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Brooklyn, NY Founder & Designer @ Density Joined almost 9 years ago Robert has invited Kyle O'Hara
I'm not sure if people read these anymore, but I'd love to understand the thought behind a post like this. I'm assuming this is for people new to the field. But what's the intent? And what's the purpose behind the negativity?
I have some feedback.
You need to be motivated by the act and art of design and not money.
I understand the thrust of this, and yes, finding meaning in your work might make you better at it than some people. But telling professionals not to be motivated by money? Money and distribution are often the measure of a product's success. I think it's important for any designer to understand their value to a business. How can one, as a product designer, drive revenue through better designed solutions? If you're doing that successfully, you should get paid proportionally to your impact. And so, you should care about money.
You Do Not Have a Design Sense
I still struggle to define what it means to have a design sense. Is it just poor aesthetic taste? Who defines this? Is it a lack of empathy for users? Is it poor sense of how a product should be positioned in the market? You can't draw boxes very well? All of these questions are probably less ambiguous measures of whether or not someone is a good fit for the role. And I certainly don't think one needs to enjoy drawing, or excel in the arts to design great product. More than anything, it's a genuine interest in improving how things functions. Why not just define clearly what Product Design is at Plant and let people decide if they're interested?
You are Lazy and Do Not Like Learning
You Do Not Like Criticism
You are a Disorganized Fellow
You are Not Dedicated
You are a Bad Communicator
I'm left longing for information that's specific to product design—specifically in how it differs from other design functions. If you're lazy, and don't like to learn things, you're going to be bad at everything, not just product design.
I'd also strongly consider removing "fellow" in the messaging here, as great design doesn't discriminate between sex or gender.
Here are two examples that I think would resonate with people considering product design. Personally, I'd look to expose is the delta between expectation and reality.
If you don't think the product matters, it can be super challenging to work on.
For most companies, designing product involves a lot of compromise. There are few companies in the world where resources are unlimited. Most product design is happening on shoe-string budgets, legacy tech, understaffed teams, or entrenched user bases who don't want change. You're not going get what you want all of the time. Learn to design toward positive outcomes with the materials you have at your disposal.
. . .
I just got tired of writing this. I'm not sure why I felt the need to respond. It just really didn't resonate with me. If someone at Plant finds this, hopefully it serves as marginally useful feedback.
Always been a big fan of https://fuzzco.com/
Digging the experiment here. In looking at the results, some of the outcomes seem pretty close to a coin toss. I'd be really curious about the designs in which one was mostly preferred and maybe run additional tests (maybe changing the order in which they're presented) to see if the results are repeatable because the differences do seem quite subtle.
My singular experience in using grids has lead me to the following conclusions:
Using a grid allows me, as a designer, to justify the precise spacing of my design elements, and develop consistency across multiple designs—especially when working with multiple people. Intentionality around spacing allows me to control a gaze and productively constrain my decision making.
As a developer, it allows me to set constant spacing variables, rely on those across the entirety of an application, and make on-the-fly spacing decisions in code where a static design fails to accommodate for an edge case.
My absolute hope is that, passive consumers, at the very least unconsciously feel that there's an underlying logic to the design—even where there's no evidence of a grid in its final form—and that my use of a grid to establish a consistent and functional visual hierarchy has resulted in a better experience for them.
But my experience suggests that using a grid system exclusively doesn't always result in a more visually appealing or performant outcome. I've seen way too many designs following no grid structure or design system out perform those that do in both respects. I'd love for science to confirm otherwise—it would make me very happy indeed.
In client work, commissioned designs, or user feedback, if someone asks you to you do something that you don't really want to do, or forces you to do something you don't agree with, own it by making it the best version of that thing the world's ever seen—unless it's morally compromising, of course.
I forget where I got this from, but it's helped me through so many projects and ultimately made me a better designer. It's in keeping with the "design is for other people" mentality.
I think this is one of the biggest faults I see in designers, and common misconceptions of design. That somehow a design must be the designer's imprint on the world. While developing an aesthetic is certainly a thing, as designers, I think our job is to present our interpretation of the world's ideas.
I think the whole "people don't know what they need until you give it to them" has propagated this myth that designers are supposed to give people things they didn't know they wanted. When in reality, people know what they want, they just don't have the tools to articulate it, or don't understand what's possible.
Why do you think DN died? I feel like Dribbble suffered a similar fate. People use the platform, but finding interesting topics or receiving good feedback within the community has always been elusive. I wonder this all the time. fwiw, I'm still here—not sure what that says about me, though.
The title, click bait or not, made me click. The video was fun and informational. I think people unaware of the thought that goes into a designing logos would learn something. Thanks for sharing, man
Really well done, and hilarious. Nice work, potato.
Amazing, after 2 minutes I tried to do this as well—thought I was special
I like this new design. A few unsolicited critiques:
As compared to the previous design, the information explains the bank's services better and might better accommodate people who aren't familiar with Simple.
Ok, back to work.
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I too would love to see more examples of this done in the wild. I'd gather that the combination of inspect tools, prototypes, and variants in tools like Figma started to reduce the need for these. I stopped doing them back in like 2012 haha. They can be extremely time consuming. But I've always worked very closely with developers so handoffs were less async.
A workflow that's always worked well for me personally was to just contribute to the frontend implementation. You're writing CSS in your spec here, why not write it in the actual codebase?
I'm not sure that's a good idea or sustainable, but it's always allowed the developers I work with to focus on the logic and functionality while I can just ensure it's implemented correctly and design around edge cases as I confront them.
Anyways, nice post.
p.s. https://farts.link/ .... hilarious