AD Regan

I'm the co-founder of the arts and literary community TYO and the developer, designer, and co-editor of TYO Mag.

Selected Projects

TYO Mag is an online arts and literary magazine featuring artwork from Japanese artists and foreign artists working in Japan. As conceived by myself and my co-founder, TYO is meant to help connect those creating art in Tokyo and Japan to the outside art world (especially the non-Japanese speaking art world).

My TYO co-founder, Kris Hartrum, was in need of a new site to showcase his writing. His previous site was only a Wordpress blog, and he needed something that would easily allow potential freelance clients to see some of his more serious work published elsewhere.

A painter friend, Sadie Starnes, was looking for a new project to kill some time in between art shows. Sharing a mutual love of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, I created a site for her to post illustrated passages from the book.

Thoughts on design

I have a Masters in poetry and creative writing from Temple University, and my interest has always gravitated towards arts and literature. Often artists and writers, due to art's sometimes esoteric nature, miss out on the benefits of new technology. They are stuck using tools which are ill suited for their needs, and the newest and best practices on the web aren't applied to the work of our society's most exciting creators.

I've become very passionate about creating for the web because I'm interested in making great art and literature more accessible by improving the way we see new and existing content. I believe that better accessibility breeds better appreciation, and I've sought to increase the exposure of the arts by improving its presentation on the web. To me, accessibility means creating a robust architecture of information and tailoring the presentation across all devices.

While my visual design philosophies tend to revolve around well crafted text and legible type due to my background in literature, my user experience philosophies are distilled from my experiences teaching. I've spent the last few years teaching in Universities and High Schools in the US and Japan, and I've found that students, especially older students, aren't willing to admit what they don't know. As a teacher, it's hard to determine what a student does and doesn't know, and it's best to never take for granted what you think they do know.

What a teacher or a designer should do is help a user recognize patterns and give them enough information to fill in any gaps and reaffirm what they already know. However, it's difficult to know where you should begin, when you should take a step back and simplify an abstract concept. That's why a teacher or a designer's main task is to observe, ask questions, and take feedback—to swallow one's ego and remain flexible. Design and teaching are an iterative processes and the user's range of knowledge and ability determines where the design should begin and what leaps it takes. Over time, the design will have to change, and you have to be willing to kill your darlings.

If you'd like to get in touch, feel free to drop me a line. Follow me on Twitter or Github.