Issue 30: The foundation of designer and art director

Special edition: The foundation of designer and art director.

Issue 30: The foundation of designer and art director

Hello, dear readers! 👋

This is the third special issue edition where I focus on the specific profession related to dev or design. In this part, we will talk about the fundamental knowledge and tools that will be useful to a designer today. I tried to select exactly the base that all designers might need, regardless of the field. This is a kind of the motherboard on which you can install special knowledge in specific areas of design.

Other special issues:

What's inside this release:

  • The best books
  • A large selection of articles
  • Courses and lectures
  • Tools and files to work with

Let's briefly list the disciplines, the possession of which lies at the foundation of the work of a good designer and art director:

  • Work Ethic
  • Negotiations with colleagues, managers and clients
  • Project management, the ability to organize yourself and others
  • Principles of perception and fundamentals of psychology
  • Basics of Marketing
  • Text and infostyle
  • Typography, composition, coloristics
  • Intellectual and contract law (fundamentals)

In this issue, I've tried to collect the best materials on these areas of knowledge.

📚 Books

Project management and negotiations:


Composition & Color:

Psychology of perception and communication:

Personal effectiveness:

🗞 Articles

What makes me a designer?

Tobias van Schneider made a short but valuable instruction for beginners, in which he tried to give an explanation of what it feels like to be a designer:

  • Strong urge to design absolutely everything around. It's as simple as that
  • Unexplainable desire to touch my surroundings and give them a little bit of self
  • Design is about control

My goal in life is to design everything I want to change around me. To design anything I believe should be redesigned, reimagined or improved

What makes me a designer?
This question crossed my mind enough times recently that I went into the DESK archives to find my own answer. To my surprise, there wasn’t one. I’ve never written about it, not until today.

84 cognitive biases you should exploit to design better products

A large review article on cognitive distortions in the context of digital product design. The article is very large, it is worth eating it in parts. But it's worth it, because there are a lot of specific interface examples.

About cognitive distortions, but not in the context of design, but in general, there is a good "Cognitive bias cheat sheet" by Buster Benson.

84 cognitive biases that will help you design better-converting products
Learn how to use cognitive biases to increase your product’s conversion rates, engagement level, and retention. A must-read article for every entrepreneur and product manager dealing with UX, UI and B2C products.
Cognitive bias cheat sheet
Because thinking is hard.

39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes

Kennedy Elliott's materials on visualization methods and their perception by humans. She has prepared a summary of psychological research that helps to better understand what data visualization is, how different types of graphs and objects in them distort perception, on which axis it is easier for people to compare proportions, which types of graphs and diagrams are most effective, and much more.

39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes
These are my speaker notes from a talk I gave at OpenVis in April 2016. Originally this talk was supposed to be called “Everything we know…

Cognitive distortions of designers

Koos Looijesteijn applied the most well-known and studied cognitive distortions to the profession of a designer. He described how these distortions affect the development of projects and how they can be compensated.

Types of distortions and ways to eliminate them:

  • The "Ikea effect" is a bias in which people tend to overestimate what they have created with their own hands. Solution: share your work and ask the opinion of other designers to form a more objective idea
  • "The Dunning-Kruger Effect" — the tendency to overestimate the level of your knowledge and skills. Solution: try to devote more time to research and test your hypotheses even at the design development stage. This will help to correct errors in time, if there are any
  • "The syndrome of rejection of someone else's development" is an attempt to invent something new, instead of using the old but proven. Solution: try to start by looking for simple, but working ideas, and also study the work of competitors
  • "False blindness" — inattention in which a person does not pay attention to any object or stimulus. For example, you may not notice some gross error in the text or in the design. Solution: invite users to test your design, perhaps they will find errors that you did not see, because all people pay attention to different things
  • "Survivor's mistake" is an attempt to learn lessons only from positive examples, ignoring unsuccessful ones. Solution: study failed examples of projects more often and ask yourself why they failed to succeed?
  • "Confirmation bias" is a prejudice in which we see only what is familiar to us and discard alternative theories and refutations of our point of view. Solution: For example, don't test alone. So you will not be able to interpret the results in your favor
Design better by avoiding your cognitive biases
Can you outsmart your brain? Seven biases that mess up your designs and what you can do against them.

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