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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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).

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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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freeCodeCamp Icon freeCodeCamp

Fundamental design principles for non-designers

Front-end developers are often in a position of trying to interpolate between a (static) design and the (dynamic) needs of a product. When something comes up that isn’t quite covered by the design, what should you do? In an ideal world we could have a conversation with the designer, but the world is rarely ideal, so it’s useful to have at least a sense of good practices to apply. This article is great because it keeps it simple - just four straightforward principles. As author Anna 4erepawko Mészáros says: Will this help you create shiny beautiful designs? No. Will this help you create great, clear and comprehensible designs that everyone can easily understand and interact with? Absolutely.

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CSS betterwebtype.com

The state of fluid web typography

Matej Latin takes us through the current state of fluid typography on the web: Fluid typography gives us so many opportunities to better design the reading experiences on the web but, at the same time, it introduces problems of font sizes scaling uncontrollably and potential accessibility issues. Is fluid web typography ready to be used? TLDR: No, it’s not ready. But you should still read the article, which has a great breakdown of pros and cons of fluid typography and other typography approaches.

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Mozilla Icon Mozilla

Mozilla has published their 2019 Internet Health Report

The report focuses on 5 questions about the internet. Is it safe? How open is it? Who is welcome? Who can succeed? Who controls it? The answer is complicated, and the report doesn’t make any particular conclusions so much as share a series of research & stories about each topic. Includes some fascinating looks at what’s going on in AI, inclusive design, open source, decentralization and more.

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