Links on Creative design

How to Measure Visual Appeal

Is a beautiful website more usable? Psychological literature has discussed, for some time, the "what is beautiful is good" phenomenon. That is, we ascribe positive attributes to things that are more attractive.

This applies to people and likely to products and websites, as well. But does that positive halo also carry over to our impressions of website usability? It’s a bit of an open research question, but first, it needs to be considered: how reliable are impressions of website beauty?

In reviewing the literature on rating aesthetics, beauty and visual appeal, researchers often generate their own set of questions and scales to measure these somewhat fuzzy and overlapping constructs. There’s nothing wrong with creating new scales, but without any validation, there’s a risk that the way the items are worded may generate misleading or less accurate results than those from scales which have been subjected to psychometric validation.

How to Measure Visual Appeal

The BBCi Redesign Process- Understanding, Concept & Build

In setting out to redesign the BBCi homepage, the team knew they were tackling a hard task. Many people use and love their homepage, so they knew that any changes we make will evoke a strong reaction. They needed to balance the needs of these users with the needs of their own business. They needed to satisfy a large number of people with a range of different objectives, both inside and outside the BBC. Any solution required them to make decisions, but they believed that they had at least made informed choices to ensure a sensitive evolution of the page.

They wanted to make a clear step change with the design of the page without alienating the users. To begin with they looked at the way people use the current page using click-throughs and the way they feel about it through emotional response testing. They looked at how people build up relationships with the services and objects they use on a daily basis. This helped them address the issues they saw in all elements of the homepage, including the main story.Throughout the process, they benefited from continual user testing and internal feedback.

They believe that the resulting page will feel familiar to their existing users, but through digital patina, balanced design and excellent functionality, they also believed they gave it soul. The Glass Wall which gave them the title of this book was the center of the project. Most of their discussions were visualized on the wall and its location at the entrance to the studio ensured everyone could see what was going on and contribute. This book aims to give some background on the process they followed and covers the redesign from its early stages in May 2002 up until launch in November 2002.


The BBCi Redesign Process- Understanding, Concept & Build (PDF, 8mb)

Users Love Simple & Familiar Designs – Why Websites Need to Make a Great First Impression

We form first impressions of the people and things we encounter in our daily lives in an extraordinarily short timeframe. We know the first impression a website’s design creates is crucial in capturing users’ interest. In less than 50 milliseconds, users build an initial “gut feeling” that helps them decide whether they’ll stay or leave. This first impression depends on many factors: structure, colors, spacing, symmetry, amount of text, fonts, and more.

In our study we investigated how users’ first impressions of websites are influenced by two design factors:

  • Visual complexity — how complex the visual design of a website looks
  • Prototypicality — how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites

Users Love Simple & Familiar Designs – Why Websites Need to Make a Great First Impression

The Sketchnotes Channel at Core77

The Sketchnotes channel allows one to learn more about sketchnotes, including a great overview of a new kind of visual thinking and some basics to get started off.

The Core77 Sketchnotes channel

The Space of Design

Models of the process of design are relatively common. Each describes a sequence of steps required to design something—or at least the steps that designers report or recommend taking. Models of the process of design are common because designers often need to explain what they do (or want to do) so that clients, colleagues, and students can understand.

Less common are models of the domain of design—models describing the scope or nature of practice, research, or teaching. Such models may be useful for locating individual processes, projects, or approaches and comparing them to others. Such models also help clients, colleagues, and students understand alternatives and agree on where they are (or want to be) within a space of possibilities.

Typically models of a domain are of three types:

  1. Timelines
    • Lists of events from the domain’s history
    • Links between events suggesting influences
  2. Taxonomies
    • Lists of sub-domains
    • Trees branching into categories and sub-categories and so on
  3. Spaces
    • Venn diagrams indicating overlapping categories
    • Matrices defining the dimensions of a space of possibilities or area of potential

The Space of Design

Repeat-x repeat-y – a seamless pattern resource

Repeat-x repeat-y is a collection of seamless patterns from a plethora of designers, illustrators and artists that you can use for background images in web design.

Repeat-x repeat-y

A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines

If you are a graphic designer or an interaction designer and have ever been tasked with creating a style guide or UI guidelines document (both are different and I’ve had the pleasure to work on both of them creating templates and the actual documents for brands and products), this list should help you out as a consolidated list of references. This list is going to be constantly updated (and will ultimately be a monster list, it’s quite modest for now) of publicly accessible style guides and UI guideline documents on the web. If you find any links not working or would like to suggest one that is not on the list, feel free to comment and let me know.

  1. 3M
  2. ABB Brand Identity
  3. ACDSee Brand Style Guide
  4. Air Products Identity Standards
  5. Ameritech Graphical User Interface Standards and Design Guidelines (This one is from the Internet Archive)
  6. AMAIA Residence Brand Manual (PDF, 816 kb)
  7. Android User Interface Guidelines
  8. Apple Human Interface Guidelines
  9. Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines
  10. Barbican Brand Guidelines for Print / Web / and Plasmas
  11. BBC Future Media Standards & Guidelines
  12. BBC Global Experience Language (GEL)
  13. Belfast Zoo Brand guidelines
  14. Blackberry and RIM wireless handheld UI Developers Guide (PDF, 1.3 mb)
  15. BlackBerry Branding Guidelines (PDF, 300 kb)
  16. Brick brand guidelines
  17. Cargill Identity Style Guide
  18. Cambridge University Brand Manual
  19. Cunard Brand Guidelines
  20. ELMER 2– User Interface Guidelines for Government Web Forms (PDF, 1.2 mb)
  21. Easy Group Brand Manual (PDF, 2 mb)
  22. Eclipse User Interface Guidelines
  23. Federal Identity Program (Canada)
  24. GOOD Technology Brand Identity Guide
  25. Gnome Human Interface Guidelines
  26. Heineken Brand Manual
  27. iPhone Human Interface Guidelines
  28. Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines
  29. KDE User Interface Guidelines
  30. Kew’s Brand Guidelines (PDF, 5 mb)
  31. Microsoft Inductive User Interface Guidelines
  32. Microsoft Surface User Experience Guidelines
  33. MITRE- Guidelines for designing user interface software
  34. NASA’s webstyle guide
  35. Novozymes’ brand guide
  36. The New School Visual Identity Manual (PDF, 6.5 mb)
  37. The New School Web Style Guide
  38. Nokia Design and User Experience Library
  39. Oracle Technology Network Guidelines
  40. Palm User Interface & Human Interface Guidelines
  41. RSA brand standards
  42. SAP Interaction Design Guide for Internet Application Components
  43. SAP Design Guild
  44. SAP User Interface guidelines
  45. Silicon Graphics Indigo Magic User Interface Guidelines
  46. Skype Brand Identity Guidelines
  47. Spelman College Visual Identity Guidelines (PDF, 1.3 mb)
  48. Reuters Brand Center
  49. Taligent Human Interface Guidelines
  50. University of Northern Colorado Identity Style Guide (PDF, 2.3 mb)
  51. WebEx brand style guide
  52. Web Style Guide 2nd edition
  53. Windows User Experience
  54. Windows User Experience Guidelines
  55. Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines
  56. Windows XP Visual Guidelines (There’s a download section to the right to download WindowsXP DesignGuidelines)
  57. Yale Web Style Guide
  58. Yale’s Visual Identity

DezineConnect- an Indian design portfolio gallery

DezineConnect celebrates design from India. DezineConnect aims to showcase Indian designers, design buyers, and design support people.

Dezine Connect

The Book Cover Archive

The Book Cover Archive is an archive of book cover design and designers for the purpose of appreciation and categorization.

The Book Cover Archive

30 self-promotion tips by designers for designers

The difference between a good designer and a successful designer is self promotion. Churning out innovative, high-quality work is important, but making sure the right people take notice of it and remember who it’s by is even more crucial.

Self-promotion doesn’t mean selling out, though. Clever mailers, a well-stocked blog, quirky gifts and memorable business cards all help shape Brand You. The article brings advice from the top on how you can take some simple steps to ensure your name is the first that springs to mind when art directors and commissioning editors reach for their contacts books.

30 self-promotion tips