Blog

Designing for Millennials, Designers Coding, Harriet Tubman…

Amy Vainieri

Design Director, Forum One

"What We’re Talking About" is a blog series featuring the articles, websites, topics, and trends that the Forum One team has been chatting about.

Millennials…that precious audience that so many of our clients are trying to reach. This week we read a report by Kate Meyer with research results from a comprehensive study of young users. While we’ve been designing for this audience for a while, there were some interesting nuggets from this report that we’ll be keeping in mind—particularly that there weren’t large international differences, and that younger audiences prefer interactivity that has a purpose. Useful information, but we’ll continue to test our products directly with our target audiences as those results are invaluable.

Our biggest discussion this week was the age-old question: should designers code? Two strong articles this week argued that they shouldn’t, and perhaps should study business instead. It’s not that there aren’t talented designers out there who code, or developers who are strong designers, but those are definitely the minority. Asking a designer to “just learn to code” is missing the point of collaboration and teamwork. Two or more experts in their fields working together to create something is better than one whose skills might be diluted. We love collaboration here at Forum One, and our best products come from when all of our teams work together to bring their best expertise and ideas to the table. However, this doesn’t mean that designers (or user experience experts, or content strategists, etc.) shouldn’t know how code works. Anyone who’s producing for the digital space should have a solid knowledge of what’s possible as well as the limitations. Having an understanding and appreciation for code can only make you stronger. We also all agreed that if a designer is itching to should study an area more, perhaps they should look to accessibility instead of code. You can design the most beautiful thing in the world, but if a chunk of your audience can’t use it, what’s the point?

Like many others, we were excited to see the announcement that Harriet Tubman will be new face of the $20 bill by 2020. We were less excited by the comments on that particular article, but if you want to find hope for humanity…a comments section is the last place you look. While we’re all for the change, we did still question why our currency is so different from other countries. It’s somewhat of a usability problem. Why no bright colors to more quickly differentiate between denominations, various sizes to help visually impaired citizens, or—gasp—more than one person on the front a bill? Regardless, bully for Harriet, and if you need a refresher on why she deserves such an honor, we might recommend this excellent summary.

And finally, if you’re looking for something awesome in the true sense of the word, check out these three-dimensional paper sculptures by Rubén Martínez. Epic.

 

Written By

Amy Vainieri

Design Director, Forum One