Hack Design: Learn design at your own pace

Yet another ‘easy to follow design course’ for designers. The lesson is sent to your inbox every week. Great resources from across the design community at your fingertips. Bookmark away!



Design without research… is that design at all?

User experience, usability, user centered design…. these are words that are very loosely used of late. I hear clients use them all the time…. to justify a completely irrelevant, flamboyant feature that they want to incorporate into their application/ website. This would annoy a designer to no end. But, truth be told, how many of us actually practice the user centered design process?

The sad truth is that it is a developer-driven culture. In the service industry, I have been part of some fabulous design teams. I have seen them being shot down with the mere suggestion of  Wireframes, let alone other UCD practices like interviews, card sorts and the like.

Designer’s adapt, that’s what we do. Card sorts, impromptu interviews and expert reviews were conducted collectively. Collaboration was the name of the game. Paper prototypes/ sitemaps were quickly mocked up after a requirement gathering meeting. These were shared with other designers. A quick card sort would be conducted. Each would contribute their ideas and this would then be formally mocked up and reviewed again.

Bottomline is without the process there is no design, unfortunately, without the user there is no design either. However, when all else fails, turn to your colleagues to help fill in the blanks!





Recipe to usability procedures – bookmark this

A treasure trove of information all in one place.

A guide and a checklist for effective usability testing. Useful for veterans and beginners alike. Highly recommended.


Facebook reveals the user testing for it’s new feed design

An interesting look at how the social media behemoth conducts it’s user research.


Gesture control – not entirely Iron Man’s forte anymore

This is right out of a movie experience. 

With just a wave of your hand, you can control the digital devices. The armband uses the electrical activity of your muscles to accomplish this. Here’s the link to this amazing product: https://getmyo.com/

Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction… Free!

The best things is life are free… first the free online HCI course from Coursera and now this… wait for it…

The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.


“Free textbooks written by 100+ leading designers, bestselling authors and Ivy League professors. The textbooks are assembled in a gigantic 4000+ page encyclopedia covering the design of interactive products and services like websites, household objects, smartphones, computer software, aircraft cockpits, you name it.”

Statement of accomplishment – Coursera

Honored to have received the ‘Statement of Accomplishment’ from the Stanford online course for HCI


Highly recommended for aspiring and seasoned designers alike. The course is well structured and covers all the methodologies necessary to practice design. There are several interesting courses out there.  Here are some that caught my eye.

Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society (University of Pennsylvania)  https://www.coursera.org/course/design

Human-Computer Interaction (Stanford University)  https://www.coursera.org/course/hci

Introduction to Psychology (University of Toronto) https://www.coursera.org/course/intropsych

Social Psychology (Wesleyan University) https://www.coursera.org/course/socialpsychology

Creativity, Innovation, and Change (Pennsylvania State University)  https://www.coursera.org/course/cic

A crash course in Visual design

Quick and effective article on Information and Visual design.

It’s no BFA, but gets the basics in place for anyone interested.

Introduction to Human Computer Interaction

Just started on the online course for Human Computer Interaction. It promises to be an interesting and a very practical course.

Here are a few excerpts off the first course online:

  • HCI is the design, implementation and evaluation of user interfaces.
  • At the onset of the design project, we often don’t know what the problem is or what the space of possibilities might be, let alone what the solution should be.
  • Consequently, real-world design is often iterative.
  • Fail fast so you can succeed sooner.
  • Focus on the people who are going to use your system.
  • Good user interfaces can have a tremendous impact on both the individual’s ability to accomplish things, and societies’.
  • Bad design is frustrating and costs lives
  • Fixing these problems requires following just basic principles like consistency and feedback
  • Oftentimes, the best interfaces become invisible to us.
  • When this happens, our attention shifts from manipulating an interface to accomplishing a task.
  • That is precisely when a user interface is successful.

The fact that bad design causes accidents is unnerving, but true. The air crash at Linate airport in Italy is an example of how bad design can make things go horribly wrong.


Human-Computer Interaction Course from Stanford University

Its the best news around. Stanford University is initiating a course on Human Computer Interaction. Classes start soon.

More details at https://www.coursera.org/course/hci