Keeping up to date with design trends

Staying in touch with modern design trends through RSS feeds

 

There have been many recent developments regarding the internet and how we interact with it.  One of the most significant developments of late has been the introduction of RSS feeds.  An RSS feed effectively reverses the flow of information.  Instead of the user actively searching for new information, once a subscription has been made, an RSS feed will notify the user of any new information that becomes available on a particular site.

 

How to subscribe?

 

There are many ways of subscribing to an RSS feed.  The most popular and, in my opinion, the most convenient is Google Reader.  You must first subscribe to be able to use Google Reader and  then it is just a question of adding all your favourite sites’ URL addresses to receive automatic updates of when there is new information available.  Here is a great web tutorial on how it works:

 

 

One great update with Google Reader that is not mentioned on the video tutorial is that you are now able to organise your RSS feeds into folders.  This is very useful once you start subscribing to a lot of feeds from sites about differing subject matter.

Another way of subscribing to RSS feeds is to use your web browser.  Some browsers such as Safari and Firefox allow for RSS feeds to be placed in the same folders as your regular bookmarks.  This means that whenever there is new content available, a number will appear next to your bookmark folder to let you know how many unread articles are waiting for you.

 

Email alerts are also offered by most websites to notify you of new content.  This is fine if you only subscribe to a couple of websites, however you can very easily clog up your inbox with dozens of notifications arriving every day.  I would advise you to go with one of the first two options.

 

Sites worth subscribing to:

 

Industry standard sites:

 

Core 77

 

Yanko Design

 

Design Crave

 

Other cool sites:

 

Cool Hunting – This website is starting to become a reference for style and trends in design.

 

Tree Hugger Design and Architecture – This is a great site that deals with, as the name would suggest, all things green.

 

Tuvie Design of the Future– This site deals primarily with future concepts.  Almost nothing on this site has actually gone into production but it’s great for getting a glimpse of things to come.

 

Like Cool – One of my personal favourites of all the design sites.  This one deals with everything from product design to fashion to video art to photography.  What does it all have in common?  It’s all pretty funny!

 

The Design Blog – This one is similar to Like Cool except the content is a bit more slick.  It deals with concept work as well as produced objects.

 

The Web Urbanist – This is a site which deals with urban culture, however you’ll often find relevant content.  They will often include groups of objects such as “10 wackiest chairs”.

 

The Australian Design Review – There isn’t much local content so I thought I’d include this one.  Unfortunately, it’s not as spectacular as some of the other offerings but it’s good to keep in touch with what’s going on locally.

 

 

Tutorials & Forums – Where to look and do they really help?

 

There are several sites that are great sources for keeping up to date with technological advances to do with the programs, which we as product designers, use on a daily basis.

 

You Tube – This a great starting point to get some tips on specific techniques for modelling and design programs.  One of my personal favourites is a series called You Suck at Photoshop.  It’s great for a laugh and you’ll learn some techniques in photo editing while you’re at it.


 

Another great site is planet photoshop. There are dozens of video tutorials exploring some of the hidden elements of Photoshop CS4 and how to use them to produce cool effects in your photos.

 

One site that’s more relevant to our branch of design is Product Design Forums.  There are chat rooms where you can post problems that you are having with either Solidworks or Rhino and get some great feedback from industry professionals.  You’ll also find tutorials and regular modelling challenges to help you hone your 3D skills

 

Podcast – What are they and where can I find them?

 

Podcast are quickly becoming the next big wave of media sharing.  A podcast is an audio or video file which is sent to your computer via itunes whenever a new episode becomes available.  Simply download itunes (it’s free from the apple website) and search the itunes store for any podcasts that might interest you.  Since it’s a relatively new media, there’s still not that much available (at least in our field of product design).  Although I predict that within the next couple of years this form of media sharing is going to explode so keep an eye on this.  Here are a few that I found which I think are pretty good:

 

TED talks

 

Yanko design

 

YDN design


If any of you come across any other methods of keeping up to date with design trends, please leave a comment below as I’d love to know!  That also goes for any websites you might stumble across that I may have missed.  There are so many good ones out there!

I hope you find this helpful with your design endeavours!



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