[Ann] Attend the Design Studio and learn to design better solutions. Register now to save $300.

Discussion created by DonLevan on Feb 5, 2013

The Design Studio: An Intensive, three day, hands-on learning experience

March 5 – 7, 2013, Oakland, CA • Register Now

  April 16 – 18, 2013, Seattle, WA • Register Now


The Design Studio         

Whether you have been developing software for 20-years, or are just getting started, you'll learn a formal process and set of practices for designing exceptional FileMaker applications and  interfaces  during this three-day experiential studio.


Day 1: Discovery & Specification

Creating project briefs

Conduct design research

Deriving requirements from personas and scenarios



Day 2: Framework Definition

Storyboarding user flows

Creating lo-fidelity sketches and prototypes

Usability testing designs


Day 3: Detail Design & Review

Using feedback to improve the solution

Creating a style guide

Polishing the interface



How can learning this process help me?

Developing Scenarios, utilizing constraints, lo-fidelity sketching, finding design patterns, prototyping, usability testing...each of these practices help you develop your initial ideas into fantastic solutions. When you put these practices together in a repeatable process, you can reliably produce great work while saving money and delivering on time. You also foster cooperation with your clients and users, making 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 Design Studio is a software designer, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, FileMaker Certified Developer, and former photojournalist. Dr. Levan has spoken at the past three FileMaker Developer Conferences 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, Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance


“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


“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.”

—Jesse Barnum, President, 360Works,  Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance


“The Design Studio introduced me to a workable process, enabling me to understand clients' problems more thoroughly, and design solutions more effectively.”

— Barb Levine, President of Microserve, LLC, Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance


“Developers will save themselves 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., President & CEO, StarQUick Solutions


“The design studio helped me approach things in a different way that forced me to actually think outside the box. I think it is giving me a better product for the client at the end of the day. It's a great class.”

— Allan Mowat, President, Nevis Associates, Inc.



What else do I need to know?

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.


Please contact us if you have any additional questions.



Where and when I attend the design studio?

March 5 – 7, 2013, Oakland, CA - Hosted by Beezwax

We are being hosted by our friends at Beezwax in their beautiful new offices in downtown Oakland:


200 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

7th Floor

Oakland, California

View a map and directions here.




April 16 – 18, 2013, Seattle, WA - Hosted by SeedCode

We are being hosted by our friends at SeedCode, developers of FileMaker Pro Calendar Templates, at the beautiful Lake Union Crew on the Waterfront in Seattle:


11 E. Allison Street

Seattle, Washington

View a map and directions here.



Don Levan, Psy. D.
President, Vanguard Custom Software


"We design simple solutions to complex problems"
Learn how at our next Design Studio  |  |  (917) 842-2911