September Event – Special Guest Speaker: Brad Colbow

In design, the user experience is paramount and getting the little details right can make a huge difference. In this presentation Brad talks about his experience designing interfaces for mobile devices and looking at how little changes can have a big impact on how we use them. You will be introduced to the world of human interface guidelines for mobile devices.

  • What can we learn by comparing and contrasting the guidelines of these mobile players and how can we incorporate it into our apps and websites?
  • What are the main differences in developing for these platforms and what do user experience designers need to take into account before starting a project?
  • Should you focus on building an app or make your website mobile friendly instead?

RSVP via Meetup

Cost: Free (free parking, too)


Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for hosting our September event. We’ll be meeting in downtown Detroit at:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
600 East Lafayette Street
Detroit, MI map | parking at BCBSM (free)

Registration is required. Please register before 10am September 18.

About Brad

Brad Colbow is creative director at Designing Interactive in Cleveland Ohio. Brad is an award-winning web designer, best known for his comics that are published monthly in .Net magazine and “The Brads” a (almost) weekly strip found on his personal website. His work has appeared on the New York Time’s website, CNET, Smashing Magazine and elsewhere. You can find out more about him and his work on his website

RSVP via Meetup

Recap: Web Design Process… More or Less

For our July meeting we were lucky enough to have Colleen Case and Maria Gosur from Schoolcraft College to talk about the Web Design Process.

The talk was about a framework for the web design process, taking 45 hours of teaching time and compressing it to 45 minutes. They discovered 40% of the population is re-tooling skills to the web, while 60% have grew up with the skills and looking for something advanced. Colleen is an interactive teacher, shifting from sage on the stage to guide by the side.

“The medium is the message”
– Marshall McLuhun, 1964

The content of the communications is blended with the medium. With the way it is sent, the interface is content.

Framework for team dynamics

  • Together everyone achieves more
  • It starts with a common vision
  • Creating a swing

Process (stages of development that are happening concurrently)

  1. Define the project
  2. Scope of the project
  3. Information architecture
  4. Build and integrate
  5. Site publishing

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Define the project

  • Figuring out who is on the team and what they do
  • It’s important to define these up front

Scope of the project

  • Common vision, defining an audience, review the data, technical needs
  • Audiences can mean more than one
  • How do we talk to the audience as a human
  • Persona’s should have names and refer to them as actual individuals
  • How can we best deliver your content to your audience
  • The scope of a website doesn’t end when it launches, it stretches for years after.
  • You can’t jump ahead in the process

Information architecture

  • Looking at all the information and start recognizing patterns
  • Sticky notes are a great way to visualize information to recognize patterns
  • Chunking is grouping information
  • Queueing is prioritizing information
  • Filters is creating unique access for multiple users
  • Abstracting is creating a consistant look from page to page to orient the user and allow them to get around
  • Where does the complexity of the site lie? In the back end or frontend for the user?

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Build and integrate

  • File management and naming conventions
  • Optimizing multimedia
  • Populating content
  • Site testing, not just functional but also the ascetics

Site publishing

  • Site Launch
  • Training, Updates, Maintenance
  • Debrief

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Things often overlooked

Your client knows the problem. Design is problem solving.

The project manager talks to the client so there is a single voice and ears for the entire project. One person can have multiple roles.

The content expert might not always be client. Writer/Editor. Usability Testing, Information Architect. Technology Researcher.

Visual designers are the person on the team that everyone’s favorite. Photographer. Illustrator. Multimedia Designer. Bringing the illustrator in early on can yield a lot of illustrations that explain the process to get everyone on the same page. It can expand understanding.

Technical designers look at everything that makes the website possible. Database developer. IT security specialist.

Usability designer. Test/focus group coordinator. Search engine optimization manager. Social media manager. Site analytics. Transition coordinator.

We consume web content as snacks, not meals. We scan, pick and choose what to interact with.

More Information:

July 13th meeting – Web Design Process…More or Less

Most facets of society, work, play, education are reinventing themselves in response to social networking and the growing presence of digital media, visual communication and access to an ever expanding universe of knowledge. As software and hardware platforms change, a solid design process can allow a method for collaborative teams to approach complex learning and development.

Solid design processes can help direct a group, increase project success rates, and inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers who will utilize communicative technologies and visual media to meet the challenges of current times. Maria and Colleen will share their collaborative work creating a design process that can assist the management and workflow of web design.

Colleen Case

As an associate professor in Computer Graphics Technology at Schoolcraft College, Past Education Director of ACM SIGGRAPH, Fulbright Scholar to China, and co-chair of other diverse international workshops and events; Colleen synergizes years of instructional design, graphic design, artistic endeavors and professional business experiences.

Colleen Case is published in the “International Journal of Web Based Communities”, “LEONARDO”,”SIGGRAPH Conference Abstracts and Applications” and “Elsie Vier”. She has done technical review and jurying for Eurographics, ACM SIGGRAPH, Thompson Learning and Scott Jones publishers.

Colleen has both business and educational experience in the fields of Computer Science and Computer Graphics. She established and tested a web design process for the classroom that evolved during a sabbatical into a workbook and is being further developed for publication.

Maria Gosur

Maria Gosur carries experience in diverse areas of design, business, and education. As an independent web and graphic designer of I Can Create That, for over six years Maria has been providing her creative services to many organizations, school systems, and design groups. Her various project experiences led her currently to a full-time Web/Application Developer position at Schoolcraft College where she also teaches Computer Graphics Technology courses part-time. Maria has also taught Digital Media Design courses at Baker College of Auburn Hills and has shared her expertise with volunteer groups and advisory committees.

For more details and to pre-register for this free meeting visit:

Register for Event


July 13th at 7:00 pm


Quicken Loans [MAP]


Free! You must pre-register by the morning of July 12, 2011
Sign-up now, even if you’re unsure. If you’re bringing a friend have them sign-up today also.

We look forward to seeing you there!