Link tags: process

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Get it shipped — building better relationships with Devs

This advice works both ways:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Communication
  3. Respect

Why design systems fail by Karen Vanhouten

  1. No shared (and contextual) sense of purpose
  2. Overbuilding, or scaling too early
  3. Inability to make decisions and move forward quickly
  4. Lack of clear ownership and dedicated resources
  5. Lack of cultural alignment

The common thread among these issues is that none are related to technical or tooling decisions —or even to the components themselves.

Why I moved on from Figma – No Handoff

A good looking artifact too early in the process gains buy-in too quickly and kills discovery.

The New CSS · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer

CSS is now the most powerful design tool for the Web.

I think this is now true. It’ll be interesting to see how this will affect tools and processes:

What I expect to see overall is that the perception and thus the role of CSS in the design process will change from being mainly a presentational styling tool at the end of the waterfall to a tool that is being used at the heart of making design decisions early on.

Future-first design thinking

If we’re serious about creating a sustainable future, perhaps we should change this common phrase from “Form follows Function” to “Form – Function – Future”. While form and function are essential considerations, the future, represented by sustainability, should be at the forefront of our design thinking. And actually, if sustainability is truly at the forefront of the way we create new products, then maybe we should revise the phrase even further to “Future – Function – Form.” This revised approach would place our future, represented by sustainability, at the forefront of our design thinking. It would encourage us to first ask ourselves, “What is the most sustainable way to design X?” and then consider how the function of X can be met while ensuring it remains non-harmful to people and the planet.

“Artificial Intelligence & Humanity,” an article by Dan Mall

AI is great anything quantity-related and bad and anything quality-related.

Sensible thinking from Dan here, that mirrors what we’re thinking at Clearleft.

In other words, it leans heavily on averages; the closer the training data matches an average, the higher degree of confidence that the result is more “correct,” or at least desirable.

The problem is that this is the polar opposite of what we consider creativity to be. Creativity isn’t about averages. It’s about the outliers, sometimes the one thing that’s different than all the rest.

How to build lean efficient websites in 2023 | Go Make Things

  1. Start with mostly static HTML.
  2. Progressively enhance the dynamic parts.
  3. Pick small, focused tools.

Why ChatGPT Won’t Replace Coders Just Yet

I’ve been using Copilot for over a year now, and this is more or less how I use it: To help me quickly blast through boilerplate code so I can more quickly get to the tricky bits.

There’s a more subtle problem with ChatGPT’s code generation, which is that it suffers from ChatGPT’s general “bullshit” problem.

Privacy in the product design lifecycle | ICO

A very handy guide to considering privacy at all stages of digital product design:

This guidance is written for technology professionals such as product and UX designers, software engineers, QA testers, and product managers.

  1. The case for privacy
  2. Privacy in the kick-off stage
  3. Privacy in the research stage
  4. Privacy in the design stage
  5. Privacy in the development stage
  6. Privacy in the launch phase
  7. Privacy in the post-launch phase

Hand-thrown frontends - Robb Owen

I’ve personally never really seen frontend as an assembly job. Lego is admittedly awesome, but for me the mental model of assembling Lego bricks in the required order until a Jira ticket can be marked as “done” feels too linear and too rigid for how I like to work. And that’s not to mention the pain that comes when you have to partially dismantle your bricks to correct some earlier misstep.

I like the pottery analogy.

Patrick / articles / Is the developer experience on the Web so terrible?

Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve slowly but very surely transitioned to a state where frameworks are the norm, and I think it’s a problem.

I concur.

Use the frameworks and libraries that make sense for you to deliver the best UX possible. But also learn the web platform from the ground up. Take time to understand how web browsers work and render webpages. Learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript. And keep an eye, if you can, on the new things.

Henry From Online | How To Make a Website

Write meaningful HTML that communicates the structure of your document before any style or additional interactivity has loaded. Write CSS carefully, reason your methodology and stick to it, and feel empowered to skip frameworks. When it comes time to write JavaScript, write not too much, make sure you know what it all does, and above all, make sure the website works without it.

The whole article is great, and really charmingly written, with some golden nuggets embedded within, like:

  • You’ll find that spending more time getting HTML right reveals or even anticipates and evades accessibility issues. It’s just easier to write accessible code if it’s got semantic foundations.
  • In my experience, you will almost always spend more time overriding frameworks or compromising your design to fit the opinions of a framework.
  • Always style from the absolute smallest screen your content will be rendered on first, and use @media (min-width) queries to break to layouts that allow for more real estate as it becomes available.
  • If your site doesn’t work without JavaScript, your site doesn’t work.
  • Always progressively enhance your apps, especially when you’re fucking with something as browser-critical as page routing.

Reentry | A Working Library

The first day back at work after some time away is a kind of reentry: you’ve been in orbit, untethered from the gravity that typically keeps you in your chair, and now the friction of the atmosphere is rapidly warming you up, and weight is coming back into your bones, and it’s a lot to feel all at once.

Paul Rand: Modernist Master 1914-1996

A lovely fansite dedicated to the life and work of Paul Rand.

Craft — PaulStamatiou.com

I often use the word quality when referring to apps, products and services I hold in a high regard but another word that often comes up in this context is craft. Craft, as in something that is handcrafted where something someone spent a lot of time on and maybe even embedded their own personal touches and personality in it. Often something handcrafted feels more premium.

Our web design tools are holding us back ⚒ Nerd

A good ol’ rant by Vasilis on our design tools for the web.

Wired.com: 20 years later | Stopdesign

Doug casts an eye back on the Wired redesign he worked on 20 years ago. It’s hard to overstate the impact this had on the adoption of web standards.

We’ve come a long way:

We’ve come so far since this redesign in 2002. We no longer trip ourselves up trying to fit everything above an imaginable fold. Designs respond to various screen sizes. Text is comfortably larger and screens display at a much higher resolution. We tend to give everything more breathing room.

Quality Is Systemic - Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Software quality is more the result of a system designed to produce quality, and not so much the result of individual performance. That is: a group of mediocre programmers working with a structure designed to produce quality will produce better software than a group of fantastic programmers working in a system designed with other goals.

This talks about development, but I believe it applies equally—if not more—to design.

And this is very insightful:

Instead of spending tons of time and effort on hiring because you believe that you can “only hire the best”, direct some of that effort towards building a system that produces great results out of a wider spectrum of individual performance.