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Designing for failure

Stephen Lindberg takes cues from the level design in Super Mario 3D World and applies it to user experience design:

You may not know what a Conkdor is, but the design problem is universal: “how do we reduce cognitive load without sacrificing interest and fun?” To summarize the video, game designers would approach the problem like this:

  1. Introduce a new concept in a way that the player is not punished for failing.
  2. Build upon that concept in a way that challenges the player.
  3. Combine the concept with other familiar concepts to put a new twist on it.
  4. Give the player a reward!

Design geofcrowl.com

A collection of human interface and software design guides

Geof Crowl:

After posting about the OpenStep User Interface Guide, I started to wonder how many different human interface guides or software design guides that I could find from the past and present. It doesn’t seem like there’s a good collection of these anywhere on the internet, especially in regard to past software design guides. I think there’s a lot of value in these even outside of just being a historic reference.

An excellent starting place, whether you’re looking for help designing your UI or help designing your UI design guide.

Increment Icon Increment

What the history of HTTP status codes can tell us about the future of APIs

Darius Kazemi writing in Issue #14 of Increment magazine:

HTTP status codes are largely an accident of history. The people who came up with them didn’t plan on defining a numerical namespace that would last half a century or work its way into popular culture. You see this pattern over and over in the history of technology.

Because technology isn’t immune to historical contingency, it’s important for us as engineers to remember that long-lasting technical inflection points can occur at any time. Sometimes we know these decisions are important when we’re making them. Other times, they seem perfectly trivial.

The Changelog The Changelog #410

Bringing beauty to the world of code sharing

Carbon is an open source web app that helps you create and share beautiful images of your source code. Whether you’ve used Carbon personally or not, odds are you’ve seen its dent on the universe of social code sharing. Mike Fix has been maintaining Carbon for a few years and he’s embraced the project as an opportunity to experiment and practice working in public.

On this Maintainer Spotlight episode, we chat with Mike about building Carbon, growing its community, sustainability models, and why he loves the world of open source.

The Changelog The Changelog #399

Shipping work that matters

We’re revisiting Shape Up and product development thoughts with Ryan Singer, Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp. Last August we talked with Ryan when he first launched his book Shape Up and now we’re back to see how Shape Up is shaping up — “How are teams using the wisdom in this book to actually ship work that matters? How does Shape Up work in new versus existing products?” We also talk about the concept of longitudinal thinking and the way it’s impacting Ryan’s designs, plus a grab bag of topics in the last segment.

Stephanie Morillo stephaniemorillo.co

UX design is more than visual design

Stephanie Morillo

In my own observations and conversations with developers and marketers, UX design is often conflated with visual design or user interface design, when in fact both of these are sub-disciplines within the field of UX design and are not representative of the totality of UX. I’ve been involved in conversations where talk of updating a “page’s UX” has meant adding visual design elements to a page. Anecdotally, I’ve seen calls for “UX designers” in open source when the need was for brand assets like a logo. (In this case, you would look for a visual designer.)

In this short post, I’ll cover some basics of UX design for developers who are interested in understanding what UX is and how it differs from other forms of design.

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