Take UX cues from an original mad man.
Confessions of an Advertising Man, published by advertising legend David Ogilvy in 1963, is as relevant to today's UX designers as it was to yesterday's mad men. Method's Ted Booth explains. [Link]

Learn to code. Like yesterday.
Designers: Coding will make you better at your job. Involution Studios's Scott Sullivan shows how to get started. [Link]

Master contextual computing.
The future of technology is contextual computing, the notion that ubiquitous computers will act like our sixth (and seventh and eighth) sense. To succeed in the contextual-computing era, companies need to master four key data graphs, writes Pete Mortensen of Jump Associates. Check them out here. [Link]

What is your "mission question"?
Most companies have a mission statement. Companies that want to stay focused on what really matters, though, should have "mission questions," author Warren Berger says. Here, he formulates five questions every company should ask itself, based on conversations with Patagonia CEO Casey Sheahan, Panera CEO Ron Shaich, Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen, Peer Insight’s Tim Ogilvie, and SY Partners’ Keith Yamashita. [Link]

Details are everything.
In Microinteractions, author Dan Saffer makes the case that details aren't just a small piece of design, they're what makes design more human and humane. Read our interview with Saffer, the head of interaction design at Smart Design, here. [Link]

What the Instagram of quizzes reveals about app design.
Luke Wroblewski, the designer of the insanely addictive polling app Polar, offers four tips for getting people to engage with your mobile app, and not just download it. [Link]

Borrow from the best.
When starting the eyewear retailer Warby Parker, CEOs Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa lifted inspiration from other companies. "We thought a lot about Zappos and how they changed the game from a customer service standpoint," Blumenthal said. "They created this awesome internal company culture that then impacted the customer experience and their brand." Good CEOs borrow, great CEOs steal. Read four more business lessons from Warby Parker. [Link]

Lead a creative life.
"Everyone can learn to be more creative, but to become very creative, I’ve come to believe you need to lead a creative life," author Bruce Nussbaum writes. Here, he suggests three paths toward a more creative life. [Link]

How not to run a Kickstarter campaign.
Designer Jon Fawcett raised more than $200,000 on Kickstarter to manufacture an iPhone charger that could also be used as a docking station and a tripod. Then shit got real. Check out these five tips for running a successful Kickstarter campaign from a guy who learned the hard way. [Link]

Give employees time to think.
Want to create a culture of innovation? Give employees free time to experiment with new ideas, plus five more tips from Leapfrogging author Soren Kaplan. [Link]

Zen your way to success.
You probably know about Zen in broad strokes, but you probably don't know about the aesthetic fundamentals of the “Zen of design.” Edit Innovation founder Matthew May shares seven design principles inspired by Zen wisdom. [Link]

Create great storyboards.
Want to run a successful design sprint? Make killer storyboards. Google Ventures's Jake Knapp explains how. [Link]

Play with marbles.
Google uses a 3:1 rule to examine the costs and benefits of a given design solution, following the principle of psychologist Barbara L. Fredrickson, who discovered that it takes three positive emotions to outweigh every negative one. So each time an Android feature lives up to certain expectations, it gets a single marble in the "good emotion" jar. Each time it fails, it gets three marbles in the "bad emotion" jar. Too granular? Perhaps. But hey, at least you get to play with marbles. [Link]

Co.Design

The 13 Most Important Design Lessons Of 2013

From why designers should learn to code to how not to run a Kickstarter campaign, here's a cheat sheet to being great at your job in 2014.

In 2013, some of the brightest design minds took to Co.Design to offer tips and tricks for navigating the business world. Our experts tackled everything from how to code to what a 50-year-old book about the ad industry could teach today's UX designers. Here, we've compiled the year's most important design lessons. Consider it a cheat sheet to being great at your job in 2014.

Add New Comment

16 Comments

  • I have no idea what I am supposed to look at on this page, pretty ironic since you are posting about UX design and it really is painfully unclear as to what I am supposed to be looking at.....is it the hugely over-sized images at the top of the page that I have to scroll past to finally see the heading of this article? or should I rely on people in the comments section who have spent marginally longer than my 5-10 minutes working out what to click here? As usual very poor design and content from a website preaching to the masses about "how it should be done". Such is life, this is why the internet is a mess with useless data.

  • Aabha Sidhu

    Brands certainly do need to pay attention to UX more. In fact, some of the errors made are quite basic and can be avoided pretty easily. I was reading an article the other day which listed a few out http://bit.ly/1aCfDj9 Thought it was worth sharing

  • Anton Egorov

    talking about functional design.. Im here for the first time and it took me 3 mins (and counting) to find how to expand article. Ill make another comment when ill finally find how.

  • On a tablet, tap on the captions to reveal more info. There is also a link to each full article there. Swipe left on the large images to progress through the slideshow. Kinda bad ux design for an article about design.

  • If you are in a desktop computer, the banner slideshow has each lesson in the images.

    1. Take UX cues from an original mad man.
    2. Learn to code. Like yesterday.
    3. Master contextual computing.
    4. What is your "mission question"?
    5. Details are everything.
    6. What the instagram of quizzes reveals about app design.
    7. Borrow from the best.
    8. Lead a creative life.
    9. How not to run a Kickstarter campaign.
    10. Give employees time to think.
    11. Zen your way to success.
    12. Create great storyboards.
    13. Play with marbles.
  • Vendela Larsson

    Maybe it's because I'm on a tablet but I can't see any of the information that goes with those pictures unless the content is empty!

    Would love to read this article...

  • On a tablet, tap on the captions to reveal more info. There is also a link to each full article there. Swipe left on the large images to progress through the slideshow. Kinda bad ux design for an article about design.

  • Kayla Block

    Given that this post has been "liked" and "shared", maybe it's just me.....but I see no visible affordance to read the article. I moused around every which way. I even counted the side links to see if there were 13 as i wondered if that was a navigational device. (It isn't.) And I guess Suzanne Labarre is the author but even that isn't clear to me. Hrm.

  • On a tablet, tap on the captions to reveal more info. There is also a link to each full article there. Swipe left on the large images to progress through the slideshow. Kinda bad ux design for an article about design.

  • Casey van Bronkhorst

    Good to hear. I thought I was alone in finding this unreadable. Maybe lesson #14 is: Check your posts on every browser on all devices.