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92

If you're a programmer, you're already creative. Programming is one of the most creative of professions (else why would the word "elegant" be such a high term of praise?). So much for that. So let's narrow this down. You want a route to channel your already-existing creativity into the VISUAL arts, rather than the unseen-by-all art of good coding. Like ...


20

My answer is partially related to your question, but what I feel is that I needed motivation to count myself and you need some also. Can you be creative? Absolutely! Use your imagination to change your beliefs; give time to your thoughts. When I was newbie in this field the same things were in my mind but as time passed I came to know that only I can ...


15

Edit: Since you keep pushing :) I will answer directly: Is the style, creativity, & inspiration side of interface design not equally important compared to the content, efficiency, & productivity side of interface development? is it not important to focus on additional fancy style? I have a little problem with the question, as there are ...


14

Yes, this question is incredibly broad. Maybe it's OK as a wiki article. For starters, define 'we'. There are many, many people and roles involved with designing web sites and they all tend to have different common mistakes. To give this question at least one answer, I'll toss out issues I've seen that seem to pop-up over and over again: using wireframes ...


13

Short answer: Form follows function. It's an age-old but often forgotten design principle: how things look or are shaped should follow what they are for. Function shouldn't be twisted or squeezed to fit a form. A user interface is for use and usability, so if you're making compromises on function (usability) in the name of form (aesthetics), you've got ...


12

This isn't really a "graphic design" answer, but you may also want to see if you can change the text. In your examples, I don't think the art of the "install" button is particularly more button-like than your Outlook button. However, the text on it is a well-known verb so it is associated with performing an action. In the same vein, "Launch Outlook" may ...


11

No, those are all way too close. You're suffering from Red Shorts Syndrome. What does that mean? Well, let's say you watch a race, and the guy who won the race wore red shorts. If you want to win a race, do you go out and buy red shorts and assume that wearing them will make you win? No, you look at what the winner did to train himself so that he could win. ...


11

Pixel fonts aren't terribly different from tiny print fonts when you get right down to it*. The one big exception is that you know what the medium will do with pixel fonts -- a very big advantage. There really isn't an ideal pixel grid, per se. Obviously a larger grid gives you more room to work. The smallest types I've seen work successfully are 7px ...


10

I think your questions is not about how to be creative, but rather about how to be able to create visually appealing content. I know many graphic designers who are either good or talented, but are not creative (in the sense of being innovative and thinking out-of-the-box) at all. Now, from my experience, people who are able to produce visually appealing ...


7

To me, it sounds you lack self-confidence. You already master one difficult part: programming, and as Alan already said, programming is a creative job. My tip: keep it simple, learn basic rules about layout and find your own style. This book: The design of sites helped me a lot for the structure of my designs and this book: The idea book helped me for ...


7

Your question scope is a little broad, but let me try to explain how I got into interface design. I just started by working on personal web projects for years, and visiting sites that had tutorials on how to use Photoshop to create certain results, then I started doing a few projects for other people and employers and generally just kept on experimenting and ...


7

You should probably consider establishing upper and lower limits and making the area of concern flash (possibly a red or yellow background with a black line flashing back to the normal waveform) if values go above or below those limits. For example: ETCO2 values above or below baseline (35-45mmHg) HR below 60 (considered bradycardic) or above 120 ...


7

So you have a few options, usually. At the moment, your problem is that lines 1 and 2 look further apart than lines 2 and 3, even though they're not. It's an optical illusion created by the lack of descenders and ascenders between the first two, but not on the second two. The solutions fall into two basic categories: avoiding this situation all together, ...


7

It all depends on the actual use; who uses it to what aim. There are a million alternatives, and what you must bear in mind is what data is ok to be approximately right and what parts need to be exactly right. You could call this the granularity of the data. How the data is fed is of course also a consideration. But mainly: what needs to be how detailed to ...


7

Do interfaces really need to “look good”? Nope. As you state, and prove, some very highly succesful websites that have horrific UIs succeed. Reddit is a great example. As is Craigslist. So no, you do not need a great looking UI to succeed. But a site better have some really amazing content to make it worth getting through a really bad UI. In other ...


6

The answer to this question only exists in the courtroom, and even then, it's a blurry grey line. That's the legal issue, at least. The moral/ethical part is highly subjective heavily dependent on way to many variables to have any meaningful generic answer. Finally, sometimes it makes complete sense to outright steal. Especially in UI design where ...


6

The visual flow of an interface does matter, and here's why: Every interface screen should have a primary action or actions that are to be performed. The visual flow should naturally draw the eye to the primary action. The less distance the eye has to travel, the easier an interface is to comprehend and use. Studies (pdf) on form design bear this out as ...


6

If you can't think of any "etc..." then its possible you don't need any "etc..." in there. We seem to have an in built reaction to fill our graphics so they don't look empty. It takes guts to push out a design that looks simple (even if its not). Something i learnt at design school was to embrace negative-space/white-space/void and to resist the urge to ...


5

As more of a programmer than designer my self I find that it helps my creative process when I "design in the browser" instead of Photoshop. I usually start with HTML and CSS to get my basic layout down and use Photoshop if I need to create buttons or other graphical elements. This also speeds up the process and makes development much faster. When I use ...


5

The key here is affordance - visual clues for the user to be able to determine the behaviour and intended use of something from a distance - before interacting with it - like a flat plate on a door says push and a handle says pull. See http://bit.ly/irzAfP for my own examples of affordance. The main cues are beveled edges and gradient fills for a 3D feel ...


5

These types if Ui designs are commonly created using Adobe Illustrator and then brought into Adobe After Effects for creating the video portion of the elements making them appear "in use". I don't know that they have a particular term or designation in regards to a theme. They are in fact static short film clips and never truly functional UIs. Directors and ...


5

Pen and Paper When freelancing and before many options came out program wise I would always implement the pen and paper concept. The process I chose was to create a graph style list that focused on the task, importance, priority level, difficulty, estimated time to complete task and date completed. When I complete a paper checklist I try to measure my ...


5

This isn't a UX question, but assuming it's going to be moved to Graphic Design, I'll answer it so that my answer is moved with it. You can accomplish this in Photoshop CS4 (not sure about others), by selecting your layer, then going to edit > transform > perspective, and moving the boxes around until you get what you want. You can see in the bottom right ...


5

It also doesn't help that you're working with three four-letter words that all start with the letter 'S'. :) Color is an immediate indicator that something is different. In your first example you really have no idea what any of those buttons do unless you really take the time to pay attention and read them, at a glance, they are far to similar to ...


5

Things that can be used to differentiate buttons: the labels (obviously) color size order location proximity shape/style The more unintended damage an action may cause, the more likely you want to pick from more than just one of those options above. Not knowing the user flow for these commands, I don't know if your suggestion is enough, but it's ...


4

I use two Wireframing tools Balsamiq mockups - Simple wireframing tool, fast to use, cheap, awesome. http://balsamiq.com/products/mockups AxureRP - Complex, very complete, almost a working web app, expensive, awesome. http://www.axure.com Have fun :)


4

Lauren's right. In this specific case, the answer is pretty clear. Your more general question ("How closely ...") is one that's constantly being addressed in many courts in multiple countries and on at least three continents. Once upon a time, the issue was purely one of copyright, and you would certainly be in violation in this case without an explicit, ...


4

Using four shadows instead of two may give a better approximation of an outline effect, if that's what you want: text-shadow: 0 -1px #000, 1px 0 #000, 0 1px #000, -1px 0 #000; A bit surprisingly, it turns out that the W3C actually recommend this hack in their CSS examples.


4

I cannot speak outside of my own limited experience. I worked at a company that designed some of the GUIs for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) products. Actually, that's not quite true... we designed mock-ups used by our software. The final product was going to be shipped to the FAA, and their in-house designers were going to customize it from ...


4

For desktop interfaces (wpf on .net) I use: Normal, MouseOver, Pressed, Selected (and Disabled) And then as different categories check states: Unchecked, Checked, (Indeterminate), and focus states: Unfocused, Focused.



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