Your friends at Viget present Inspire, a Design & Interaction Blog

Florence and Working Through Your Bad Ideas

I was delighted to recently design Florence, an exploration of a tool that could help patients better keep up with their medications. (Read Laura’s breakdown of the whole project here!)

One of the most fun, challenging parts was designing the actual character of Florence, a “nurse” patients would interact with directly through texts. A human character like this needed to be recognizable, distinct, and of course, warm.

For a long time, I thought I’d be a better designer when I got to the point where my first idea would be the best one. I’d land on the right answer immediately every time. Lately though, I’ve started to embrace the Bad Idea phase. I’ve realized it’s not as unproductive as it might feel in the moment. Getting the bad ideas out of your system is what starts to get things moving so you can get to increasingly better solutions. The more things you know are wrong, the better you can understand why they’re wrong, then the better you can see what the right answer looks like and why it’s the best way to go.

Angled Edges with CSS Masks and Transforms

Elements with angled horizontal edges can create a unique visual flow while progressing through a page. Though not commonly seen on the web, we decided to use the treatment on the new website for The National Trust for Historic Preservation. We applied angled edges to several elements in different ways: some were applied to the bottom edge of a large full width images, while others were applied to the top and/or bottom edge of blocks with solid color backgrounds.

Inline Styles, User Style Sheets and Accessibility

There’s been a lot of buzz in front-end development around CSS organization and optimization. Two techniques that have emerged involve using inline styles. One is to inline critical styles in the head of the document for a performance improvement. The other is to inline styles directly on components managed by a javascript framework, like React, to improve code organization and performance. This got me wondering if these techniques, particularly their CSS specificity, could have an effect on user style sheets. I ran some tests and the results were surprising.

On Shaping a Design Education

When we say someone is self-taught, we mean that their skill has been acquired apart from any formal education. The term connotes initiative, dedication, and raw talent – particularly attractive attributes in the field of digital design, where romantic tales of garage startups, bootstrapped bands of digital pioneers, and fables of failure and determination are our industry’s lore. Our founding fathers were college dropouts seeking new frontiers.

The term “self-taught,” however, is slightly problematic. 

How to Implement Accessibility in Agency Projects: Part 1

If you're interested in making the sites you build more accessible to visitors with disabilities, or if you want your colleagues to be more aware of accessibility issues, it can be hard to know where to start. Historically, accessibility is often overlooked in the content and campaign-style sites built by digital agencies.

The exciting work we see on award sites is largely inaccessible, and the system perpetuates itself: if cutting edge sites aren't accessible, then it must not be possible to make accessible sites that are cutting edge. But it doesn't have to be that way. We have all the technology we need to make any site accessible and the result is a better experience for all users, not just those who are disabled. We've been making accessibility a bigger part of our work at Viget and wanted to share some of our progress.