David LaFontaine is an author, journalist, digital media consultant, and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.
David specializes in content strategy, UX/UI design, and digital media production.
His clients include: The University of Southern California, The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, U.S. State Department, Lynda.com, KelbyOne Media, CreativeLive, Wiley Publishing, B3Communications, AssetShield, and Roundabout Entertainment.
His expertise in media and technology have earned him invitations to lecture at universities in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, including at the Institute for the Digital Future of Journalism at the Mohyla University in Kiev, Ukraine, the Nelson Mandala School of Journalism in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and at the University Mayor in Santiago, Chile.
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.
Speaking and Teaching
David's engaging, informal presentation style has earned him repeated invitations to speak at conference and events around the world.
Speaking topics include:
- Multimedia on a McNugget Budget
- Zombie Content Strategy Rules
- The Great Traffic-Driving Experiment: Content may be king, but distribution is queen. And she wears the pants
KelbyOne Media asked David to produce a series of training videos on the entire Adobe Edge Suite of webtools. These include:
Edge Inspect - You can see the results of this tool on all the screens behind me in this still frame, taken from my training video. Inspect allows designers to test their designs on iPhones, iPads, Android tablets and phones, and even on Amazon Kindle Fire platforms. You've heard the old saw, "In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is." Well, Inspect pushes theoretical designs out into the real world, where we can check out their flaws on actual mobile devices.
Edge Reflow - This tool is still officially a "Preview" as of February 2016, but most of its functionality is being folded into Adobe's other web-design tools, such as Dreamweaver or Muse. Reflow was built to help designers visualize how their pages would look at various pagewidths, by giving them a "handle" to click and drag around on the screen. But its most intriguing functionality was to allow a designer to crank out an entire webpage in Photoshop, and then import it all in one gulp into a web design program, to be converted into HTML and CSS. It works ... kinda. If you're in an absolute hurry and can't stand to sweat the details, well then, yeah, you can built a web page this way. But I don't recommend it.
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 Associaton 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.