In their words:
“We know tons of hackers. They’re the modern-day Renaissance men and women who love to learn, explore, build, and take things apart. A hacker can make software do anything. We know design can seem nuanced, subjective, and inaccessible sometimes, but we’re working on this project to help change that.
We’ve asked some of the world’s best designers to help us curate the best and most useful blogs, books, games, videos, and tutorials that helped them learn critical elements of design. We’re organizing them all into a digestable and iterative lesson plan so you can apply this knowledge to your own project”
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t have time to get all I could from my formal education. In this case, it means I don’t get a chance to take all of those User Experience courses that I would love to integrate into my curriculum, because my schedule is already jam packed. That’s where Hack Design comes to the rescue. These are bite size chunks of programming and design wisdom to help those of us that want to have a deeper understanding of web content and design principles. While I greatly appreciate the nuts and bolts discussions of my current web programming class, the instructor freely admits that she has terrible taste in colors and design and encouraged us to look for external resources to fill that gap.
This site does a great job of pooling the collective wisdom of a variety of amazing web designers from small and large companies as well as thought leaders in user experience. Currently there are six months of lessons that are broken down into 4 week chunks and each week is a new lesson (see screenshot). Each lesson gives a profile of the designer who curated it, a brief synopsis of what to expect and why it is important for design, and link(s) to materials that more fully develop the theme for that week and contribute to the overall theme for the month.
You have the option of viewing all of the lessons from the website, or you can subscribe to the newsletter. Subscribing means a new lesson is e-mailed to you each week for the duration of the program (see screenshot). This is great if you happen to be a person that signs up for a lot of services and then… maybe… occasionally completely forgets that you’ve signed up and therefore forgets to check the site. Yeah, I don’t know anybody like that!
While I’m only on week two, so far the lessons are easy and enjoyable to follow. I’m hoping that they will continue to iterate and help me apply design principles to more than just coding. In fact, I wish there were more professional development opportunities that work this way. I find that I learn better when I get small chunks over a period of time rather than trying to cram it all in at once. You can also go back and review previous lessons so if you get to the next week and realize you don’t remember anything from the previous week, you can always go back and review it again.
This is a guest post by Chris Bulin (@Arduanne), a graduate student assistant at the Taubman Health Sciences Library.