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About Deviant Official Beta Tester Gary LangeMale/United States Recent Activity
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Gary Lange
United States
PRIMARY - I am a Training Specialist and Operational Systems Designer with experience in training program course design and development for the restaurant industry. Classically trained in Culinary Arts, Graphic Design and Adult Education. Fluency with design tools, multimedia and business applications. Proven ability to develop and deliver innovative and effective instructor-led and self-paced learning solutions in addition to management of program operation and goal monitoring. Other abilities include:
Instructional/ Curriculum Design
Project Management
Food Safety Science
New Restaurant Opening Systems
E-learning / Distance Learning
Training Delivery and Facilitation
Graphics Design (Photoshop, Illustrator)
POS Technologies

Starting a second part-time career focusing on the Graphic Arts, specializing in Android smartphone iconography and themes, corporate logos, and website/software components. Interested in partnering with a small software firm or application developer that needs support with graphic work and designing elements.

Current Residence: Chicago, IL
Favourite genre of music: Showtunes, opera and classical, dance and anything by Sarah McLachlan
Favourite photographer: Ansel Adams
Operating System: W 7 - Finally! Looking forward to 8
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Wallpaper of choice: my own
Favourite cartoon character: Good Grief!
Personal Quote: Be Authentic

Mistakes in Metro and Flat design

Tue Jul 23, 2013, 5:48 AM
I've been "stewing" on an issue for several months with the upswing in flat, modern, and "Metro" design efforts I see everywhere.  I noticed the difficulties early, in the large number of poorly designed "Metro" apps for my Windows RT tablet (see earlier journal entries) and later in the official apps built by Microsoft, such as the calendar, mail, or Outlook and the Office 2013 suite.  I simply had difficulty using these products.  I was slower and less productive.  Repeatedly made simple mistakes.  I was becoming increasingly frustrated.

I discovered that an over-simplification or almost total minimalism in the design and UI was the source of my complaints.  "Flat Design", "Modern" and "Metro" (or whatever they call it now) are not Minimalism.  Reduction of the extraneous, yes, but not a total elimination of all shadow, pattern, line, etc.  While some of these elements exist just to enhance the visual "look" or style and are not necessary, many similar elements have a purpose.  To help the user focus on the information and choices presented on the screen.  To visually organize the website or application for better accuracy, work speed, understanding, etc.  In the words of the Borg queen (yes, that's a geek sci-fi reference)..."To bring order to chaos".

The Windows 8 calendar is a good example.  The simple lines that define the day grid in the full month view are either so light, thin, or disguised that I can't see them at all.  With a screen full of day numbers, color bars for full day events, and all the other information presented and no visual grid to put them into order and give the data context, the entire view is a mess that I can't read easily.  Which leaves the question...isn't that the point of a calendar month view?  Quick, easy, fast understanding of your information?
Another example is the new Office 2013 online...the function "ribbons" are much more difficult to use without the dividing lines and color shading that visually "grouped" and organized the options.  Even Microsoft designers seem to have forgotten that the ultimate goal of "Metro" was to focus on the information, which needs line, color, and graphics at times for focus and clarification.

Microsoft isn't the only culprit (just a handy example).  I recently abandoned my three favorite Windows 7 themes.  I loved them, but with the complete elimination of some line and shadows, I found Windows Explorer almost impossible to use, as I couldn't see the different "panels" clearly, especially things like column widths. I kept changing the "details' panel size accidentally when trying to highlight groups of files...couldn't see the panel edge.

Not exactly the same issue, but related enough for my purposes, is the increasing use of smaller and smaller graphics and type.  I may be getting old, but I already have a 25 inch monitor displaying at 125 percent and a strong pair of reading glasses and I still can't read some text presented to me in applications and websites.  Not all users are young with super vision and constantly having to "zoom in" is tiresome and unnecessary.  If you or your client are trying to attract my business on a website...being able to read it easily without modification could make or break it.

I recently discovered an excellent article that takes this issue into much greater detail, which can be found here.   Authentic Design, Smashing Magazine

So, my request to UI designers, app developers and other "Flat", "Modern", and "Metro" creators out there... before just eliminating a shadow, line or other element, ask yourself the question.  "Does this have a purpose?"  If you can't answer that easily, then be careful.  Simplify, reduce, use your creativity to see how you can keep that item yet still maintain the style you are trying to achieve.  Just hitting "delete" is lazy and could have undesired results.

As always, thanks for reading


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Orphydian Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
sen anothe rinvite to join my group
First, the invitation no longer exists for me to accept and join, and I haven't had the time to go searching for your group.

Second...please have a little patience.  I just opened this today...I don't "Live" on this site. 
Orphydian Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
so? you are still not joining and  you havent accepted the feature request for your urbanized sets
No, I didn't have anything against joining your group.

I haven't been on the site in several weeks due to moving and work.

PS...Don't be so quick to assume something like "not interested", just because a few days pass. 
Orphydian Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Have anything against joining my metro group Ive sent you fearure request for 2 of your icon sets and Ive seen you already faved something from group's gallery.
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