Our Designer, Jordan Dobney, shares what caught the eye of the design team last month. Including a look at interactive product configurators, thoughtful accessibility at Apple Park, and a great read on efficient user research.
Product configurators straddle inspiration and customisation. For some, they offer a playful experience where a user’s dreams can come true in 3D-rendered glory. For others, they provide a convenient way to tailor the finest details of a purchase. Regardless of which journeys they enable, configurators are often a complex mixture of product imagery, knobs and sliders, progress bars, feature tables, and more. In this extensive article, Vitaly Friedman has researched dozens of examples, breaking down the key components and best practices, paying particular attention to the challenges of delivering such interfaces to small screens. He wraps up with a handy checklist to help plan your own interactive configurator.
User research is burdened with the myths of being “too expensive” and “too time-consuming”. Seeking to debunk these stigmas, Caroline Smith shares a case study of redesigning Nando’s main navigation. In her article, she shows how guerilla research sessions with customers at restaurants, using methods like card-sorting, gut tests, and prototyping to gather insights and test ideas. We’re fans of these approaches at JH, especially for showing clients who are new to users research how powerful it can be as part of the design process.
What we loved: From desk lighting to pizza boxes, Apple has dedicated attention to every detail of their colossal Apple Park complex. Making the new buildings accessible was spared no attention or expense either, with many clever and subtle solutions installed. This Twitter thread provides a glimpse of the facilities at the site’s Visitor Centre. (Image: Apple Inc.)
What we loved: Architect and illustrator, Federico Babina, pays homage to some of cinema’s most well-known settings in this a series of colourful posters. Channelling a bit of Saul Bass, he captures signature buildings from films like Moonrise Kingdom and The Big Lebowski. (Image: Federico Babina)
What we loved: Designers for Black Panther recall how they created the unique style for the fictional nation of Wakanda. Influences from throughout African culture, such as patterns from Mali and Nigerian pictographs, meld with super-powered technologies to create “a future that Tony Stark never could have dreamed of”. (Image: Marvel Studios-Disney)
- Create usability tests for Invision prototypes and analyse how they perform
- A brief history of Futura’s use by NASA and how became the first typeface on the moon
- Intel have revealed slimmed-down smart glasses that you might actually want to wear
- Discover how algorithms designed the stunning scalloped interior of Hamburg’s concert hall
- Quickly generate striking data charts for your Sketch designs with this handy plugin
- This infographic by Campaign Monitor highlights 18 elements of a winning email design