Kill Your Darlings

The phrase “kill your darlings”, frequently directed towards writers, can also be advised towards designers. During the design process, Joshua Brewer states that there is a “risk of emotional attachment.” This can come from the feeling of joy after solving a problem or simply from the amount of time poured into the design.

When this occurs, the designer loses the ability to be objective about their work. They see their creation as the one and only answer, creating bias towards the answer. The design you make might not actually be perfect.

However, he also says that emotional attachment might not always be bad. While a lack of attachment will cause the designer to be more objective when creating there work, the process of creating the “darling” is crucial to the overall process and it might lead to a better solution. Best case scenario: It actually is the right answer and others will think so too.

Coming up with true examples for “killing your darlings” is pretty difficult. Nearly every interface and homepage update contains some example of this which relates to “Don’t Make Me Think” as well. Simplicity and efficiency reign supreme over cluttered, unstructured design.

Good demonstration of title hierarchy and blocking.
Poor example of letting too many design choices clutter usability.

There is a distinct lack of differentiation between personal and public content. This detrimental to both people with large followings and people who follow a large amount of celebrities.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn3oIcMHl2x/
Example of not fully killing a concept, but rather building on it to find an end result.

References:

UX Design Short – Kill Your Darlings

Redesign sample image

Visual Hierarchy, Information Architecture, and the new Snapchat Update

Process Reflection #1

I joined this course in order to develop my skills in data visualization, user experience design, and have a better understanding of digital humanities. So far, it has been incredibly interesting to see examples of beautiful visual storytelling such as Koya Bound and Snowfall. In terms of digital humanities, I definitely lean on the side that digital archival and design of data is necessary and valuable for the future.

I am a Digital Studies major with a focus on digital media. Currently, I am researching and planning my capstone project which will investigate the influences on personal identity through digital marketplaces and social media platforms. Through the growth of social media and online forums, it is only natural that the development of identity can be affected by digital factors. During this research, I will conduct interviews, analyze data from online marketplaces, and track the growth of companies. I want to be able to utilize the skills that I have learned so far into making a meaningful project which also has a beautiful, efficient design.

Data Visualization

Tony, Niara, & Margaret

This is our first attempt at a data visualization chart. While our technical skills may be rusty, our aesthetics are on point. This is a 100% bar chart made using Google sheets. While the chart is not technically used for its intended purposes, the sheer amount of data categories we had made the chart so bad that it actually kinda makes sense.

On the left side, we have our users. On the right side we have the color key matching a skill. In order to find other classmates with skills that are high in a specific category, we can find the category with the key and visually see who has the largest percentage in that category. For example, if I need someone with a particular high level of patience, I can quickly see that Jonathan and Ariana are the ones I need to contact.

While this is useful at a glance, the largest con to using a 100% bar chart is that everyone caps out to 100%. This chart would only truly work if people answered every question. If someone answered only a few questions, their color bar would be inflated so it would be difficult to compare to someone who answered every question.

Tony

Self Portrait, 2019.

As seen above, in my magnum opus, I am an aspiring graphic and UX designer. I enjoy making art because I got tired of waiting for people to make art that I wanted to see. In an increasingly technological world, there is no room for bad design and poor user experiences. Looking at you, davidson.edu.

My happy place is in bed, shoes kicked off, and looking at clothes. Not always buying, just looking. I like clothes. A little too much actually. I’ve been into fashion for about six years and I think it’s an increasingly interesting hobby. Not just in a physical, materialistic sense, but rather, a human sense. I enjoy learning about the various methods of production, subcultures that emphasize themselves through their attire, the politics and environmental impacts, and the stories of those behind the clothes. At the end of the day, I like telling stories through designs which makes me a great appreciator of cool album art, slick website designs, gripping book covers, and overpriced coffee bags.

My end goal is to be a UX designer or lead editor for a major media company in New York that focuses on culture, technology, music, and fashion. What stands in my way:

  • Money.
  • I don’t really know how public transit works in New York.
  • I need an internship.
  • Money.
  • I need to get better at coding.
  • I need to graduate.
  • Money.
  • I need to get better at Adobe CC.
  • Money.

ps; on the off chance some major company finds this post, please check out my actual work at tnnguyen.net