Ellen de Vries
Ellen de Vries
2nd June 2016

We're trying something new. We used to update you with weeknotes, but we felt that they weren't a very enlightening representation of the work we do. NDAs and various bits of industry red tape prevented us from really being able to show you exactly what we're up to.  

So here we are. We're inviting you to be a fly on the wall at the studio (or some other more glamourous wall-climbing creature) and giving you a fresh look into the way we work, the things we're learning and other general antics.

A new technique: The "Fluffy Edges" game for defining roles.

Claire Kirkland, one of Clearleft’s project managers, has devised a useful activity to help us structure the team’s sense of responsibility around the less distinct tasks in a project. When a project begins, there are often fuzzy areas around roles and ownership. The Fluffy Edges might include; “Who is responsible for the learning on this project?” and “Who is responsible for asking the client if we can use their name in publicity?”. Clare helps us to make these tasks explicit by placing all the questions on index cards and then asks the team to allocate names to them. It works really well!

Books we recommend: A reading list by James Box.

James Box is one of our User Experience designers. When I asked him what people should read if they wanted a job as a like the one he has, he suggested this eclectic reading list of not-your-usual designers’ books:

1. How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand

2. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

3. Zag by Marty Neumeier

4. Sketching User Experiences by Bill Buxton

5. Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge

6. Thoughts on Interaction Design by Jon Kolko

7. The Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb (gruelling but worth it)

8. The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander

Work in progress: Jeremy Keith mind maps a new talk.

Mind maps are very popular around the office, particularly for planning conference talks. Jeremy Keith has been preparing for CSS day’s HTML special in Amsterdam.

From the mind of: James Bates.

James Bates wrote this pertinent article about Digital-first Branding which appeared in Net Magazine earlier this year. We refer to this term quite often now, as we find that many of our digital design projects throw up so many questions about the fundamental nature of brands. 

What are your thoughts?

We’d love you to let us know what you think of this post on Twitter @clearleft.