What we Learned About a Web in 2011


What we Learned About a Web in 2011

Emotional rescue

In 2011 we schooled that tension is during a heart of any preference we make. From conform to web forms, and spouses to site pointer ups, tension shapes a function by casting a tie-breaking opinion when proof determines suitable options for a consideration. We do what feels right, we go with a gut. By bargain tension we can advantage discernment into user behavior, and pattern improved user interfaces.

– Aarron Walter, User Experience Design Lead, MailChimp

Apps redefining a web

The many critical thing we schooled about web pattern and expansion in 2011 is that some-more and more, a “web” is APIs and services, rather than sites, apps, and pages rendered in web browsers. Take Instagram: it’s one of a many renouned services on a “web” and a whole knowledge is tranquil not by some HTML pages, yet rather by an iPhone app. Twitter and Facebook are usually as popular—if not some-more so—via local apps for several platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, etc.) than they are on a browser-based web. As “web designers,” we have to start realizing that a pursuit is no longer usually to furnish sites, apps, and pages built in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We have to enhance a clarification of what a “web” is. More and more, a “web” is not a platform. It’s a use with clients on many platforms. Wired Magazine called it a “death” of a web. we call it an evolution.

– Jeff Croft, Chief Designerd, nGen Works

You’ve come a prolonged way, baby

In 2011 we schooled to let go of ideals.

It’s an impossibly sparkling time to be formulating things on a web. This year’s advances in browsers, standards, and intelligent meditative have enabled us to finally start to web design. We’re no longer forced to cruise of a web as a digital facsimile of earthy pages, yet rather to finally acquire it as a possess thing.

These new advances can seem strenuous to keep adult with: HTML5! CSS3! Responsive Web Design! Mobile! Web Fonts! Grids! It’s turn unfit to keep adult with everything. And that’s given I’ve schooled to let go and concentration on incrementally folding these new ways of meditative into daily work as we grasp them—while during a same time perplexing not to worry about all being ideal or elucidate a problem “correctly”.

The web is an ever-changing beast, full of flaws and abnormality and experimentation. And that’s given we adore it.

– Dan Cederholm, Founder, SimpleBits

Measure to improve

The many critical thing we learned—a explanation for me—was from Kelly Goto’s pronounce during Webvisions. That is: there are ways to indication and magnitude integrity in a pattern that we can quantify as we observe users regulating designs.

–Dana Chisnell, Consulting Researcher, UsabilityWorks

It’s all about a users

In 2011, browser makers entertainment home a pivotal summary that a web standards village has promoted for years. With frequent, wordless browser updates quick apropos a norm, and with browsers popping adult on some-more and some-more devices, designers and developers contingency relinquish a suspicion that we finely control a user’s knowledge and instead contingency work to safeguard that a site will gracefully adjust to any series of circumstances. The doubt for 2012 is: how can we best assistance a users know a changes in use that they will confront as we adjust to building single, manageable sites?

– Kimberly Blessing, Senior Software Architect, Comcast Interactive Media

Respect complexity

If a singular suspicion has followed me around this year, from politics to art and work to friendships, it’s been this one: “it’s some-more difficult than that.”

It’s especially critical to find simplicity, and generally to equivocate origination things tough to use or understand. But if we wish to make things that are usefully elementary yet being truncated or simplistic, we have to commend and honour complexity—both in a pattern problems we address, and in a proceed we do a work.

–Erin Kissane, Editor of Contents magazine, Content Strategist during Brain Traffic

Exciting times

The year 2011 finished it transparent that we’re in an accelerating proviso of web development, with vast changes entrance and function on several fronts. Markup, CSS, browser support, a forms of inclination in common use, methods of design—it’s all quick changing, with hurdles and opportunities galore. Exciting times!

– Eric Meyer, Co-founder, An Event Apart

We’re all in this together

It’s all about community

I’ve discovered, and am still discovering, usually how amazing, precious, and endearing a web village is. And how impossibly propitious we am to be a partial of it.

– Cameron Moll, Founder, Authentic Jobs

We who are web designers

I wrote We, Who are Web Designers for myself, yet published it in a wish that it competence meant something to other folks, too. we wrote it as a jubilee of all we value in a people around me. we wrote it as a proceed of enunciating given we cruise a contention is usually a tiny bit well-developed in a behavior. We share some-more for giveaway than any other contention we know, effectively giving divided a hard-earned lessons, techniques, mistakes, successes, and tools. we grew into being a web engineer given of it, and common some of my possess training given of it. What we schooled again in 2011 is that I’m not alone in deliberation this evil altered and value protecting. we schooled that a generosity, enthusiasm, confidence, and above all, bravery to combine not compete, is a best use value propagating to other professions as they join us in building a web. we satisfied that some of my colleagues cruise that, too, and was impressed by a response. It was sensitively lovely and nourishing, like a play of prohibited soup on a bitterly cold day, and it reminded me to postponement now and again to acknowledge a extraordinary people we see by a screen, any day.

–Jon Tan, Designer, Analog

Greater than a sum of a parts

It’s easy to forget that good pattern is bigger than well-chosen typefaces, pointy icons, agreeable tone palettes, and pixel-perfect grid systems. Those are merely some of a mixture that support a good design. This past year, I’ve led some-more operative sessions, had some-more discussions, simplified some-more wireframes, edited some-more collaborative Google docs, responded to some-more Basecamp posts, combined some-more stories, and spent reduction time in Photoshop and Illustrator than we ever have before. I’m a improved engineer for it.

I’m regularly reminded that a best pattern connects people.

– Dan Mall, Design Director, Big Spaceship

Mission accomplished?

About a year ago, around a time we quit freelancing, we remember meditative “Is this all value it?” Designers were relocating sky and earth, perplexing to make a hole in a proceed vast companies see design. Design was (in my opinion) underrated and never got a honour it deserved. People seemed to cruise it was a rubbish of time, they seemed to cruise usually stealing something to work was enough.

Today, all has changed. Corporations vast and tiny are employing designers like crazy. Knowing we have a full-time job, people still hit me seeking if we know any designers looking for a job. Lately my respond has always been disappointing, as many of a freelancers we know got a job.

Most websites and apps rising currently all are beautifully designed with care. People comprehend pattern isn’t usually something we slap on your product right before it ships, yet is something we take into comment from day one.

So, goal accomplished? Can we stop pulling for good design? No. We altered a world, yet can’t start slacking now. We need to remind them any singular day about a value of design, and (more importantly) we need to prepared a subsequent era of designers to follow a lead.

Take some time to blog more, respond to emails from students with questions about design, make certain people know you’re receptive and peaceful to assistance them out.

It won’t make we rich, yet afterwards again, if you’re doing this for a income we competence wish to recur your profession.

–Tim Van Damme, Designer

Keeping it real

The many critical thing we schooled is that web pattern is genuine design, and people outward of a attention get it.

Brooklyn Beta was full of speakers from a fields of education, health care, and tellurian services—begging for a help, to make a star better.

Some folks still hear a “web” modifier and cruise “amateur,” yet it’s transparent that many people commend us as pattern professionals.

As we grow into this recognition, let’s remember a roots as self-educated hustlers, yet also work tough to keep pattern traditions alive and respect those whose work paved a proceed for pattern solutions we competence take for granted.

Let’s uncover a star what a designed destiny looks like. And while we’re during it, let’s uncover a star what a veteran village looks like too.

– Tim Brown, Type Manager, Adobe Typekit

All together now

It is critical to acquire your passion, conclude your purpose, encourage your promise, and rivet in pursuits that support these ideals. On your journey, bond with supportive, creative, and fun people and together emanate a web, knowledge a web, and be a web. For that is what a web truly is—people collaborating and training together.

–Leslie Jensen-Inman, Maker of Awesomeness

Talkin’ hitch my inspiration

My standout doctrine this year has been a significance of operative with others (and putting finish faith in gifted people). The luminosity that comes from a people around me is a consistent source of inspiration. It drives me even some-more to approximate myself with as many illusory artistic people as possible.

–Dan Rubin, Founder / Creative Director, webgraph, Creative Director, MOO

We’re all origination it adult as we go along

Doing a startup is unequivocally hard—you constantly have to do things you’ve never finished before. The biggest doctrine we schooled is that any other startup is in a same position—no one unequivocally knows what they are doing, and as a outcome other founders are unequivocally peaceful to assistance we figure things out. That’s given it is critical to approximate yourself with other startups: startup enlightenment is pay-it-forward, so some-more mature startups will give we recommendation awaiting no some-more than that you’ll one day do a same for newer startups progressing in a process.

– Natalie Downe, Co-founder, Lanyrd.com

Real designers ship

Iteration nation

The many critical thing we schooled about web and communication pattern in 2011? That iteration is aristocrat and that soundness should never be achieved—shipping it is some-more critical than perplexing to ideal it forever behind a scenes. It’s improved to recover with a plain core set of facilities and afterwards iterate and supplement as time or users obligate it. By rising a product, website or what have we into a public, we put a vigour on to quick make it improved as time goes by. You can aim for perfection, yet we should never strech it. It can always be better.

–Naz Hamid, Principal, Weightshift

Know your audience

The many critical thing I’ve schooled is to not omit your audience. As your website becomes famous online it can grow from a tiny personal plan to a vast village website. As a result, it isn’t usually about we anymore. It is scold to keep lane of what readers like and don’t like on a project. For example, we can do polls or ask proceed questions on amicable networks to get feedback from readers. And when we make a change to your layout, we can viewpoint your web opposite to see if a “bounce rate” commission goes adult or down, that helps to see if there is a problem or not on a website.

Clearly, it is unfit to greatfully any singular person. However, it is about anticipating a change and gratifying your ubiquitous audience.

– Adriana de Barros, Founder, Scene 360

An vigilant in suit stays in motion

Making is momentum. Everything we make is a step toward origination something else. Making your initial product is a lot like finishing your initial novel. Like many initial novels, it will many expected collect dirt in a shoebox while we pierce on to improved and improved work. Later, when your masterpieces come, you’ll always know that a puzzling dreck in that dry aged shoebox—or that wonky web app that nobody ever used—made it all possible.

–Chris Fahey, Co-founder, Behavior

Vision quest

Explore—go off into a craziest recesses of communication models you’d like to see.

Prototype them. Get them out of your head, off paper, out of Photoshop and into operative applications as quick as possible.

Nothing can be motionless yet touching it.

Emotion and nostalgia generally trump a ability to rationally know how something will feel in practice.

Even if we finish adult behind where we started, you’ll have illuminated adult a entirety of a “Zelda map” of possibilities, as it were. You’ll know a context of your choice in a incomparable whole, and your work will be decidedly some-more assured for doing so.

– Craig Mod, Designer, Flipboard

Keep a faith, persperate a tiny stuff

The year 2011 was a poignant miracle in my life. In serve to a new pursuit and a new house, we have schooled new things in pattern as well. Here are some of a new and aged yet precious things we have schooled that we would like to share with you:

  • The grid is king! Once we know how to upsurge your pattern along a lines of a grid system, we will never go back.
  • Design in matrix or any other stretchable format as many as we can. You never know what shade fortitude we will be traffic with next.
  • Stay true to a pattern complement opposite a incomparable mainframe.
  • Helvetica and Georgia are not a usually fonts in a basket. Using other fonts can strew a new light on your design. Typekit, Google Fonts—come on—you’ve got no excuse.
  • Kind of aged news yet “God is in a details.”

– Ali Ali, User Experience Designer, Effective UI

Focus your gaze

In 2011, it was apparent that to be rival as a freelance engineer in a tough economy, we indispensable to concentration on one thing. By squeezing my focus, I’ve turn a dilettante in my field, that creates me some-more essential as a designer.

– Alan Houser, Owner, Creative Component

Change is good, donkey

Never get too comfortable.

I was reminded of this with a Google redesign(s) in 2011. Even yet they weren’t a sum startle (it was about time), they still finished me wholly uncomfortable.

This is, in part, given Google is as executive to stealing around currently as a U.S. Interstate Highway System once was. And when a change is made, it impacts, in a essential way, a proceed we navigate.

Back then, in 1926 specifically, Bureau of Public Roads employee, Edwin W. James, came adult with what we currently know as a widespread numbering system. Prior to that, people relied on a tone coding complement to know where they were, and where they were going. Telephone poles lined highways and tone bands ringed those poles, analogous to particular trails opposite a country. As trails expanded, write poles became embellished from a belligerent up, 15 feet high, so perplexing to heed one tone from a subsequent became a dangerous and treacherous distraction.

E.W. James altered that. He motionless all north/south highways would be numbered with peculiar numbers; all east/west numbers would have even numbers; and numbers would boost as we go easterly and north. The new complement had a advantage of not usually being expandable (numbers are infinite; poles are not) yet it also authorised a engineer to figure out where he was during any given time formed on an intersection.

James gave navigation a shape, usually like Google gave navigation a shape. When a figure changed—both in 1926 and 2011—people had to adjust. Change is good; it usually takes time to adjust to it. Never get too comfortable. Good change is always around a corner.

– Liz Danzico, Chair, MFA Interaction Design, School of Visual Arts

Mobile first

Progressive encouragement loves mobile first

This year we schooled that “mobile first” is not usually a intelligent plan for improved portion your users, yet it is also an easier proceed to rise and falls ideally in line with a on-going encouragement philosophy.

– Aaron Gustafson, Author, Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with
Progressive Enhancement

Understand intent

In 2011, we fell in adore with complexity in mobile interfaces. A tiny shade doesn’t vigilance a enterprise to do less. Removing mobile facilities given “it’s usually a phone” is like an author stealing chapters given “it’s usually a paperback.” It confuses context with intent. Mobile apps and websites have to be some-more than lite chronicle of their desktop counterparts; they should have a conceptually same calm and facilities as other platforms. Our pursuit isn’t to mislay complexity yet to make formidable information accessible—a plea for a tiny screen, yet an critical one.

We do all on a phones now—some some-more than others: 25 percent of mobile internauts in a US never or frequency use a desktop. For those folks, if calm isn’t permitted on mobile, it’s simply not permitted during all. The genuine doubt isn’t what to take out of a mobile app, yet what to add. These sensor-laden inclination can do some-more than a desktop, and a apps and websites have to simulate that.

– Josh Clark, Author, Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps

The need for speed

In 2011, we became dependant to speed. No, not that kind of speed. Speed of web expansion iteration and release. Most of my year was spent in a startup we engineered to be quick from day one. During that time, we schooled a value of creating a Command Line Interface (CLI) for all we did. we became a modify to logic-less templates that entirely detached back-end and front-end logic. And we spent hours a day staring during real-time views of what people were doing on a site and iterating quick formed on what we saw. All in a seductiveness of speed.

Why? A web concentration is a “living” thing and all vital things are ceaselessly changing from cradle to grave. The faster they can respond, a improved they can adjust to change. Changes in technology, in people’s behaviors, and in business. Setting yourself adult to be quick adult front allows we to pierce with a web instead of being left behind it and that’s flattering critical to me.

– Luke Wroblewski, Author, Mobile First

The demon is in a data

This year we spent a lot of time on stealing accurate mobile web statistics. Web developers need to know that browsers their mobile users use, and in that ratios. That information is unequivocally tough to get, and even if we do get it, it turns out to be deficient during best.

Currently we use StatCounter as my categorical source of information given they’re a usually association that gives divided mobile browser stats for free, and that’s peaceful to listen to virtuoso recommendation from people who know a mobile browser marketplace (that would be me).

StatCounter suffers from self-selecting disposition (websites have to pointer adult for a use in sequence to be counted) and presumably also a Western disposition (more Western websites pointer adult than those from a building world). So one could contend that their stats are not good enough.

Still, they’re a usually ones available, so I’ve motionless to use them anyway. To anyone who disagrees we say: give me improved (or during slightest different) stats. NetMarketShare has some, yet they finished some methodological decisions we remonstrate with, and they don’t concede we to puncture deeper into their stats (unless we compensate them, we believe). Other than that there are simply no sources.

Besides, there is a elemental problem of what constitutes a “smartphone.” Basically a stream clarification is in bad need of an overhaul, yet all stat-gathering entities out there, also those that give us sales marketplace shares, have to determine on a new definition.

Right now several phone OSs such as S40 and Brew, who have decent (though not great) browsers, are not counted as smartphones, while others such as Symbian and Windows Mobile, who have equally decent browsers, are. That’s an radically capricious preference that doesn’t make many clarity any more—especially not for web developers.

We need to know about all a systems that are means to run a decent browser, either they’re called “smartphones” or “feature phones.” Sadly, entertainment this information is going to be a outrageous job, and I’m not certain if we can do it on my own. Besides, we simply don’t know where to start.

So that’s what we found out this year. Not utterly sexy, yet we badly need a data.

–Peter-Paul Koch, Mobile Platform Strategist

Can we get an Amen?

That rumbling we’ve been discussion in a stretch suggested itself to be a full-blown bolt of mobile inclination of all breeds. Sure, Luke Wroblewski’s been articulate about it for years, yet for me, 2011 was a year it became transparent transparent that all that things we put onto web pages has to work on all demeanour of screens and browsers. And not usually tolerably, yet unequivocally well. Of course, this was always a case, yet a fact is we’ve been branch a blind eye and origination 960-pixel-wide pages for a handful of browsers.

The Breaking Development discussion in Nashville was my wake-up call. we had vastly underestimated a crowd and accumulation of inclination as good as all a hurdles in stealing it right. It was a punch in a stomach and a call to action. Since afterwards I’ve been immersing myself in a papers of a Future Friendly squad and lifting a “Mobile first!” conflict cry. There is still so many to learn. These are sparkling times!

– Jennifer Robbins, Senior Interaction Designer and Author; O’Reilly Media

The good app migration

One of a biggest shifts I’ve beheld in 2011 is that websites are apropos some-more and some-more “app-like.”

Take Hipster.com for example. You’re greeted by a visible acquire page with a transparent call to action. You’re afterwards brought into a content-dominated interface with simple, minimal controls. It’s not a duplicate of a Hipster app, yet it takes a hint of that knowledge and recreates it for a web.

Or take a new Path.com, that has roughly no web knowledge during a impulse solely around a endpoints, that are presented in a unequivocally focused, interactive, app-like way. While we could disagree that it’s an forgive for building a “real” website, there’s something about these app-like websites that is constrained to me.

They are focused. They are elegant. They are visual. They douse we in content. They are dynamic.

As a mobile startup founder, we demeanour brazen to holding this courtesy into 2012 as we re-imagine a Foodspotting web experience, seeking myself what a some-more “app-like” Foodspotting website competence demeanour like!

– Alexa Andrzejewski, Founder CEO, Foodspotting

Tools of a trade?

IE? Oh my!

In 2011 we schooled that if you’re not conceptualizing for an optimal knowledge in Internet Explorer in 2011 you’re not conceptualizing for a essential knowledge in 2012…or during slightest withdrawal some-more than half a distinction on a table. It doesn’t matter if we determine or are eager about this fact. Facts, interestingly enough, are stubbornly indiscriminate.

–Andy Rutledge, Author, Design Professionalism, Publisher, Design View

Flash forward

The many critical thing we schooled about web and communication pattern in 2011 is that a people who bloviated several years ago about how Flash calm competence not be simply ocular in a destiny could not have been some-more correct.

– Mike Davidson, CEO, Newsvine

Wash, rinse, repeat

I keep carrying to learn a same lessons over and over again: HTML5 is like any other cold apparatus ever invented: it is usually as good as a people who are regulating it.

– Lisa Holton, Founder, Fourth Story Media

Responsive web design: we’ve usually usually begun

Great expectations

The suspicion that websites should be cleverly ductile things—adaptable and manageable to a extended continuum of uses and devices, many variable by a strange builders—is back, and it’s here to stay. Responsive web pattern is doing a drifting jump opposite a Kano model from “excitement generator” to “basic expectation,” with users and clients entrance to pattern it baked in from day one, not layered on after a fact. Explosive direct for an ever-expanding star of mobile and lightweight computing inclination competence be pushing a expansion of exclusive apps, yet it’s also pushing direct for a manageable web. The web stays a baseline; a one tried-and-true proceed to get yourself in front of a broadest assembly possible, and a junction hankie that ties opposite forms of entrance to a same use together. There competence be “an app for that,” yet there will always be a web for everything. And a manageable mindset prepares we to surpass in that reality.

– David Sleight, Principal, Stuntbox LLC

Never stop learning

For us, 2011 has been all about manageable web design. Unlike many pattern trends, coding techniques, or workflow approaches, manageable pattern has an evident certain impact on users. This unequivocally sets it detached as something some-more than a elementary trend or technique. It’s now a elemental principle of web design.

With that, there is so many now to explore, learn and master. We’ve been anticipating new ways to hoop images, advertisements, and redeeming loading within a pages. We’ve schooled that anything promoted by email will outcome in a high suit of responses around a phone or tablet. We’ve had to learn that a core does not allot a intent.

We’ve especially schooled how many we, as an industry, don’t know. And how many some-more there is to learn. That’s utterly exciting.

– Drew McLellan, Director Senior Developer, edgeofmyseat.com

It’s not about a grid

Best doctrine of 2011? we found a blank square for bargain manageable web design—sitting between Ethan Marcotte and Andy Clarke in a corridor of An Event Apart Boston.

I was already sole on a suspicion of manageable design, yet struggled to figure out how to do it. Writing a CSS was easy enough, yet reckoning out what to do with it was not. we could suppose how we competence wish columns to cringe and grow, to cocktail from few to many. But we couldn’t figure out what that meant for a altogether design. What about a things that lived inside those columns? we couldn’t figure out how to pattern what happened to a calm when a shade distance changed.

Getting a possibility to demeanour during a prototypes Ethan and Andy were any operative on unbarred it all. we could see how it is about a content, not a grid. The pivotal lies in reckoning out how pieces of calm morph from one figure to another, before last a altogether page layout. And in meditative about how calm should be laid out on a page during any size, yet any courtesy for a predefined blueprint formula library. With that vision, we was means to go behind home and pattern a manageable site to be unapproachable of.

2011 was a year we all went from meditative “that HTML5 things seems cool—maybe I’ll use it later,” and “there are some engaging new ideas floating around that we should unequivocally spend some time checking out” to “we need to totally revamp a routine to put mobile first, rethink content, pattern responsively, use genuine typography, and frame out all this aged crap. And we need to hurry!”

– Jen Simmons, Designer and Host, The Web Ahead

Build accessibility in, ftw

In 2011, we played some-more with video and any plan was an instance of how many easier, cheaper, and smoother it is to cruise accessibility from a commencement of a plan instead of later. For example, one plan was adding accessibility to an existent video. Because of a proceed a video was designed, a bid compulsory and a finish outcome was distant from optimal. Conversely, for another video plan we suspicion about accessibility adult front and so benefited from things like: deliberation a position of captions when framing a shots, integrating many of a critical visible information within a categorical audio script, and formulation for additional audio outline so we could use a same heading record for a audio described version. (See W3C Multimedia Accessibility FAQ and WCAG Guideline 1.2.)

I schooled about accessibility support in video modifying tools, and wished for more—it would have saved a lot of time and effort. Several designers and developers we talked to in 2011 are job for improved accessibility support in a collection they use to pattern a user knowledge of websites and apps. (See ATAG 2.0)

I’ve been vehement about a accessibility intensity of technologies that continued to rise in 2011—for example, integrated media that will support captioning, permitted graphics with canvas, and energetic designs regulating WAI-ARIA. I’m confident that 2012 will see some-more caring of accessibility in web pattern and development, and it will fuel origination to advantage everyone.

– Shawn Henry, Accessibility Evangelist

Have your cake and eat it too

From a quite business perspective, zero in 2011 influenced how we sell digital services some-more than a appearance and adoption of manageable design. Mobile pattern has always been a bit of a maze for many people we pronounce to. They cruise they need dedicated apps, mobile-specific styles and calm curation. All of it. Yet, they usually have a bill for a website. When we deliver them to a concepts of manageable design, their eyes light adult like a child on Christmas morning. “You meant we can use a same codebase and a calm will reformat magically to fit any device or orientation? Wow!” It has finished a “can we means Happy Cog?” review to a “How can we NOT means Happy Cog” conversation.

– Greg Hoy, President, Eastern Operations,
Happy Cog

Context is king

The many critical thing that 2011 taught me about web pattern is that earthy context of use can no longer be insincere by platform, usually conscious context can. For a past integrate of years, we have gotten into a robe of supposed that mobile means on-the-go, desktop denotes a desk, and inscription is on a toilet. But increasingly a lines are blurring on where inclination are being used and how they’re being used in unison. This year we have schooled to see inclination as plcae dubious and instead associate them with purpose—I wish to check (mobile), we wish to conduct (desktop), we wish to douse (tablet). This change divided from pattern context toward biased context will reshape a proceed we pattern use opposite and between devices, to improved support user goals and eventually impersonate analog collection woven into a earthy spaces.

– Whitney Hess, UX Designer

Walk this way

Lose your balance—then locate it. Lose your balance—then locate it. When we walk, we regularly and intentionally make a choice to trade fortitude for progress. You lift one feet and locate your weight on a other.

2011 was a year of doubt, change, and renovation for me, all in a name of trade fortitude for progress. Many people common in feelings of doubt over a economy—but all knowledge is specific, so I’ll make this personal.

This year, we took on a daunting plea of essay a book. As we began to outline my objectives and thesis, we started to doubt a imagination we took for granted—but found discourse, reassurance, and support in a community. Now that a recover date nears, we know some-more than we did when we began a essay process. we have improved answers…but distant some-more questions.

That intimidating one-upmanship between questions and answers threatens how we residence other communication hurdles too. New approaches to a problems we once battled like informed enemies have unseated any emergence of methodology and transposed it with swapping moments of doubt and clarity.

Responsive pattern and adaptive calm plea a proceed I’ve prolonged managed and combined content—but pleasure me with possibility! Location and other metadata have grown to benefaction reliable dilemmas—but disturb me with a opportunities of context! we haven’t felt such a clarity of a opposite in several years, yet we am silly to stagger during a hill with others who are formulating a complicated web.

And that’s what we take from 2011. Like so many people opposite so many industries, any clarity we had of technical comfort and coherence is gone. But my faithfulness to past knowledge was Stockholm Syndrome. I’m still jolt off a shackles, yet I’m impossibly vehement for what’s next; and next, for me, is progress.

– Margot Bloomstein, Principal of Appropriate, Inc., Author, Content Strategy during Work (2012)

Change is a usually constant

Whoever suspicion we’d demeanour behind during a days of IE6 wrangling as a easier time, when a few redeeming styles and hacks could solve all a problems? Now we’ve got countless phones and tablets, any with their possess puzzling quirks and constraints, and no reasonable proceed to exam on all of them. The War for Web Standards has some-more or reduction been won on desktops, yet it’s impractical to move that quarrel to a mobile world. My One Big Take Away of 2011 is that communication design, like a rest of a universe, naturally moves toward a state of limit entropy. Fight a good fight, yet always be prepared to learn something new.

– Adam Parks, Design Director, BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn

Tear down a apartment walls

In this dauntless new multi-device star we’re all conceptualizing for, I’m assured some-more than ever that designers and developers need to be operative some-more closely together. we spent a infancy of my year on a vast manageable pattern project, where a normal “design team” and “development team” order didn’t exist. We satisfied that a particular tools—a pattern app on one hand, HTML/CSS on a other—can’t pattern over a desktop yet assistance from a other. Starting with a mockup, contrast ideas in prototypes, bringing elements behind into Photoshop for serve refinement—that kind of “back and forth” worked impossibly good for us, and I’ll be looking to move that collaborative proceed into my destiny work.

– Ethan Marcotte, Independent Designer, Developer, and Ragamuffin

Challenge in constraints

Up to a certain point, 2011 has altered my proceed of meditative when conceptualizing for a web, given of a ever-emerging mobile web. While conceptualizing we try to keep in mind that a mobile chronicle of my pattern is possible. Depending on a form of site/project, and a few other parameters, it could go as distant as formulating a entirely manageable design. When this is a case, my common meditative trail needs a lot of adaption, given we tend to forget bounds and stipulations for a bit when I’m in a core of my origination process, given it has lead me to my many artistic and successful designs. Certain simple criteria are easy to keep in mind during all times, even in a core of my process, yet smaller obstacles are kept as a CSS plea for me to try to solve after on. This proceed we also force myself to cruise some-more creatively during a coding process, and we try to pull bounds as well. With a entirely manageable design, we need to keep some-more of these bounds and stipulations in a behind of my head, and so it creates my standard proceed of conceptualizing that I’m so used to many harder. The plea lays of march in anticipating a right change between gripping some simple stipulations during a behind of your head, while still giving yourself adequate leisure to try to emanate a singular design. The fact that we also can supplement a turn of animation in a designs is another cause that plays a purpose in this proceed opposite proceed of thinking.

– Veerle Pieters, Graphic / Web Designer

The elephant has left a building

The biggest thing

2011 was a year of majority for a web. Finally, things that used to be usually a dream can be achieved with reduction onslaught and some-more elegance. There was extensive origination this year; “responsive design” altered my pattern routine and brought out a many artistic work I’ve seen from my peers in years.

Despite all this maturity, some-more than anything, this year taught me that calm is, and always will be, king. New methods for elucidate problems are nice, yet calm will always be a many critical part on a web.

–Noël Jackson, Designer and Founder, Exquisite

Not going to take it any more

One vast takeaway for 2011 was to finally put my feet down with my clients and stop conceptualizing yet before content. Reading, digesting, and bargain a objectives of any square of calm totally changes a proceed we work as a designer. Designing with manikin calm now feels like a hulk step backwards.

– Sarah Parmenter, User Interface Designer

Create once, tell everywhere

Listening to Luke Wroblewski (Mobile First), Jeremy Keith (HTML5 for Web Designers), and Ethan Marcotte (Responsive Design) pronounce during 2011’s initial An Event Apart in Seattle was a watershed eventuality for me. Content plan unexpected went from “you should do this” to a five-alarm imperative. With a appearance of HTML5 and manageable design, as good as a worldwide mobile regime (finally here!), calm has taken core stage: how will we prepared a calm for cross-platform smoothness yet carrying to reconstruct it any time? The answer, of course, is to structure a calm so we can emanate it once, afterwards tell it everywhere. To do that, we need to find formula new ways to combine opposite disciplines; and that’s what I’ll be looking for in 2012!

– Kristina Halvorson, Founder,
Brain Traffic


What blew my mind this year was when we satisfied that a problems we have with mobile and a problems we have with calm government systems are the same problem. It’s been transparent to me for a while that we need to yield improved interfaces and workflows to calm creators—if we wish to tell good content, we’ve got to give people a collection to do it. What we didn’t comprehend until this year is doing that solves a lot of problems for mobile, too.

If we’re going to attain in edition calm onto a million opposite new inclination and formats and platforms, we need interfaces that will assistance beam calm creators on how to write and structure their calm for reuse. When we pronounce about mobile, we mostly concentration on a front finish interactions, design, and code, yet what we satisfied this year is that a resolution to many problems with mobile lives proceed serve down a stack, in a CMS.

– Karen McGrane, Managing Partner, Bond Art + Science

What’s a book?

2011 was a year that, after many resistance, we started reading on my iPhone. we didn’t like a suspicion of erasing a designer’s work in preference of a iBook—or Kindle app—regulated type. we missed carrying a pleasing covers accoutre my nightstand. we was disturbed about what we was doing to writers—a vital concern, saying as we am one. The outcome was impossibly positive, from a user’s perspective. First of all, we can contend that my expenditure skyrocketed: we started reading 4 and 5 and afterwards 6 books a month. we schooled more: given it was so handy, we started Googling terms and phrases that we didn’t know or wanted to know some-more about. And we did finish adult ancillary writers: we downloaded Kindle Singles and self-published ebooks from people who had never seen—and never would see—six-figure advances. But my plea to us—to all of us—is to make this knowledge even better. How can we use this record to get some-more people reading, to compensate writers fairly, to give designers a new place to play? How can we get even some-more out of a difference we read? I’m looking brazen to saying some answers in 2012.

– Alissa Walker, Writer

Keeping it real

It’s all about a experience

The many critical thing I’ve (re)learned this year is that a biggest use in life aren’t designed during all. I’ve spent reduction time on blogs and Twitter and some-more time examination sunrises in pleasing places. I’ve spooky reduction over gadgets and collection and some-more over anticipating a right booze to go with a good meal. I’ve remembered that we adore my work some-more when it isn’t also my life. All of these things make me some-more patient, some-more optimistic, and some-more inspired…which can usually make me improved during what we do.

– Kim Goodwin, Author, Designing for a Digital Age