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💥Design Brief #127: Designing Better Products, a Web Design System from the App, the Nintendo Approach, the End of the Celebrity Designer, Kat Zhou (IBM) Interview, and Interactions That Matter

Welcome to the 127th edition of Design Brief – our weekly selection of news and tips from the design world.

Principles For Designing Better Products

It seems that we keep adding more mass to our processes and decision making. We have more and longer meetings. Bigger teams. More complicated processes. More time and resources spent. On a yearly basis, we get more management tools and hacks and tickets in Jira. In the end, this is reflected in our products and services. By reading this article you will learn about four principles we should all use to design, manage, and build better products. After all, why debate about a problem forever, when you can already build, launch, test and learn more by acting? Read more


Creating a Web Design System from an App Design System

The Swedish startup Tink has gained ground in recent years due to the PFM app which has been downloaded more than half a million times. Tink as a software company has developed a clear and defined design language throughout the app. The branding, the logo, and the overall colors have been set. But they needed a web design system to build responsive pages. Here is their case study about the complexity of building a new front-end design system on top of an existing app design system. Read more


Nintendo & Designing Humanly

In a world obsessed with using words like “market”, “user”, and “buyer” to refer to the people we affect with our businesses, a lot of us suddenly find ourselves completely separated from the people we create for. “Perhaps I’m being a bit sentimental about Nintendo’s influence on my beliefs and design work - says UX designer Madeline Collins - but I really think we can use Nintendo’s design choices to remember to improve our connection to humanity in our design projects.” Nintendo keeps the visuals simple while keeping games and characters wonderfully deep and complex, which is not an easy feat.The brand is undeniably trying to feel happy, bright, and humane! Read more


The End of the Celebrity Designer

A more inclusive, open, and egalitarian approach can help us build better products, grow personally and professionally, and help junior team members uplevel much faster than they could before. At a company level, this approach isn’t just “nice,” it actually makes business sense, too. As we build products for a wider range of communities, on numerous sets of devices, we need a broader perspective. Replacing celebrity designers with team players and opening up the design process allows for more collaboration. What does that look like in practice? Read more


An Interview with Kat Zhou, Product Designer at IBM

In a series of podcasts called “Designers Spilling Tea”, we get to know different designers. This one features Kat Zhou, a product designer at IBM. She reveals what’s it like working for a big company like IBM, what excites her about the future of design, which design trends should die, and what makes a day a good day for her. Read more


Constraint Layout (for Designers)

With nifty tools like Zeplin and Abstract, designers spend little to no time on handoff. Unfortunately, a lot can get lost in translation. Is this button a fixed size or responsive to the screen size? Is it this specific amount from the bottom or centered within a larger object? Let’s bring back the craft of the handoff with constrained layout symbols. In this article Linzi Berry provides an introductory guide to handing off responsive mobile layouts. Read more


Designing the Interactions That Matter

We are designing to support interactions. That’s a fact, but the meaningful interactions are between the user and the world, not the user and the tool. So we need to start changing the mindset away from designers being responsible solely for the user interface. The technologies we create are no different from the ones we live and work with already. Read more

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