ConvergeRVA Notes

October 31, 2014

Designers Can Open Source

Garth Braithwaite, @GarthDB

  • Open Source software, how it affects design
  • As designers, we’re trying to solve problems, like developers
  • Adopt practices of open source development, we can adapt faster
  • Better collusions of ideas
“Designers are the most overworked group of people I know of in this industry.”

So, how?

  • Open source software for everybody! Er, maybe not
  • Actually blog about your process
  • Share your source files
  • Use code as a design tool
  • “Designers are often guilted to learn to code.”
  • Not trying to do that
  • "Don’t be the designer that codes, be the designer with the bigger tool box.”
  • It’s easier to collaborate with code than design.
  • Collaborate! Find a designer you’d like to work with.
  • Don’t break each other down, but talk through problems.
  • Donate! If you have useful things, friggin’ open-source it. If the client didn’t like it, give it away.
  • Contribute. Even if you can’t use git, developers will work with you.
  • To work collaboratively with designers, you need to work with other designers.
  • Don’t let pride, fear of committee, tooling, file formats, lack of desire, or unreasonable greed get in the way of being happy and sharing.
  • A Humble Manifesto:
  •, @designopen
  • You should contribute!!
  • Designers can open source, and we should.
  • Everyone needs to make money, so worry about that before coding :)

Single page applications. A general overview.

Tiffany France, @tiffanylou

  • ?? She works at C1? I should talk to her/>???
  • Angular, KnockoutJS
  • a web application, single web page, desktop app-like experience
  • Latency: how long does it take to load? How long does it take the user to accomplish what they want to do?
  • half a second caused a 20% drop in traffic at Google loading 30 results instead of 10
  • Amazon, Shopzilla: all did speed tests
  • It was a direct correlation to revenue in most causes. Users respond to speed

So, SPAs + Latency?

  • offset server work to client
  • selectively load page fragments
  • arguably, it helps if you never leave your presentation, or that transition is really smooth
  • predict users' next actions
  • use localStorage to remember users' actions
  • reduce load time with templates
  • AJAX for tasks, like signing up for emails
  • localStorage: preload data for faster experience
  • Quick Mobile Apps: offline apps
  • lack of page refreshes and dump it into PhoneGap. Tutorial

Nick Wilson, @@TheHalfandHalf

  • Analog Research Lab
  • Make posters, books, stickers, etc. for internal stuff
  • Make beautiful fucking shit
  • The 10 Commandments of Transit, Transit Commandments

The Power of Side Projects

Matt Keas, @matthiasak

  • Leverage them to make your day job better.
  • No boss. You can choose your own challenges
  • Build the skills you need
  • "Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own."
  • Progression of Mastery: learning something very deeply. Specialization.
  • Keys to Survival: respect your own damn time.
  • Turn on do-not-disturb.
  • Documents things. When things work, he documents them. When they don't, he documents them.
  • I like the idea of reading everything, and publishing notes on them
  • Publishing your thoughts on articles
  • Publishing your attempts to solve problems even if you don't understand why they worked or didn't
  • Next idea: talking about designing something that's super, super ugly
  • Saying no to design work, which feels weird

Making Musical Instruments & Music also My Successful Kickstarter (+ a live performance)

Moldover, @moldover

  • He's singing
  • You can use software to make music
  • this was bizarre and very cool

Design Rebel

Noah Scalin, @NoahScalin

  • Ethics into action for design
  • You won't make a lot of money or even a living in the beginning, but you shouldn't have to choose between your ethics and your work
  • On your deathbed, will you be happy you sold crap to people?
  • Are you the gun (killing) or the megaphone (getting ethics across)?
  • Make a commitment to yourself to do an action
  • Resources
  • Working with your hands is important. You shouldn't start on the computer.
  • We talked about this all the time in school, but most designers don't do this
  • Nick saying in SF that they were having this problem: all the designers wanted to start high fidelity
  • It takes a long time to have a good idea, and you have to shift through a lot of shitty ones because you even have that first grain of a good idea. Might as well do all that shit on paper.
  • It's bizarre to be that creative but to be scared of paper

The Wordless News Creation Process

Maria Fabrizio, @StudioRia

  • Another sketch-a-day project
  • Illustrations for news stories every day
  • Sometimes there's nothing good, or... nothing, or only negative
  • She wakes up mad early
  • Is waking up this early the secret to success or something?
  • Grrr

The Journey Not The Destination

James White, @signalnoise

  • Showed all of his old, old drawings. It's pretty awesome to see this stuff.
  • Like me with Pokémon
  • Photoshop + Illustrator, same tools
  • Like everyone else, does cool stuff, gave us his life story, made us laugh, but I haven't really learned anything
  • Don't lose sight of the things you wanted to do as a kid that were ridiculous