Writing words vs. writing software
“Whether we’re authoring software or prose, rewriting is key. Rewriting is when you turn good into great. It’s true for books, blog posts, marketing copy, interfaces, code, etc. For all of them, we grind it out. We get something down, share it, get feedback, revise, and then do it over again. We get where we’re going via lots of wrong turns.”

Pretty Propaganda: USSR in Construction
“In the 1930’s, the Soviet government wanted the world to believe it was living the dream: rapid modernization, economic miracles, etc. To support this cause, it created the magazine USSR in Construction, home to some of the most innovative graphic design of the past century.”

The dance of people in public spaces
“Architect and set designer David Rockwell was hired to design the ‘interior experience’ (arrival, departure, retail space) of the new JetBlue terminal being built at JFK Airport (Gensler handled most of the architecture). Looking for a new angle on movement vs. environment, Rockwell took a strange turn: He hired choreographer Jerry Mitchell to help him.”

Complicating simplicity
“Gah! Trying to read about the ‘Simplicity: The Art of Complexity’ (er, what?) conference. But the description at the conference site is the exact opposite of simple, clear writing.”

John Sawatsky and the power of simple questions
“According to Sawatsky, smart interviewers don’t try to sound smart. They are transparent. They stay away from leading (yes/no) questions, charged words, and drawn-out statements.”

Picasso, Paula Scher, and the lifetime behind every second
“Charging hourly vs. charging per project is always an interesting dilemma for designers/programmers who do client work. If you charge hourly and you solve problems quickly, you wind up being punished for your efficiency. But if you charge per project, you often face scope issues (i.e. endless revisions or changes in direction seem to become the norm).

The long road to simple: creating, debating, and iterating “Add an event”
“That ‘Add an event’ box at Backpack’s new calendar looks simple enough. But sometimes simple takes a lot of work. How we arrived at this screen is a good look at the process we use to solve design challenges.”