Designer and author Cennydd Bowles refers to hybrid designers as “unicorns”--those mythical creatures who not only can do user research, information architecture, and interaction design, but ALSO can make gorgeous interfaces. Many Interaction attendees hail from the camp of the former three, and it's not an easy leap to the latter--as I know from experience.
Over the past three years, I've been teaching myself visual design with the help of books, tutorials, and immensely-talented coworkers…and taking notes as I go. This fast-paced talk will cover not only why you'd want to hone your visual design skills, but also how. We'll look at the most important principles to focus on, ways to gather inspiration and move past the blank canvas, approaches to swiftly learn tools like Fireworks & Photoshop, and best practices (and pitfalls) in making pixel-perfect comps. (It'll be fun, I promise.)
The things that we see day-in/day-out gradually become invisible to us. Because of their assumed predictability—their form, capabilities, and roles are easily taken for granted. However, the familiar face of a thing often belies the complexity of its underlying material (or digital) conditions.
I feel that this state of complacency offers an irresistible opportunity to “hack” these experiences and figure out what surreal and awesome things they can do. As a designer, I try to better understand how things work in order to demonstrate the surprising capabilities in the world hiding in plain sight.