A couple weeks ago I gave a talk at the MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. The video for the talk and Q&A session is online now. When Liz Danzico invited me to speak at the SVA, I thought it would fit the university setting to share some theory behind our design process at 37signals.
One book that heavily influenced my approach to design is Christopher Alexander’s Notes on the Synthesis of Form. Many designers cite the book as an influence, but few really explain what it’s about or teach how to apply the ideas in everyday work. So I took the opportunity to explain the key points of the book and show how we use Alexander’s model to do design at 37signals.
Here’s the video of the talk:
Some of the screenshots are hard to see around 38:30. Check the images below if you’d like to see those screens more clearly.
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The talk was followed by a Q&A session. The Q&A touches on customer feedback, design vs. evolutionary selection and trusting your intuition.
Here are some things to check out if you liked the talk.
- Notes on the Synthesis of Form – The book by Christopher Alexander.
- An Introduction to Using Patterns in Web Design – An early article I wrote on Alexander’s technique when I first ran into it in 2004.
- Domain-Driven Design by Eric Evans – Mentioned at the end of the talk.
- UI Fundamentals for Programmers – A talk I gave at WindyCityRails in Chicago.
I’d love to know if people are interested in this material. Post a comment here or write me at ryan at 37signals dot com with your thoughts.