Being a designer at the moment is great because a wealth of modern design applications are available that let you easily bring your ideas to the screen: Sketch, Affinity Designer, Adobe XD (beta) and Figma, to name just a few (not to mention the classics, Photoshop and Illustrator).
One app that is quite new, though — and perhaps a bit overlooked — is the free Gravit Designer app. Gravit gives you all of the tools needed to create functional and elegant screen designs. It can also be used to make icons, designs for print, presentations and much more.
UX design hasn’t been the same since Sketch arrived on the scene. The app has delivered a robust design platform with a refreshing, simple user interface. A good product on its own, it achieved critical success by being extended with community plugins.
The open nature of the Sketch plugin system means that anyone can identify a need, write a plugin and share it with the community. A major barrier is stopping those eager to take part: Designers and front-end developers must learn how to write a plugin. Unfortunately, Objective-C is difficult to learn!
Creating good user experiences for apps inside messaging platforms poses a relatively new design challenge. When moving from desktop web to mobile interfaces, developers have had to rethink interaction design to work around a constrained screen size, a new set of input gestures and unreliable network connections.
Like our tiny touchscreens, messaging platforms also shake up the types of input that apps can accept, change designers’ canvas size, and demand a different set of assumptions about how users communicate.
Earlier this year, support for CSS grid layout landed in most major desktop browsers. Naturally, the specification is one of the hot topics at meet-ups and conferences. After having some conversations about grid and progressive enhancement, I believe that there’s a good amount of uncertainty about using it. I heard some quite interesting questions and statements, which I want to address in this post.
“When can I start using CSS grid layout?” “Too bad that it’ll take some more years before we can use grid in production.” “Do I need Modernizr in order to make websites with CSS grid layout?” “If I wanted to use grid today, I’d have to build two to three versions of my website.” The CSS grid layout module is one of the most exciting developments since responsive design. We should try to get the best out of it as soon as possible, if it makes sense for us and our projects.
The past year has seen quite a rise in UI design tools. While existing applications, such as Affinity Designer, Gravit and Sketch, have improved drastically, some new players have entered the field, such as Adobe XD (short for Adobe Experience Design) and Figma.
For me, the latter is the most remarkable. Due to its similarity to Sketch, Figma was easy for me to grasp right from the start, but it also has some unique features to differentiate it from its competitor, such as easy file-sharing, vector networks, “constraints” (for responsive design) and real-time collaboration.
Besides the user’s needs, what’s another vital aspect of an app? Your first thought might be its design. That’s important, correct, but before you can even think about the design, you need to get something else right: the data.
Data should be the cornerstone of everything you create. Not only does it help you to make more informed decisions, but it also makes it easier to account for edge cases, or things you might not have thought of otherwise.
If you want to get even more out of Sketch, feel free to check out our fancy new book, “The Sketch Handbook”, with practical examples that you can follow along, step-by-step, to master even the trickiest, advanced facets and become a true master of Sketch.
Around a year ago, while working at a digital agency, I was given the objective of streamlining our UX design process. Twelve months later, this article shares my thoughts and experiences on how lean thinking helped to instill efficiencies within our UX design process.
When I arrived at the agency, wireframes were already being created and utilized across a variety of projects. Winning advocates for the production of wireframes was not the issue. All stakeholders (both internally and externally) understood the purpose of wireframes and appreciated their value in shaping and modeling digital experiences.
I’m big on modular design. I’ve long been sold on dividing websites into components, not pages, and amalgamating those components dynamically into interfaces. Flexibility, efficiency and maintainability abound.
But I don’t want my design to look like it’s made out of unrelated things. I’m making an interface, not a surrealist photomontage. As luck would have it, there is already a technology, called CSS, which is designed specifically to solve this problem. Using CSS, I can propagate styles that cross the borders of my HTML components, ensuring a consistent design with minimal effort.
The benefits of UI design systems are now well known. They lead to more cohesive, consistent user experiences. They speed up your team’s workflow, allowing you to launch more stuff while saving huge amounts of time and money in the process. They establish a common vocabulary between disciplines, resulting in a more collaborative and constructive workflow.
They make browser, device, performance, and accessibility testing easier. And they serve as a solid foundation to build upon over time, helping your organization to more easily adapt to the ever-shifting web landscape. This article provides a detailed guide to building and maintaining atomic design systems with Pattern Lab 2.
One of the biggest risks of building a product is to build the wrong thing. You’ll pour months (even years) into building it, only to realize that you just can’t make it a success. At Hanno, we see this happening time and time again. That’s why we’ve put together a Lean Validation Playbook.
“Lean” in this case means that you’re moving swiftly to figure out what you’re going to build and how you’re going to build it with as few resources as possible. These resources might include time, money and effort. The lean startup methodology is advocated by Eric Reis, who has massively influenced the way we work through his book The Lean Startup.