vague, but exciting

the porous city - design - process



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The most common tool used by (corporate and government) decision-makers to show structured arguments is, of course, PowerPoint. And because no single "argument template" is appropriate, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one.

see also Ninja Tools for Meetings

Mostly basic principles of survey design, so applicable beyond software. Plenty of useful nuts and bolts stuff.

  • Punk concert posters are designed for drunk angry teenagers: "when the fuck is it? where the fuck is it? who do i call for more info?"
  • Teacher has a friend who spent a year studying the letter "k". (does she now hate the letter k? love it? or just have a complicated relationship with it?)
  • Comic sans
  • Levi's red line jeans get sold out of the back of trucks?
  • I have to start using more guides in Powerpoint
  • Alignment! Things should be aligned by default, if not there should be a good reason.
  • Women supposedly hate having to always put their purses on the floor.
  • *** ******** ** misterpants!
  • simplicity, consistency, contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity
  • Different types of information should use different fonts (not different typefaces - different weights, sizes etc)
  • Unless you're using a typewriter, you don't need two spaces after a period.

Graphic design class for n00bs taught by Ben Benjamin of Superbad
At the Machine Project. I'm going.

application design methodologies
Looking for lightweight processes for going from "an app that does X", through mock-ups and use cases, all the way to a functional spec. Links below may or may not be on target.

list your way out of stuckness
In Case of Emergency, Break Glass.

getting things done
Stephen Covey for geeks.

the elements of user experience
Us consultants love these one-slide frameworks. Isn't that right, Eric? Macintosh Stories
"Anecdotes about the development of Apple's original Macintosh computer, and the people who created it."

Could You Just
One of my teachers had a story about his local BicycleRepairMan, who had a sign in his shop:

CouldYouJust .... costs 40 Kroner
(see also AlarmBellPhrases, in fact see the whole goddamn c2 wiki)

Pair Programming
The idea of programming in pairs appeals to my prejudice for fundamental process reform. It's a way more radical change than object-oriented programming, functional programming (sorry Daniel) or any other combination of language/design innovations. (more)

testing frameworks

Spectacular essay on working with clients to develop custom software.
If there's one thing every junior consultant needs to have injected into their head with a heavy duty 2500 RPM DeWalt Drill, it's this: Customers Don't Know What They Want. Stop Expecting Customers to Know What They Want. It's just never going to happen. Get over it.

Instead, assume that you're going to have to build something anyway, and the customer is going to have to like it, but they're going to be a little bit surprised. YOU have to do the research. YOU have to figure out a design that solves the problem that the customer has in a pleasing way.
(scroll all the way down and click the 'Discuss' link)

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