Many people regard web design as decoration; the art of making a website look good. However, design is more about how something works than how it looks. Design is about both form and function. In contrast with art, good design is not only visually and emotionally appealing but is made for use.
The goal of design is to efficiently solve problems. Design is based on the understanding of how users see the world, how they think and behave. And the toolset of the designer is broader than just colors and font-styles, as it also includes user-research, prototyping, usability testing, and more.
Many organizations still rely on asking people what changes they’d like to see in their website or service, neglecting historical research failures like the New Coke or the Aeron chair.
When asking people, you have to be aware that people make confident but false predictions about their future behavior, especially when presented with a new and unfamiliar design. There’s a huge difference between imagining using something and actually using it. In addition, human preferences are rather unstable.
That’s not to say you should quit listening to your customers. But make sure you know what to ask and how to interpret the answers.
As the world’s most active technology acquirer, Google Inc.’s notable transactions include YouTube LLC, Android Industries LLC and recently Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. Dave Sobota, a director on Google’s corporate development team, says that the Internet giant makes sure “every company we buy has a strong strategic fit.” Placing an emphasis on finding a “great team,” he says that, in a sense, “100% of our deals are acqui-hires. We always want to make sure there’s stellar talent at the companies we’re buying.” Sobota says that “over two-thirds of our deals” have been successes. “We don’t bat 1000. … If we didn’t have some losers, we’re probably not taking enough risk.” For more on Google’s acquisition strategy, see “David Lawee: Google’s nonstop growth tear.” -Katie Roof
Hubble Sees a Bizarre Cosmic Rarity
This new Hubble image shows a peculiar galaxy known as NGC 660, located around 45 million light-years away from us.
NGC 660 is classified as a “polar ring galaxy,” meaning that it has a belt of gas and stars around its center that it ripped from a near neighbor during a clash about one billion years ago.The first polar ring galaxy was observed in 1978 and only around a dozen more have been discovered since then, making them something of a cosmic rarity.
Unfortunately, NGC 660’s polar ring cannot be seen in this image, but the image has plenty of other features that make it of interest to astronomers - its central bulge is strangely off-kilter and, perhaps more intriguingly, it is thought to harbor exceptionally large amounts of dark matter. In addition, in late 2012 astronomers observed a massive outburst emanating from NGC 660 that was around ten times as bright as a supernova explosion. This burst was thought to be caused by a massive jet shooting out of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.
Credit: NASA/European Space Agency/Hubble
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