This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

Design To Communicate

29th April 2010

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting at the incredible Sage Gateshead for the first DIBI conference; a two track event covering design and development, and the first of its kind in the region I once called home[1].

All in all, DIBI (Design It, Build It) has been a blast. Friends old and new from near and far gathered by the Tyne, with the likes of Tim Van Damme, Dan Rubin, Sarah Parmenter and Andy Clarke all doing turns.

My Design To Communicate presentation is below, and on Vimeo, and Speakerdeck.

Design To Communicate slide deck

Figure 1: Slide deck for my presentation.

Here’s the blurb:

As designers, we manipulate all that is available to us, aiming to present ideas in a visually engaging form. But what are our motives, and why do we go in a particular direction? Why do great designers have the courage to do things a certain way, and succeed? Simon will explore how web designers can improve their thought processes by stepping away from the browser, and in turn bring clearer, well-reasoned thinking back into their work. He’ll introduce established and new ways of thinking, and key points of influence that can assist with any web design process.

You might be interested to know that two wonderful books partly inspire my thinking on this subject, specifically The Design Of Everyday Things by Don Norman, and also Visual Grammar by Christian Leborg. Both highly recommended for any designer in any field[2].

If you enjoyed the presentation, or have an opinion on it (whether good or bad), do let me know by email or in the comments, or even rate me over at Speaker Rate.

Huge congratulations to all of those involved in organising DIBI[3]. I cannot wait to see you all again next year.


  1. I went to the University Of Sunderland, and spent a lot of drunken time in Newcastle.
  2. For more incredible design books, check out Jason Santa Maria’s reading list.
  3. DIBI was created and organised by the team at Codeworks, Sunderland.


# Chris Rowe responded on 29th April 2010 with...

‘Twas a great talk, Colly.
Nice to hear even someone as talented as you is still learning and taking things all the way back to basics and roots of this stuff. I guess the restraint and reduction sits most comfortably with me.
Thanks for the chat after too, learned a lot about Nottingham’s web history.

# City Insurance responded on 29th April 2010 with...

Top shelf slides!

Super sexy and a real inspiration. Lovely colour palette too. Will DIBI be an annual event then?

# David Hughes responded on 29th April 2010 with...

You stole the show mate. You touched on something that effects a lot of web designers. Confidence.

Very interesting to hear that referring to theory to back up you design decisions actually works as a confidence booster. Great advice.

*thumbs up*

# Dan Sensecall responded on 29th April 2010 with...

Really enjoyed this yesterday - was refreshing to look back at the roots and theory behind design, and to hear it from someone as ‘pro’ as you.
Thanks for these slides and the great talk!

# Richard Carter responded on 29th April 2010 with...

Great talk, and fantastic slides - thanks for posting!

# Henry Brown responded on 30th April 2010 with...

Thanks for the slides, enjoyed it!

# Henk Canon responded on 30th April 2010 with...

Thanks fot the slide deck. Such a great talk. Well done

# SJL Web Design responded on 1st May 2010 with...

Thanks for the slides Simon, looked like a great presentation.

# Muhammad Ghazali responded on 13th May 2010 with...

Great job Simon! I’m looking forward for the next presentation :)

# Scott Corgan responded on 13th May 2010 with...

Men can’t communicate. Surprised we are even in this industry…ha

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