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Art Director Joined over 5 years ago
Love the simplicity of this tool, really looking forward to the XD plugin.
I think when defining “good vs. great” as metrics, it is vert important to remember:
Your product is only as good as the value people get from using it.
With this as a guiding principle, you can really focus on the relationship that users have with the product. That’s where value is defined. From there you can identify what dimensions of the experience will likely have the greatest impact in getting the user to find that value, and when to emphasize what.
If you consider that you are essentially selling users to “yes” in each interaction—with the question being “Is this interaction fulfilling my needs and expectations for ___?”—you can really focus your efforts on the primary aspects of the product that answer that question in that moment.
In that context, a useful way to define good and great might look something like:
Good: the user’s needs and expectations are met and they are able to achieve their goals without confusion or frustration.
Great: the user’s needs and expectations are met and they are left with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction from using the product.
Here, the distinction lies in how the impression that the user leaves the experience with. And I hold that enough “great enough” interactions within a product compound to what may ultimately be perceived as a “perfect” experience.
Check out Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes. It's an excellent read on designing for inclusion as a general practice and offers perspective on how to approach design considerations under the principle of "solve for one, extend for many".
There are a ton of great resources here as well — mismatch.design
It's a lot more manually intensive to adjust than simply scaling everything down proportionally, but approach it like you would responsive web design. Adjust your layout to the new, smaller viewport keeping as much of your styling as consistent as possible with the larger screen size. Only modify styles, margins/padding values when totally necessary to accommodate the smaller screen size.
If you are already this far into production, it might be useful to work out any adjustments in the live environment. Seeing your larger design considerations in a smaller size may also uncover items that you can adjust for globally that become consistent from size to size.
This is a matter of preference. Even if it is a little jarring to read an all lowercase headline, the article styling is internally consistent and doesn't take away from readability. If anything, you could argue the headlines actually stand out even more because of the lack of caps. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I'd honestly hope that a respectable design company wouldn't arbitrarily inflate the price for some customers just based on their perceived corporate value.
That is exactly the basis that you should adjust pricing around. Design is perception. Perception is value. Zara's logo is valuable to them because it theirs and not someone else's.
It is a direct representation of their brand. So while the perceived value may feel arbitrary to anyone outside of the brand, the price paid is a reflection of that value and not just that of the hours or resources that went into creating it
I am currently looking for my next read, but here are a few of my favorite books from the past couple of months.
Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives by Sarah Williams Goldhagen
New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle
Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes
Metaphors We Live By byGeorge Lakoff and Mark Johnson
I have recently been exploring the synthesis/assimilation end of reading as well. On the topic of note-taking, I have had success with implementing the slip-box/card index approach. Check these couple of resources out, it sounds like it might be useful for what you are looking for.
How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
Create a Zettelkasten for your Notes to Improve Thinking and Writing by Christian Tietze
I'm not seeing how this refutes the idea altogether. While typefaces broadly do render at varying visual heights and sizes for the same specified type size, type generally doesn't change for the user or viewer in the middle of reading something. This article provides a thoughtful example of how to establish vertical rhythm using a specific typeface within a specific context. As a designer, it is on you to make these principles work in context of your own design (if you decide they are appropriate for your design problem).
The point of all of this is that vertical rhythm is important to be mindful of when designing for optimal readability. To do that consistently across a website requires some level of standardization, especially when the same content has to accommodate numerous screen sizes. There is a place for optical judgment, and a place for standardization. Don't be so dismissive of there being a "right" way of approaching the problem. Be a professional, use your empirical judgement.
As you mentioned, good vertical rhythm emerges as a result of appropriate spacing. But just to restate for context—just as text is difficult to read when the measure is too long, dense/long paragraphs of text are difficult to read as well. It is a matter of perceiving figure (text) from ground (page). You need adequate spacing to properly make that distinction so the reader can more easily keep their place when reading.
To answer your question though, just like the golden ratio, the baseline grid is just a tool. Use it or don't, it's just one way of establishing good spacing and structure. Whether the reader can perceive that a baseline grid was used or not depends on how familiar they are with how typography is designed or treated using a baseline grid. If familiarity exists, then sure, they might notice and appreciate it. If not, then it’s not likely it will be noticed. The baseline grid by itself does not have properties that exist outside of the person perceiving it, but as a means to making text more readable, it is certainly valuable.
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