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d.Construct 2007 Live: Cameron Moll - Good vs. Great Design

Matthew Pennell

September 7, 2007 at 6:36 AM

How do we go from creating something good to something great? Through a series of humorous anecdotes, Cameron Moll introduces concepts that go to the core of what it is to be a truly great designer.

Great design, says Moll, is not just communication, it is meaningful communication. Something as simple as the inclusion of a hand in an iPod advert at once provides a sense of scale and indicates utility. “Design is as much a matter of finding problems as it is solving them” (Brian Lawson, How Designers Think)

On the subject of productivity, remember that user efficiency should trump machine efficiency. The much-loved Web Developer Toolbar is held up as a poor example — remember when you could Disable All Styles without having to navigate through three different sub-menus? But examples of great design abound — typography with meaning (the recent Dyson ad); bulletproofing for potential use cases (Microformats well-handled text resizing); and preventing, not fixing, problems (the ubiquitous Ajax-powered “your username is available” feature).

A stand-out tip from Moll is a simple test for the performance of your information hierarchy — simply greyscale and blur a screenshot. Can you still tell which parts of the page are the most important?

Download the slides here

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