Design Concepts in a Digital Age


A few years ago, we were building a Software as a Service (SaaS) for Main Street communities across America. We were in a week-long lock-in, scrambling to finish the software in time to unveil it at a national conference just weeks away.

After proudly prototyping the interface, I asked John to review. We made several changes from removing useless lines to adding more contrast between sections, but what I remember most is that the tables didn’t look right – the headers were way too big. John suggested making the headers smaller and more bold than the table content. I told him I thought that was silly, and he said that every book ever was like that.

For whatever reason I was feeling cocky that day, possibly due to the case of energy drinks we were burning through in rapid time, so I asked John to prove it.

He grabbed a random book off of a shelf, flipped to a page with a table, and pointed. It was exactly as he said. I stood corrected, we laughed, and I inevitably changed the tables to match his suggestion.

Design for digital products is just as important as physical products.

Rokusek started in book publishing in the 1980s and we are unique in that our roots in design are still core to our company 30 years later. We review projects as a team, scrutinizing every detail. We collaborate to remove useless lines, add contrast between sections, and even to adjust table headers to match a book.

(If you’re curious whether we got our software done in time: we did. We almost got hit by a semi on the way and finished programming on the show floor, but we got it done. That’s a story for another time.)