Pondering Meaning

After recently listening to Tim Ferriss' interview with Pavel Tsatsouline, which is fantastic by the way, this quote from Pavel really stood out. "The brightest young people today, what do they end up doing? They end up designing apps. In the 50s and 60s they designed spaceships. The dreams were…

Leaning in at an Angle

A sailboat can’t make any progress without wind, in fact going straight ahead into the wind will get you nowhere. Your boat won’t move forward at all. You move the fastest sailing against the wind. Not directly head on, but at an angle. This creates a tension between…

Teehan + Lax Joins Facebook

And Now, For Our Next Act Teehan + Lax just closed their studio doors and moved into Facebook. Good for them–they've made a big decision. Make sure you read the entire post before you make some snarky comment on Twitter, judging their intentions. The three of us agreed we would…

Essentialism

I just finished my fourth book since changing a key habit over Christmas a few weeks ago. Essentialism, a New York Times bestseller by Greg McKeown, dissects “the disciplined pursuit of less.” The book uncovers ways to focus less on the trivial many, and focus more on the vital few…

Simple Complex Shapes in Illustrator

Twitter friend, Mike, created a shield-like shape (below) in Illustrator and had some issues when scaling it down. The shape was built with multiple polygons that all aligned beside each other to form the final mark. The seam in between the individual shapes caused the issue. Even though the vector…

Habits

When I was 13, I smoked my first cigarette. Maybe it was 14. Either way, I was young. A friend of mine, Billy, was older looking than the rest of us–tall and lanky with a protruding Adam’s apple. He had a crackly-sounding kind of voice so he wasn…

2014 Year in Review

Another year is in the books so let’s recap. I’ve done this for 2012 and 2013 and looking back on those reviews, I’m so glad I captured the highlights when I did. There’s always the “ohhhh yeah” moments when I scroll back through the otherwise fuzzy…

Create an OS X Status Bar and Safari Title Bar with Illustrator

To finish off the device wireframes (iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro) created for AIUX, we’re creating the OS X status bar and a Safari title bar. If you just want files download them here and if you’d like to learn how to create these icons and UI bits…

Killing It

I’m reading a book, “Revising Prose” by Richard A. Lanham, in which he writes about the imbalance of nouns and verbs in the Official Style, a formal language used to sound more professional. He writes: ...they all build on the same imbalance: a dominance of nouns and an atrophy…

Create Presentation Ready PDFs with Artboards in Illustrator

Ignoring artboards contributes a lot to the super-speedy, wireframe design process that can be accomplished with Adobe Illustrator. 99% of the time, I leave artboards hidden and only toggling their visibility and manipulating them only when I'm ready to export a PDF for presentation purposes. This is similar to drawing…

High-Level Wireframe Design Intro with Illustrator

In the early stages of a project it can be helpful to map out as much of the experience as you can to help get everyone on the same page. Conversations and decisions often become a little more tangible when there is something to look at and point to. Once…

3 Illustrator Wireframes for Your Next Responsive Web Design Project

Free device download It can be difficult for a client to understand which screen design is which if you present your work without device context. Below is an example that shows the high-level wireframe layout for three major breakpoints. These aren't meant to be the governing authority on breakpoints that…

How to Create a MacBook Pro Wireframe in Illustrator

This MacBook Pro, along with the other devices, works well when displaying wireframes for responsive designs. 3 Techniques for Creating Rounded Rectangles in Older Versions of Illustrator I’ve had several people comment on previous tutorials that they were using older versions of Adobe Illustrator, which don’t support the…

How to Create a Simple Illustration in Illustrator

I'm working on some wireframes for a client who builds large vessels and rather than use the standard grey box with the "X" in it to represent every image, I thought it would be fun to do a quick little abstract vessel illustration to give the wireframes a little more…

How to Create an iPad Wireframe and Mobile Safari Icons

Continuing on with AIUX series, we’re going to look at creating an iPad wireframe and mobile Safari icons, by repurposing a few items from the iPhone we created. Now I’ve already covered iPhone wireframe creation, which is essentially the same method for the iPad, so in this video…

Vectorize a Logo Using Simple Shapes in Illustrator

If you've been a designer for longer than a minute, you've no doubt ran into a situation where you need the client's logo for something you're working on. Do seek out the official logo whenever you can, especially if it's super brand specific, but if it's for something like I'm…

How to Create a Sitemap in Illustrator

When you're working on a website, web application, or a mobile app, it helps to map out the experience before you dive too deep into the weeds of design decisions. It took roughly 6 minutes to design the sitemap above. The video below is sped up 2X so you can…

How to Create a Mobile Safari, Title Bar Wireframe with Illustrator

In this second post in the AIUX series, we'll walk through creating a mobile Safari title bar wireframe. In the last video we created the base iPhone wireframe, so now we'll add a title bar so it can be used as a base for mobile-first website designs. Check out the…

How to Create an iPhone Wireframe with Illustrator

Welcome to the first official post in the AIUX series. In this video, we're going to create a simple iPhone wireframe that can be used as a base for iPhone apps and mobile web design wireframes. Yes you could probably find a download of this on Dribbble or somewhere else…

The Difference Between a Good Designer and a Super Designer

In the movie Megamind, Megamind succinctly explains to Tighten (he misspells “Titan”) the difference between a villain and a super villain. While Tighten is very evil and villainess he just doesn’t compare to Megamind’s audacious and theatrical performances during the movie. Watch the clip above to see what…