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Erik Kennedy learnui.design

Designing for iOS and Android

From Erik Kennedy who shared some tactical design advice for developers — this awesome visual guide covers the primary differences between designing for iOS and Android, including navigation, UI controls, typography, app icons, and more.

If you’re designing both an iOS and an Android (Material Design) version of an app, this guide is your new best friend 😎. We’re going to cover the most relevant differences between iOS and Android for UX/UI designers. If you’ve created an app on one platform, this is most of what you need to know to “translate” it for the other platform.

Kyle Stetz Slack Engineering

Building Slack's dark mode on desktop

Following up on designing delightful dark themes, I wanted to share this post from Kyle Stetz on the frontend engineering strategy for building Slack’s dark mode on desktop.

As is usually the case with large codebases, finding an implementation that works is only half the battle; gracefully changing infrastructural code and educating engineers on how to use new tools accounts for much of what we do when working on new capabilities of the product. Working in a large engineering organization — especially within a rapidly growing company — means that every change needs to consider the momentum and roadmaps of many other teams. The overarching question for this project was: how can we build sustainable and maintainable support for themes?

Teresa Man heydesigner.com

How to design delightful dark themes

Everyone loves a good dark theme. But what’s the recipe for getting a dark theme right?

When creating a dark theme, it can be tempting to invert our light theme. However, distant surfaces would become light and near surfaces would become dark. This would break physicality and feel unnatural.

Instead, take only the main surface color of your light theme. Invert this color to produce the main surface color of your dark theme. Lighten this color for nearer surfaces, and darken this color for distant surfaces.

Harvard Business Review Icon Harvard Business Review

A study of 597 logos shows which kind is most effective

I love data-driven analyses like this one Harvard Business Review did on logos. The top-level takeaway:

our research demonstrates (albeit with certain qualifications and under certain conditions), descriptive logos more favorably impact consumers’ brand perceptions than nondescriptive ones, and are more likely to improve brand performance.

Read the whole thing to understand exactly what they mean by “descriptive logos” and why they’re more effective. If you’re into this stuff, they’ve done similar surveys on simplicity vs complexity and symmetry vs asymmetry.

Jay Freestone Browser London

Should we still be selling responsive web design?

The term ‘responsive web design’ has been a mainstay in the world of digital development for many years. Go to any early-stage client meeting and you’ll almost always get asked to ‘make sure it works on mobile’.

The standard response to this has generally been, ‘don’t worry, we’ll build it responsive’, but is this response out of date?

Erik Kennedy learnui.design

4 rules for intuitive UX

Erik Kennedy is back to give developers (and other folks who aren’t steeped in UX) some actionable advice on how to make interfaces more usable.

This is my advice on improving the UX of your designs WITHOUT hours of user research sessions, paper prototyping playtime, or any other trendy UX buzzwords.

When I started as a professional UX designer, I was shocked how many times my clients would hand me the initial wireframes (or the living, breathing, in-browser MVP) and there’d be completely obvious UX mistakes all over them. I’m not talking about things you need hours of research and A/B testing to discover. I’m talking, like, dead simple mistakes.

Wassim Chegham xlayers.dev

Preview and convert Sketch design files into any framework and library

xLayers is a web app which aims to bridge the gap between designers and developers. Its mission is to allow both the design and development worlds to collaborate and iterate fast.

Upload your Sketch file and you will get the code generated for your favorite framework of choice (React, Vue, Angular, LitHtml, Stencil and even Xamarin Forms…and more to come).

Preview and convert Sketch design files into any framework and library

CSS-Tricks Icon CSS-Tricks

Animating with clip-path

I’ve always felt a little put off by the clip-path property, thinking it was rather obscure and probably not worth learning. Boy was I wrong. In this article Travis Almand takes us through how incredibly powerful this property is, and how by animating it you can create a range of beautiful transition effects with a few simple lines of CSS.

Tobias van Schneider vanschneider.com

Content or design first?

This is a thoughtful look at the relationship between content and design, and some steps that designers can take to better work with copywriters.

We all know designers and copywriters should not work in silos. We know design and copy should inform each other, rather than one being retrofitted to the other. This is especially true for UX writing, which must work in tandem with design to do its job well. Effective collaboration between design and content, however, is easier said than done.

The author goes on to lay out some ideas to improve collaboration, mostly from the standpoint of the designer, but honestly I think a lot of these same ideas are important for developers. And you can extend it further by saying “don’t use placeholder copy for user generated content”.

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