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Designing and Photographing for Real Life

For photographers, it’s not a stretch to read the book as well and consider compassion when taking photos, and shoot with a lens of kindness.

Dafuq? When was Save for Web designed, a decade ago?

Dafuq? When was Save for Web designed, a decade ago?

Well, what the F else am I supposed to do other than click yes? Then go get a cup of coffee while my machine grinds to a near halt? Pretty sure this is what’s called nonempathic design, because like I got a million other better things to do today than fight with Photoshop over the size of my files. Wouldn’t Adobe know that RAW files have gotten exponentially bigger and I’d want to share them on the web? I did just spend all morning editing one, right?

Well, well-timed as ever, A Book Apart just released a handy guide to avoid these types of design mistakes. Back when I used to talk design stuff (pre Snapchat, hook-up apps, and entitled Millennials in the workplace), I called a frustrating dialog like this UXA: user-experience arrogance.

The issue is designers thinking the world they command is all that matters, not realizing their app is in an ecosystem on my desktop or handheld. Much smarter people than me, and who are more current about design topics have written Design for Real Life. The guide also discusses our emotional relationship with software, and how it affects us. Like, how Facebook will show you a painful moment of your past, whether you want it to see it or not…or most recently when Tay, Microsoft’s cute chatbot, got gamed, and turned into a hate-spewing, perverted homophobe by those trolling assholes that lurk in the dark corners of the Interwebs.

“Tay” went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in <24 hrs.

“Tay” went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in

Considering the audience, their emotions, and how they use your product isn’t limited to software or the web. The experience of extreme 1x chain lines on bicycles, quick release failures, or why it’s not universally understood that disc brakes are significantly better than calipers is certainly a topic within the domain of real-life design.

When you’re climbing at a speed so slow the GPS can’t calculate where you are anymore, last thing you need is metal on metal drag with 1x in a 44 x 42. An emphatic product designer would’ve quieted that system down considerably.

When you’re climbing at a speed so slow the GPS can’t calculate where you are anymore, last thing you need is metal on metal drag with 1x in a 44 x 42. An emphatic product designer would’ve quieted that system down considerably.

From the forward by Anil Dash

You can’t always predict who will use your products, or what emotional state they’ll be in when they do. But by identifying stress cases and designing with compassion, you’ll create experiences that support more of your users, more of the time.

For photographers, it’s not a stretch to read the book as well and consider compassion when taking photos, and shoot with a lens of kindness.

Oh, and, that photo finally outputted for the web, just as I was finishing a draft of this post.

Find the book online at A Book Apart. The paperback is $18.00 and eBook $9.00. Combine the 2 formats and save at $22.50. Design for Real Life is authored by Eric A. Meyer and @sara_ann_marie.




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