Ms.Tech August 2016 Mastermind Recap on Visual, UX and UI Design

Erika MarinStartups & Business1 Comment

August Mastermind Recap: Design

August we discussed the topic of Design in the IMSA classroom over at 1871 and as we do each month, we took good notes in the spirit of sharing with anyone who was not there.   For those who are not familiar, Ms.Tech Masterminds meet on the premise of coordination of knowledge and effort working with the common thread of changing the landscape for women in tech and business.  The objectives are to raise the confidence level when it comes to our topic that month (August was Design), provide an environment that creates the opportunity for intentional networking, building valuable and reciprocal relationships.  We invite two of the smartest community members on the topic, we all introduce ourselves while asking that burning question on the topic, and then we facilitate the discussion, developing our ideas and hashing out any grey areas, and moving as many obstacles  as we can, out of the way of progress!  You can read more about our Masterminds program here.

What attending masterminds wanted to know:

  • What determines good design?
  • How do you know when to stop trying to perfect a design?
  • What are some sources that can be utilized when defining design?
  • How should you balance between the needs of the clients/users and needs of the designers during a project?
  • What are some of your favorite online resources?

perfecting a design vs. overdoing it

There is a fine line between perfecting a design or a project and overdoing it. Many people are obsessed with making sure that their design project is “perfect” that the project is usually never quite finished. When should someone know when to stop perfecting a project to the point of overdoing it?

Ari Krzyzek, Co-founder of Chkalophia, knows the perfect answer to that question. Once the goals of the project are established and are met, then that is the point in which a designer should stop adding on more than what is necessary. Once the goals are met, it is essential to publish the design project with the clients and customers in order to receive valuable feedback.

If you don’t stop making it “perfect”, you’re never going to stop.Ari Krzyzek

determining good design

Ari Krzyzek made a great book suggestion on designing and branding. Ari recommended How to Style your Brand, a book that helps the reader narrow down what kind of brand that you want and is a great source of inspiration for projects and designs. This is an amazing resource for those who are still figuring out their brand and their brand’s design and appearance. 

In order to determine good design, Katie Lord refers to the four main design principles. The principles are Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity and once those principles are understood, you can use them in order to carry them out in other aspects such as Typography and Digital Design. When figuring out a design theme or a brand, one can have much trouble figuring out exactly what they want. Katie Lord believes that the longer you take trying to figure out what kind of design theme or brand you are trying to go for, the more it’ll determine your brand for you. Katie ends the discussion on this topics with “what impression does your brand leave you feeling with? Your brand is always evolving.”

Understand the four design principles: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity.Katie Lord

About the guest masterminds:


Katie Lord is the Founder of Katie Lord Inc.– an agency that helps startups and companies link digital strategy, design and technology to engage customers and create beautiful experiences. She has helped companies achieve over $50,000,000 in funding through marketing. Having held high level positions such as a Marketing Manager at $100M+ companies (SMS Assist and IMSEP) and most recently Art Director at the Tribune (Motiv8 Agency), she has valuable experience working with and at the c-level of companies helping guide their marketing strategies and executing design.


Co-founder, creative director and chief designer of Chykalophia, Ari Krzyzek implements powerful branding strategies to provide distinctive designs for maximum impact via web, mobile and/or print. Additionally, she hosts Creative Women’s Conversations, serving as design consultant, mentor and professional peer in support of fellow female entrepreneurs.


Where do Chicago’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs go to shape new technologies, disrupt old business models, and reset the boundaries of what’s possible? 1871! The Great Chic1871ago Fire story of 1871 isn’t really about the fire. It’s about what happened next: A remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers, architects, and inventors came together to build a new city. Their innovations – born of passion and practical ingenuity – shaped not just Chicago, but the modern world. What started 140 years ago continues to this day. 1871 is a place where you can share ideas, make mistakes, work hard, build your business and, with a little luck, change the world.

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