Design Essentials For Developers

RJ Owen (EffectiveUI), Michael Salamon (EffectiveUI)
Product 2009
Average rating: ****.
(4.46, 13 ratings)

As a developer in the RIA and User Experience field, it’s important to understand some design basics in order to communicate effectively with designers, as well as give sound suggestions for UX improvements on the applications you design for.
While many of us have an intuitive feel for what works and what doesn’t, developing a vocabulary to describe your issues and suggestions and understanding the techniques required to validate your hunches are the skills that will define the next generation of the best developers.
This session goes in-depth on which design techniques and principles ought to be part of every developer’s vernacular. We’ll discuss the right toolsets developers should have so that when they do run into roadblocks, they are comfortable with either solving them on their own or suggesting realistic solutions, saving time for everyone involved.
By the end of this session attendees will understand the basics of both high level interaction design and lower-level visual design in a way that maximizes energy and time in the development process, including:
• Basic design principles to help developers understand a design’s intent. This includes a basic understanding of layout, color theory, and typography.
• Design vocabulary, heuristics and analysis techniques, so developers can give expert analysis of their design decisions (understanding affordances, mental modeling, mapping, etc.)
• Techniques for validating expert analysis in the form of quick and dirty user testing and prototyping (with paper and programmatic prototypes)
• The difference between information architecture and interaction design, and how both have a critical yet often unseen influence on software architecture for developers
We’ll share real-world examples of how we are implementing this process among our own teams, and will share the challenges and success we’ve seen so far.

Photo of RJ Owen

RJ Owen


RJ Owen is a Senior Developer specializing in user interface development. Coming from a highly diverse technological background, RJ has worked in application technologies like C++ and Java, as well as web technologies like HTML and PHP. RJ has acted as lead developer for many key EffectiveUI clients
including Discovery, Random House and Adobe. Recently, RJ co-authored the O’Reilly shortcut “Flex 3: Early Evaluator” and has been giving training sessions on Flex and using Flex Builder. RJ has a BS in Physics and Computer Science and lives in Denver with his wife Marty.

Photo of Michael Salamon

Michael Salamon


Michael Salamon is lead experience architect at EffectiveUI, an award-winning and recognized leader in the design and development of custom desktop, mobile and rich Internet applications.

With more than 20 years’ experience, Michael’s work spans print, Web, mobile, interactive, motion, illustration and animation. With a thorough history in the printing industry, Michael made the move to the Web with the rest of the chunky-black-glasses crowd and helped define interaction methods still used today. His clients have ranged from huge multi-national companies to modest one-person shops, including: Qwest, Quark, Intuit, Cendant (CheapTickets), JCPenney, Home Depot, Cabela’s, Dish Network, Staz, Ci-Ci’s Pizza and Northrop Grumman. He is an adjunct professor for the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado Denver.

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Picture of Michael Salamon
Michael Salamon
03/29/2011 8:44am PDT

Thanks so much Michael! It’s always great to know that our message was well received (and quite an ego boost too!). Stop by our booth ad say hi if you haven’t already.

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Michael Krupit
03/29/2011 7:04am PDT

Well done. Very engaging and great content.

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