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Lead Designer Joined almost 8 years ago
At a previous job we software called Font Reserve. You install it on a server and individual computers as well. It worked really well because you could login to the admin account and drop new fonts on there that everyone would have access to.
They got bought out pretty quick by Extensis because it was a great tool. I think the Universal Type Server is what it became. Not sure if it requires an actual server still
I honestly didn't view this as "Didn't make the cut." What I see is exploration, research and discussion. A true testament to Google's thought process. You need to go through trial and error and open discussion to arrive at a common consensus. Most don't have that luxury, but it's great to see that someone does.
I've worked with a lot of developers and having to hand off designs. It needs to be collaborative. It depends on what you are trying to solve. Don't expect your design to be pixel perfect. As a designer you should allow the developer to help solve the problem and communicate what you are trying to achieve. Identify where it falls apart and why it matters. If you can get them on board with what to look for, they start fixing those problems ahead of your review so you can start solving bigger problems that help usability. Sometimes you need a lot of mockups. Sometimes you can trust your dev to make it better. Do as many mockups as you need to illustrate your point. The more you involve them in the problem, the better they will be at helping you solve the problem.
Chris, Thanks for being a nice guy but you need more fart jokes and sound effects on the shop talk show!
Who are your heroes, web or otherwise, that you look to for inspiration?
I prefer modern looking fonts to give you a classic look. I don't find that keeping a list of classic fonts in my pocket helps me. I am always on the look out for something new and modern.
I say look for fonts that are work-horse fonts. The kind that you can use over and over with added value without causing a lot of distraction.
I love tall fonts like Garage, Alternate and League because they fit a specific need. Gotham, Proxima and Futura are also great for their simplicity but the can be overused. Tisa and Adelle are very readable serifs that can have a modern look and conservative feel.
Something calm like Beck Morning Phase when I don't know where I am headed just yet and need to explore ideas. http://www.rdio.com/artist/Beck/album/Morning_Phase/
When I know where I am going I might listen to something more upbeat or something poppy.
In the office everyone wears headphones so it's quite a different experience having the music in your ear vs at home where I can put it in the background.
I started out as a designer who could build simple websites. The more I got into it, the more I liked it. The more I liked it, the more I found there are people that are better than me at it. At that point, I realized I was neglecting the design aspect. I now try to surrounded myself with developers so I could learn from them. I primarily design but I love to get in the code as well.
To answer your question, I think there is a huge benefit to filling a mixed role because I've come across several developers who can't design. You need to be comfortable with your role as a designer first or else you start going down the road of learning to be a great dev who kind of knows design and not the other way around. At that point, yes, your talents as a designer could get watered down if you lack the passion to return to the design side of things.
I think it depends on how much content and the experience your or your client wants your users to have. For Blogs I tend to use a much narrower grid on desktop because I don't want the user to have to read all the way across the screen. For a complicated dashboard/login I've gone as wide as 1140 because there was a lot of stuff that needed a place. I think it's important to define what your content is first. If all you are building is one type of site, then find a grid that is flexible enough to allow you to change it when you have the need.
Once we determine where we are going I like to use Guide Guide to help figure out my 12 column grid. http://guideguide.me/ Then we'll adjust the Foundation Zurb grid to accommodate.
I used UXPin for several projects. It has several nice features. The ability to add animations and transitions is great to demo for your team or a client. Also being able to design for mobile break points is pretty nice as well. If you open up the demo link on your phone you will see the phone break point, etc. They also have a lot of prebuilt libraries you can use to your advantage. Some are UI and icon libraries similar to Foundation Zurb and some are libraries with prebuilt layouts like login screens etc.
What I don't like is that it still feels like it has some bugs to work out. It's not nearly as fluid as adobe products. There are a ton of nice looking features, but it doesn't quite perform like I expect. Some times the 'Undo' feature doesn't work correctly, drag to duplicate is a little janky, the canvas is always top left, the grid is kind of funky to set, client commenting didn't quite work as expected, the whole site crashed for like half a day when I needed it.
I have not used Invision but I do actually like UXPin quite a bit even through it's faults. I just feel like they have a few more versions to go before they work out the bugs. I've tried out a lot of the other popular wireframe/prototyping tools and found UXPin to be one of my faves for sure.
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