The Dribbble of 2019

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Dribbble is where designers post their work (also called a “shot”) to gain exposure, get feedback and potential nab a job.

I saw the founders of Dribbble talk about their platform several years ago. They talked about helping people get constructive criticism while deciding on which direction to take their work and emphasized the posts that were in the sketch-phase. That Dribbble is no longer in existence.

Today, it’s a place where designers post polished work that is often the end result of many hours of pixel pushing. This high fidelity work is beautiful, and the beauty of everyone’s work has ultimately transformed the platform into a fashion show that’s more eye candy than thoughtful user experiences.

Moreover, designers are starting to use Dribbble as a reference for an aesthetic that you should follow. Highly large radii on card layouts, parallax motion, spring interactions, rounded sans serifs, huge colored drop shadows high on blur, the same glowing chart that is measuring wealth? fitness? brightness? They are everywhere.

There’s many, many UIs that appear clean, because they only use icons. But on closer inspection, you realize that you don’t know what any of the icons do. There are endless onboarding tutorials that are beautifully laid out, except that nobody – I mean nobody – reads onboarding tutorials that are three screen long. There are gorgeous text fields where the outline and suggestion text is so faint it would never pass an accessibility test.  Design is more than pretty images. Design is about usability, function and intent.

As a designer, Dribbble is fantastic for getting visual inspiration for your next app design or ideas for micro-interactions that are fluid and unique. As an employer, it tells you how good someone is with a software program that they could have just learned a week ago and how well they can copy a style. If you want to look for real design, look to the real world – ask people what they are doing, how they do it and what their habits are to developing success in their field. I promise, there’s good stuff.

Product design picks for June

A bell for runners so you can tell people when you’re coming up behind them – similar to a bell on a bicycle. I think this is pretty genius. This could also just be an app, but I suspect the ring reverberates better if it’s a physical one.

Designer: Kevin John Nadolny

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An LED that helps you communicate with other drivers. You can view it up to 50 feet away. There are shortcuts to the most used messages, and the controller has large buttons.

Designers: John Stanley, Nina Stanley, Harsha Venna & Harshit Aggarwal

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A clock that shows you the time in a new way. Because I work as a UX designer, I’m always looking for new interaction patterns and new interfaces – both digital and physical. This one is simply and unique.

Designer: Mattis Boets

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March picks: thoughtful UX moments

In Singapore, senior citizens can tap their identity card on the sensor at the pedestrian crossing so that they can have 3-13 more seconds depending on the size of the crossing. This takes into consideration everyone’s mobility levels.

This hotel has fire escape plans at ground level, because chances are if it’s smokey you’ll be low to the ground.

Parking lines that go up the wall so you can actually see if you’re parking in the right position. All garages should have this.

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6 Things I learned from 3 Talks at UXPA Boston 2014

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Things I learned from UXPA – The TL;DA (Too Long; Didn’t Attend) Version

Designing for Large Touch Interfaces

  1. Make sure people know they can touch the screen.
  2. Orientation affects how users perceive the kiosk
  3. Transitions are important as cues when navigating. Use gestures everyone is familiar with.
  4. Designer is also a performer – make them look good
  5. Height is important. Make sure user can reach the cancel button
  6. Adjust the drag and inertia on objects. Don’t make large objects feel “heavy.”

Designing with Real Data

  1. Fake data = fake design = fake feedback = wrong decisions. Real data will enter the equation eventually.
  2. Understand the data
  3. Organize data into information to enable users to gain knowledge
  4. Real data has a min and max, an average and a distribution. Think about this when designing screens with potentially extremely short or long text. Consider the outliers.
  5. You can do a lot with Indesign Datamerge/Kimono/Chartwell fontface/Sublimetext/Screenscraper chrome extension.
  6. Ben Salinas (@bensalinas) from Involution Studios is a REAL unicorn.

Design Psychology

  1. Self-determination theory levels: amotivated/external/introjected/identified/integrated/intrinsic
  2. Motivation is autonomy, competence, relatedness
  3. If you want people to do something, minimize external pressures and maximize internal ones
  4. Establish shared rules of engagement
  5. Convey belongingness
  6. If you use social media – be responsive to your customers.