This design audit was for Brian Vogel of Flyte Park.  He makes and sells audio variometers for pilots.  Yeah.. I had no idea what those were either so I thought this would be a fun challenge.  I actually redesigned the site for this audit which is something I don’t usually do. Here is the original Flyte Park site.  As you can see it’s a very long page, especially for a single product. (click for larger) So let’s break it down. Logo and header At first I was confused as to what the squiggle was and though it evoked a plane spiraling down, not a good image.  ButRead More →

You know whats getting really annoying?  When some new startup comes out of beta and you signup, only to find it’s fledgling community is full of other startup people. It was annoying at Quora but if you get below the startup topsoil you can get some interesting questions answered.  But that is only IF you stick around long enough.  If you are in Silicon Valley and your startup solves Silicon Valley problems then by all means, launch to your target demo.  But If your demo is “normals” or middle America, why are you laying down a foundation of startups and techies? Case in point isRead More →

So I got a request to do a gig poster for a buddy’s band.  I actually started doing gig posters for my buddy’s previous band years ago, then went on to do posters for hundreds of other bands, but haven’t done one in years.  So I thought I would give it another go. Here is the poster (sans text).  The process and other links are below. The poster is 300dpi, here is the large image, be aware of imgurs compression. So here is the process, starting from the beginning. Agree to do the poster… listen to the bands music, read their bio.  Ok, so theyRead More →

I’ve written a lot about infographics, virality and how the two are entwined.  I thought I would share some of that here. Back in July I gave a talk on how to make your infographics viral.  It mainly focused on some broad but essential practices but I also dived into the criticism of infographics and how to talk about them to critics.  I made a few attempts a humor as well. The slides from the talk are here, but they surely won’t make sense without the video. And if you are up for some reading I wrote a three parter on the key aspects of successfulRead More →

This audit was for Greg for Municibid.  I wanted to take this on because marketplaces are interesting cases and Greg does a lot of things right here.  It doesn’t need a major overhaul, just some improvement. Here is the full site, capped.  As you can see it’s pretty bland.  Just because you are appealing to municipal workers doesn’t mean you have to style down to their subdued sensibilities.  So lets get started. 1. Logo This is just a lost and confused logo and type treatment.  There are concentric arcs on the “m” which don’t make sense.  When you use concentric arcs your company better have somethingRead More →

This is a topic I touched upon before, but I wanted to codify and expand upon it in a visual way. The gist is, in order for a visitor to your site to achieve a goal, you have to give them enough inertia in the sales process.  It sounds simple enough, but many so-called best practices encourage the visitor to skip the sales process and go directly to the uncomfortable “ask”.  Below I will diagram many of these cases, but first, let’s get a handle on this visualization. Sales: This is the sales copy, images, or anything else on the page that you are using to persuade the visitor.Read More →

This is another request from the Twist list, this time of JD.  I wanted to take on this one because it’s a mobile app which should have very different sales and design patterns, at least as far as their websites are concerned. The full site is at and also capped below. 1. The thing about app sites Sites for webapps should function very differently than sites for webapps for a few specific reasons.  With webapps, the site is your product and the hurdle can be significant.  You are often asking for someones email or credit card number.  This means you need to provide enough sales inertia to getRead More →

So I put out a call to do some design audits to the members of the TWIST list.  Alex put in a call for his startup, FitPack.  So here goes. The current website is here, but I have composited a sceenshot below.   1. Logo It’s actually a pretty decent logo.  It reminds me of a men’s magazine like Maxim and feels dynamic enough.  The only real issue is that it is a bit soft at the edges.  This might be caused by some compression that wordpress uses on its image uploader.  It’s subtle for sure but can make a big difference on a subconscious level. 2.Read More →

Caveat here:  This audit was not solicited by Oblong.  They are simply a fascinating company which a less-than fascinating web presence.  It’s fairly common to have really smart people who don’t pay much attention to design, though this may not be the case with Oblong.  Also, these audits focus not just on design, but on branding, identity, and occasionally product.  Given that all I know about Oblong I have derived from their site, some of my assumptions may be wrong, but these wrong assumptions may also be shared by other site visitors, who certainly know no-more about Oblong than I do. This is their currentRead More →