Final post…

So… it’s done.  The last obligatory post has been posted, the final blurb of self indulgent content has been splayed across my page.

What has been learned?  Well, prior to starting this blog, observations of things I’d seen or heard about were simply that – no proof that they had taken place at all.  It was simply a stream of thoughts that ultimately would slide from my head into the mayhem that surrounds me.

With this blog challenge I was given a storage room to hold a small number of thoughts.  No longer was a building “nice” – it was more than that.  It was a deeper thought and awareness about how it was built, why it was built and how it worked within it’s locale.

in short – this blog made me think harder and deeper about design around me.

Did I enjoy it?  Yes I certainly did.  This blog taught me to think harder – to think better!

It may not be the best blog in the world but it was fun to do.


What design means to me?

Deign to me is many things.  It’s a creative solution to a problem.  It’s a novel way to recreate something banal.  It can be surrounded by “best practises” that have been institutionally accepted as the norm or it can be something that is simply outrageous – often ending up as an exhibit at “Best Fails” exhibition.

Design elements can be conjured from seeing fonts that I like or don’t like – it can be thrust upon me  in a glance out of a bus window.  It can also be encased in the simple natural surroundings it resides in.

Simply put -design to me is  simply taking a function and simplifying it for the end user.  It’s an effort to enhance the aesthetics of an item.  It’s a challenge to be inherently intuitive.  

 What I have learned about creativity and design?

Creativity is boundless that’s for sure.  But to get the balance of good design within the creation is the ultimate goal.  No point in having something pretty if it falls short on being fit-for-purpose.  Creativity is useless without good design.  Good design is seldom found without creativity.

What I have learned about visual communications?

We generally operate on a visual level first.  In seconds we have decided if we like something or if it appeals to our sense of self.  A well-balanced approach with use of imagery and font type can actually evoke an emotion within us.  A specific colour can make us feel!  The same statement placed in different design elements can conjur different emotions.

What I have learned about user experience?

Very few designers are designing things for themselves.  They have been given a brief to satisfy.  If the end user experience is tainted by bad design – then the overall result is a fail.  People want to be pleased.  Whether they wish to be pleased visually or by the very experience of the new design – we want progress.

Sometimes simplicity is at the heart of a good user experience.  Designers understand that all improvements in design come with a necessity to simplify processes or to enhance emotions positively.



Monday Morning Edition

WooHoo – free imagery from Getty!

The Blog

In our fast-moving lives, it’s easy to sometimes miss out on great things. Before starting a new week on, be sure to check out the features that made a splash on  Hot Off the Press  last week:

Pro tip of the week: Did you know you can…

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As we stand on the ledge of life, we must ask ourselves three questions:

Do we run and leap into the wide ocean?

Do we wait to be pushed only to hit the rocks below?

Or…. do we simply stand still and gaze upon the wave that could have taken us anywhere.

Exhibition Trip

When faced with a “Go to an exhibition” instruction – I went for the closest one (as the crow flies).

I took myself off to the FailBetter exhibition around the corner at Trinity College Science Building.

DSCF5858 - Copy

I deliberately didn’t do any research into this trip in advance so I’d arrive with a blank slate with no expectations.  I’m so glad I did that.

True to form I found myself getting lost in words I found around the room.  Yes of course most of the exhibits were interesting but big words on walls captured my attention more.  Perhaps I found myself wondering more about the belief in success more than the failure of failing.

A footwear Fail

Ok so  I saw some some mountaineer’s boots that didn’t quite take him to the top of Mount Everest.  Hmmm – ok. I failed to get the whole “failure” message at first till I read into the accompanying information sheet about this guys attempt to reach the summit.  It turned out he cut corners with the quality of his boots – choosing an inferior pair as they were lighter and in his opinion made better sense for the purpose they were required for.  Needless to say he never made it to the top in these boots.

It was not the boots that failed.  It was he who failed as he made a bad decision in the planning -process.  This guy learned from his bad decision and later went on to conquer Mount Everest in the proper souped up boots that were designed for purpose.  Perhaps we could take the same lesson with regards to web design.  You get out what you put in.  If you use the correct formats, the advised methodology and dont’ always go for the easiest/cheapest option – the result is bound to be a superior one!

Samuel Beckett  -a fail??

Samuel Beckett once said “to be an artist is to fail, as no other dare fail”.  I think it’s only in failure that we can truly realise the potential within us – to challenge ourselves to further reach for perfection within our craft.

beckett quote


Of course we saw many things at this exhibition – but I didn’t find myself going “wow” as often as I had hoped.  For the most part I believe the underlying message was to do your  research work well – know your customer – know your user/reader and understand what ultimately will be the elements the item will be remembered for.

best fails exhibition trinity college 2014