Why type matters

Fonts grow on trees and everyone with a computer is a designer, right? Which means they all know about type, of course.

Well, not quite. Typography is a language, with its own grammar and syntax. And as with any language, fluency comes with in-depth study and regular practice, making communication as fluid and efficient as possible. And as communications channels both proliferate and converge, command of the language is a vital component in creating the most functional and efficient vehicles for communication. Type matters – read on and find out why.  More ‣ 

Making a Mockery

In a previous posting, I referred to small, homegrown apps that do specific tasks very well. One such is Balsamiq Mockups, a highly targeted application for mocking up user interfaces.

Where Mockups really wins is by striking a clever balance between utility (it contains pre-built versions of just about every UI component you could ever realistically need), fidelity (meaning even a quick sketch looks polished enough to convey quite detailed aspects of an interface), and hierarchy (that quick sketch has sufficient structure to indicate meaning and intent). Every component is editable to some degree, so, for example, switching from tabs to dropdowns is a simple copy-and-paste. Wireframing therefore becomes a snap, and yet there is still enough of a handdrawn feeling to convey a sense that, while things are certainly considered, they are not yet set in stone.  More ‣