Black-and-white-first design

Erik D. Kennedy offers 7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI (Part-1): a non-artsy primer in digital aesthetics. His second rule is to design first in black and white, which he likens to mobile-first design:

This is a reliable and easy way to keep apps looking “clean” and “simple”. Having too many colors in too many places is a really easy way to screw up clean/simple. B&WF forces you to focus on things like spacing, sizes, and layout first. And those are the primary concerns of a clean and simple design.

He provides a grayscale wireframe of Haraldur Thorleifsson as an example of such an approach:

Black-and-white wireframe by Haraldur Thorleifsson.

Black-and-white wireframe by Haraldur Thorleifsson.

Accessibility: A is blind; B fell down; C has a blood cancer….

Anne Gibson offers this poignant reminder that many people have some disability or reduced capacity – something to mind when composing a website, app, text message, email or chatting, etc.: An Alphabet of Accessibility Issues.

Yet another unsolicited redesign proposal for Wikipedia

Wikipedia is often the subject of unsolicited redesign proposals, as its entry for unsolicited redesigns notes:

Unsolicited redesigns of popular websites are extremely common, especially as student projects or tools to fill out a design portfolio. As a top ten website, Wikipedia has been subject to this phenomenon many times. Since these are redesigns of a site that everyone uses, they often get picked up by blogs [boldface mine].

1910 is a Swedish graphic design and art direction studio working with brands, games and web. Its blog offers this unsolicited redesign proposal for Wikipedia: A Readable Wikipedia.

1910's unsolicited redesign proposal for Wikipedia.

View of the unsolicited redesign proposal for Wikipedia from 1910 Design & Communication.

iWatch mockups

I suppose I have several posts on smartwatches because they involve three of my interests: responsive design, user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design. Here are some luscious presentations of what Apple’s iWatch – which Apple may introduce in 2014 as an accessory to the iPhone – may look like and offer, the first from Thomas Bogner, the second from Todd Hamilton.

Thomas Bogner's iWatch mock-up.

Thomas Bogner’s iWatch mock-up.

Todd Hamilton's iWatch mock-up.

Todd Hamilton’s iWatch mock-up.

Information design: a good graphic transmits information faster than… a PowerPoint display

The graphic below on What Makes [US] Health Care So Expensive? from (20 Feb 2013) is compact and content-rich. How many slides and how much more time would be needed were PowerPoint chosen to transmit the information?

What Makes [US] Health Care So Expensive?

What Makes [US] Health Care So Expensive?

iPod Nano design influence?

A sneeze diverted a recent conversation into discussion of my Bionaire ultrasonic humidifier and how it resembles the old third generation iPod Nano although, unlike the iPod Nano, the humidifier does not lack a simple on/off switch. A suggestion that the iPod influenced the humidifier, if a stretch, may seem less so given that my interlocutor works in the user interface (UI) design field. What do you think?

An Apple iPod Nano 3rd generation and a Bionaire humidifier.

An Apple iPod Nano 3rd generation and a Bionaire humidifier (not to scale as the iPod Nano is relatively enlarged here).