🍍 11/10 Allan Yu. Designing Products
7.00 – 8.30pm | All Sections
All cohort guest presentation & Q&A


💬 Group Discussion

8.50–9.10 | All Class
Discussion led by Vern and Dong.

Add a question from My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge and Designing in the Now before WE, 10/27 @ 12pm ET:
Discussion Question:
Shinee Wang
How do you differentiate between commercialized and individual website because for website to be truly personalized does it mean one has to code it from scratch? Or can one use a website building platform? If you use a website building platform does it still count as an individual expression or part of a product of commercialization? If only the meaning of the content is important then does the method used to create the website still matter? 
One thing I noticed is that users, especially those who were born in the digital age, have already gotten used to the similar patterns of digital designs. Sometimes, it might cause confusion for users if there is something different invented. How should we innovate new things but also, at the same time, not cause users cognitive load?
Tina Li
Mentioned in the article, the website has duality, it is both the subject and the object. Website creators can express and build websites in any form they like. Therefore, as a designer, it is necessary to have a website with your own style. How to highlight personal style in website design? When should the website be maintained?
Jakob Nielsen's principles for interaction design #4: Consistency and standards,we need to keep using some platform and industry conventions.  That can reduce users learning time with the new app. I think it is hard to balance design and user habits, if you do more changes maybe your user will feel confused.  If the interaction design is too similar, does the design focus of communication design pay more attention to the user experience?
Dong Xia
How to define a successful personal website? As stated in this article, a website as a plant, we cannot take it rush. A website may takes several years to bear ‘fruits’. Can we define it as a successful and meaningful website at that time? Or is it that we need to get other people's compliments or profit through this website to be a successful website? 
Nowadays all the digital design is using the flat design like Apple did, such as  Android, Windows and so on. Once a design has been well received by the market, many companies will use the same kind of design. Is it true that only designs made by large companies can be seen by everyone and called ‘revolutionary’ design? Is it difficult for the design from a personal studio to enter the public's vision?
Ruolin Fu

In one image of Sparrows talking about the future of the web.” ,it’s said that “the personal website is more important than social media platforms.” somewhat because of personal website is independent, and has its own structure. Do you agree with this point of view? In my opinion, those social media platforms seems more influential in the public.
Not only the visual style, the structures of websites and apps seems also similar. The cancel button always on the top left corner, while the sign in/out buttons always on the top right corner… It seems most of them follow the same rules. One advantage is that it's easier for users to get used to new products, but still result in the lack of breakthrough. Do you think that the website/app design in the future should make more changes about the structure? What can be done for we designers?
Mark Huang

Schwulst refers to website ideas as rocks, and each rock that comes to mind can be thrown into the ocean however many times not matter how unique or special. Are websites doomed to “expire” even with constant revision? Is she trying to say that to keep up with the future you must start websites with a new foundation?
I feel like in design, a lot of people tend to follow the “if it is not broken, then don’t fix it”. People design according to current trends to maximize results and exposure however those that push the boundaries either get shunned from the majority and miss out on a lot of job opportunities, etc. What is the most ideal way to approach this? Do we balance ourselves between the two and how does the design world provide a safe space for designers to push the boundaries while making a living?
Tegwen McKenzie
Schwulst’s “Wesbite as a Puddle” metaphor was of particular interest to me, since you don’t typically think of website content as ephemeral. Usually once it’s “out there”, you can’t take it back.

Schwulst specifically said that she “would love to see a website evaporate slowly, [like a puddle].” What kind of content do you think would suit this type of website? Does Snapchat work as an example of this metaphor?
Commercial website design often undergoes rigorous UX research and testing. 

If a “pithy slogan in white sans serif type, centered top to bottom and left to right, overlaying a responsive, edge-to-edge photograph” is proven to yield higher interactions or clickthroughs (or whatever it may be), is it wrong for companies to want to do what works? 

In theory, if companies can take short-cuts on web design by following said conventions, couldn’t that energy be then put into developing a really great product instead? Isn’t a great new product/service more important than a great new website?
Yining Zhu
Berners Lee said “I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfill our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions.” What do you think the hopes, dreams, fears are referring to? What do you think we as creatives can contribute to the websites? 
More and more web and app designs starting to look alike by potentially following the same trend. Similar styles could be helpful for designers to have a good understanding of industry standards but also limit designers’ creativity. Through your works, how do you balance following the trend and maintaining originality?
Karan Chowdhary

The author talks about how artists should create their own personal website to maintain balance on the web, with big-tech products taking over. On reaching the end of the essay, we’re given a link to an are.na channel. I felt that channel resonates pretty well with what was said in the essay about  creating a space. Now, do we really need a custom build website to achieve this? or are these open ended platforms also great at solving the purpose?
I agree that drawing major visual influence from competitors in the same space is an easy way to get your product out. I also agree that despite being in the same space, products should offer a unique experience for the user. But where do we draw a line on innovation? Do products in the space don’t need to have the conventional experience everyone is used to?
Vern Liu
As websites have been revolutionary changed wherever it's the form, the usability, or the way it expresses. What is the key to creating a website “today” and still functioning well in the future? Or the website is always a work in progress project? Do you constantly update your website?
We rely on the internet so much these days, we always browse for reference or inspiration. Everyone looks at the same design trend and tries to create something that is "current". What we are experimenting with right now is probably what other designers also designing as well. Do you think it is necessary to create work that fits the "current trend" or we should always try to avoid the "trend" and create something that's more personal and non-mainstream?
Thao Tran
Schwulst compares websites to gardens in each season, sometimes nourish and sometimes dead. How often should designers update their websites? What would you put on your website besides projects to keep them alive?
I have read somewhere that for human-centered design, if we want to make something unconventional, make it better than what's already been done. Although I believe following conventions makes it easier for user experience, letting users experience new things in a creative way is also important to designers. Should designers sacrifice creativity for conventions? Is there any way designers can satisfy both creativity and user's needs?
Jess Chen
You have mentioned website as many things, those are very interesting. I am wondering what is your favorite part of building a website? And what advices would you give to us as designers to build a website at the first place?
A UX designer who thinks ahead will be an invaluable asset to your company. He may talk about new use cases beyond screens—or how designing for accessibility is an area of interest for him. He may discuss new prototyping tools that save developers and designers time by converting the design to code, or he may simply explain an evolving trend and how terrific it is to be at the forefront of technology. What are some of the biggest trends in the UX Design industry right now?
Samantha Laite
The parallel to the internet to different avenues of nature is an interesting reflection of how it should be this living breathing, always changing piece of work. The commercialization and commodification of the web is just another product of a capitalist system. Similar to the connections made last week to design falling into capitalist categories, always needing to be pristine and ready to show. The article calls for our perspectives to change on how we view the web, and connecting further to the process of creation again. I wonder would users be comfortable highlighting an archive of their own to how their website has transitioned? I know you are able to look up website url histories but it would be interesting if it was a focus point on homepages to see the evolution and work put into organizing. 
Similar to my reflections of the last reading, this brings up thoughts on process. We have so much visual history at our fingertips, how do we differentiate and evolve our own style without the pressure to conform in the commodification of design? How can you tell what projects should follow trends, and when to attempt to push trends to new directions?
Grace Yang

Laurel Schwulst used the metaphor of “website as plant”. A website will grow on their own as long as you pick the right soil, water it and provide adequate sunlight. What do you think she’s indicating by saying soil, water and sunlight?
Rachel Berger brought up the concept of “camouflage” in a negative connotation, to describe design in the market that follows the trend. When the product manager is asking you to make “camouflage” work, in this scenario, what would be your response?

Homework for WE 11/17

📖 Read

✍🏼 Write
  • Write 1 question from the reading here for discussion by Wednesday 11/17 at 12pm ET