FFC 2015: Reinventing, reimagining design

Through shared imagination and intellect, this year’s Form, Function, and Class (FFC) returns with a goal to inspire web enthusiasts to battle against evil and flawed web designs.

In a seminar and a masterclass conducted last November 14 and 15 at the Hive Hotel in Quezon City, the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO), for the sixth year of FFC, brings in six experts, based in different areas around to world to share tips and their experiences in web designing.

PWDO invited Pennsylvania-based and author of Atomic Design, Brad Frost to end Saturday’s seminar and instruct Nov. 15, Sunday’s masterclass.

From the word atom, which bind together as building blocks to form matter, Frost introduces this concept in design by breaking down an interface and work with the material from there. “Atomic design consists of atoms, molecules, organisms, templates and pages working together to form our UI (User-Interface),” Frost said

Masterclass with Frost revolved on giving equal attention to desktop and mobile as these two platforms are just as important as the other. Frost discussed the essence of responsive design and mobile-first approach in designing, stating that designers should “plant a seed to a responsive future.” To better understand the topic, websites of companies having bad designs were shown throughout the session, with Frost suggesting improvements and how responsive design can be applied to them.

Among the other experts for the seminar was local designer, Angela Obias, co-founder of a design research consultancy, Priority Studios. Oh her talk about the Dark Side of Data-driven content, where she discusses the flaws of too much data, as well as instill the three good layers of good design, great technique, relevance and viability.

Data may be seen and used in everything, but Obias instructs that having a lot of data does not equate to having a good design. This mistake may cause the design to become fatal to someone eventually. “Evil design is ruining someone’s life at one point,” she said.

Other guests include Angela Salud Chua of Toffeenut Design who talked of the trial and errors that designs go through. After failure, Chua encourages designers to move forward, learn from these mistakes, and to “never be afraid to start over.”

Holger Bartel, co-founder of design studio uforepublic based in Hong Kong and among the variety of foreign speakers that PWDO invited, was the speaker that began the day with talks of the challenges that web designers face and what web enthusiasts will face in the field.

Rachel Nabors from Oregon, United States, intrigued and inspired attendees with her talk of putting animation in design as a way to capture attention and to stand out in a sea of competitors.

James Cabrera, Fil-Am designer from New York City, in empowering the young enthusiasts, gave importance to recycling ones design and combining it with newer or past designs to create something that works.

PWDO began the Form, Function and Class conference in 2009. It’s younger counterpart Junior Form, Function and Class, in its fourth, was recently concluded last September.

With a report from Mariejo Gabuyo

Photo by Johmar S. Damiles

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