Monthly Archives: May 2016

Workflow Comparison Talk

The ever-expanding world of design can be tough to comprehend as a newcomer. With so many tools and techniques available it’s hard to know where to start.

Three of the most widely used design programs are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and the newer Sketch by Bohemian Coding.

In this guide I want to compare these three titans of industry to see how they stack up for common design tasks. All three programs are incredible, but they each have their own strengths and weaknesses for certain creative tasks. One you know which tool best fits the task at hand you’ll have a much easier time learning and mastering digital design work.

UI Design

Interface design usually relates to websites and mobile apps, but can also include game UIs or any digital screen that takes user interaction.

For years Photoshop was the #1 choice for UI design. In PS you can build vector icons and textured backgrounds to mix into one common layout. But Photoshop was always intended to be a photo editing suite, and while Fireworks was better it has since been discontinued by Adobe.

This is where Sketch comes into play. The very first release of Sketch App was in late 2010. It has since grown massively with a large community fostering learning materials and entire websites dedicated to free Sketch resources.

When it comes to UI design Sketch is currently the king. This program’s purpose was to be a UI design suite for web & mobile. Patterns, textures, and vectors all intermingle with each other much easier than in Photoshop.

The only downside is that Windows users cannot run Sketch because it’s OS X exclusive.

Cheat Sheet for Typography

Understanding type can be one of the most difficult elements of design. There’s a lot of terminology and lingo that type designers (and designers, in general) use when talking about lettering. Sometimes it can be tough to decipher it all.

If you find yourself wondering what the difference between a hook and a counter are or you still aren’t sure how a serif and a slab are different, we have you covered with this typography cheat sheet.

It describes all of the different aspects of lettering, from terminology to components to type styles and methods of typographic manipulation so you will have a better grasp on how to understand and use typography in your design projects.

Are you ready to get started? We’ve got a great infographic to help you better understand the elements of typography.

Emotional Intelligence and Design

Beth Dean wrote an amazing post on Medium about painful experiences brought up unintentionally by technology. The blog post was inspired by a website trying to verify her identity asked her if she knew her deceased mother. (It’s absolutely nothing in comparison to having a silly animation disappear.) In her post, she talks about designing with emotional intelligence. She identified emotional intelligence as having five traits: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and people skills.

Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

A great example of self-awareness is Facebook asking a user if they want to see ads based on their behavior. Not only does it create a better experience it is more relevant to the user.

The Uncomfortable Side of Design That You SHould Know

In March 2016, Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday. It was a day filled with pride for the company and many of its followers. In order to make the day amazing for its users, Twitter released a delightful like/heart button animation.

It was awesome, but as soon as the day was over the animation was gone too. Some people don’t care and some didn’t even notice but those who did were left with a void. I’m not exaggerating; hear me out. The heart explodes with confetti, it bounces and is jolly and colorful. Overall, it makes the mundane tasks of liking or favoriting a tweet much more interesting and fun. When you take that away it’s a little sad and underwhelming.

Since it’s birthday, Twitter did update the heart animation to be a little but more than just a color change but it’s still nothing compared to the confetti explosion. All in all, this is a silly complaint yet people are disappointed enough to blog about it on The Next Web. It actually bummed people out, which is rude and awful.

Taking a Step Back

Let’s also talk about the aspect of hearts versus stars. If you recall, late 2015, Twitter changed its UI from stars to hearts. “The heart is a universal symbol, it’s a much more inclusive symbol,” said Casey Newton. Check out Twitter’s gif for what the new heart UI is all about. (No, it’s not the same as the confetti explosion from their birthday.)