Posts tagged: design
The infinitely zooming image
If this isn’t the best thing you’ve seen all week on the Internet, then your week was way more interesting than mine.
One of the most important advances in the way we build software systems is the development of patterns. By giving patterns simple and concise names, it allows programmers and designers to communicate about the necessary components of a system in a very efficient manner. Instead of needing to explain what a reactor is and how it works, we can simply say “this problem needs a reactor”, and skilled engineers can understand what that means.
Assembling a number of related patterns together allows for the formation of a “pattern language”. This is analogous to the way in which visual designers talk about a “design language”, an overarching suite of visual ideas and metaphors that are related and consistent.
Twitter’s Bootstrap is just such a pattern language, and the fact that is has been so successfully taken on in so many web projects so quickly suggests that the creators have managed to very effectively define and name the right abstractions, in a way that resonates with programmers and designers.
Of course, there will always be a place for bespoke, purposeful web design, so I do not think Bootstrap is going to become the *only* web design framework, but I suspect that as it evolves, it will become more and more important as one of the foundational pieces of web application infrastructure.
There is something quite liberating about moving away from a computer and just using a simple pen and a piece of paper, and even though I am not particularly talented as an artist, it is still possible to produce meaningful and descriptive low-fidelity prototypes with very little hassle. I think the reason pen and paper work so well for prototyping comes down to the simple fact that the form factor and ease-of-use are yet to be exceeded by technology.
So in the interests of promoting the discipline of paper prototyping, here are some links to products and resources that I have found very useful:
Paper-based UX Workbooks
Wireframe Template Libraries
Other Paper Prototyping Resources
Here are a couple of other paper prototyping and UX resources that you might find useful:
Good luck with pen and paper!
Footnote: I’ve also noticed lately that I spend less and less time using Microsoft Word, and more and more time using TextMate and simple text files, often with MarkDown. I think this is a change in behaviour related to the use of pen and paper for prototyping. When you remove all of the gratuitous visual distractions and the egregious bugs (such as the way bulleted lists and paragraph numbering still do not work properly after *14* releases of the app!), you have a lot more time to focus on *what* you are writing, and much less on *how* you are writing it.
I have heard this term bandied about at least two or three times in the last month. Each time I’ve asked myself the above question, and made a mental note to go and look it up. Well, lucky for me, @johnpolacek has gone to the trouble of explaining with a brilliant scrolldeck.js presentation which can you find here:
I feel much beter informed now.