Earlier this year I attended the inaugural Artifact Design Conference in Austin, Texas. While there were several great presentations on a range of topics, I was particularly interested in one by Dan Mall, in which he introduced the idea of the element collage.
In his presentation he talked about his design process. He spoke of his initial excitement when he first meets with a client, when great ideas are running through his mind and he can't wait to get started on the design. But by the time the project actually makes it to his desk, by way of site planning, information architecture, wireframing, and client approval, those initial design ideas aren't as sharp as they were two weeks prior and perhaps his enthusiasm has fizzled some too.
In order to take advantage of the enthusiasm that comes with a new project, now Dan runs straight to Photoshop where he purges all his initial ideas onto the canvas. Over time, he adds more and more elements to this collage to finish with what he calls, you guessed it, the element collage.
An element collage is not a finished design. When presented with a finished site design, clients often get too hung up on little things. Not realizing that little things can be changed easily, they reject the whole concept.
An element collage is not a wireframe, or moodboard. These concepts are often too abstract for the client to visualize the finished product. In his article on the subject, Dan Mall likens this to "showing someone a blueprint of their dream house and asking them what curtains would fit well in the space."
An element collage is a collection of pieces to a larger design puzzle. There is no specific logic or order to page, it's meant only to convey a feeling for the visual branding of the website. It's not about wording, functionality, or technical details, but about the overall visual essence of the page.
We recently pitched for new project and decided to present our design concept as an element collage. In this regard, their self-explanatory nature can also be great for spec work, when you're not present to converse on the topic of design. Here's a little bit of what that looked like —
We received favorable feedback from the prospective client and plan to work more with element collages in the future. I foresee other agencies doing the same as this concept grows in popularity and usefulness.
While we had our national day mid-week it didn't put us off of compiling our weekly selection of stories that got our attention. Enjoy!
MailChimp: How Gmail’s New Inbox Is Affecting Open Rates
A few weeks ago Google introduced a new segregation of it's Gmail inboxes. Here is some insight on how the opening rates of newsletters have developed.
Amazee Metrics: An introduction to Universal Analytics
Google introduced with Universal Analytics a new tool for analytics. Amazee Metrics' George Papadongonas gives you an insight what you currently can expect of it.
Drupal Groups: 1M Drupal installs and counting! (11110100001001000000)
The millionth registered Drupal installation is approaching. Within the Drupal community questions are raised on how to celebrate this milestone.
The Hipster Logo Design Guide
Need a hipster logo? Here is a simple tutorial on how to create one. Now you'll definitely will stand out of the crowd.
Tweets that cut through the noise
Taking a MacBook to a conference, or generally out in the world? This would be a wise move: http://t.co/HPiMobQ9ik
— Matt Gemmell (@mattgemmell) July 31, 2013
Once you work in a part of town for a time you will most certainly have tried all available lunch options. How can you break the circle of always eating the same meals? Of course you can bring in food from home, get a ready meal or just don't care and rotate your favorite outlets. However if you have a tea kitchen at your workplace available an entire new world can open up to you.
Here are some inspirations you might not think of but they are easy to make, absolutely delicious and, best of all, don't require any fancy cooking facilities. All you need is a cutting board and a knife and any you are ready to go.
Pumpernickel, Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Honey
Pro tip: Sprinkle some salt, pepper and lavender bracts on top of it.
Tomato-Watermelon Salad with Feta
For the dressing just use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Tomato Focaccia, Pesto and Mozzarella
If you want you can add a few rocket leaves to add some greens to the mix.
All ingredients, utilized in the meals above, should be available in every average supermarket.
What are you having for lunch?
After a short break the Essence of a web week is back. This week's five featured stories stem from the world of Responsive Design, Drupal and extreme challenges. Enjoy!
comScore: Facebook and Google Capture Majority of Time Spent Online in Switzerland
A little insight on how popular website's are accessed by Swiss internet users.
DrupalCon Prague 2013: DrupalCon New and Improved - Meet the Drupal Labs Initiative
Learn all about a new format that will debut at Drupalcon Prague.
PRISM - All your data, in one place
There's a new cloud service available...
Responsive Web Design
Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog: How Time Adopted Responsive Design And Saved Time
Three conclusions of Time Magazine's new responsive site.
In the sweltering heat, of a Swiss summer that deserves its name, it's our great pleasure to welcome Anna Hanchar to the team.
As part of her Master course in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Basel she will complete here practical part with us. Next to serving our clients and team with the latest findings in web usability research, she will add a new nationality to our tropical mix: Anna hails from Belarus. When not pursuing her studies she can be found hiking, snowboarding or listening to some weighty metal tunes.
Welcome on board Anna.
With the current weather conditions we are enjoying our new office and the terrace. Therefore a little BBQ over lunch is just the right thing to boost the team spirit even more.
A lot of meat and sausages. Actually all of this was sponsored by a friend of ours (@slartbart), thank you very much.
Michael is quite an all-rounder
Enjoying our meal
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's our absolute pleasure to introduce Amazee Labs' latest release: Classic Driver.
In this week's edition we take a look at two extreme challenges, question Yahoo's strategy and say good by to an old friends. Enjoy!
Dania's Windsurfing Extreme Challenge
After Gregory's legendary extreme challenge last year, it's now time for Dania to test her mettle with an extreme challenge. Ten years after picking up windsurfing, Dania's ambition is it to take her windsurfing skills to the next level.
On Sunday the Red Bull X-Alps 2013 will commence where Christian Maurer and Thomas Theurillat (Team SUI1), who we proudly provided with a new website, will try to defend their crown. At last year's TEDXZurich the pair shared some experiences of the previous races.
Ars Technica: Hasta la (Alta) Vista: Yahoo pulls the plug on services you forgot existed
Please pardon the pun in the title, however an old companion on the web will finally be retired.
GigaOM: Marissa Mayer has been on a shopping spree at Yahoo, but is there any sign of a strategy?
In a previous edition we highlighted the fact that Yahoo, under new management, was flexing its muscles. Mathew Ingram however questions the strategy behind these acquisitions.
Drupal Association: The Making of a DrupalCon - Where Should We Go Next?
If you want the next DrupalCon to be in your backyard, here's your chance to make a case for it.
The Essence of a web week will take a short break and return on Saturday 27 July.
It's our great pleasure to announce our allegiance with X-Alps Team SUI1 Maurer / Theurillat, as the first athlete sponsorship in our history.
Christian Maurer and Thomas Theurillat are the two-time winners and reigning champions of the world's most extreme adventure race - the Red Bull X-Alps. The competition is a 1,031km race across the Alps, from Salzburg to Monaco, either by foot or by paraglider.
As part of our sponsorship we built a new and fully responsive Drupal website befitting the champions.
We want to wish Christian and Thomas all the best on their adventure.
Dear reader, in this technology heavy edition we take a look at Drupal 8, responsive design on our favourite content management frame work and 3-D printing next step towards the mainstream. Enjoy!
Dries Buytaert: Drupal 8 alpha releases
Exciting times in Drupal land. The second alpha of Drupal 8 was released this week. It is important to stress that this is an alpha release which shouldn't be mistaken for a release candidate. Having said that it is great to see that the project is heading in the right direction.
Designbeep: Drupal is Better When Responsive
A short reminder why we love Drupal: It's a SEO and responsive design friendly framework. Please allow us to recommend the Omega theme as the 4th option to the theme list.
Medium: Content-first design ain’t herding cats
Paul Souders share's his view on the topic of content-first design.
Co.Design: Microsoft Makes 3-D Printing As Simple As Clicking “Print"
Interesting to see that Microsoft embraces 3-D printing in it's forthcoming version of Windows.
Tweets that cut through the noise
— DrupalCon (@drupalcon) June 27, 2013
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