for companies of the digital kind

branding+marketing communications. identity design. graphic design. ux/ui design. front end design+development.

about ksd.

innovators. early adopters. late majority. attract them all with iconic identities, intuitive ux, engaging front ends, and ksd.

ksd. is a design studio, in Chicago, Illinois, that helps technology companies with their design, branding and marketing efforts. We provide user experience / user interface design, front end design+development, and creative direction for those looking to attract users gain traction, increase market share.

What we do

logo design
identity design
web design
front end design+development
ux/ui design
graphic design
marketing communications design
newsletter design
social media design
blog design
creative direction
content development
pitch decks

Who we help

digital startups
IT consultants
software engineers/saas
technology associations
technology non-profits
clean/green tech

So they can

attract users
get customers
gain traction
increase market share
build their brand presence
lure investors
rock out
make a difference
rule the world

ksd. portfolio

Bookmarked: Aaron Dignan: Digital Isn’t Software, It’s a Mindset

What is design thinking?


Photo: Chicago Architecture Foundation

No One is Smarter Than You

Brains! This is coming straight from my mentor extraordinaire, who’s always spot on with his advice. So pay attention.

When it comes to designing and building apps, remember that no one is smarter than you.

Because you know your product, your company, your department, and your service better than anyone else. You can explain it better than anyone else, from every conceivable angle. You can recite every line of copy, on every web view, in your sleep. You know every nook and cranny. You know so much about what you do, and how you do it, that your spidey senses tingle when things are off by so much as a nano hair.

You’re so smart, that if I were to strip away your front-end, leaving you with nothing more than whitespace on your screen, you would still know where to click, and when to click it.

Unfortunately, no one else knows what you know. Or understands things they way you do. Their spidey senses aren’t nearly as heightened as yours. And they certainly won’t know what to do next. Which kinda sucks, especially when you’re trying to get a credit card number from them :)

So great user experience is more than just being clear and smooth (though both count for a lot), it’s also about taking a step back and asking yourself: “What will my best users expect to see when they get here? How do they want the content to be organized? What do they want to happen next? And if they don’t know, how will they know what needs to happen next?”

The downside is that you have to put your smart ego aside while you’re doing this exercise, but you’re strong. You can handle it.

Until next time,

Photo: Brains! by Joe Stump (used with permission under a Creative Commons License).

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