is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
My 2015 Subtraction.com Design Tools Survey continues to draw interest; there’s a regular influx of daily visitors and people signing up to take part in this year’s yet-to-be-announced follow up. Well, as it happens, the time has come—sort of.
Even though 2016 barely feels broken in yet, I’m beginning to think about this year’s survey, which will launch in early June again. I figure I need a bit of a head start partly because these side projects take me so long to pull off, and partly because I want to get more help on it this year—in two ways.
First, as the design tools landscape has shifted so much in just the past nine months or so, I’d like to hear from readers: What questions I should be asking that I didn’t ask last year? And what questions that I asked last year should I be changing up for this year? As a review, here are the basic topics that I put in front of survey participants last June (for more detail, see what the answers looked like in the survey results):
- What tools do you use for brainstorming and ideation?
- What tools do you use for wireframing?
- What tools do you use for interface design?
- What tools do you use for project management?
- What tools do you use for version control and file management?
- What country do you live in?
- What kind of company do you work for?
- What platforms do you design products for?
So if you have ideas on this, please let me know using the form at the bottom of this post. I’ll be very interested to hear what you’re interested in hearing about.
On the second topic where I need help, I want to first draw your attention to the wonderful design and development work that my friends at Hyperakt did for last year’s survey results. They took the tabular data that came out of the Typeform-powered questionnaire, crunched the numbers, filtered it through their expert data visualization sensibilities, and hammered out some pretty interesting (and beautifully presented) insights. It was great fun working with them.
So here’s my ambition: not only do I want to run this survey every year, but I also want to work with a different studio every year on the web site for the findings (they’ll replace what you see today at tools.subtraction.com). I really see this survey as an opportunity for talented teams to do some amazing work with some juicy content. So if you’re on the leadership team of a scrappy design shop with a penchant for information graphics and narrative, and if you have the design and development resources to devote to a side project like this, this could be the perfect fit for you. What I offer is a blank canvas; Hyperakt did wonderful work but there’s no mandate to reuse anything that they did this year. It’s really a chance to cut loose creatively and do some really entertaining work for an audience of your peers (your credit will run prominently on the site, of course). I only ask that you turn the data into a compelling visual story, and that you have fun doing it. So if you’re passionate about design and about the tools designers use, drop me a line.+