Warm Gun: Thematic Design

by Luke Wroblewski December 3, 2011

In his Thematic Design: Finding the Soul of Your Product presentation at the Warm Gun conference in San Francisco, CA Todd Matthews shared how the cloud application platform, Heroku, thinks about the design of their product and why thematic design matters. Here’s my notes from his talk.

  • You might think design is about color, typography, style, or aesthetics but design runs deep. The entire product team designs as they all work on various pieces of the interface.
  • As you use a tool, you should get some joy out of it. Especially if you use it everyday.
  • Thematic design is cohesive. Each piece is part of an integrated whole. This creates unity.
  • Thematic design is consistent. It’s uniform, predictable, and dependable.
  • Thematic design is comprehensive. When you carry a design philosophy across an entire product line, you convey a sense of completeness. Cohesive design can make you feel calm. It’s simple, unobtrusive, and works together.
  • You can’t fake trust. It has to be earned and demonstrated.
  • Respect for details shows respect for users.
  • Users get excited when they feel you care about them.