With the acquisition of Next in 1997, a new tool was initiated into the Apple family. Originally known as an enhancement of OpenStep, called NextStep, it caught the attention of the developer community under the name of Interface Builder, as part of the XCode suite. Now about to celebrate its 20th birthday, Interface Builder represents the most powerful IDE to design user interfaces in a development suite. It doesn’t matter if you are writing an app for iOS, Cocoa, tvOS or watchOS; when carefully used, it will save you hundreds of lines of code. For this and other innumerable reasons, many developers, like myself, love this tool.
One of the great things about Grio is that designers and developers often work together on projects. We have lunch together and tell each other jokes while collaborating to solve challenging problems brought to us by our clients. Some projects come with constraints that force the team to be savvy in the way we produce deliverables. As a result, sketches and sketched wireframes are often a suggested deliverable.
I’ve recently made it one of my goals to learn more about UX and design. To that end, I read a book that was highly recommended by our Grio designers, The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, by Lean Buley. The book is written for people who are or want to be UX professionals, with a focus on those who either the only person in their company working on UX or who are in some way UX evangelists in their organizations. Although the intended audience of the book is UX professionals, there were also number of tips and ideas that a company like Grio can find useful. On many projects, especially when budgets and time are tight, Grio takes on the role of UX evangelist for our clients.
I recently gave a tech talk at Grio on the topic of Designing With The Photo: Cropping Methods and Other Techniques. One aspect of this talk covered different ways of seeing photos. I want to share this part of my talk in this blog post.
Positioning an element on a web page can be tricky. You can specify the position of an element using left, right, top and bottom properties. But these properties will not work if the position value is not properly set. The positioning properties also display differently depending on the positioning value.
Recently Grio’s design team has adopted Lean UX that enabled us to expand our design toolbox in the following ways:
- Conduct in-depth Discovery and Research to define the products
- Inject a user-centric design focus
- Incorporate “deep collaboration” internally, as well as with our clients
Grio Design is showing some blog love this week! We’ve been busy making clients happy by solving wicked design problems and producing beautiful interfaces, but I wanted to take some time to talk about user experience design (UX), usability, and how UserTesting can help everyone reap the benefits of usability testing.
Creating Something Out Of Nothing
The task of creating something out of nothing is perhaps the most challenging aspect of a designer’s job. Beginning a new project can elicit apprehension about how to proceed and feel intimidating. It is comparable to a writer sitting at their desk, staring at a blank page, waiting for that inspirational first word or sentence to come forth.
Let’s face it, creating web graphics takes time and is often tedious, especially if you have to slice images from detailed web page layouts. Sometimes it’s even necessary to copy and paste graphics from a Photoshop layout into a new Photoshop document just so you can isolate graphics and save for web. Recently I began experimenting with creating web graphics automatically from Photoshop layers using the new Adobe Generator feature, which was released in Photoshop CC version 14.1 (to check your version launch Photoshop and go to the menu and select Photoshop/About Photoshop and this will open a panel that includes the version number). When Generator is turned on it will monitor the file you’re working on and generate web graphics based on how you name layers. The cool thing is that as you continue to work in Photoshop and make changes Generator will automatically update assets.