Design Principles

September 19th, 2006

Ambient Signifiers

How I Learned to Stop Getting Lost and Love Tokyo Rail

When navigating a complex system—be it a website or a large
transport network—it’s easy to get lost. Ross Howard points out how
subtle signifiers can make a big difference.

Where do we look for standards and guidelines that we can incorporate into our design work? In addition to the canon of trusted advisors, Wodtke reminds us of a teacher and student who created a series of uncommon guidelines that have a lot to teach about web design.

How does the pursuit of one man’s interests result in the creation of kindergarten and timeless design principles? Bill Lucas shows us how Friedrich Fröbel took basic elements to create intricate, scalable systems that can serve as a model for creating new experiential systems today.

Extreme Makeover is an unlikely place to look for useful insights into corporate innovation. Even the fat, awkward, and, let’s face it, hideous bubble-era companies were not going to improve their questionable bottom lines with a nose job, liposuction, and tummy-tuck. In spite of that, the show can offer some useful lessons when trying to understand the dynamics of innovation.

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