[ANN] Learn to design applications your users will rave about at the Design Studio, October 22-24, NYC

Discussion created by DonLevan on Jul 17, 2012

The Design Studio: An Intensive, Three Day, Learning Experience.

October 22th – 24th, New York City

Register by September 1st and save $300.


Attendees of The Design Studio will learn a formal process for solving complex problems:


*           Conduct Design Research

*           Derive Requirements from Personas and Scenarios

*          Identify and Use Design Patterns

*           Develop and Refine Ideas

*          Prototype and Test Designs

*           Utilize Feedback to Improve Solutions


Nine, of the FileMaker Inc. staff, have attended the Design Studio. Jesse Barnum, President of 360Works, had this to say of the workshop, “This workshop really helped us in the design of the document check-in screen of DocuBin. After implementing what we learned, we simplified, re-worded, and rearranged the buttons so that the result of each choice is much more obvious. It's little touches like this that make any software appealing, both to look at and to use."


What is design?


Design is an intentional process in which you elicit, derive, decide, clarify, and plan the solution to a given problem. Sketches, prototypes, technical plans, and finished solutions are the artifacts that result from a design process.


Design is also a key differentiator. A minimum level of design used to be enough to demonstrate professionalism, craft, and care. The overwhelming success of IOS, the growing acceptance of web-standards, and the sophistication of the user base, has significantly raised what is considered acceptable. Indeed, applications and websites that look amateurish or have poor interaction design are often viewed with contempt and distrust.


How can learning a formal design process help me?


It is almost impossible to hit the right solution the first time. Most people and businesses don't know exactly what they want or need. As a result, a lot of time, money, and effort is spent undoing the initial attempts or working around ingenious solutions to the wrong problem. An effective design process saves money by identifying the right problems to solve and by developing effective solutions early when it is most cost effective.


Additionally, a repeatable design process makes it possible to have confidence in your estimates and projected timelines, and makes it significantly easier to sell better projects.



Who is teaching this course?


Dr. Don Levan, President of Vanguard Custom Software and the founder of the Craft of FileMaker is a software designer, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, FileMaker 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 Certified Developer, and former photo journalist.

Dr. Levan was a speaker at the 2010 & 2011 FileMaker Developer's Conferences, and will be speaking again at the 2012 FileMaker Developer's Conference. He is an accomplished presenter and teacher and has provided design consulting to FileMaker, Inc.



What are past attendees saying?

"This course is a must-have for all serious developers."

— Paul Spafford, FM


"This workshop changed the way I work forever!"

— Marty Thomasson, Gearbox Solutions


"Absolutely fantastic material, professionally delivered."

— James Hea, Project Manager, FileMaker Systems at HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited


"I would wholeheartedly recommend this workshop to any serious FileMaker developer trying to bring the best user experience possible to his or her clients."

— Richard Carlton, President of Carlton Consulting, Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance


"This workshop provided clear and tangible examples and exercises that engaged us to rethink how we approach requirements gathering and dovetail that into intentional system design."

— Adam Aronson, President of FullCity Consulting, Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance


"The workshop was fun and stimulating and will raise the game of those who care about designing databases at the highest level... I learned a lot in a short time."

— Doug Gardner, President of Exoteric, Six-time speaker at the FileMaker Developer's Conference


It's a ‘must do’ for FileMaker developers who do not have a background in formal software development. It will save them and their clients much time and aggravation if they apply the process presented in the workshop. Otherwise, they will repeatedly re-invent the common mistakes inherent in a free-form design development process.

— Dale Stuart, Ph.D., Sc.D., President, CEO, StarQuick Solutions, Inc., Makers of TheraQuick




What does the workshop cost?

Registration for the class is $1,499 US. Register by September 1st and save $300. To receive the discount, enter the discount code "early" on the registration form.



Where can I get more information about the Design Studio?


Dr. Levan will be presenting The Fundamentals of Exceptional Interface Design: The Design Process at the 2012 FileMaker Developer's Conference. This session will provide a high level overview of the process and practices we cover in the Design Studio.


Paul Spafford, of Spafford Data Solutions, has written a review of his experience attending the first Design Studio on his blog, You can read his review here.




What else do attendees need to know?

The Studio is being held at the 825 3rd Avenue (50th Street) in the heart of New York City.


The Studio will run from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptop computers. Paper, sharpies, sticky notes, and six-up templates will be provided. Participants will receive a recommended reading list in advance of the Studio.


Participants are responsible for their own meals.


Relevant Links

Craft of FileMaker                      

Vanguard Custom Software 


The Craft of FileMaker is a service of Vanguard Custom Software. Vanguard's mission is to “design simple applications which solve complex problems.” They incorporate software development best practices, interaction design, and cognitive psychology to create data-driven applications and websites that are efficient for business and easy for people.


Don Levan


Vanguard Custom Software, LLC.


United States