It’s time for a challenge, designers!

Winter season is approaching us in Helsinki with its full speed. It is a great time to warm up your house with the candle light and make your days more bright from within. For doing so, I am starting the challenge campaign of my own and invite you all to share it with me. You are welcome to join me with your own challenge, comment on my posts and help me to keep things going or like my posts if you think it’s worth it!

From 8th of November till the 27th of December, every day I will post the result of my quick lettering exercise.

50 days in the row and 50 lettering exercises are awaiting to be created! 

For the first time I decided to dedicate this challenge to the spices in my kitchen. I’ve chosen this topic because spices are making taste of the food bright, different and interesting and the variety of tastes are endless!

So, the rules are simple:

  • Draw one quick (15 min max) hand-lettering design for one spice.
  • Any instruments to draw are allowed.
  • Photograph or scan and post it in my Instagram with hashtag #letteringspicechallenge.
  • Keep the challenge going every day for fifty days, starting from 8th of November.

Cheers and keep things rolling!
Valeria

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Accelerating the digitalization, design point of view.

Last week I was happy to participate in the ‘Breakfast Date: Accelerating Digitalization’ organized by Women in Tech Finland.

microsoft-flux

Photo of the venue taken by Microsoft Flux staff.

The digitalization topic is directly related to my thesis I’m currently writing in Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. And even thought the big part of my thesis supposed to be about digitalization and the influence it has on our everyday life in general and public healthcare services in particular, it was so interesting to listen the speakers who are extremely fluent in their area and working at the very core of the digitalization processes. Two IoT professionals Henriikka Åkerman and Hanna Nikkilä were talking about their work and projects they were involved in,cloud technology and IoT with Microsoft Azure. The event took place at the Microsoft Flux co-working space and was organized by ‘Women in Tech, Finland Chapter’ community.

This morning gave me new insights to continue my writing, talks were very inspiring and educative. I’d like to thank the presenters and organizers for this opportunity, atmosphere and motivating discussions!

So, what the Digitalization is?

Continue reading

Things that designed to solve problems and things that designed to be loved.

How do you design things that people will love?

There is always something else out there, that is better, faster, smarter, more efficient and resourceful. How do you pick the one you will love and be attached to? How would you design meaning and not just a function that fulfil someone’s (talked through and researched) needs and solve the well-analyzed problems?

We want our life to have a sense, a purpose, and we are in constant search for it. The new day, the new projects, new people and places, – time is running and we just can’t help ourselves to stop the flood. World nowadays is full of solutions and that’s the problem. There are a tons of things that grab your attention and it’s very easy to miss the point, loose your focus and sense of presence. It’s a big challenge nowadays to keep your purity, be mindful in what you’re doing and honest with yourself. We live in an era of destruction and our brain can’t keep up with this pace.

The experience that fascinates people is directly linked to the meaning of interaction with the product(service). Thus, the way how you design products and services while you’re looking for creating the new meaning and experience should be totally different to one when you design products based on facts, user research, analyzed needs of the users and all other possible data, collected beforehand. Continue reading

Website building: purpose, navigation and identity, IDBM case.

When I got the task and had to build the website for IDBM program that would replace the old one (that was down at that moment) I was so excited and had a lot of fireball ideas and wanted to try all of them at the same time. 🙂

In reality I was not able to code anything but very simple html (now I’m a bit better and still learning the basics of coding), and of course my colleagues have had some sort of ideas what kind of website they would like to have (”We need a new website and it is quite urgent. “ :)). Continue reading

The IDBM Book 20/5, anniversary edition. Part one: design and teamwork, the best combination ever.

The IDBM Book 20/5 was made while I was working as a designer in IDBM program in Aalto University School of Business and the length of the project was about 3-4 months. The idea of ’The IDBM book 20/5’ was to showcase the IDBM program, its projects and activities, and provide a solid understanding of what the program entails. The first edition, for the academic year 2014-2015, is produced celebrating 20 years of IDBM as a minor and 5 years as a master program. Continue reading

“We can’t design experiences. Experiences are reactions to the things we design.” Amen.

A very interesting and quite long reading about perspectives of digital design, homogeneity and patterns in a designing a user experience. There are a few quotations from it, something that grabbed my attention and resonate with my recent thoughts. You might find there something for you as well. Continue reading

Motenashi – traditional Japanese hospitality for understanding what is good UX design can do for its users.

A very interesting article about good UX design and inspiration that it might got from ‘Motenashi’, – the Japanese term that uses for explaining the ideal rules how to host a guests and general hospitality pattern. Here is the article: good UX design and AI today.

I think I agree with the idea that I wouldn’t feel very comfortable with the app that totally anticipate my next move and knows me too well. As a human being I want to be spontaneous and creative every now and then, and, going though a routine can be a good in case of being productive, but quite hurting as well, because there is a creative part of me, that is considering myself as a unique personality that goes ‘her own way all the time’ and no way it can be anticipated by some algorithm. 🙂
So clumsiness of the modern AI can be thought through again and again, in order to make people feel better about using them (because it’s a great help indeed) and don’t feel that they are constantly watched.

And for designers it’s important not just fill  the Apps with all those cool AI like features, but find the balance and carefully guide the user from ‘newcomer’ to the ‘regular’ without freaking them out. Empathy. Trying new stuff. Constant learning.

Here is why I love my job. 🙂

29.07.2015, Tampere, Finland

Sources for learning and become a wiser person 🙂

1. CreativeLive — Take free creative classes from the world’s top experts.

2. Read through this goldmine of articles to improve your photography skills. Digital photography.

3. Explore the largest collection of audio articles powered by real people. Dropbox has acquired Umano. Brain Pickings is a great replacement for 17.Umano.

4. Brain Pickings.  Insightful long form posts on life, art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.

5. Peer to peer learning. Peer 2 Peer University or P2PU, is an open educational project that helps you learn at your own pace.

More useful links are here, enjoy being smart! 🙂 33 websites.

24.06.15, Helsinki. /Material design/

From Flat design to Material design.

1. Material design is a design science. Article that introduce the main idea of Material Design.


2. Google introduction manual to the material design philosophy.

“We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. This is material design.”

Our materials are space, time, light and shadows.

Space. The material environment is a 3D space, which means all objects have x, y, and z dimensions. The z-axis is perpendicularly aligned to the plane of the display, with the positive z-axis extending towards the viewer. Every sheet of material occupies a single position along the z-axis and has a standard 1dp thickness.  There are certain rules how this environment inside your mobile device is functioning, and all of those a natural extension to the surrounding.

Every command and every operation has its own depth scale in this 3D space and follows the common rules. Illustration of the elevation principle.

Light and shadow. Within the material environment, virtual lights illuminate the scene. Key lights create directional shadows, while ambient light creates soft shadows from all angles. Shadows in the material environment are cast by these two light sources. In Android development, shadows occur when light sources are blocked by sheets of material at various positions along the z-axis. On the web, shadows are depicted by manipulating the y-axis only. The following example shows the card with a height of 6dp.

Time is working as a connector between elements and create a smooth authentic motion while user’s browsing. Smooth and natural animation mechanics, connected to the physics theory and following the principles of reality around.

“Motion design can effectively guide the user’s attention in ways that both inform and delight. Use motion to smoothly transport users between navigational contexts, explain changes in the arrangement of elements on a screen, and reinforce element hierarchy.” Main ideas are visual continuity, hierarchical timing and consistent choreography.

And finally, colours.
“Color in material design is inspired by bold hues juxtaposed with muted environments, deep shadows, and bright highlights. Material takes cues from contemporary architecture, road signs, pavement marking tape, and athletic courts. Color should be unexpected and vibrant.” Less is more. Or just enough.

Icons. Build and prototype.


24.06.15, Helsinki. Daily feed.

1. Stefan Sagmeister  interview. Record cover designs will always be superior to film posters.

‘I’m somewhere in the middle when it comes to how much newness do I want in my life and work, and how much consistency. I’ve known people that want that newness all the time and I think that I’m not that radical.’

Future for graphic design: ‘Anything that’s possible to be animated will be animated. I think that the printing technology in the 3D world will play a bigger role, or will introduce and make it much easier for graphic designers to do products because again it’s that same space. Or I would say that that printing technology will continue to play a big role as far as individual execution, because inkjet will take over more and more spaces. It means that you can do something that’s much smaller in run and much more individual in their outlook. So my assumption would be that custom-made, low-run, high-end projects will play a bigger role considering specifically that only very specialised things will have the desire and the need to be a physical object.’


2. Anticipating design. Too much choices is a problem.


3.The first thing in design is..noticing. As human beings, we get used to “the way things are” really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity … Could things be better? Ted talk by Tony Fadell.