It’s about time.


Refer a friend is a great idea because it ensures your app will go viral and other unverified claims.

But to simply drop the refer a friend feature anywhere into the user experience usually proves to be problematic, as you’ve probably guessed.

The above image shows how Uber asks you to refer a friend just after you’ve called for a ride. This is not ideal because right now the user should be focusing on getting to a reasonable area to be seen and finding the driver.

This second example is from DoorDash, it makes so much more sense to ask about referring a friend after you’ve finished with the part of the experience that requires your strict attention, especially at this point where you’ve already answered whether you like the service or not.

All in all, refer a friend is not necessarily an app performance booster. In fact, nothing is always a performance booster. It depends on when it is presented to the user. Asking someone to rate your app in the App Store as they open the app is perhaps the worst possible time to do so (although it is a very common mistake). Personally, this is the time when I’m trying to get passed all the red tape and into the app. I would also be willing to bet that a lot of users share this objective at this point in the experience. But neither of us will know this for sure until we ask our users.

And I think it’s about time we stopped guessing. It’s not just about what we include, but why (of course) and (more importantly, I’d argue) when.

Remembering Denny Griffith


pictured: CCAD’s former president Denny Griffith, WOSU Public Media’s general manager Tom Rieland, State Auto’s former chairman, president and CEO Robert H. Moone (who also passed away less than a month prior). This photo was taken to celebrate State Auto’s partnership with CCAD, which funded my internship with WOSU Public Media.

The message below is from James E. Kunk, Chairman of the CCAD Board of Trustees
Dear friends,
It is with a profound sense of grief that I share the news that Denny Griffith, our beloved and visionary former president of Columbus College of Art & Design, has died at the age of 63 after living fully with cancer for two years.
Denny’s valedictory show, “Another World,” opened at our Beeler Gallery on Jan. 8. The show is a shining achievement that reminds us of what a special president and artist he was — a leader of our school and our community, an educator, a tireless champion of what we are all about at CCAD, and a hard-working painter who pursued his passion with an exuberance that is so evident in the work currently on display.
Beyond this vital collection of paintings, Denny also played a major role in transforming the arts in Ohio over the last 40 years. He was a partner in the growth of the Ohio Arts Council, spent time at both the Akron Art Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art where he was a deputy director but, most importantly, spent 16 glorious years turning CCAD into a vibrant and dynamic college of creative learning, supporting a passionate student body, encouraging a committed faculty that truly believes in the power of their students’ ideas, building engaged boards of trustees that were fully invested in the mission, and drawing on the community that supported CCAD so committedly. His has been a force in downtown Columbus to transform the city through the arts.
He lived it and breathed it in every way.
Denny had many loves, but the greatest of these are his wife and partner in all things, Beth Fisher, and their son Blake Fisher. Denny and Beth have been remarkable advocates for this city and our school. We send our most heartfelt condolences to Beth and Blake.
“I can’t overstate how much this hurts. Denny was an innovative leader, a talented painter and a tireless champion for the arts,” said CCAD Provost and Interim President Kevin J. Conlon. “Most of all, he was a good man.”
Denny was born in Delaware, Ohio, on Oct. 22, 1952, and was incredibly proud of his central Ohio roots. Denny earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1974 and a Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University in 1994.
He served as the third president of CCAD for 16 years, from May 1998, when he was appointed to the post, until his retirement in June 2014. During that time, he led the college through transformational change.
Denny was at the forefront of turning Columbus into the creative community we know today. But his reach wasn’t limited to central Ohio. He was a well-respected leader on the national stage.
“Denny Griffith’s contributions to art and design education extended far beyond CCAD and Columbus,” said Deborah Obalil, President and Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD). “Denny was an affable and beloved colleague nationally and internationally, passionate about students and the artists and designers into which they transformed over the course of their education.”
In typical fashion, Griffith’s goal in his steadfast service to CCAD was not to bring attention to himself. He wanted to help others, and he made sure that praise was heaped on others before himself.
“When the light’s shining on me,” he once said, “I’d rather turn it to shine on other people.”
True to this ideal, he worked with the CCAD Board of Trustees to establish the Griffith Faculty Excellence Fund as his legacy to support in perpetuity the good work of the faculty at CCAD.
Throughout his life, Denny maintained a strong commitment to his work as an artist. Even after his cancer diagnosis in 2014, he continued making art, including large scale paintings and works on paper which comprise his latest exhibitions at our own Beeler Gallery and “Another World and Other Works,” which opened Friday at Hammond Harkins Galleries in the Short North.
And to quote Michael Goodson, CCAD’s director of exhibitions and curator of “Another World,” these are the kind of “paintings that manage to mingle Amy Sillman’s approach to abstractions with a hint of Guston’s more malevolent code. They celebrate, but also retain a clarifying air of solemnity. These new works are curious and cathartic, but also cogent and restrained.”
Denny is survived by his wife, Beth Fisher, of Bexley and Asheville, North Carolina; his son, Blake Fisher, of Raleigh, North Carolina; his mother, Sally Griffith, of Black Mountain, North Carolina; his brother, Tom Griffith (Beth and nephews Zach and Ty), of Seattle; and his sister, Anne Barrus (Gib and nieces Gracie Barrus and Lucia Parker and great nephew Hayden Parker), of Burnsville, North Carolina.
The family is planning a party at CCAD’s Beeler Gallery to celebrate (and we mean celebrate) the myriad contributions that Denny made to our lives and community, and we will share details when we have them. For now, we’re grieving and grateful that Denny has been a part of our community. His legacy will continue on.
James E. Kunk
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Columbus College of Art & Design

2015 in Review: Top 5 UX Developments


Here’s my shortlist of improvements in user experience design for 2015.

  1. Micro-interactions (Apple Watch) – There have been enough articles criticizing the Apple Watch, but I think the potential that Apple Watch brings to the table is unmatched. In time, Apple Watch will do for wearable technology what iPhone has done for smartphones, and what iPad has done for tablets. I can remember a lot of criticism of both of these products the year they were first released. But they’ve proven to be revolutionary products. Obviously, Apple has had its share of failed products, but the world (and Apple as a company) is very different now. Micro-interactions allow us to interact with our technology much quicker, and therefore less often. And Apple has brought popularity to this category.
  2. Material Design – I don’t know which is better: how clearly the standards are presented or the design of the operating system itself. No longer will Google be seen as tone deaf when it comes to design; this was the perfect follow up to their logo’s redesign. I’ve always found that it is usually a good idea to build on the existing platform that users are already familiar with than to completely start over from scratch. And that’s exactly what Google has done here.
  3. Adobe Project Comet – Finally, Adobe is releasing a program specifically for user experience design. One where we won’t have to render the assets in Photoshop, mock up the screens in Illustrator and try and create the interactions in InDesign (which seems to be the furthest from interactive design of the trinity, but still has the capabilities). Perhaps this shouldn’t be mentioned in this list because it hasn’t been released yet, but I simply couldn’t resist.
  4. Adobe MyPortfolio – there is a school of thought that believes designers should design their own portfolio website, everything from the front end to the back end. And I understand why. I would be willing to bet that a lot of those who subscribe to this philosophy do so because there are so many bad templates out there, whether they’re free or paid. But Adobe managed to create a portfolio builder that takes the difficulty out of creating a portfolio so that a designer can focus his/her time on other, more important things (like getting a job). If you have a Creative Cloud membership, as most designers these days do, it is included with your membership and integrates with your Behance profile. It is a smarter, responsive update to Behance’s Prosite, which will be discontinued in the Spring of 2016.
  5. Windows 10 – I know what you’re thinking. But hear me out…
    [tweet 557967271784480768]
    Of course, we all know that the benefit of a hardware upgrade means the company gets more money and the consumer gets that warm and fuzzy feeling of having a new device. But what about those who can’t afford a new device (or those who simply don’t want a new device)? Are they now locked out of all of the latest improvements? Doesn’t this sort of defeat the purpose? Even though, everyone has not (and probably will not) upgrade to Windows 10 (and we can’t blame Microsoft for that), they’re still addressing a major issue and attempting to get all its users on the same page (screen?) once and for all.

So that’s that. Enjoy your New Years celebrations but before you go, let me know what developments I may have missed in the comments.

Is Sharing Really Caring?


I recently came across an interesting app, Adobe Post, which creates graphics for social media, especially Instagram. This got my attention because I’ve been wanting a company that is knee-deep in design and technology to make something like this. There are plenty of apps out there that make it easy to share bad graphics, here’s one that makes it easy to share good ones.

So along comes Adobe Post and, from what I can see, this looks like everything I hoped for. I rarely share the apps I use, but this one was too good to keep to myself. I felt like it would help improve the overall look of my Instagram feed, if nothing else. When I went to Adobe Post’s website, I found no social sharing buttons. I started to ignore it, but when I saw links to their social media, I thought, ‘why would they make it easy to follow them on social media but not include buttons to share their app on social media?’

Their response included an article that makes some great points:

This article points out that share buttons don’t necessarily mean users will share the page (and can backfire because people are turned off by a low share count) and it may also be distracting from the main goal (which, in this case, would be to purchase the product, not share the page). Sometimes share buttons are included simply because it can be done, even if they add no value or utility to the page.

While the article does provide some great insight, it’s important not to paint the web with a broad brush. Adobe Post’s website is very different from the one mentioned in the article. I do understand the point, but it would still make sense to include share buttons on the homepage, if no where else.

All in all, I hope Adobe Post becomes popular enough to have a positive impact on social graphics, including your Instagram feeds. And, yes, there are sharing buttons on this post.

Design Reflects Life


Now that some of us have finally gained some respect for the message in NWA’s music, perhaps we can begin to see the parallels between this and what many of us consider horrifying and even offensive displays of art.

Art is meant to change culture, advance our civilization and challenge the constraints that we are all used to. “Comfort zone” is just a fancier, more socially acceptable way to say “prison.” Everyone claims to understand the danger of operating in one but very few of us truly demonstrate it. A lot of what we see in popular culture (from mainstream to local arenas) are not pushing anyone out of their comfort zones, but further building walls around where people feel safe. Hypocrisy.


Last year around this time, Urban Outfitters shocked us with this controversial Kent State University sweatshirt. The backlash they received ultimately resulted in them pulling the sweatshirt from their website. A lot of people believe it was a media stunt (they’re known for this sort of thing) but personally, I think it was a bitch move. What an awesome opportunity to make a very strong political statement through their work and they chose to backpedal, claiming it was a coincidence and they didn’t realize this would be offensive.

Bullshit. Stick with your guns, UO.

Meanwhile, This Designer Stopped Everyone In Their Tracks With a Fashion Show About Police Brutality






Not only does this line of clothes make an incredible political statement, it is also beautiful.

“Safe art” has never accomplished much as far as advancing civilization is concerned. Too many creatives are afraid to evolve thus preventing civilization from advancing.

I will definitely be checking for Kerby Jean-Raymond’s brand Pyer Moss on Instagram and Twitter from now on.

No.97: MF DOOM SB Masks


If you know much of anything about me, you know that this post is a summary of everything I like all in one.



It’s only right that the Hip-Hop inspired mask maker make masks inspired by Hip-Hop’s mysterious masked emcee.These 2 MF DOOM inspired sneaker masks are made from a single pair of 2007 Nike SB Dunks. This is a bit of a departure from my own creative “rules” – Rule #1: Only 1 mask will be made from each particular style of shoe. The point of that rule being that I’m not out here chopping down pair after pair of beloved sneakers.


Where as most masks are now commissioned by paying clients and collectors, these masks were a personal pick by Freehand Profit… which means these masks are available to purchase. To make it real easy, they’re up for sale on If you’re not familiar with mask pricing you can find out more here.

WEB 097 MF DOOM SB Mask SPRVLN and MFer 02

If you’re eying that villianous green hoody, check out the folks at Arctic Premium. They…

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Terra Wright-Deloatch’s GIS research is gaining ground.


"Crowd Sourced Analysis and Social Media" by Terra Wright-Deloatch of Fayetteville State University

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Terra Wright-Deloatch of Fayetteville State University in creating a presentation she gave at the CaGIS/ASPRS Fall Conference in San Antonio on 29 October 2013; her presentation discussed the relevancy of social media to geospatial information. Since then, she’s continued gaining exposure for her research by participating in World Geography Bowl (GeoBowl) in Roanoke where she was selected to represent SEDAAG in the national GeoBowl in Tampa! Great job and keep up the awesome work, Terra!

view the presentation (PDF)

Early Morning Work


what an interesting examination of fear and childhood behavior.

Coilskinks's Blog

As I clear my thoughts this morning, I reflect on play yesterday not only with my students but with my own children…

Curiosity within a child supports internal motivation to discover and learn. My son located a “skully” or “tobbgin” as some may call it, deep within his closet. This finding led to a chain of events, which has furthered my inquiry as to “discover” the approach, and the comfort vs fear observed in my own two children, children that I work with daily as well as all other young children within today’s society.

While my two year old played, I could hear giggles and much movement from the second floor of my home. After a few minutes, I hear a scream from my six year old daughter, “Momma, Ali is a boogey man, come see!”

As I approached the stairs, she was slowly walking backwards towards her room in…

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4 Fears Stopping Your Passion: ‘I Don’t Have Any Money’


I had the pleasure of hearing Donna speak at Creative Control Fest 2 and, while I promise this was not planned, I noticed a lot of parallels between her talk about some irrational fears in the mind of a creative and mine about the irrational fears in the minds of the general public.

In the first post of this series, we talked about how a lack of focus can stop you from discovering your inherent creative abilities, and how using those abilities can change your community. Today, the 4 Fears series continues discussing money.

There has been many times in my career where I had big ideas, but little money to finance them. But if I had to name one thing that turns starving artists into money makers, I’d have have to say the web. It is the great equalizer. With time and a strategy, you can have thousands of people paying attention to your work and buying your products. And no, you don’t have to hire a publicist or social media strategist to get started.

I want to talk about four artists who I think have a great web and social media strategy, and give you some tips to walk away with…

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