31 May

The Power of a Pretty (Inter)face

The Power of a Pretty (Inter)face

How important is ‘the pretty factor’ for a regular business website? I’m talking about websites for basic businesses, like accounting, plumbing, coaching services, that sort of thing.  Not lifestyle products that already have great visuals built in. Let’s assume you’re selling something that is not glamorous, but is incredibly useful. Like, accounting software. Your average user—a small business owner— wants to […]

18 January

Quantifying Delight

Quantifying Delight

Winning design industry contests is nice, but winning a contest that you didn’t even enter is even better. So I was delighted to receive an email from a client with the news that her site had won the Featured Site spot in a newsletter that goes out to music centers in 40 countries, and that she’d won […]

8 January

Photos of Paris? How hard can it be?

Photos of Paris? How hard can it be?

Harder than you think. I was hired to create a site for Paris By Design. How do you sell custom tours to Paris and Montreal? Start with lots of big beautiful photos. (Duh.) But not just any photos. Very, very specific ones.

4 December

TrendWatch: Adult Coloring Books, Art Nouveau, and Henna Art

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TrendWatch: Adult Coloring Books, Art Nouveau, and Henna Art

Adult coloring books are a phenomenon. Three of the top 10 bestselling books in the UK are adult coloring books, and 8 of the top 20 bestsellers in the US. You may be wondering why on earth this would be so appealing to grownups… I’ll get to that. But first, let’s talk about the design aspect and […]

3 December

Persuasive Design in Support of Syrian Refugees?

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Persuasive Design in Support of Syrian Refugees?

Could this be the new peace symbol of our times?

Popular Montreal-based author-illustrator, Elise Gravel has granted permission for this illustration to be used free of charge in support of the non-profit organization, Rivo-Résilience, to promote a positive message of welcome to Syrian refugees arriving in Quebec, Canada. Organizer, Marie Brodeur Gélinas, aims to sell the buttons for $1 to $2 each, with proceeds going to helping the new arrivals.

24 November

Designing a Priceless Heirloom

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Designing a Priceless Heirloom

Lemmee tell you about my latest crazy project: creating a prototype (and template) for a genre-busting concept: a family memoir/cookbook for the Heirloom Meals Recipe Project in Massachusetts, USA. This was the brain-child of Carole Murko, whose unflagging enthusiasm for family food stories has spawned a weekly radio show on NPR (National Public Radio), regular tv appearances, and several hour-long […]

8 October

The Art of Persuasive Design: Building Apps that Stick

The Art of Persuasive Design: Building Apps that Stick

How fabulous is this illustration from Alice Phieu? This is the ad for my next public speaking gig at Montreal App Talks. If you’re coming, please let me know via Twitter, or in the comments of this blog post. It’s free, and it will be fun. Promise.

2 October

Forks ‘n’ Spoons on Fabric

Forks ‘n’ Spoons on Fabric

The test swatch (aka “pattern strike”) arrived from Spoonflower! To make it, I drew a dining-themed illustration of forks and spoons and then made an overlapping pattern of them using Adobe Illustrator. This is destined for the seats of our dining room chairs, so I ordered the sample (30″ x 18″) to be printed on a tough canvas […]

23 September

Hidden Patterns

Hidden Patterns

If you like hidden patterns, you’ll like this new pattern I created. Using a sketch of a girl, I digitized it using Adobe Illustrator. (Why Illustrator and not Photoshop? I wanted her in vector format so she would scale up or down without distortion. She can then be re-formatted easily for use across web, mobile, […]

9 July

The (Chocolate) Ripple Effect of Public Speaking

The (Chocolate) Ripple Effect of Public Speaking

No-one really warns you about the consequences of public speaking. I was clueless until this week, when I gave my first solo talk, Beyond UX: Designing for Delight at WordCamp Montreal. I practiced it out loud until the dog couldn’t take it any more. Even so, there were things I did not foresee. Performance Malfunction The presentation went surprisingly […]