About Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows is devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design—including graphic design, interaction design, information architecture, and the design of business.

Founded by Christina Wodtke in 2001, Boxes and Arrows is a peer-written journal promoting contributors who want to provoke thinking, push limits, and teach a few things along the way.

If you’re interested in improving the way information architecture and user experience design is done, if you find yourself sparking provocative conversation on interaction design topics in your spare time, and if you go out of your way to help everyone in your office think differently about everything from the design process to software, we want to work with you.

Mission

Boxes and Arrows is the definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape. There are various titles and professions associated with this undertaking—information architecture, information design, interaction design, interface design—but when we looked at the work that we were actually doing, we found a “community of practice” with similarities in outlook and approach that far outweighed our differences.

Boxes and Arrows is a peer-written journal dedicated to discussing, improving and promoting the work of this community, through the sharing of exemplary technique, innovation, and informed opinion.

Boxes and Arrows strives to provoke thinking among our peers, to push the limits of the accepted boundaries of these practices and to challenge the status quo by teaching new or better techniques that translate into results for our companies, our clients, and our comrades.

If you’re an author…

Our tagline is “The design behind the design,” so unlike sites like A List Apart, we don’t focus on front end visual or graphic design.

Stories should be clearly written and fearlessly informative. As for topics: Write about what you know. (Yes, it’s that easy.)

Tell us a story: What’s the big idea? Why is it important for people to read about this now? What in their lives will change once they’ve read it?

Our house style guide can be summarized as follows:

  • One space after periods.
  • Don’t capitalize stray words that aren’t proper nouns.

Everything else we can work on together.

All content should be original to Boxes and Arrows, which means that if it appeared on your blog first, we won’t publish it.

How to submit a story

Suggest it to IDEA @ you-know-where. Yes our url.

Who you’re writing for

Boxes and Arrows readers range from the entry-level practitioners to the forefathers of web design. Although this specialized crowd gives you license to throw around acronyms like UX and IxD with carefree confidence, you should always keep in mind that some readers will have less background in design than others. Increasingly, the Boxes and Arrows audience includes professionals who work with or live near designers but who do not have much first-hand experience in the field.

If you’re a commenter…

Share examples. Ask questions. Add value.

That doesn’t mean you have to agree with an article—a spirited discussion can be fun—but add light, not just heat. We reserve the right to not publish a comment, for any reason.

Rights and permissions

Boxes and Arrows is created through the donated volunteer efforts of its small staff. Therefore, at this time, we cannot offer any compensation to authors other than the adoring thanks of the staff and your peers.

Articles are jointly copyrighted. You have the right to republish your article in another journal, magazine, or book; however, we ask for a one-week exclusive.

In other words, if we publish your article here on the 1st, we ask that you not republish it elsewhere until the 8th. Boxes and Arrows might publish your articles in future printed “best of” annuals or collections developed online or in print. If we do, you will be contacted in advance, your permission will be requested, and any relevant legal and financial matters will be discussed at that time, although since Boxes and Arrows is a non-profit labor of love, we don’t expect to be profiting from such projects.

If your article is published first in Boxes and Arrows, then republished somewhere else, we would appreciate a recognition with the following:

This story first appeared in Boxes and Arrows (www.boxesandarrows.com).