller and gives him a healthy shiny look.
You might go all fancy and buy expensive hipster beard oil, or you can go simple with basic coconut oil. It's essentially the same no matter what people will tell you. However, I recommend using a cheaper oil such as coconut oil for your everyday and some nice scented beard oil for special occasions. Always keep in mind - As nice as scented beard oil is, you have it right under your nose for the rest of your day so make sure to test drive it before you spent your money. (see end of this post for beard oil recommendations)
You can apply about 5-8 drops of oil every second day by softly rubbing it into your beard. You might also use a conditioner of your choice instead, but I prefer clean water & oil.
2. Dealing with bad beard days
I mentioned it to friends so many times already - The same way we have bad hair days we also have bad beard days. Sometimes you can do something about it, sometimes you can't. If you wake up in the morning and you had a really bad night plus your beard is completely out of control, here is what you can do.
- Rinse whole beard carefully with clean water
- Carefully dry it with a towel, NO crazy rubbing & NO hairdryer! (heat is bad)
- Comb beard hair from roots to outside (so you look like a hedgehog)
- Use scissors & carefully trim split ends if needed (
- Softly apply beard oil as mentioned above
- Use comb again to put everything back in place
- Smile, because that's all you can do - Tomorrow is another day.
3. Apply mustache wax
Alright, so here it get's a little more difficult. If you plan to grow a long mustache and style it in a certain way, make sure you have some extra time in the morning. Maintaining a mustache is a love/hate relationship and can really suck sometimes. With my current mustache length I use two products - First off a more soft matte hair wax as foundation to get it roughly in shape and out of my mouth. Secondly a stronger mustache wax to twist & roll up the ends. If you only use the very strong mustache wax you will get into trouble because it won't work (unless you use a dryer to heat up the wax). My goal is to have it look as natural as possible, I don't like it when my mustache looks extra glossy & fake.
The first rule about applying mustache wax is to use it as little as you can - Once you applied it to your mustache, try to keep your mustache clean so you can wear it for as long as you can before you have to wash it out. Especially applying wax to your mustache is stressing your beard hair a lot - The more you apply wax & wash it out again the worse your beard hair will become. Use it wisely and let's hope you sleep well so you don't have to apply it everyday again.
YES! That's it.
Those are my essential tips unless you have any questions you can put them in the comments below - And again, don't overthink it and just do it.
Product Recommendations (what I actually use right now)
- Regular Coconut Oil for every day use
- Bearded Bastard Mustache Wax
- Williamsburg Beard Oil (scented)
- davines Dry Wax for grounding
- I also order from http://www.apothecary87.co.uk
Sometimes I wish I could travel in time, back in time or just a little bit into the future, 5minutes would be enough already just to see what is going to happen.
I'm a little bit obsessed with time traveling, I just like the idea thinking about how those things could possibly work. I don't really believe in traveling back in time, there would be just too many conflicts with your own existence. But I do believe that traveling with the time (we're already doing that) but faster - Or slower, relative to each other to experience some sort of time traveling effect. The following quote sums it up pretty nicely - You might want to read about the Twin Paradox more in detail here.
A few weeks ago I got inspired to create my own TimeTravel Wall Clock, I wanted something minimalistic & simple that not only tells me the time, but also reminds me of time traveling every time I look at it. Fun Fact: I usually set all my clocks 10min ahead of time - It helps me from running late, especially because I forget that I actually set the clocks 10min into the future.
The TimeTravel Wall Clock can now be ordered online for $30 on Society6. You might choose a custom color for the hands or the frame. (black or white).
Dear friends of good taste.
About 2 weeks ago I published a new playlist on Spotify called "Delirium 2013". What's interesting about this playlist is that I collected about 170 songs over the course of exactly one year which makes the playlist almost like a diary if you listen from the Start to Finish, you can see how my taste in music is changing slightly. With a little over 4700 plays this was my most played playlist of 2013.
The reason why I called it Delirium primary came from the fact that I'm listening to this playlist every time I'm working on my projects - Music always plays a big role for me to get myself into "work mode", into some sort of tunnel, a creative Delirium but in a good way.
When I designed the Cover for this playlist my main intention was to create this feeling of being in this temporary mental state of creative confusion, but more as a portal I can enter whenever I want or need to. Below you can also find another dismissed cover where I focused more on trying to illustrate the state of a Delirium before I ended up executing on the portal idea.
You can listen to the playlist here - I hope you enjoy it & Share the magic!
Holding on is believing that there’s only a past;
letting go is knowing that there’s a future.
– Daphne Rose Kingma
Sometimes you have to let go, to make room for new things & new thoughts. I like to take the start of the new year as an opportunity to let go and clean up my desk. Sadly, there are no plans to continue working on the development of .Mail app - I say this with a heavy heart, as I know that so many of you looked forward to this app the same way I did & I'm very thankful for all your support.
.Mail started as a little side project, a little over a year ago. When the concept surprisingly received more and more exposure I decided to take the chance and see if we could make it happen. During this time my life was a little crazy, I moved from Austria to New York, back to Austria, then to Stockholm and then to New York again. All while, working on a few too many projects at the same time.
We knew from the beginning that developing an E-Mail client for desktop was going to be very hard. I failed at putting together a team that could take on this challenge. With limited time on the side and no financial support this was even harder to accomplish and the progress we made was very slow - Working on an app like this clearly needs full time focus.
.Mail app as a project was eating up a lot of my time & money over the past year, letting it go will lift a heavy weight off my shoulders.
Looking back I'm still very proud of what we learned. Together with Robert, the first and only developer on .Mail we didn't had much previous MacOSX app development nor mail protocol knowledge we learned SO MUCH over the time we worked on this project, even if we couldn't deliver a final product that lived up to our expectations.
I'd like to thank all of you who supported me or offered help during this period. The support of the community has always been amazing and was the main reason why I tried so hard to make this project happen. Thanks so much to my friends at les Avignons for their help & support, especially Robert who kept on working on this beast till the very end.
A lot has changed since the original conception of .Mail app. Since then, many other apps have followed with the same or similar concepts for Desktop & Mobile trying to solve E-Mail for a new generation. I'm still very interested in this topic, even though my opinion changed a bit. I don't think an E-Mail client is a sustainable solution and ultimately will solve the communication problem we intended to solve. (at least try)
I'd like to leave you with this final thought - With E-Mail clients that act as TODO apps only solve half of the problem when trying to achieve inbox zero, by still giving the "Sender" much more power than the "Receiver" of the E-Mail - And that's not how it should be. Think about fixing the issue at the source, instead of at the end. I believe the future is bright, that's for sure.
You should follow me on Twitter @schneidertobias if you like to stay in touch & keep the conversation going. I'm always working on something and I would love to share it with you first. You can also write me an E-Mail of course if you have any questions.
PS: I'm still desperately in the need of a new basic E-Mail client for desktop, if you know something please let me know, I would appreciate it.
Dear Authentic Weather friends.
As you might have noticed, Authentic Weather on Android is now free and some of you wondered why this is the case. Authentic Weather was a side project in the beginning and the reason to charge 99cent was to cover most of the development costs I had to pay for both, iOS and Android.
I personally believe in only delivering great product experiences, especially if you pay for it we owe you a fantastic product. With Authentic Weather for Android we unfortunately didn't delivered what we promised, we had difficulties supporting the wide range of the Android Market and didn't kept up with the Feature Set of the iOS version.
We're very sorry about this and after 3 months in the Android store I made the decision to give it away for free since I don't feel confident selling an App that doesn't live up to our standards. You deserve the best, in any case.
Why is the iOS version still paid?
iOS will remain paid (99cent) and will have more features (such as the Camera Mode) and more frequent updates. Consider Android as the Light version until we found a solution to bring the full Feature Set to Android.
Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!…
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…
You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!…
Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be…
I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before you work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.
About 3 weeks ago, Vlad from DigitalAbstracts.com asked me to be part of the amazing PlayingArts project. 54 selected artists & illustrators from all over the world get invited to design one poker card design (in their own style) each which will then get printed as a limited edition PokerCard deck. According to PlayingArts, probably one of the most beautiful PokerCard decks — I feel very honored to be one of the few to participate in this fantastic project.
My part was to design the 6 of Clubs card.
I got inspired by the meaning behind the 6 of Club “Messenger’s Card”
Let me quote:
“All Six of Club feel an obligation toward duty and they take their responsibilities seriously. Trouble is, the 6 of Club also symbolize inertia.”
Essentially Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its motion (including a change in direction) from a physics perspective.
In other words, it is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant linear velocity, or to keep still. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics that are used to describe the motion of objects and how they are affected by externally applied forces.
In my example I wanted to combine my love to space/universe with one of the moments of inertia, in this case showing a sphere(shell).
On the left you can see some more early sketches of the initial concept. I used Paper app and a Wacom Stylus to just quickly put my thoughts "on Paper"
Below you can find my final Poker Card Design. You can find the full set on PlayingArts.com - Also makes sure to support this project on Kickstarter where you can already pre-order your own copy of this deck.
Thanks a lot for reading, and thanks again for Vlad for inviting me!
Dear Authentic Weather Friends
We worked hard the past couple of days/weeks to deliver you Version 2.0 for your iPhone and iPad. We got a lot of feedback from you and we listened & gave our best to deliver on your requests & feedback.
The updates for v2.0
- + Added 15 more weather phrases for today's weather.
- + Look in the future with the new simple forecast. (pull down)
- + Share your weather with friends on Instagram, now you can by just pressing the Instagram button.
- + Lots of new Design improvements including a new Iconset.
- + Tap & Hold temperature overlay now includes more information about your current weather such as Humidity, Feels like & Chance of rain.
- + Added a night mode. (the app goes into night mode after 8pm)
- + Lot's of bug fixes, new weather & location provider to give you more accurate weather information. New Loading screen & much more.
We hope you like the new updates & as always we're looking forward to your feedback to improve Authentic Weather even further.
We also launched Authentic Weather for Android which is currently in version 1.3 and will continuously grow in the next couple of days as well. Thank you for your patience.
UPDATE: We've received some feedback that some of you experience long loading times with bad connections or don't see some of the weather icons. We're planning on releasing a hot fix for this in the next few days.
Tobias, Max & Rossy
I just received the new issue of the .net Magazine in the mail today. I sat down with Martin Cooper from .net Magazine about a couple weeks ago to give an extensive interview.
Spread over four pages this was definitely one of the longest interviews I gave so far and I'm honored having it with one of the biggest print magazines in our web industry.
Mainly I talked about some of my recent projects, being self-taught, how to deal with critique & how to give/receive good feedback as well as what inspires & motivates me.
I definitely enjoyed giving this interview. If you're interested, the .net magazine should be available at most bookstores that sells english magazines.
Or just order online at netmagazine.com
PS: For those who asked: The little framed artwork is a postcard that got shipped with the Kern & Burn Book
Dear Authentic Weather Friends
We're extremely thankful for all the positive feedback so far. The E-Mails and tweets we receive are helpful and we really appreciate all the fantastic feedback. We're currently still working hard to make Authentic Weather not only the most honest weather app, but also the only one you need.
Below some more updates that are following this week & Some of your most asked questions from Twitter and E-Mail.
"My location is wrong"
We're aware that we currently have some accuracy issues in some locations/countries. There is another update coming later this week which should solve most of the location accuracy problems you have. We're also experimenting with a new Weather API right now to give you even more accurate weather information as well.
"The Forecast is not working"
When we originally designed Authentic Weather we wanted to keep it simple. One of the ideas was to not show any forecast at all, because all you & Authentic Weather really cares about is the CURRENT weather, and not what's happening the next 3 days. For simplicity we integrated a forecast that really just shows you 3 icons so you can get a quick guess of what the weather is going to look like - But since we got this feedback a lot we're working on a solution to make the forecast interactive as well. (currently nothing is happening if you click on the forecast icons)
"What about Windows Mobile?"
Since Authentic Weather is a small project with a really small team we're currently addressing one platform after another. Compared to Apple (600 million users) and Google/Android (900 million users) - Microsoft currently "only" counts about 12 million users. We would love to see Authentic Weather on Windows powered devices as well and depending on how well we can grow we will definitely consider a Windows app in the near future as well as soon as we made sure our iOS & Android versions are working fine so we can make sure to rock your WindowsPhone as well.
Authentic Weather is growing up
We have a lot more ideas for Authentic Weather and once we fixed current issues we will start implementing new features, especially the ones you asked for. While our goal will always be to keep Authentic Weather as simple & authentic as possible, we're keen to add new features that will "Make your day" - Because that's all we really care about.
For future updates make sure to follow on Twitter & of course we're always happy to get your feedback via E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: We launched our new Website today as well! YAY! AuthenticWeather.com
Your Authentic Weather team
Today Thomas Pokorn (one of our fantastic les Avignons members) had the idea to ask some of the AV members to show what their essentials are, or let's say "What are the things you carry with you on a daily basis"
So I opened up my backpack, and here is what I got:
- Canon 24-70mm and 50mm lens.
- A "Porsche Design" 1TB External Hard Drive from LaCie for my data
- Type Matters Book by Jim Williams - Good Day to Day Rules on Typography
- All time favorite ActionBook by Behance Creative Outfitter
- A few american dollars, because that's all that's left.
- Georgio Armani 858 / Sunglasses
- Enterprise Space Shuttle Toy from 1976 (found at Intrepid Museum NYC)
- White Apple Earplugs that come with the new iPhone5
- Black iPhone5, from Apple of course.
- Japanese Gelly Roll Pen (the best, from PaperPresentation in NY)
- My very own BusinessCards of course.
- White iPad Mini for mainly reading magazines.
- MacbookBook Pro Retina 15"
- My pretty used german Passport with the german eagle.
- My Canon 7D which is not on the picture, guess where it is?
But I have to admit, I usually don't have the Space Shuttle in there.
Dear Authentic Weather friends
We've been working hard since the first version of Authentic Weather and so far already pushed a few minor updates. Right now you can find Version 1.6 in the App Store which comes with the following updates:
- Fixed loading crash for iOS6
- Fixed some minor bugs on iOS7 Beta 4
- Shipped new App Icon (we think the cloud was just too cliche sorry)
- Shipped new Custom URL "Share your weather" page
- Added 10 more weather phrases to address the mostly hot weather
- Fixed some location accuracy bugs
If you haven't updated already, you can find the update on the AppStore. And if you haven't downloaded Authentic Weather yet, you can DOWNLOAD HERE.
We're currently working in implementing some sweet new features as well as fixing some more bugs for the next big major update v2.0 (this will include Android as well) - Yay!
Your Authentic Weather Team
After the surprising success of the Authentic Weather App concept we launched the first version for iOS today. (Thank you all for your patience) You can now search for "Authentic Weather" on your iPhone or just download it here.
Authentic Weather was born out of a simple idea: Design a human,honest & authentic weather app. And if there is one thing we all have in common around the world, then it's the consistent complaints about the weather, wherever it's cold or warm.
We're currently working hard on pushing v1.5 by beginning of august, which includes:
1. New consistent app icon
2. More weather phrases
3. A new "Share your weather" web page
4. Our website
But most importantly, we want to share the answers to some of the most asked questions on twitter.
What about Android?
Good question! But we have some good news, the Android version is already in the works and will follow in the next 1-2 weeks as well. Make sure to follow on Twitter to not miss this update.
Why do I have to pay for this?
You don't have to, but we're currently using a paid Weather API to give you accurate weather information. To cover those costs we think it's okay to charge some money.
Many thanks to Maxmillion Mclaughlin who worked on the iOS version as well as all the web work for Authentic Weather so far.
But now, have fun playing around with Authentic Weather on your iPhone & share the magic with your beloved friends & family.
If you find any bugs, or you have any other feedback we would love to hear what you have you your mind.
I'm happy to share some of my latest branding projects I started about 6 months ago in collaboration with Verena Michelitsch.
We had the opportunity to re-design the whole brand identity for Ada Blackjack ranging from the logo to typography, packaging, website & more.
Ada Blackjack are handcrafted bags, made in Barcelona by Ivonne Schippers. The brand is inspired by Ada Blackjack, an Inuit woman who was the heroic and sole survivor of a two year expedition on the uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia.
Thank you for reading.
I'm happy to finally share with you something sweet I collaborated on with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. Stephen Burgess & his personal blog. I usually don't publish any work on my blog, but in this case it's a more personal project with Stephen I really enjoyed working on.
If you haven't seen it yet, you can visit MinimalMonkey.com to see the great work he did on his own minimalistic blog. (try out all the little interactions & hidden mouseovers) To celebrate his launch I did a few posters/artworks (see below) based on his new Identity. It's a simple, bold & fun identity at the same time.
Thanks for reading
Something I wanted to talk about over a long long time already, Feedback & Critique.
The main point of this subject are (web)designers in general, especially focused on online plattforms where we have the ability to give & receive feedback/critique on our work such as Dribbble, Behance or the most recent one Hunie.
Those sites are not primary for getting constructive feedback or critique, even if some of them claim that this is what they're for. I've seen so much people complaining about that the critique they receive is either not constructive enough or just completely off. Don't set yourself wrong expectations.
Critique needs context, online as well as offline. Just that online it's even harder to transport context so your peers can understand & give you constructive feedback.
Especially in the fields of Design, Art & UX the feedback & critique you receive online is usually out of context and only helpful if it's just about certain techniques used.
When a friend shows me a design & asks for feedback I usually ask a lot of questions to get more context about the design decisions behind in order to give constructive & helpful feedback. Otherwise I can only say "Oh yeah, I like/dislike it" or "Oh, this pixel is isn't aligned man" because I have absolutely no context and understanding of the briefing behind. My feedback is purely based on personal taste & my experience, and this is not a guarantee for being constructive.
It always depends on what kind of feedback/critique you want to receive. In some cases I even appreciate feedback that is completely out of context. But most projects have such a detailed briefing/background that you can't expect anything from just showing a work in progress screenshot, especially when talking about digital projects.
However, if you publish something online or offline, prepare yourself that people will criticize your work without even being asked. It's your decision to provide them with as much context as possible to get more constructive feedback out of it, or you just ignore it when it's just completely off.
You will always receive critique as soon as you put something out there and the great thing is that YOU have the power & context to decide what's helpful and what's bullshit. There is this book called "Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod which basically brings it to the point: Ignore Everybody's bullshit and don't let other people bring you down, but at the same time don't make the mistake and run around with eye's closed. It's about a healthy balance, like always.
Context is always powerful, in lots of situations in life.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) discussions are cropping up all over the place right now and it seems like a pretty hot topic for Developers & Designers alike. However, most discussions focus on tools & techniques — and don't address the bigger picture. In this blogpost I'm going to write about RWD from a Design & User Experience perspective and will be keeping it very high level.
I will focus on large, content heavy, commercial projects, since small personal blogs or portfolios aren't so much of a big deal in this discussion and they don't serve as "best practice" examples, as is often misunderstood.
Treat it right
Responsive Web Design is a good thing, it's evolving, but it is still in its infancy. Our industry tends to hype up certain tools & techniques which is simultaneously both good and bad. It's good because it raises awareness and helps drive and define new standards. It's bad because we're getting hung up on these tools & techniques, forgetting WHY we are actually doing this, which brings me to my next point:
Be a designer
Be a designer who thinks first. Be a designer who creates real solutions for real people. Don't be a web stylist or developer who puts trends, tools & techniques over people and their needs. We need to stop thinking about pixels, grids & media queries as solutions to solve the bigger problem. We have way too many designers & developers right now who are living in a bubble — And I totally understand why — It's warm & cozy in here and we can easily get the recognition we want by showing off some fancy browser scaling shit (no offence). A designer should ask the question WHY in the first place, and not only once. There's a reason why we're doing RWD and more recently this reason has become shrouded by the content that we have arrived at a fully baked solution.
When a client asks for RWD, he usually has no idea what he's actually talking about. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Essentially he simply wants his service to work across a wide range of devices/viewports. That's it. It is our job to figure out how to approach the problem the right way and educate them in the process.
It's the same conversation we were having a few years ago when clients jumped on the "I need a iPhone app" bandwagon. It's our responsibility to educate them and tell them what they really need. We still have those conversations around RWD, Native Apps, WebGL, HTML5 etc. Let's be the ones who know our shit instead of just spreading buzzwords and hiding behind photoshop or a code editor.
Know your audience & goals
Whenever we talk about making an online experience accessible across a wide range of devices, we should dig a little deeper to find out who our target audience actually is. Building a responsive website just for the sake of building a responsive website is completely unnecessary. It will take a lot of time, cost a lot of money and will (if not planned correctly) negatively affect the relationship you have with your client due to false expectations.
A good mobile experience requires a design that has been specifically designed for mobile usage. The same is true of desktop experiences. Users on smartphones are using a website differently than they would on their desktop computers. They're even using it differently on their tablets. Knowing exactly what they are looking for on all these different devices is what we should find out first and then design around it. And I'm not talking about visual design. I'm talking about the content, the features we provide and how they can adapt and change depending on the context.
To the point
1. Content heavy and feature rich websites need more attention than just a responsive solution can offer. User needs and behaviours change depending on the device, so the content should always come first. Repositioning content & layout just doesn't cut it.
I would like to quote my friend JP Gary here who has another good point:
"...considering that the whole movement behind RWD was a response for sites to work on mobile devices (smaller screens), it does not really take into account mobile device limits, and you mention space/resolution, but download speed, and loading all the same junk as the main site is a huge disadvantage to a large complex site. "
"...most RWDs do cut away at the nav or image resolutions… but you are still loading the same amount of scripts and style sheets (if not a 'mobile.css' EXTRA style sheet). Sometimes RWD can lead to a worse even less optimized mobile experience then if there were just two separate builds."
So basically in most cases users get a much more rich experience from a well designed mobile website than a full downscaled site or responsive solution. (and of course we know that this isn't alway a decision we can make because of budget, time etc.)
3. In some cases, cutting content & features for the mobile experience may work, but users usually still want to be able to access the full site, and thus, there should always be an option to access it on a mobile device.
4. A lot of examples of RWD actually impact the user experience, providing an inconsistent desktop experience. When we scale the browser, the layout changes, content changes and the hierarchy isn't the same anymore. This is more confusing than helpful. Let's continue to experiment and push the boundaries, but we need to think a little more when a client next screams "...and it needs to be responsive". Everything we do should be well designed and thought through. Right now RWD feels more like a bandaid trying to kill two birds with one stone.
Let's keep on experimenting and pushing, but we need to think a little bit more next time when a client screams "...and it needs to be responsive". Who ever said "everything you do should be responsive" isn't exactly right. But everything we do should be well designed and thought through of course. Right now RWD feels more like a bandaid trying to kill two birds with one stone.
We largely neglect the initial user research — We fall into our old comfortable habits of starting with UX (however you want to define the UX part in your company/structure) without actually consulting the user or doing any research. This is the first mistake IMO and impacts the success of the project moving forward — This is at the epicentre of successful UX, not wireframes, or grey boxes with a slightly different navigation etc.
Since this topic is endless, I would like to write more about it in a second blogpost where I will focus more on actual examples. I had a hard time to include it in this blogpost since I just wanted to make you/us think a bit more about this topic instead of trying to cover every single potential project situation.
And to quote JP Gary once again:
"This is one of those discussions where I think everyone has an opinion. And that is the problem, or good thing, RWD is as much of an opinion as any other design choice."
Thank you so much to my friends Matthew Wagerfield (Senior Developer @Fi ) for adding some more fancy words to this blogpost as well as JP Gary (Tech Design Director @ThomsonReuters) for enhancing my post with your personal opinion & feedback from a more large scale tech perspective.
I would like to keep this conversation going on twitter and hope to see you again in my second Part of this blogpost.
This article is inspired as well as a respond to "Inspiration is procrastination’s cousin" by Steven Corona. It's about why Inspiration is a lie, kind of.
Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.
We're always waiting for inspiration as Steven said. We're waiting to get inspired to paint this perfect piece of art, to build the next big thing or come up with the next big advertising idea - Whatever it is, we're always waiting for inspiration, but we shouldn't
Inspiration is like love (I know, now it's getting romantic) - But try to read Steven's blogpost and replace the word INSPIRATION to LOVE - The whole article would still make (almost) perfect sense. Seeking for the perfect love is like seeking for the perfect inspiration. The harder you try, the longer it will take - It's like magic, it's luck.
Now you might say luck is not fair, some have more and some have less. Well, luck is more like an attitude. You might say you can't control your own inspiration or luck, but you can definitely enhance chances and put yourself in positions where inspiration & luck strikes you more often.
Steven said to just start working, there is no inspiration, or it will just hit you while working. It's similar to what I wrote a few months ago about being "self taught" - It's a process, things just hit you while you're moving forward, but things can't hit you while standing still.
When talking about seeking inspiration we first need to stop seeking inspiration. This always involves a lot of risks since we're often work under pressure and we don't have the time to stop thinking about something we actually need to think about — Inspiration will usually strike when you're not forcing it to strike.
Let's just pretend Inspiration exists as a random pattern like in the example I illustrated below. When forcing to find inspiration (see 1.) my path is very linear/narrow and chances are pretty low to hit my inspiration spots, it might not take forever, but definitely a long time.
When I don't try to force inspiration my path is very random (see 2), I go for a walk, I go to the movies, I read a book, I play tennis, I have a whiskey... what ever it is. What happens is basically that I put myself in situations where I'm more likely to get hit by inspiration without even looking for it. Same happens when you just start working even if you don't even know with what exactly or what the goal is. (as Steven said)
I learned this a lot when participating in events like the Cannes YoungLions contest. You get a briefing and you have 24 hours to solve it. Usually you sit down and start thinking, you're waiting for the lightning bolt that will eventually hit you. After 24h of waiting nothing happened.
Imagine you get the briefing, and then you go for a walk, play tennis or do something completely else for 5-10hours - Or you just start working, moving shit around, but don't think about "the big idea" or inspiration.
The risk is, while working under a lot of pressure (24h), to calm yourself and just do something completely different with a solid trust in your instincts. It sounds more reasonable for us to sit down, try to force inspiration and get completely stressed out.
I mean, who has the balls to go for a walk when you know you have 1hour to solve something? Only the ones who know that they will get inspired after 30mins anyway and then they have 30min of productive working to get things done. Fortunately people who do this don't even think about getting inspired, but that's why they get it.
The perfect love will hit you in the least expected moment when you don't think about it at all. Same with inspiration or luck. The ones who try really hard will keep trying while the ones who don't try to force it will earn the fruits. It's a simple attitude.
PS: I'm also writing this blogpost mostly for my self, to remind me to take more risks and stop waiting for inspiration, stop waiting for the perfect moment or stop waiting for anything in general. Waiting sucks.