[On the design for Stealing Sheep] You need different levels of involvement… get a feel, impression; then a bit of text, not too much; then expert information in red - takes a little longer to read, may give you a bit of a headache. But surprisingly most people started reading that narrow margin. Hiding it, making it look small and almost impenetrable seemed to attract people’s attention. People said ‘we love the smallprint, we want to know more’. Seems if you make something obscure (not illegible) it attracts people.
You got to be consistent. So the who will see whatever you put out whether it’s advertising, you website, a little flyer or business card. Consistency will grind the stone. If you’re inconsistent people won’t remeber you for one second. […] Design a visual voice and type is the lowest common dominator. If you always use the same typeface that will give people a some sort of regular identity to hold on to.
Tools such as the social graph API and data formats such as microformats don’t degrade privacy—on the web, there is no real privacy in obscurity—but as designers and developers, we need to find better ways to encourage users to make informed decisions about privacy. Most social media site approaches to privacy (and persona projection) are inadequate and unsophisticated compared to the ways in which we deal with privacy in the real world.
One finishing touch that I especially appreciated was a set of alternate punctuation, designed to align with the numbers and the caps. In most fonts, the dashes and the colon are positioned to align with the lowercase; in some fonts they’re raised, so they center with the caps. Tungsten includes both kinds, accessible not only through the “all caps” OpenType feature, but through the “stylistic alternate” feature as well. I found this especially easy to use when setting complicated situations like the one above, where the colon is centered on the height of the figures, but the en dash aligns with the lowercase.