Alexis Allen Video Interview by

Don Clark of FileMakerProGurus has started a video interview series with what he calls “influential people in the FileMaker community,” and I’m very honoured and pleased to be the first interviewee!

He asked me how I became a FileMaker developer, what design tools I like to use, and more. Watch the video to learn more about me and why I love design and FileMaker. You can read Don’s original article and link to the video here. Check out the rest of his site while you’re there.

Thanks Don!



Visual Design Basics For FileMaker: Space

Visual Design Basics for FileMaker: Space

The second in a series on the basics of visual design for FileMaker. Space is the basic element that designers work with. How we divide it up determines what we ultimately present to the user as our design.

Space: The final frontier… (Okay, that was bad.) But as designers, we are all “space explorers.” In fact, our main activity as designers is to “explore” the space on the screen by dividing it up in a way that helps users meet their goals.

As we move through an application’s windows, there’s a sense of existence in space, of “coming” and “going” somewhere. We use “forward” and “back” buttons to help find ourselves in the application. This journey happens only in our minds as we discover the various features and functions, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

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Video: How to Create a Usable Touch UI by Luke Wroblewski

Luke Wroblewski, author of the excellent book Mobile First, discusses the importance of allowing plenty of space in touch user interfaces in this short video.

Luke says:

Creating a usable touch interface means embracing the constraints of direct manipulation. When our hands are input we need to consider touch target sized controls, spacing, and the inevitable simplification of our interfaces. I walk through these considerations and more in this quick 4 minute video.

Watch the video here.

DevCon 2014 FileMaker Design Panel

Do you want to design visually appealing and usable solutions? Do you have questions about interaction and visual design that you’d like answered by a team of FileMaker experts? (Since you’re reading this blog, I know you do.) Now’s your chance!

The DevCon Design Panel

FileMaker will be hosting a Design Panel session at the FileMaker Developer’s Conference taking place in San Antonio, Texas from July 28th–31st, 2014. The panelists are Matthew O’Dell (Moderator, Technical Marketing Manager at FileMaker, Inc.), Heather Winkle (Manager of User Experience at FileMaker, Inc.), Andrew Paulsen (Software Architect at FileMaker, Inc.), Don Levan (President of Vanguard Custom Software, LLC.), and Bob Shockey (CEO of Alchemy Consulting Group).

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9 Creative Improv Lessons for Designers

I’ve always been curious about how to develop creativity. Since creative skills overlap disciplines, it’s worth examining how people in other creative pursuits go about learning their craft. What important things can we learn that also apply to FileMaker design and development? This article explores how lessons in spontaneity from improv theatre can help us generate new ideas and be more confident designers.


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Acorn 4 on Sale for $14.99

If you are looking for a good, inexpensive image editor, Acorn 4 for Mac is on sale for a limited time for $14.99. I bought it through the App Store and was able to install it on both my computers (bonus!). If you prefer, you can buy it directly from the Flying Meat website.

Acorn is a good-quality, Photoshop-like program, without the Photoshop price. I use it all the time to create graphics for FileMaker elements. I think I first heard about it at DevCon a couple of years ago from Matt Petrowsky of FileMaker Magazine.  The regular price is $49.99, which even then is still pretty reasonable.

I don’t know how long it will be on sale, so check it out!