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Do I need a design system?

leslie

And btw, what is a design system?

I’ll begin to answer those questions with a question. 

Does your business or service produce marketing or communication materials?

If the answer is “yes,” then you need a design system. 

A design system is a thoughtful grouping of elements that, when used together in a prescripted, guided way, visually and verbally represent your brand. They are the ingredients that make up the pie.

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The Importance of Error Messages

Something bad happened. OK.

Error messages can easily be overlooked when a page or web-based tool is being created. Sometimes the placeholders for error messages are still there when a page or tool has been published—this can lead to confusion. Other times, the message appears at the wrong time or with the wrong information.

It’s unfortunate that error messages receive so little attention. Small details matter. They offer a chance to support overall brand and user experience. And they create an opportunity to change a moment of frustration to a bit of delight.

At the Delight Conference in Portland, Jonathan Colman of Facebook suggested  that error messages should explain simply and clearly:

  1. What just happened
  2. Where the problem happened (did the user do something, or did the tool do something)
  3. What to do next and who should do it

With this in mind, here are some examples of error messages and my feedback based on Jonathan’s guidelines: Continue reading

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Vintage Typography and Design

leslie

Aaaah…vacations. We all need them to relax and reenergize. I also need them to get inspired, often through the combination of nature AND city. So what could be better than a road trip through state and national parks with city lodging along the way…? Add my little pup Addy and it’s pure paradise.

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Web Calipers – Part 3 – Techniques and Technology

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This is the third part of our three part series on Web Calipers. The 1st post was on the history and purpose of Web Calipers. The 2nd post was on how to use Web Calipers including short-cut keys and bookmarking instructions. This post will detail some of the code and methodology that went into making Web Calipers possible.

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Web Calipers – Part 2 – How To

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This is the second post in a three part series. Part 1 went over the history of the purpose of Calipers. Part 3 goes over the techniques and technologies that went into creating Web Calipers.

Use But Don’t Install

With most things you use on your computer, you have to install it to use it. But not the Web Calipers. You don’t install them, you simply bookmark them. Here’s how in two quick steps.

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Web Calipers – Part 1 – What Are They?

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This is part one of a three part series on Web Calipers by HB Design. This article concerns the history of Web Calipers, their evolution and what they can do. Part 2 is on How to use them and Part 3 is on the technology that went into creating them. 

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Modern Illumination: The Saint John’s Bible

liana

While recently visiting family in the frigid Midwest I had the opportunity to see the Illuminated Saint John’s Bible exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI. It was commissioned in 1998 by the Saint John’s Abbey and University and took until 2011 to complete. Calligrapher Donald Jackson directed a team of six scribes and seven illuminators to create beautiful images and script across a total of 1,150 pages.

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Designing and Launching the New HBDesign.com From a Design Standpoint

leslie

This is the second post about the launch of our new website. This one comes from my perspective, the right-brained designer experience. Like Bob mentioned in his post, I also found the task daunting (but exhilarating at the same time). 

It’s always a challenge to create internal (unbillable) work, and this project proved to be no different. It was a huge undertaking in terms of developing a concept that effectively speaks to who we are, designing an innovative site within the constraints of our technical specs and honestly, just getting it done. Other considerations were our updating, refreshing and promotional strategies. Continue reading

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WordPress as a CMS

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By now, almost everyone who wants or has a web site has heard about WordPress. Originally a blogging platform, it has evolved into one of the most popular content management systems (CMS). It is relatively easy to install, easy to update, easy to modify via plugins, and has a large user community for support. There are thousands of custom themes available to get you started with a good-looking web site. Continue reading

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Where Do Great Ideas Come From?

leslie

As graphic designers, we are in the idea business. We are constantly asked to generate new ideas. Or alter existing ideas. Anyone can come up with a good idea, but where do truly great ideas come from?

This is my recipe for great ideas. Continue reading

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