Digital Rendering > Drawn Renderings for Home Builders

As we continue to move into an increasingly digital world, home builders are being forced to assess how they are presenting their projects to their technologically savvy consumers. Long gone are the days of hand-drawn renderings lining the walls of a sales office, so if you look around at your own sales office and see those hand-drawn renderings, it might be time to reassess how you’re interacting with your potential buyers.

via REALITY CHECK | Ontario Home Builders’ Association.

The problem with stock images.

This image didn’t just interrupt your reading flow, it’s also dull, boring and does an impeccable job in boring the shit out of every other visitor too. What does this kind of image actually communicate? That a company has really nice pens? That people actually work together or the fact that they work with laptops from 1999?

via Creating distraction-free reading experiences — azumbrunnen.

Contextual Inquiry

My point here is that we can still practice these observational research techniques even if we don’t always get the chance to do so on the products we get paid to design. And we can document these moments to make a case at our companies for why this kind of research needs to be part of our product development cycles. There’s value in these exercises, even if the results don’t immediately show up in our companies’ products. It’s an activity I’d encourage everyone to try.

via Honing Your Research Skills Through Ad-hoc Contextual Inquiry « Boxes and Arrows.

CMS Crash Course @ Toronto Net Tuesday

I’ve been playing with CMSes for 10+ years, starting off with scripts like CuteNews & Coranto/NewsPro before cozying up with WordPress around 2007.

And while I’m heavily biased towards WordPress — I’ve been co-organizing WordCamp Toronto since 2011 — I know that it’s not the best solution for everyone.

That’s why I’m excited to be presenting at the Toronto Net Tuesday meetup on July 8th. It’s an opportunity to go beyond WordPress and talk about the overall CMS ecosystem.

My session, CMS Crash Course, will draw on the lessons I’ve learned from evaluating and working with different platforms over the years.

Talking points will include:

  • Defining criteria for choosing a CMS.
  • Things to investigate before you commit.
  • Comparing a few different CMS options on the market.

If you’re in Toronto on the 8th, I’d love to have you join us.

Content before wireframes.

Starting with the content helps focus the message you’re delivering to your users. When you build the design out from there, you can more easily determine where the appropriate places are for each type of communication. The site map and hierarchy are born out of the real content that will exist in the final product. You end up with a more cohesive and clear experience.

via Steph Hay – Content-first User Experience » UIE Brain Sparks.

A better offline shopping experience.

Sleeping cat in a record store.Yet for each Radio Shack and Barnes and Noble fighting for its life, there are still those beloved corner stores and discount chains that manage to thrive. Many keep a close eye on the prices being charged by their digital competitors, and work to keep theirs from straying too much higher. Most learn to emphasize their advantage in immediacy. More than anything, these successful brick-and-mortar stores know to compete on experience.

via Make Customers Want to Buy Offline – Sohrab Vossoughi – Harvard Business Review.

Photo credit: Eva Prokop on Flickr