design thinking

If You're Not a Designer, Please Don't Read This. by Steven B. Wheeler

Today at the Google I/O Conference, the design language for the brand was unveiled in the form of an interactive manifesto titled Material Design.

Playful, natural-feeling animations, intuitive and consistent interactions between elements, and a bold use of color are all illustrated and mapped out for developers and designers. This gives them tools that will inform and direct the user of Google products through the language of design. 

So? What does this have to do with making pants?

As a designer of consumer products, and as someone who enthusiastically loves to learn about other areas of focus for the profession of design, I marveled at the thesis of the entire document and the wonderfully concise examples provided. Who cares if it's not directly related to my day-to-day work? On some level, we designers are influenced in ways both subtle and overt, and we owe it to ourselves and to our users/audiences/customers to be polyglots of visual languages. 

After all, art is created for the artist, but design is created for the user. 

-S. 

The Best Books for Designers, 2013 Recap by Steven B. Wheeler

In 2013, I read just over 40 books, and while many of them were pretty short, the median number of books read by Americans is 8 per year, so I'm still doing my part to mess with the bell curve. Having a Kindle has fundamentally changed my reading habits: Instead of reading from one book at a time, I can now read between 2-3 books simultaneously and bring them with me nearly everywhere.

So, as a designer, here are some of my favorite reads from 2013 that have helped motivate and stimulate me both professionally and personally. Most of them are available to read in an e-book format.

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