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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Death to Wireframes. Straight to High-Fidelity!

A variety of artifacts are generated in the UX design process and a foundational one is the good ol’ wireframe.

In this article, Jen Randolph discusses how, in many product design scenarios, wireframes may not be necessary, and skipping them altogether may save a lot of time and cut down on confusion between the client and various stakeholders.

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The Gap Between Developers and Designers is Disappearing

In the not-so-distant past, completing a design according to a designer’s vision was a nightmare. There was a huge gap (or cold war) between developers and designers; now, that war is finally coming to an end.

In this article, Toptal lead design editor Michael Abehsera talks about the prototyping tools that are spearheading the disappearing gap between design and development.

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How to Design Delightful Experiences for the Internet of Things

The next wave of IoT will connect millions of devices. The skills needed in this new paradigm will shift from component thinking to whole systems thinking.

In this article, Toptal designer Sergio Ortiz writes about the Internet of Things, its design implications, how it will change the way businesses operate, and how we see the world—and how to help make homes, cities, and factories smarter and more efficient.

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How to Conduct Usability Testing in Six Steps

What can be done easily and inexpensively to substantially improve your product designs? User testing. User testing digital product designs is imperative if you are to design “useful” products.

This six-part process by Toptal designer John Roose describes how the insights you gain from observing how actual users use your product are well worth it.

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How to Hook eCommerce Shoppers through UX Design

Flipkart, India’s leading eCommerce marketplace, questioned why they were losing customers and asked themselves: How do you build a loyal customer base, increase engagement and solve the issue of app uninstalls? What behaviors should be studied to come up with a winning solution? The answer lay in designing a habit-forming experience.

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A Rant against Pretty Designs

Often, designers make the mistake of designing apps for their own vanity, focusing on the veneer instead of designing a great user experience. As Steve Jobs once said, “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like.”

In this article, Toptal UX Designer Miklos Philips discusses Jobs’s point of view and clarifies the importance of designing for people.

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Stop Making Garbage: A Guide to Designing Interfaces That Last

We are a throw-away society—products wear out far too quickly or are replaced by something shinier, newer, or more trendy.

In this piece, we look at designs that have stood the test of time and break down what made them successful. No matter what you’re working on, these guiding principles will help you stop designing disposables and begin creating designs that last.

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How to Create Custom Loading Animations to Decrease Bounce Rates

You probably wouldn’t stare at a white screen on a site or app for more than a few seconds without a page load status or time indicator. A well-crafted loading animation helps you stay engaged while you wait. Toptal Design Editor Tidjane Tall will show you how Slack, Trello, and Flickr loading animations can be done with ease. You’ll be able to apply what you learn to create your own branded loading animation from scratch.

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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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