Toptal Design Blog

The Toptal Design Blog is a hub for advanced design studies by professional designers in the Toptal network on all facets of digital design, ranging from detailed design tutorials to in-depth coverage of new design trends, techniques, and technologies.
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A Step-by-step Guide to UI Animation with Principle and Sketch

Interfaces that have animations and transitions provide a better UX for app users, and stimulate user engagement. It’s becoming increasingly important to understand how to add motion to your designs, which is why we wrote today’s tutorial.

In it, Toptal Design Editor Tidjane Tall demonstrates how to craft effective UI animation techniques, using Principle for Mac, in a series of short videos.

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Anticipatory Design: How to Create Magical User Experiences

In this article, Toptal Designer Miklos Philips explains how to create magical user experiences by creating anticipatory designs. What is anticipatory design? It’s output, without much need for input. A world where our computing machines are designed for interaction methods optimized for humans, not computers. A digital world where we move from user intent that’s deterministic to user intent that’s probabilistic.

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20 Testimonial Pages to Inspire Future Customers

Check out a collection of testimonial page inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal designer Jônatas Vieira curated a selection of designs that each empowers its brand story.

Some of the screens are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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20 eCommerce UIs That Make Shopping Easier

Check out a collection of mobile eCommerce inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Designer Cai Cardenas curated a selection of designs that each delights their users.

Some of the screens are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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A Step-by-step Guide to Designing Custom Illustrations Without Any Drawing Skills

Many designers shy away from making their own custom illustrations for the fear that they don’t have conventional drawing skills. What if we could show you how to make your own great custom illustrations, no sketching skills required? In this article, Toptal Design Blog Editor Tidjane Tall guides us through three step-by-step illustrations each with different styles.

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Illustration Inspirations to Help Breathe Life Into Your Brand

Check out a collection of custom illustration inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Illustrator Waldek Graczyk curated a selection of illustrations that each finds a way to represent its respective brand.

Some of the illustrations are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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Logo Animation Inspirations to Make Your Brand More Relatable

Check out a collection of brand animation inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Designer Jason Gonzalez curated a selection of designs that each finds a way to energize its respective brand.

Some of the designs are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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The 11 Photoshop Plugins That Made Me a Better Designer in 2016

Despite Photoshop’s unparalleled feature set, everyone has a few extra things that they wish the product could do. Fortunately, there is a rich community of third party developers who are regularly pumping outout fantastic plugins and extensions to make you a better designer.

In this article, Toptal Design Blog Editor Michael Abehsera has lined up some of the best Photoshop plugins that make him a better, more efficient designer. There are a plethora of plugins out there, but these are the essentials.

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Please Your Readers With These Blog Layout Inspirations

Check out a collection of blog layout design inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Designer Francesca Gilbert curated a selection of designs that each finds ways to communicate a blog’s unique personality.

Some of the designs are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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The Best Design Articles of 2016

Today, in a world where only three percent of adults spend time learning each day, reading is a competitive advantage.

To jumpstart your learning in 2017, we’ve curated the absolute best design links published around the web in 2016. You’re welcome.

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Retain Users With These Mobile App Onboarding Inspirations

Check out a collection of onboarding design inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Design Blog Lead Editor Michael Abehsera curated a selection of designs that each finds creative ways to retain users.

Some of the designs are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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Convert Visitors With These Landing Page Inspirations

Check out a collection of landing page design inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Technical Blog Editor Kent Mundle curated a selection of designs that each finds creative ways to convert visitors into leads.

Some of the designs are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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The Super Simple Guide to Iconography

We often hear that an image is worth a thousand words. Well, this applies very much to icons, which replace long sentences and words to optimize visual space, usability, and aesthetic.

In this article, Toptal Designer Tidjane Tall shows us how to create 10 custom icons in less than 10 seconds each (we promise). Knowing how to design your own icons can go a long way, so learn how to craft a set of simple and effective icons to upgrade your skillset.

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Taking IKEA Out of Its Box and Redesigning It for 1.6B Users

Although IKEA is one of the world’s most well-known retailers, its online presence doesn’t reflect the same success. Too many users find that the brand’s online presence is cluttered, difficult to navigate, and doesn’t reflect a more modern lifestyle.

In this article, Toptal Lead Design Blog Editor Michael Abehsera leads a redesign of IKEA’s online presence, exploring how the user experience can be overhauled to fix some of its most pressing issues.

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Upgrade Your Analytics With These Dashboard Design Inspirations

Check out a collection of analytics dashboard design inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Designer Santiago Baigorria curated a selection of designs that each offers insightful analyses.

Some of the designs are captured from live products, some are still in development, and some are purely concepts designed to push the bounds of what is even considered possible.

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Don't Underestimate the Power of Your Brand Story

A brand story is a powerful tool, but trial-and-error is required to use it well. If persistent, you’ll develop a unique voice, and your work will be infused with unexpected strands of meaning and purpose that thrill clients and the people they’re trying to reach.

In this article, Toptal Designer Micah Bowers walks us through one of his own branding projects to show us how to develop an effective brand story. Most of us might know a good story when we see one, but how do we write an engaging one ourselves?

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What Google and Adobe Can Teach Us About Feature Creep

Most designers know that feature creep is a big time problem, but knowing is only half the battle. How do we stop feature creep from smothering our projects?

In this article, Toptal Designer Luciano Vizza guides us through the steps to recognize and dispel feature creep in your next project. One extra feature might not sink the ship. But, it doesn’t take long for one feature to become 20 features, and before you know it, Captain, you are going down with the ship.

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