WordCamp Maine 2016

June 6, 2016 | Design Basics, Website Design and Redesign

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This post was written by DeAnne Curran, senior designer and developer here at Visible Logic.

WordCamp 2016
WordCamp Maine 2016 was once again a great resource and learning experience. WordCamp returned to Portland on May 13 – 14 at Maine College of Art (MECA).

This year’s keynote, “Good Design: The Gateway to a Better Business” was given by Mel Choyce, a Design Engineer at Automattic. Mel spoke about many of the things we say again and again to our clients. Although the topic was something that I am very familiar with, it served as a reminder of how to discuss making good design choices with non-designers.

Wordcamp KeynoteGood design is something that often feels intuitive. You hear people say, “I know it when I see it.” In the keynote, she brings up Dieter Rams Ten Principles of “Good Design.” These rules serve as a guide for designers, but also explain clearly and simply the basics of good design. As designers, it’s important to explain where and how design choices are coming from.

Mel also brought up some powerful statistics about how consumers react to design. For example, design can evoke an emotional reaction, and color is specifically very important. If rewarded with a positive emotion, people are far more likely to overlook shortcomings, or minor errors. She mentioned that good design is good for your ROI.

92.6% of people make purchasing decisions based on how something looks.

—Impact of Color

Good design isn’t just how something looks but how something works, and if it’s useful and understandable—see Ten Principles above. “By investing in UX (user experience) to redesign its user interface, McAfee saved 90% in support costs.” Good design is problem solving, and in McAfee’s case, solving that problem meant saving lots of money. She also discussed how good design builds trust, which is something we’ve written about before.

More takeaways from WordCamp 2016

While at WordCamp it was great to be surrounded by other people who were as excited and interested in WordPress as I am. I attended some informative sessions with a range of topics from WordPress security to UX planning. I love leaving with a notebook full of new ideas. To borrow a quote from Amanda Giles’ presentations, which I think sums up how inspiring WordCamp can be:

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”


While at WordCamp I always learn something new, find a new topic to look into and pick up useful tips and tools to use to help make our process run smoother and build better sites for our clients.

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