Tag Archives: graphic design

Designing for and Teaching Accessibility

To raise awareness and provide specific examples of ways to incorporate principles of accessibility into professional practice and design education, Design Incubation and AIGA/New York is inviting a group of scholars, practitioners and industry leaders to discuss accessible digital design and its relevance to the New York design community.

A morning panel discussion will provide a venue for experts to share their knowledge and an optional afternoon workshop will promote understanding of basic accessibility issues, concepts and best practices.

At a minimum, criteria for success of a designed product, service or experience should be its usability by everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Since digital access is a Civil Right covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the question of usability and access are now as important to digital and interactive designers as to those who produce products and physical artifacts.

“Inclusive design” theory and practice are becoming the norm with companies increasingly expecting employees to know the common standards and specifications for accessible interfaces which are used by people with disabilities (and meet legally mandated ADA compliance standards). Unfortunately, even as progress has been made in industry, teaching digital accessibility is rarely part of design curriculum or undergraduate course work.

For more information, see http://aigany.org/event/designing-teaching-accessibility/

All are welcome, but this workshop will be most useful for designers and educators who are less familiar with best practices around accessible design and want to learn more about how to practice and/or teach inclusive digital access and interactive design/graphic design/visual communications.

Saturday, 14 April 2018
10:00-4:00 pm
General Assembly, New York City

9:45AM-10:00AM Attendee check-in

10:00AM-12:00PM Panel Discussion
Bo Campbell is an Interaction Designer and Accessibility Design Lead at IBM.

Elizabeth Guffey teaches art and design history at SUNY Purchase. She is author of several books, including Designing Disability: Symbols, Spaces and Society

Liz Jackson is the founder of the Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective, a disability design organization that is focused on increasing the impact of beautiful, functional products in our everyday lives and in the global economy.

Neil Ward is currently an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Drake University.

1:00PM-4:00PM Workshop (limited space)
Integrating Accessibility Workshop:
Inclusive Design Methodologies and Practice
Bo Campbell, Accessibility Design Lead for IBM, will conduct a workshop on accessible design while focusing on disability as a design challenge.


Billion-dollar graphic design baby: Canva becomes Australia’s unicorn

Canva, a Sydney-based graphic design start-up, has become Australia’s latest tech “unicorn”, after closing a funding round valuing its operations at $US1 billion ($1.3 billion).

The company on Tuesday announced it had raised $US40 million from investors including the Chinese arm of vaunted Silicon Valley investment firm Sequoia Capital and existing shareholders Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures.

Sydney-based Melanie Perkins has turned her graphic design start-up into a billion dollar business.

Co-founder Melanie Perkins said the company was profitable and didn’t need the money but was offered terms too good to refuse.

The startup, whose apps help advertisers and companies create banners, logos and presentations, plans to double its workforce of 250 staff over the next year, she added.

“It’d be crazy not to take it,” she said.

“We can grow our team as rapidly as we can and know that we’ve got the financial backing to make those decisions very easily.”

Canva’s latest round of funding makes it a ‘unicorn’, a private company valued at $US1 billion or more. That’s a rare startup success for Australia’s technology scene: only eight of its listed technology companies are worth more than $US1 billion compared with 18 companies in metals and mining alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In December, Melbourne based construction software firm Aconex agreed to be acquired by software giant Oracle for $1.6 billion.

In a column for Fairfax Media in 2015, Perkins said the idea for the company came to her while teaching at university in 2006. She also made the 2017 Young Rich List, with an estimated net worth of $128 million.

Canva’s shareholder register is literally star-studded. It has previously attracted funding from Hollywood stars Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson and Lars Rasmussen of Google Maps and Wave fame, who Perkins said played a key role in the growth of the company.

“The second day I went to San Francisco, I pitched him the idea for Canva​, literally on paper pitch decks,” Perkins said.

We can grow our team as rapidly as we can and know that we’ve got the financial backing to make those decisions very easily

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins

“Fortunately rather than thinking I was crazy, he helped us comb over resumes of all the people that were trying to get into our tech team, and he rejected every last one of them,”

According to Canva’s website, the service has more than 10 million users, who upload photos or select stock images and use preset filters and fonts to customise designs. It also links with printing providers who can create actual physical banners and displays.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes. Photo: Josh Robenstone

According to financial records lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Canva more than tripled revenue to $23.5 million and narrowed after-tax losses to $3.3 million in the 12 months ended June 2017.

“What this round really enables us to do is to have the jet power just to do absolutely anything that we need to do to make Canva awesome,” she said.

From http://www.smh.com.au/business/innovation/billiondollar-baby-canva-becomes-australias-latest-tech-unicorn-20180108-h0fd7d.html

The Design Value Index Shows What “Design Thinking” Is Worth

Design-led companies outdo the S&P 500 Index by 228%, says the Design Value Index.

August 31, 2017

IBM CEO Thomas Watson Jr. famously declared “good design is good business.” Jeneanne Rae has the numbers to prove it.

In 2013, Rae, founder of Virginia-based consultancy Motiv Strategies, devised the Design Value Index (DVI), an investment tool she says shows that companies that integrate design thinking into corporate strategy can outpace industry peers by as much as 228%.

The DVI, which Motiv Strategies published in collaboration with the Boston-based non-profit organization for designers, the Design Management Institute, identifies a portfolio of publicly traded companies based on specific design management criteria, and tracks their stock value over a ten-year period, relative to the overall S&P Index.

The latest edition of the annual index, released in late 2016, found that its portfolio of 16 companies showed a 211% return over the S&P 500, marking the third consecutive year that the index has shown an excess of 200% over the S&P. In 2013, the index outperformed the S&P 500 by 228%.

In four years, the DVI has become a favorite reference for designers looking to win over skeptical shareholders, as well as a popular investment tool.

Below, Rae, who recently joined Deloitte’s Federal consulting practice, explains why she created the DVI and shares her insights about what the index can tell us about design trends of the future.

How and why did you develop the DVI?
The president of the Design Management Institute had seen an article I wrote using a stock market index featuring companies that were investing heavily in design. He asked me to create a new, more rigorously derived version because the Institute was constantly being asked for hard proof about the value that design can add to business results. We agreed that I would do the research and analytical work and he would publish the results along with my commentary.

What is the methodology behind the index?
We have six selection criteria for companies that we include in the index:

  1. Design is used at scale across the organization, both within business units and as a centrally managed function with a high degree of influence with its senior leadership team.
  2. Design is clearly built into the structure and processes of the organization, such as its organization charts and process maps.
  3. The design function is managed by an experienced executive or executive-level head of design, with typically 15 to 20 years of design management experience, who can interface with senior leadership.
  4. Design sees a growing level of investment to support its growing influence.
  5. Design is a centrally managed function with a high degree of influence with its senior leadership team
  6. The company has been publicly traded on a U.S. exchange for the last ten years.

Using these criteria, stock prices as of June 30 and Dec 31 are put into the model for the last 10 years. Then, based on a weighted average of the market capitalization of the individual stocks, they are indexed like any other stock, with performance compared to the S&P 500 over the same 10-year period.

What kind of responses have you gotten to the DVI since you started publishing it?
It is my experience that people who are convinced of the value of design are not interested in quantifying it. The CEOs in all of the DVI companies already understand the power of design and do their best to enable it.

Those most interested in quantifying the value of design are the financial people, which shows they many don’t really understand the power of design and what it can do for brand equity, customer satisfaction, mitigating competitive threats or building loyalty.

What are some of the trends you have observed over the years since you started publishing the DVI in 2013?
It no longer takes 10 years to build a highly functional design organization. With the right leadership and senior level support, an enterprise-wide design function that produces results can be built in less and less time.

Furthermore, the widespread use of design as a strategic capability is unlikely to go away anytime soon. In fact, there may be more non-traditional organizations – services, non-profit, management consulting firms, and governments – trying to build design capabilities today than ever before.

Finally, design thinking and co-creation isn’t a fad, but rather a new way for all problem solvers to put the user at the center of a problem to develop solutions from the outside in rather than the inside out. As a result, we see design not as a pure factor that makes our DVI companies’ stocks perform better on the stock market, but rather as a highly integrated and influential force that enables the organization to achieve outsized results.

But the biggest trend among them is how many companies are becoming software driven and need to build useable, intuitive and beautiful interfaces so that people can operate them quickly and effectively. This is harder than it seems and takes a great deal of time, skill and talent to achieve. Many of these companies have built very large design groups of 350 people in just a few years, which is a frenzied amount of hiring and unheard-of growth compared to any time before 2008, the era of the smart phone.

How do you think design will continue to evolve?
One trend I am seeing in my new role with Deloitte’s Federal practice is how the U.S. government is starting to embrace service design methods that other governments such as Singapore, U.K., the Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland and Norway, have used to improve as well as create new government services.

This adoption of service design methods won’t happen overnight but a number of forward-thinking U.S. executives are embracing human-centered design as a way to improve citizen services, as citizens now expect the same type of experience in their customer interactions, whether it is with a brand or government entity.

So what’s the bottom line?
The Design Value Index shows that companies that embrace design understand their customers better than those that don’t. As a result, they grow faster and with higher margins and recover faster during economic downturns.

From Fortune

From Design Management Institute DMI find the 2015 DVI at DMI

Reissue of the guide “Human Scale”

In the golden age of American industrial design, Henry Dreyfuss Associates knew that there was more to design than just looking good. Products had to be good, crafted to work with the people who use them.
With this in mind, HDA designers Niels Diffrient and Alvin R. Tilley created Humanscale, including its ingenious data selectors, providing access to over 60,000 human factors data points in one easily referenced, user-friendly “portfolio of information”.
Humanscale has long been out of print. Now we’re bringing it back.
Visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iacollaborative/reissue-of-humanscale?lang=es