Dave is the author or coauthor of five books, including:
- Social Media Design For Dummies
- Mobile Web Design For Dummies
- iPhone and iPad Design For Dummies
- The Poison Pen
Dave’s background in journalism included designing pages for newspapers and magazines, a skill he’s updated for the web, mobile and social media as a Dummies author.
To Dave, great design is about making complex information immediately appealing and engaging.
Research & Case Studies
David’s background as an investigative reporter and editor have given him the skills to do in-depth analysis of tech trends and tools. His freelance work includes case studies on newspapers and multimedia development for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA.org), the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), the Online Journalism Review (OJR.org), and Advanced Interactive Media (AIM Group).
As a managing editor, he assembled a team of expert journalists, digital entrepreneurs and marketing mavens, to build the Audience Planbook for the NAA. It lays out the necessary processes that a news organization must go through in order to reinvent itself and start producing the kind of content that attracts online readers. You can read the .pdf version of the Audience Planbook here.
Ethnographic research and focus groups: The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) contracted me to conduct research into whether Spain’s national newspaper, El Pais, had a winning strategy to attract 12-20-year-olds to their website. NAA wanted to know if the same strategy would work for newspapers in the U.S. To test the site, I recruited, organized, and monitored two focus groups of Spanish-speaking high school students in Los Angeles, and asked them to explore the Spanish website.
I found that the most valuable portion of the research was not WHAT the subjects did – but HOW they did it. This was revealed through the spontaneous way the students self-organized into groups, the IMs and SMS messages they sent to each other, which I observed in real-time, and collected to study later. One of my top findings was that most of the students followed the lead of the most technically savvy “influencer.” I also discovered that although the students liked the challenge of the Spanish site, the features were extremely hard to navigate. See my case study on this for more details.
Adobe Dips Its Toes into the Open-Source Software Waters with Brackets 1.0
DAVID LAFONTAINE, JAN 16, 2015
Adobe is giving away one of its most useful Web-design software programs for free. No, this isn’t some limited-time offer meant to hook you in to trying something out then slamming you with fees and subscriptions somewhere down the road. (More)
Adobe’s New Mobile Apps: No Longer Second-Class Citizens
One of the biggest trends that came out of Adobe MAX 2014 was the efforts that Adobe made to close the gap between vision and production for creatives. (More…)