Sketches, wireframes, prototypes and how to express ideas with visuals.

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Photo by Green Chameleon

“Avoiding functional specs is a good start but don’t stop there; prevent excess paperwork everywhere. Unless a document is actually going to morph into something real, don’t produce it.

Build, don’t write. If you need to explain something, try mocking it up and prototyping it rather than writing a longwinded document. An actual interface or prototype is on its way to becoming a real product. A piece of paper, on the other hand, is only on its way to the garbage can.” — Getting Real by 37 Signals

As companies move to agile methodologies, which favor fast-paced iteration over detailed planning, it becomes important to be able to articulate ideas quickly with the aid of visuals. The workflow of taking concepts from idea through to sketching, wireframing and prototyping, is one that I continue to work on improving and the following are resources that have been useful to me in my career. …


The Cowboy’s continue to answer open questions, the most important one answered this week, will Tony get a chance Week 11? No.

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AP Photo/Don Wright

There’s a lot to talk about after week 10’s win over the Steelers, but we’ll focus on six key plays for now and skip over Zeke’s three rushing attempts to get there.

You might be quick to blame Prescott’s awareness in the pocket for his turnover on the first drive but for a Cowboy’s offense that turns to play action often, they have to be able to depend on the blocking of their tight ends and on this early play Witten showed his age and just couldn’t get to the rusher soon enough.

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The Cowboy’s got away with single coverage and this early stop for the two point conversion set the Steelers back early and they could never get that extra point back failing on four two point conversion attempts for the day. Side note, the Cowboy’s attempted a two point conversion twice, failing both times. …


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Photo Credit: Robert Voors via Compfight

The difference between being motivated by fear, and being afraid to act because of it, is nowhere better exemplified than in the difference between established market leaders, and startups.

If you’ve ever worked for a large company, as an employee or freelancer, than you understand at least at some level, what the general attitudes of executives and other employees are. There is always an atmosphere of fear. Not only being afraid of the changes that are happening in the market, but of reacting in any way. …


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jasonmgabriel via Compfight / Flickr

Design is all about what comes next, it is an ongoing process, and it is constantly adapting to the audience, regardless of the medium. This is what sets design apart from art. Art is often about capturing a moment, or emotion and conveying that all at once. That fact that some art has enduring value, that it lives on in museums and galleries, is inconsequential. Any value you perceive, is of your own doing, it is on you as the audience that the burden is placed.

As designers, we must inspire, we must design with the next iteration in mind, we must never settle on any given snapshot during the process because it is the collection of these snapshots that make up the entirety of the design. Designers must think of their work holistically, they must understand how every detail sets off a chain reaction of others, regardless of intention. A design may live in a moment, but it was designed for the moment that follows. …


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Flickr / alaskapine

I’ve spent most of my life trying to go against the grain — trying to swim upstream. I don’t think I, or anyone else, ever consciously makes this decision, but it happens to a lot of people. It seems society collectively interprets many cases of individual success as examples of this kind of thinking, and because of it, we aspire to follow the lead of those that don’t follow the lead.

I’ve made a very sharp turn in the opposite direction as of late and it has impacted how I handle the day to day and how I’ve begun to look at the future. I believe I’ve spent most of my life fighting against some non existent force and am just now learning to work with the energy of any given situation, not against it. It has occurred to me that those that I admire most, were not actually contrarians, they were just focused further ahead than most others. They were able to see the curve ahead, not wasting time fighting the stream, but leading others down it, following the current and getting downstream faster than their peers. …


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FLICKR / James Marvin Phelps

“Quit what you suck at”.

The argument goes, if you suck at something and you don’t enjoy it, then quit it. The problem is, sucking at something isn’t fun. Even if you aspire to be the greatest artist of all time, and thoroughly enjoy the intricacies of the field, you’re going to hate sucking at creating art and you’re going to suck at it for a long time.

What keeps us going is not this intrinsic joy that we get from even trying, it’s pure stubbornness, it’s the idea that it will eventually pay off. …

About

Rob V

Texan.

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