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Archive for July, 2011

How is user-centered design like making cat food?

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 15th, 2011

Can you satisfy the cat? The users? Describing usability and user-centered design to almost anyone who doesn’t work near the field is difficult. This includes not only the stranger trying to strike up a conversation on the plane, but also the companies powers that be in companies where user-centered designers are employed. However, in less […]

Tip of the day: Use Verdana for screen text—especially small screen text

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 15th, 2011

Verdana is a great typeface for screen use, and it works especially well in small sizes and on small screens.  Verdana was actually designed to be highly readable and legible on computer screens. In fact, as it was particularly designed to have high readability is small sizes, it is a wise choice for any screen […]

Designing for the stars: The design of the final shuttle flight crew patch STS-135

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 14th, 2011

I’ve often joked that I would love to design wine labels as a job. But I think an even cooler job would be to be the designer of the shuttle crew patches for the shuttle missions. In honor of the last NASA Shuttle launch, and because I think it is a pretty good design, I […]

Typeface of the Week: Verdana–a “verdant” choice for screen text!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 14th, 2011

Like its younger sister typeface Georgia, Verdana was designed by award-winning type designer Matthew Carter. Carter created Verdana for “maximum readability at small sizes on the screen” according to Virginia Howlett (the “mother of Verdana” who spearheaded the project to develop Verdana). The sans serif typeface  was made readable at smaller screen sizes with high […]

As I say in the Typeface of the week discussion on Arial, Microsoft added Arial in 1992 to their operating system and since the typeface has been used as a default sans serif. As such, it has the same overuse problems as Times New Roman. In addition, many typographers or typography lovers see Arial as […]

Tip of the Day: Use bulleted lists

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 13th, 2011

Bulleted lists are a digital media writer’s dream. They can: present information effectively emphasize points draw the reader’s attention highlight information aid in skimming and scanning provide a nice visual break and white space show hierarchy and sequence connect items But don’t just randomly use bullets. Use them for lists. Use number lists when order […]

Tip of the day: Users spend about 30 seconds on your homepage. Make them count!

Posted by Jennifer L. Bowie, Ph.D. on July 12th, 2011

Make sure your homepage communicates what it needs to in 30 seconds. Users spend about 30 seconds on a homepage the first time they visit a site. So, say what you have to say quickly. Make the site and the purpose of the site clear.  Provide information quickly on what makes your site/company better, different, […]

Personal branding is often difficult, but Sarah Brown offers two related tips to help you focus and direct your identity in any scenario. Drawing from Sarah Brown’s advice in Screen Space 14: An interview with Sarah Brown on “Personal Branding and Online Identity Construction”, she suggests you first choose three terms that represent who you want […]

[Podcast Transcript] Welcome to Screen Space your podcast about creating usable, accessible, effective, and efficient web, blog, and digital media design for the everyday (and non-expert) designer. This is episode 14 of Screen Space, “An interview with Sarah Brown on ‘Personal Branding and Online Identity Construction.’” I am your host, Dr. Jennifer L. Bowie. I […]

 
icon for podpress  Screen Space 14: An interview with Sarah Brown on “Personal Branding and Online Identity Construction” [14:53m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Georgia was designed to be highly readable online, with high x-heights, wider characters, and heavier letter strokes. If you want a serif typeface for text that will be read on a screen (computer, phone, tablet…) then Georgia is a great choice. It provides a friendly and still traditional feel and is great for digital texts […]