I Mean No Harm

Hopefully this post will not create the same response as when Orson Wells narrated the War of the Worlds on the radio. I don’t want anyone jumping out of any windows or anything. Please, no need to worry, I didn’t really take over Trent’s blog... only this post. MUHAHAHA.

What’s Going On Here?

What you are seeing is a post written and designed by your’s truly Yaron Schoen. Why you may ask? Good question.

The story starts in a small town called Austin where the annual SXSWi takes place. 5 condensed days of sheer design geekry and an almost insane amount of conversations and debates. Trent was one of the many amazing chaps I got to know there.

One day a bunch of us decided to go out for food and drinks and basically bail on some of the panels. By the time we left the convention center, Trent and I came up with a pretty rough idea of something we wanted to create. By the time we got to the restaurant we already purchased a domain - Trent purchased it on his iPhone, and I bought the drinks. Easy.

The Idea

While in the convention center we both started ranting that us designers do not collaborate that much on experimental projects. This is something that the music world does all the time, duets or even bands come together to release one album (Them Crooked Vultures, Atoms for Peace). Why the heck are we not doing that. Collaborations of this form seem to produce amazing material that shift from the normal things these artists create. It’s refreshing both for them as creatives and for us as consumers.

With that notion in mind we did some idea ping pong and at the end came up with DesignSwap.

What The Heck Is DesignSwap?

Another good question. We aren’t even really sure. We know we want to promote collaborations between designers throughout our community. We know that this could be done by fostering new friendships and partnerships. We know that as designers we have the most fun and freedom to experiment when working on our personal projects / blogs / sites. We know that our consumers would be happy to see new and fresh ideas. So why not create a platform that promotes all that?

DesignSwap’s sole purpose is to promote collaborations between designers by saying one simple thing - I design on your site, you design on mine. We realized with that strong notion, there was no need to create unnecessary rules around this experiment. Trent and I figured that if we keep the rules open, our design peeps would utilize their swaps in far more creative ways than we could even imagine. Of-course on sites like Trent’s and mine, it is easier since we have the infrastructure to design per article. That said, we leave other swaps open to interpretation. This is what Trent and I did, what would you swap?

Feel Free To Contact Us

By all means. We want to hear from you. If you would like to participate in this experiment just fill out the form on design-swap.com We will try to answer you in a some what timely manner.

Viva La Swap!


17 Responses

Leave a comment or contact me via Twitter @TrentWalton

  • Christopher Meyers

    It’s a great aesthetic, and I think your styles compliment each other well, but you might want to check this one out in a non-webkit browser.

    I’m all about different experiences based on browser capability but this design appears quite broken.

  • Ethan Turkeltaub

    Wow, you guys did a great job! I’m really liking the Design Swap UI and both of your sites. This is a great idea--I’m not sure if I’m a good enough designer to do this, though!

    • Yaron Schoen

      Ethan, thanks for the kind words. I don’t think there is such a thing as “good enough”. I sometimes think I am not good enough as well. That shouldn’t stop you from designing and having fun with it! I suggest you go find a buddy and swap the hell out of your designs. Here is some initial swap ideas, you can also download the DS logo: http://design-swap.com/info.php Let us know when you do!

      • Ethan

        Sorry, I posted that and didn’t come back to see if there was any replies.

        I feel very, very small next to all these big names. Dan Mall, Brian Hoff, Phil Coffman, Paddy Donnelly.

        I guess it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t hurt, right? I’ll find someone to swap with, and I’ll get to it!

    • Trent

      @Ethan: I second Yaron here... Get to swappin’ good buddy!

  • jonathan bowden

    trent and yarcom, well done guys. great idea, and i’m looking forward to the future swaps coming!

  • Geert Melotte

    Great concept, great designs, great execution, absolutely love it.
    This absolutely encourages me to finish my personal blog and just have fun.

    Thnx guys

  • David Vosburg

    This idea is so great. Travis Neilson & I were having essentially this same thought (a few weeks after you all) and were discussing what a design swap might look like. Thanks so much for creating this platform/community! Can’t wait to be a part.

  • Nikola

    Co-o-o-o-l! :)

    btw, ist there a rss on Design-Swap.com? i can‘t find it :(

    • Trent

      @Nikola: Stay tuned- We’ll be working on phase 2 for the site soon & that should include RSS. So glad to hear you were looking for it!

  • matthew carleton

    Hey wonderful idea, the thought of cultivating an environment that encourages collaborative work excites me. Job well done.

  • Roadhawg

    I’ll swap you some ribs today for a hamburger on Tuesday!

  • Joni D.

    Oh man, I’ve been trying to do this myself. (not swap but I’ve asked people to let me do a little design on their blogs but no one responds. I think you two do compliment each other so it may not work for some but it’s a cool idea!

  • ongun akay

    shares utilize a terrific site decent Gives thank you for the hard work to assist me

  • Robert Stackhouse

    Glad that y’all were able to launch design-swap.com. As former student of an architecture college, I was often dismayed by the lack of collaboration between students on class projects. It seemed that when collaboration did happen, it was forced rather than sought out. Often, everyone just went into his or her dark hole to work on “their idea” in isolation. I think this is a holdover from the bad-old-days when all anybody ever cared about was protecting their IP and enhancing their portfolio. There is a problem to solve. How to be credited (properly) for work done in a group. After all, a designer is only as good as his reputation, and if no one can figure out what work was yours vs. not, you’ll never get hired.

    I think solo work is important, but it’s hard for anything (especially people) to grow when shut in a dark closet.

    It seems to me that the future of the design community (not just print or web) is in the free exchange of ideas like I’ve observed in co-working spaces and barcamps.

    Thanks for doing this.

    p.s. Isn’t Layer Tennis a way for designers to collaborate, and hasn’t it been around for a while. I like this new take on collaboration though. Cheers!

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