An oldfashioned drawing of a little man hanging by a rope around his belly to an oldfashioned balloon with the face of digital designer John Dowler emblazoned on it. The little man is holding a lantern and tooting a trumpet in celebration

What is digital design?

Design is more than crafting how something looks. It considers the entire experience of people using what you’re creating – for example, both the visitor to a website and the owner of that website who wants to maintain and update it.

If the thing we’re designing is mostly visual, viewers need to be able to grasp the message easily – and remember it. If the design work is digital, we also consider which technologies will be most effective and work together well, which features should be prominent and which ones concealed but accessible. We consider how different types of people will use something to learn, to buy, to express themselves and share with others. So digital design is about both the picture and the ‘bigger picture’.

When all of this is well done, the result is a thing of beauty. Good design helps your audience easily grasp your message, and use your features and information with as little to figure out as possible.

About John Dowler

I’m a digital designer with lifelong interests in design, art, technology, writing, photography and music. I help people and organizations hone their message and create an engaging presence on the web, in print and in the real world.

I create websites, graphics, interfaces, video and photography, interactive maps, social media planning and print collateral. I help create small scale public engagement campaigns. I help clients sort what they want from what they need, and which technologies will most help them. I begin by thinking about the needs of the people they want to engage, and look at what colleagues and competitors might be doing well that can be instructive.

A large part of my work supports initiatives to preserve the natural environment in BC., both in advocacy such as, and conservation development such as the Grafton Lake Lands project. I work promoting heritage as well, with the website and its virtual heritage trail. These all involve a public engagement and liaison with government.

As one of the founders of the startup Ethelo, I helped design the interface for the online, enterprise-level decision-making tool that allows large groups to find the ‘sweet spot’ of closest alignment and strongest planning choices.

I very much enjoy helping people understand, create and grow while pursuing their dreams.