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28 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Why We Love to Hate Comic Sans and the Return of Fonts with Personality
If Comic Sans showed up at a house party, would it be welcome or shown the door? In this episode, the Wireframe team parties down with a wild array of fonts, good and bad, to learn about the rise of novelty typefaces like Comic Sans and the proliferation of the now all-too-familiar geometric sans serif typeface. They’ll find out what the popularity of these fonts says about how we think about the role of typography in today’s world. And they’ll also talk to some exciting new type designers who think that it’s time for a new chapter in the story of type, one that reflects a richer, more diverse set of voices. Join host Khoi Vinh, and producers Pippa Johnstone and Dominic Girard as they explore the personalities of the typefaces we know and love and ideas that are influencing what we’ll see next.Emma Tucker is a Comic Sans apologist. She’s a senior writer and deputy editor at Creative Review, and believes there’s a time and a place for this font. Though she’s noticing how its “time and place” has become more subversive and cynical than before. Next, Stephen Coles is a major expert on type. He’s the co-publisher of Fonts in Use and Typographica and editorial director at Letterform Archive. He explains how Comic Sans’s rise made sense, and follows up with an argument for why design is ready to embrace more expressive fonts, and not fear personality so much.Then, young independent type designers introduce us to a pair of fonts they’ve created that embrace personality and expression in very personal ways. Tré Seals is the founder of Vocal Type - and we hear about how he made his Martin font, and its connection to the American Civil Rights era. Lynne Yun, of Space Type Continuum, introduces us to her “earthy and bold” font, Ampersandist. Both of these designers explain how they find creative reward, and liberty, in type design.Other fonts mentioned in this episode: Times New Roman, Impact, Arial, Comic Sans, Calibri, Garamond, Windsor, Cooper Black, Roboto and Wingdings. And here's an excellent resource of comic book style alternatives to the font we love to hate. Find a transcript to this episode here.
21 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
How do designers use data visualization to take the numb out of numbers?
Do you know what “flatten the curve” means? If so it’s likely in part due to the hard work by data visualization designers over the last year. Our society is now more data driven than ever; as everything is quantified, counted, and dumped into spreadsheets, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by numbers. Data visualization designers work to sort through the numbers using both science and creativity to find the stories they have to tell, and help us understand the world a little better. But what goes into designing an effective data visualization, and how do you balance the art and the science of it? In this episode of Wireframe, host Khoi Vinh, and producers Dominic Girard and Pippa Johnstone, learn how designers are building charts, games, and more to take the numb out of numbers.If you’ve been fighting over housework during lock down, you’re not alone. Designer Amy Cesal and her husband, Zander Furnas used data visualization to clean up the messy business of their own household chores, and made the invisible, visible, along the way. Shirley Wu, worried that people weren’t taking the pandemic seriously enough. Her data visualization game, People of the Pandemic, helps us understand the consequences of defying stay at home orders. And Alberto Cairo outlines the responsibilities data visualization designers must balance when designing with data. He’s the author of How Charts Lie, and the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication of the University of Miami.The New York Times visualization we referenced is here. The Washington Post’s most read article is a data visualization that you can see here. Listen to NASA’s X-ray sonification here, the sonification of American COVID deaths here, and Jordan Wirfs-Brock’s sonification of last year’s stock market volatility here (it happens at 4:18). Find a transcript to this episode here.
24 minutes | May 24, 2021
Why are package designers rethinking the box?
Do you keep your iPhone boxes—or toss them? This simple question sparked a heated debate on Twitter earlier this year that, at its heart, is really about the role that the design of packaging plays in our lives. At the same time, online shopping keeps gaining huge momentum, especially during the pandemic. And that’s changing how we interact with the boxes arriving on our doorsteps, and the way packaging designers think about the products we buy. Host Khoi Vinh, and producers Pippa Johnstone and Dominic Girard, take a look at how the design of product packaging is evolving, how designers are thinking about the environmental footprint of their work, and the right answer to the question of whether you should keep—or toss—that iPhone box.First, actor and writer Bisserat Tseggai tells the story of the unexpected controversy that arose from tweeting that people should throw out their iPhone boxes. Photographer and creative director Sailey Williams heartily disagrees.Next, Brittney Swindells, design manager of Alfred, explains how creating a cheerful unboxing experience helped their coffee shops pivot to online sales during lockdown, and bring the Alfred experience to customers' doorsteps. Stephan Ango, the co-founder of Lumi, explains the differences between designing packaging for a store shelf, and packaging to sell online. You can find Stephan’s podcast, Well Made, here. And Andrew Gibbs, founder and CEO of Dieline, tells the story of his reckoning with the environmental impact of packaging – and what he’s doing about it.Finally, Ian Montgomery and Marisa Sanchez-Dunning, of packaging design firm Guacamole Airplane, share the story behind their innovative packaging design for Hammerhead’s Karoo 2, and how sustainable design is about more than just the materials.Find a transcript of this episode here.
29 minutes | May 10, 2021
How can designers support the fight for racial justice?
The Black Lives Matter movement has mobilized countless people all over the world in the urgent fight for true racial justice and equality, one of the most important issues of our time. In this episode, host Khoi Vinh and producers Dominic Girard and Pippa Johnstone examine the intersection of BLM and the world of design and creativity. They unpack the challenge of building a brand around an expansive social movement, investigate the role that art, craft, and design can play in the struggle, and bring to light the role bias can play in the underpinnings of the design profession itself.First, Teddy Phillips is an illustrator who posts on Instagram as Stat the Artist. He discovers that his artwork plays a bigger role in the protests than he knew – and finds inspiration to bridge his art with newfound activism. Then, Ivy Climacosa is a worker-owner at Design Action Collective, the design team behind the very first BLM logo. Ivy explains the unique challenges of designing for an activist movement, and how design helps to clearly and effectively communicate the message. Finally, Dori Tunstall is on a mission to decolonize design. The Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto speaks with Khoi about how the definition of design itself can be culturally problematic, how she’s working to create a more inclusive industry, and how all designers can work towards a more just and diverse practice.Learn more about how Adobe is listening, learning and taking action and see more on Adobe’s efforts to support diversity & inclusivity here. And don’t forget to take a moment and fill out our audience survey for a chance to win a year of Creative Cloud.Find a transcript of this episode here.
27 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Does Peloton’s design actually help you exercise more?
An entirely new user experience has been designed for people who want to exercise from home. By combining touchscreens and apps with stationary bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, punching bags, strength trainers - even smart mirrors - a new category of exercise has created millions of new fitness buffs. Long gone are the days of VHS fitness classes and Thigh Master infomercials. But is the UX of fitness something truly creative and revolutionary? Or is it just the latest fad from an industry with a history of fads? Host Khoi Vinh, and producers Pippa Johnstone and Dominic Girard dig into the brain-hacking and body-shaping UX designs that promise to help users break bad habits and break a sweat.Software Designer Ariel Norling is a connected fitness fanatic. She explains how the UX of Tonal's strength training gear keeps her coming back for more. Jennifer Clinehens is a customer experience strategist, and a Peloton owner. She writes about the intersection of UX and behavioral science, and explores the psychology behind how Peloton's UX has turned so many couch potatoes into cycling converts. Then, UX designer Kevin Twohy explains how he helped design the user experience for Mirror, a connected fitness, well… mirror, and how their approach to designing a home workout is very different from the competition. Finally, UX designer and R/GA Creative Director Gene Lu offers a counterpoint to connected fitness. He tells us about his own creative approach to keeping fit with tech, but without the gadgets. (Tap here to see the artwork that Gene made just for this episode!)Have a look at his Instagram to see the artwork resulting from his literal creative exercise - work he created specifically for this episode.Find a transcript to this episode right here.
27 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Does Burger King's new logo make you nostalgic?
When Burger King launched its new logo and branding identity this winter, a lot of people said the new look felt retro, even nostalgic. But was that really what the King had in mind for its new brand? In our season launch episode, host Khoi Vinh and producers Pippa Johnstone and Dominic Girard investigate the creative upsides and the pitfalls of using nostalgia to inform your design choices.In this episode:Lisa Smith, Executive Creative Director at Jones Knowles Ritchie, and Rapha Abreu, who led the design on the Burger King side, explain the thinking behind the restaurant’s new identity.Over in London, Arthur Foliard from Koto Studio explains why they looked to the past to design the future of Meatable, a Dutch company working on lab-grown meat. Then, Khoi speaks with Champions Design’s Bobby C.Martin Jr., who redesigned the Girl Scouts logo. Bobby speaks to when nostalgia and history clash and can hurt a brand’s design, recalling recent examples including the rebranding of Aunt Jemima to "Pearl Milling Company" and Uncle Ben’s to Ben's Originals.. Want to see what we're talking about in this episode? Start with Burger King's new 2021 logo, and the rest of the brand redesign, on the Jones Knowles Ritchie site. Have a look at Burger King's logo history on this website. Can you feel Meatable's nostalgia-tinged designed aesthetic on it's website? How about in the marketing material that Koto Studios also designed - including those "vintage" postcards - as seen on our guest's own site? Finally, spot the changes Bobby Martin made to the original Girl Scouts logo when he redesigned it.Find a transcript to this episode right here.
1 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Design, creativity, and a new season of Wireframe
Wireframe is back with a fresh season all about design and creativity. We're digging into all kinds of stories about how designers shape our everyday lives—graphic designers, UX designers, typographers, illustrators, artists, activists, and more. We'll learn from them about how we can unlock creativity for all. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, senior director of design at Adobe. Learn more about how Adobe Creative Cloud can you help you create great work at adobe.ly/wireframe.
31 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Why are elections so hard to design well?
The fundamental design feature of a democratic society is a citizen's right to vote. But ensuring that every person is able to vote is not as easy as it seems. Everything from how you design a paper ballot, build an electronic terminal, process a mail-in ballot, engineer a public space for private voting, and so on, brings hundreds of complicated design decisions. We look at how design choices are sometimes at odds with political ones.In this episode: Wireframe producer Dominic Girard and host Khoi Vinh learn why designing for elections is a never-ending challenge. After the 2000 US Presidential Election, voter Andre Fladell sued after a flaw in the design of his ballot caused him to vote for the wrong candidate. Drew Davies of Oxide Design loves trying to bring order to ballot chaos, and has been trying to help the civic design process for nearly twenty years. Designer Whitney Quesenbery at the Center for Civic Design has been leading the charge in all things election design - and continues to support election officials on everything from signage, to electronic machines to mail-in ballots. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County redesigned their voting systems this year. Called the Voter Solutions for All People, it's an ambitious project that updates the county's ballot machines to something modern, electronic, secure and, most importantly, user friendly. Kate Ludicrum and Jon Fox talk about how they helped it come together in time for the California Primary. Read the PDF transcript of this episodeWireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.Learn more about designing with Adobe XD at adobe.ly/tryxd.
29 minutes | Sep 7, 2020
Can an app actually help you relax?
A third of America's population struggles to sleep through the night. For many of us, stress and anxiety play a big role in that. Some designers believe they can help us tackle these problems and calm our minds. The sleep-aid market is a multi-billion dollar industry, so it's no wonder companies are trying to design solutions for us. But can apps and gadgets designed to help us sleep, and keep us calm, really help? Or are they just a kind of digital snake oil?In this episode: Wireframe producer Miriam Johnson talks to host Khoi Vinh about her own struggles with insomnia. Jon Delman is a Creative Director who just can't fall asleep. Iain McConchie, VP of Design at Headspace, talks to us about how Headspace is helping users calm down, manage stress, and sleep better. Ania Wysocka is a designer who made Rootd, an app for anxiety, after her own struggles with it. Lucas Guarneri is a designer working on sleep trackers at Withings. He believes sleep trackers can change a person's life. Dr. Kristyna Hartse, sleep doctor with the Sun City Sleep Center, is cautious when it comes to how much apps can really do for sleep disorders. Read the PDF transcript of this episode.Wireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.Learn more about designing with Adobe XD at adobe.ly/tryxd.
31 minutes | Aug 24, 2020
How streaming services design interfaces to keep us watching
On just one day this spring, at the height of global stay-at-home orders for Covid-19, Americans watched 27 billion minutes of streaming video. Dozens of online streaming services court us with an ever increasing amount of television and film content. And yet, more streaming services are coming online. But in the battle to win over subscribers (and our subscription dollars), how much of a role can good UX interface design play in crowning a video streaming champion? Does the best interface matter, or is content truly king?In this episode: The Wireframe team get together online and try to watch a TV show together using Scener, even though they all live in different parts of the continent. Wireframe producer Dominic Girard and host Khoi Vinh trade thoughts on the UX of streaming.Daniel Strickland, CEO of Scener, explains how they've designed a user experience that is basically bolted on top of a video streaming service's own UX. Then, CEO and UX designer Thomas Williams of Ostmodern; streaming video analyst and reporter Dan Rayburn; and writer Suzanne Scacca use a few examples of the Netflix and Quibi interfaces to explore how each platform is trying to attract and retain subscribers. We then discuss why Netflix is considered a gold standard, and whether or not Quibi is doomed to fail - or is just getting warmed up. Read the PDF transcript of this episode.Wireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.Learn more about designing with Adobe XD at adobe.ly/tryxd.
29 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
How crowdfunding design makes it easy for us to give
As the pandemic created health and employment crises, a lot of people found themselves in urgent need of financial help. As a result, crowdfunding platforms are proving more popular than ever. They create personal connections between those of us asking for help, and those of us with money to give. We look at how platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Patreon and Chuffed deploy different strategies in their UX design to encourage us to give, and give more.In this episode: Wireframe producer Dominic Girard and host Khoi Vinh discuss how UX can help us give. A hospital emergency amidst a Covid-19 outbreak leads Ryan Parker and Shay Chestnutt to discover the kindness of strangers via GoFundMe. Prashan Paramanathan, CEO of Chuffed, explains how a few design and business choices combine to encourage us to give to smaller social causes. Charles Adler, designer and one of the founders of Kickstarter, shows us how the site is built to accelerate and encourage empathetic connections between funders and creators with great project ideas. And Ursula Sage is the Director of Product at Patreon. She tells us how recent UX changes to the platform has led to a huge increase in fans subscribing and funding their favourite artists. Read the PDF transcript of this episode.Wireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.Learn more about designing with Adobe XD at adobe.ly/tryxd.
27 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
Why can’t dad unmute himself on Zoom?
Your dad’s dog is barking in the background, but he doesn't know how to mute his video chat. Your uncle can’t get Netflix working on his new SmartTV. And grandma still can’t find where her favorite songs are stored on her tablet. Why is your family always depending on you for tech support? Sometimes design, technology, and getting older doesn't add up. And if design is failing older generations, it will eventually fail us all.In this episode: Wireframe producer Miriam Johnson and host Khoi Vinh chat about the risks and rewards of designing for older users. UX Researcher Michelle Brown is helping her parents install a new surveillance camera when she learns there's a much bigger problem. Dr. Jeff Johnson believes there is a right way to design for an ageing population; he co-wrote a book about it. Mike Duggan is a senior user who feels like Spotify wasn't made for his generation. Sophie Kim, a designer at Studio Red, made a music app just for people like Mike. Don Norman, tech and design expert, says that when we talk about designing for the elderly, we've got it all wrong.Read the PDF transcript of this episode.Wireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a unique podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.Learn more about designing with Adobe XD at adobe.ly/tryxd.
25 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Covid-19 is changing how designers think
With our first episode, we tackle the Covid-19 pandemic question directly: how has it affected designers and the work they do? Our episode explores the changing nature of work from a designer's perspective. We also examine what it means to design during a pandemic - and how our anxieties and concerns we have intersect with the responsibilities UX designers already have in making technology work better for us.In this episode: At the height of the pandemic, UX researcher Doug Collins found himself working in a very strange new office. Erika Hall at Mule Design wonders if it's time to say goodbye to the "old way" of doing things. Deroy Peraza recalls what he's learned navigating his studio, Hyperakt, through previous crises, and how the outbreak can focus his priorities. Sarah Foster lost her design job in the crisis; she's taking stock of where to go from here. Kevin Twohy thinks this crisis will change the kinds of projects he's willing to do in the future. Designer Paola Mendoza-Yu is still trying to understand how her role as a designer can help drive change. Designer Jessica Gaddis explains why now is the time for designers to listen, not act.Read the PDF transcript of this episode.Wireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Learn more about designing with Adobe XD at adobe.ly/tryxd.
2 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Season 3: The UX of life has changed
With the pandemic, the user experience of life has changed. It has affected how we feel, how we communicate, how we think and how we entertain ourselves. This season, we examine how good UX design can help technology support some very current anxieties. Can design help us sleep? Can it encourage us to be more charitable? Can it solve our family tech support conundrums? Can it entertain us with better online content? And come November, can it help us vote?Read the PDF transcript of this trailer.Wireframe reveals the stories behind user experience design and how it helps technology fit into our lives. It’s a podcast for UX/UI designers, graphic designers, and the design-curious. Hosted by Khoi Vinh, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.
29 minutes | Oct 22, 2019
Falling in Love with Good Design
Can an app really help you fall in love? Sometimes using a dating app feels like getting hit by cupid’s arrow - and sometimes it feels like you’ve been stung. We talk to designers and daters to see whether the UX of these apps is meant to help you find that someone special, or just to keep you swiping left indefinitely.Read the PDF transcript of this episode.
22 minutes | Oct 15, 2019
Faking Good Design
The world of FUI or fantasy user interface design is responsible for on-screen depictions of UX. Like the heads up displays for superheroes, or what a hacker sees as she cracks the government’s mainframe. All of these worlds are designed by someone. But, when it comes to designing these worlds, the lines between fiction and reality are often blurred. How do FUI designers create the futures we see on screen, and how do they influence the traditional designers who are building our real-life futures?Read the PDF transcript of this episode.
25 minutes | Oct 8, 2019
When Everything Looks Like Good Design
Design critics Jessica Helfand and Emily Heyward, founder of Red Antler, discuss what's at stake when everything looks the same -- and what designers can do about it.Read the PDF transcript of this episode.
22 minutes | Sep 24, 2019
Sounds Like Good Design
Sound is becoming more important in the world of design, especially as our devices shrink and we become less attached to screens. Wireframe speaks to sound designer Connor Moore and psychoacoustic expert Susan Rogers on the best ways to design for the ear.Read the PDF transcript of this episode.
27 minutes | Sep 17, 2019
Privacy, Trust, and Good Design
Khoi speaks with a roundtable of global privacy experts to find out whatdesigners can - and should - do to keep user data safe. Featuring: Georgia Bullen (SimplySecure), Amy Stepanovich (Access Now) and Lieke Beelen (Visual Contracts).Read the PDF transcript of this episode.
21 minutes | Sep 10, 2019
A Prescription for Good Design
Electronic health records aren’t just cumbersome and time-consuming, they’re actually damaging the doctor-patient relationship. How can UX designers help? Read the PDF transcript of this episode.
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