Possibly with the exception of color, the typeface styles used in a design have a greater impact on the way a user perceives that design than virtually any other individual design element.Continue reading →
Conversational user interfaces are a new frontier that requires thoughtful consideration. The design process should include defining the purpose of the chatbot, and other design considerations to create a successful user experience.Continue reading →
Bad B2B UX is everywhere—but the situation is not hopeless. By understanding the pitfalls, and having a strategic user-centered design plan, designers can pave the way to saving enterprise software.Continue reading →
Learn about the evolution of design systems and how designers can adopt a holistic approach to systems thinking.Continue reading →
Because graphic design and visual design both focus on aesthetics, the line between the two disciplines is often blurred, especially when referencing digital designs (includes infographic).Continue reading →
Creating a dynamic, organized, and collaborative workflow between design and development teams is essential to building great digital products. This tutorial outlines how Sketch, working in tandem with Zeplin, can facilitate this collaboration seamlessly.Continue reading →
Design critiques are a key part of the product design process that encourage collaboration and improve ideas. This guide will help designers conduct productive, efficient critiques for actionable feedback.Continue reading →
Learn the value of minimum viable prototypes (MVPr), a quick and affordable way to create, launch, test, and improve digital products based on real-world insights.Continue reading →
When looking for inspiration, designers should consider what they can add to the work of others. Where can they make it better? More useful? More elegant? More efficient?Continue reading →
Many exciting trends in eCommerce are on the horizon, from AI and AR to chatbots and voice ordering. The future of eCommerce will be shaped by trailblazing tech and savvy UX design (with infographic).Continue reading →
Follow this tutorial to create an interactive prototype with slick animated transitions in minutes using InVision Studio, the exciting new free interface design tool.Continue reading →
This guide shows UX designers how to craft a brilliant portfolio by examining questions about process and sharing practical design tips.Continue reading →
There are many types of UX projects, and while each tends to have its own unique flavor, there are common challenges. Advance planning can help less experienced teams dodge problems.Continue reading →
When having the right UX tools is the crucial difference between having an effective design workflow and one that’s slow and unproductive, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest tools (with infographic).Continue reading →
An illuminating infographic highlights ten eCommerce pain points that ruin the user experience and lead to shopping cart abandonment.Continue reading →
Color is the master key to compelling design communication, but UI designers must learn to wield its power. This guide simplifies color theory concepts and shows designers how to use color with precision.Continue reading →
A well-thought-out color palette can elevate a design from “good” to “great” while a mediocre palette can detract from a user’s experience and even interfere with their ability to use a site or app.Continue reading →
Just as there are cause and effect relationships, there are the laws of UX: predictable outcomes and human behaviors in UX a designer can use to design superior products. This infographic explains it all.Continue reading →
Designers can brush up on solid fundamentals and be inspired by innovative new ideas by reading the great books and free ebooks about design and creativity on this list.Continue reading →
Gestalt’s guiding principle, that our minds tend to perceive objects as part of a greater whole, is a very useful and powerful design technique [includes infographic].Continue reading →
UI and UX designers must work in tandem in order to create a finished product that delights users both visually and functionally.Continue reading →
How does Figma improve the design process and outperform Sketch and other design tools when it comes to designer collaboration? Learn the big differences that every designer should know.Continue reading →
In product design, the jobs-to-be-done framework is a well-known approach that is designed to deconstruct the “job” a customer is trying to get done.Continue reading →
Virtual reality is no longer in the realm of science fiction. Immersive technology desperately needs skilled designers to jump in, get involved, take risks, and create something new. Leap into VR/AR!Continue reading →
Even exciting product ideas can flop without an understanding of the user problem to solve. A design problem statement is an essential step in the design process for creating products that truly matter.Continue reading →
Every month, we bring you compelling design news and inspirational content focused on design innovation. Here are six hand-picked pieces of intriguing design news.Continue reading →
A consistent UI leads to a better UX. But with so many moving parts in modern user interfaces, how can UI designers be sure they’re staying true to a digital product’s look and feel?Continue reading →
Sketch is a valuable, time-saving resource for any designer’s toolbox. Though not every designer chooses to do so, creating style guides in Sketch can make it even more of a time-saver.Continue reading →
AI has become an over-hyped buzzword and the design world is no exception. Instead of resisting it, designers will soon be co-creating with AI. It will make them smarter. (Includes infographic)Continue reading →
Poor client management can cost designers work and damage reputations. By proactively managing project expectations and responsibilities early, designers can build great relationships with their clients.Continue reading →
The ultimate aim of icon design is to enhance the user experience. But what does that look like, and how can UI designers ensure that the icons they make will be easily understood?Continue reading →
Finding inspiration for design projects is one thing. Organizing it into a cohesive base for creating a design that wows clients and users is an entirely different beast. The solution? Mood boards.Continue reading →
If a freshly minted app is getting low ratings, bad reviews, and complaints about its usability, or the website is not generating the expected conversions, it may be time to bring in a UX expert.Continue reading →
UX designers often need to convince company executives on the ROI of a UX redesign initiative. Here are some real-life B2B redesign case studies a UX team identified in order to make a compelling case.Continue reading →
Designing an eCommerce site is not just about building a website to sell products, but designing a pleasant online shopping experience. This comprehensive guide walks us through the best practices.Continue reading →
Data visualization is a coherent way to visually communicate quantitative content. Depending on its attributes, data may be represented in different ways, such as line graphs and scatter plots.Continue reading →
Shopify merchants have achieved over $40 billion in sales, but with poorly executed UX design being one of the biggest contributors to abandoned checkouts, it’s clear that superior UX can boost this statistic even further.Continue reading →
UX designers often need to persuade executives on the ROI of a UX initiative. In this example scenario, the UX team presented the projected ROI of a UX redesign to make a convincing case.Continue reading →
UX design attempts to deliver the right solution, in the right way, at the right time and delight people when they use a product. This comprehensive UX guide walks through the various methods, tools, and techniques that make up the process.Continue reading →
The internet is a primary source of information, entertainment, and communication. Yet, for people with disabilities, there are barriers that make it inaccessible, as many websites don’t consider their needs.Continue reading →
Travel gives a fresh perspective, inspires creativity, and improves our empathy for people around the world. By making the globe your office, you can benefit from new insights and become a better designer.Continue reading →
Want to become a phenomenal designer? Take a multidisciplinary design approach and study the methods of other design disciplines.Continue reading →
Every month, we bring you riveting design news and inspiring content focused on design innovation. Here are five hand-picked pieces of design news.Continue reading →
When having the right UX tools is the crucial difference between having a highly effective design workflow, and one that’s slow and unproductive, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest tools.Continue reading →
Following some basic mobile app design best practices and avoiding the most common mistakes will help designers create apps that live past the crucial 90-day mark when 71% are abandoned.Continue reading →
Users form mental models around how products should work through use. In order to design for maximum usability, designers need to understand and leverage users’ mental models.Continue reading →
Creating meaningful designs, capturing customer attention, and influencing their behavior is something that designers and marketers will agree is one of the most difficult things to achieve.Continue reading →
Two Toptal designers engage in a lively debate about aesthetics, objectivity, and the definition of art and design.Continue reading →
No matter what design discipline you are working in—whether it’s visual design, UX, or traditional print—typefaces are essential elements of virtually every bit of design produced.Continue reading →
The most progressive and interesting designers steer clear of visually stale design solutions and ditch restrictive rules by learning UI design best practices and avoiding common design mistakes.Continue reading →
A design sprint is a methodology used to validate ideas through design, prototyping, user testing, and collaboration in only five days, offering a more structured, effective approach to creative thinking.Continue reading →
Wireframing is a major step in designing any user interface, whether a website, application, or software product. Apps in the Adobe CC suite can be used to create wireframes for an efficient workflow.Continue reading →
In this age of lean startups, designers often find themselves in stretch roles where they are not only in charge of a product’s design but also in charge of coming up with the type of product to build.Continue reading →
The best landing pages increase conversions and help brands sell more. But what makes great landing page design? Read and uncover valuable insights for any business looking for a world-class landing page.Continue reading →
80% of businesses fail in their first year—a majority of these casualties are due to a lack of customer research. Effective customer development interviews can help validate product ideas before moving forward.Continue reading →
Great emotional design creates a bond between the consumer and the brand—creating an emotional connection to your target market translates into conversions and sales as well as online and offline interactions.Continue reading →
A lion’s share of websites and apps in the online media space are powered by content management systems (CMS). The optimal way to design for these applications is putting content first, style second.Continue reading →
Visual design experiments often become popular design trends and suddenly they are seen everywhere. Here are a number of hot graphic design trends and some of the top tutorials on how to create them.Continue reading →
Conversion optimization doesn’t simply boil down to using trendy colors on CTA buttons. Leverage usability data to improve customer experience that will make a larger, more lasting impact on conversion than any fad.Continue reading →
Gestalt principles are an important set of ideas for any designer to learn and their implementation can greatly improve the aesthetics of a design as well as its functionality and user-friendliness.Continue reading →
UI and UX are two design terms that often get used in the wrong context. Designers who call themselves “UI designers,” or design for trends rather than users, could be harming their reputation.Continue reading →
Polished design wireframes are great but don’t reveal the work that goes into research and content organization. See how a thorough approach to early project planning leads to successful website redesign.Continue reading →
UX testing is a crucial step in the design process but is often overlooked for tight budgets or deadlines. You do not need a formal lab to do quality research—just the right tools and a clear plan.Continue reading →
Human cognition is complex, and many factors play into instant impressions. Design psychology is coming to the forefront as more and more companies are using neuroscience to design better user experiences.Continue reading →
Hand lettering is an art form in revival and a powerful branding tool. See inspiring examples from the world’s best letterers and learn a step-by-step approach to start your own lettering practice.Continue reading →
The market share for mobile and desktop browsing is about 50/50. For designers, this means responsive design is more important than ever, as users expect a seamless experience across all platforms and screen sizes.Continue reading →
UX designers must understand the needs and goals of potential users, their tasks, and context of use. User research will shape and define the guidelines for creating a product with great user experience.Continue reading →
As several successful big brand products have demonstrated, designers can leverage game design concepts by adopting a game designer’s mindset to design better, more engaging products.Continue reading →
Effective user research doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, there are many low-cost methods available to designers, all of which will put a designer on the road to designing better products.Continue reading →
Sketch plugins can help designers speed up their design process and automate repetitive tasks in Sketch. Learning Sketch plugin development allows designers to constantly improve their workflow.Continue reading →
The wearable technology revolution is shifting our long established patterns of how we utilize data in our daily lives and social interactions. In many ways, it’s a lot more personal.Continue reading →
Successful products and experiences offer more than pure functionality. They are designed to engage human emotions and motivate users to forge ongoing interactions that are both meaningful and memorable.Continue reading →
Learn about information architecture—how designers and product managers build an IA using design principles as well as IA tools and best practices.Continue reading →
Net Promoter Score is a consumer insight method to track customer loyalty, but it falls short in many ways. Applying various user research methods gives a more complete picture of the user experience.Continue reading →
Discover why conversational UIs and voice apps are surging in popularity and learn how to design voice user interfaces (VUIs) for both mobile and smart home speakers.Continue reading →
Here are a few exercises that can help get your creative juices flowing, whether you’re trying to get started on a new project or find yourself stuck in a creative rut.Continue reading →
Some products prove irresistible because they combine psychological design techniques that create an ultimate UX hook: anticipatory, persuasive, and emotional design.Continue reading →
The inaugural issue of Toptal Design World News. Every month, we bring you riveting design news and inspiring content focused on design.Continue reading →
Discover a practical approach to designing results-oriented presentations and learn the importance of crafting a compelling narrative.Continue reading →
Prototype design is a powerful process detailing how designers do everything required to test, iterate, and develop prototypes, beginning with user flows and ending in functional wireframes.Continue reading →
eCommerce sales are expected to more than double by 2021. eCommerce retailers and designers who pay close attention to user experience and follow eCommerce UX design principles can capitalize on this growth.Continue reading →
Redesigning a website is about more than making cosmetic changes; it’s about identifying the real issues that the business is facing and solving them with design.Continue reading →
Flinto is a simple and easy to use tool for creating interactive prototypes. This tutorial teaches you how to quickly create mobile dashboard microinteractions in order to improve your prototype.Continue reading →
New design tools are emerging at an incredible rate, but the future promises a vast array of astonishing tools that will forever change the way designers think and work.Continue reading →
For designers, working in enterprise is a challenge because of all the different stakeholders and moving parts. This guide reviews the collaborative design process for working better in that environment.Continue reading →
Mobile usability isn’t just about scaling a website or app to fit various devices. It’s about understanding how people use mobile devices and that the mobile experience is as unique as the user.Continue reading →
The explosive growth of eCommerce has created a need for online stores to adapt to mobile experiences. This post outlines the many aspects that make a successful mobile eCommerce experience.Continue reading →
Conducting UX analysis as part of an iterative process provides valuable, actionable insights into enhancing and optimizing a product’s user experience.Continue reading →
Whether we need a logo for an app, a startup, or brand positioning, following trends is not enough. A carefully considered design process is needed to design an impactful logo and brand.Continue reading →
Product innovation happens at the intersection of desirability, business viability, and technological feasibility. Design thinking—with a proven ROI—integrates all three and delivers business value.Continue reading →
While there can be considerable overlap between user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design, they are distinct fields with different skills required for each role.Continue reading →
New fintech apps are changing how we see our investment goals and interact with financial institutions. This article reviews best practices for building trust without sacrificing fun or usability.Continue reading →
Microinteractions are single interactive moments in a product that enhance the workflow and make a product more enjoyable. This article highlights key parts of microinteractions and patterns.Continue reading →
Customer journey maps are a visual storytelling tool used to help designers empathize with users and identify actionable opportunities for providing a better user experience.Continue reading →
Landing pages are powerful tools used to convert visitors into leads and buyers. This post outlines the psychological aspects and design considerations that make up a successful landing page.Continue reading →
Design frameworks help designers work more efficiently by utilizing reusable UI components. Using Sketch symbols, this article sheds light on how to create and use one (includes a free Sketch UI framework).Continue reading →
Great designers help teams and stakeholders make better decisions by using questions to identify opportunities, reveal underlying needs, and understand user context—all of which lead to better designs.Continue reading →
Web design is changing. Minimalist web design has been the reigning approach for years, but brutalist design is gaining in popularity. Despite its inelegant clutter and raw functionality, brutalist design may be taking over the web.Continue reading →
Dashboards are a unique and powerful way to present data-based intelligence using data visualization techniques. This post looks at the fundamental principles that lie at the heart of every successful dashboard design.Continue reading →
A brand is a promise. This article outlines how illustrations are being used to express brand value and how businesses are investing substantial time and resources into extensive brand illustration systems.Continue reading →
By leveraging new and emerging technologies like AI, AR, VR, and MR, designers have fresh and exciting opportunities ahead in designing future products.Continue reading →
Emojis are universal symbols of expression, transcending cultural and linguistic divides. As technology continues to advance, designers will be the ones to define the next evolution of human communication.Continue reading →
Working under a tight deadline? We’ve all picked up design projects that required us to deliver outstanding results under severe time constraints. This article outlines a 30 day branding case study that breaks down the process of how to get it done effectively.Continue reading →
Despite having many things in common, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) are not the same thing. Learn the essential differentiators, driving forces, and design considerations for these three promising cousin technologies.Continue reading →
What is UX design? This article dispels the myths and lays bare the many misconceptions surrounding the discipline by looking at what UX design is and what it is not.Continue reading →
Many a promising project can be stymied by unyielding personalities, inflexible attitudes, and big egos. Learn to navigate these tricky waters with grace and professionalism.Continue reading →
Designers are not mere pixel pushers. They must frame the problem, identify a solution, and engage users while also impacting their client’s bottom line. This article explains how the S.M.A.R.T. framework helps designers stay goal-oriented and increase their success rate.Continue reading →
Prototyping with real data can be compared to building something out of LEGO blocks: Instead of working with imaginary, loose shapes, we can use existing components from the box and build something real.
This Framer tutorial uses real data and public APIs. Working prototypes and code snippets are included.Continue reading →
White space is a frequently overlooked and underutilized element in many TV interface designs that are often crowded and busy.
Thoughtful use of white space in TV UI design improves comprehension and focus, and it enhances the user’s experience.Continue reading →
Why do we still use buttons in our user interfaces? Technology has come so far and offers so many possibilities, there is no longer any reason to force our users to click the tiny rectangles we call “buttons.”Continue reading →
Dark-themed UIs can be dramatic, stylish and elegant. But despite the many benefits, they come with a slew of challenges and potential pitfalls that every designer would be wise to keep in mind.Continue reading →
After years without a dedicated UX tool and the mass migration to other options like Sketch, InVision, Zeplin, and Figma, Adobe started the development of Adobe XD, its new UX solution. Explore the Adobe alternative, its exclusive features and how it compares with Sketch, the market’s main choice.Continue reading →
Buttons—We use them daily in apps and websites to finalize crucial actions. Digital design develops at an incredible pace, and buttons as one of its most important elements along with it. How has their style developed over the past 8 years? Check the Dribbble Buttons Timeline.Continue reading →
Regardless of the environment or size of a project, UX professionals need a variety of deliverables to help facilitate design communication with various stakeholders and teams, document work and provide artifacts for meetings and ideation sessions. Here are 10 of the most common UX deliverables.Continue reading →
Working as a remote freelance designer poses special challenges while presenting unique opportunities. Here, some of Toptal’s top designers share their expertise on everything from the remote work lifestyle to expert design tips.Continue reading →
When working with typography, Sketch comes up short, especially when you compare it with the most popular design tools out there. In this article, we’ll give you quick tips to compensate for its shortcomings with typography.Continue reading →
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a book contains that and more. To improve your design skills and stay in line with market trends and needs, you need to be continuously learning. This article reviews 19 free ebooks written to help designers grow as professionals and creatives.Continue reading →
In recent years, as designers, we have a growing selection of tools to work with. One of them is Figma – the answer for collaborative work which, nowadays, we do more and more often.Continue reading →
Professional designers discuss giving creative feedback and collaborating constructively to fellow designers on teams.Continue reading →
The argument for type design, what it is, and why it should be the next step in the evolution of UI from skeuomorphism and flat design.Continue reading →
Sketch is not a complex tool, but it’s array of features can save you a lot of time – especially Symbols. In this tutorial, learn how to nest symbols in Sketch.Continue reading →
Designers love Sketch for its simplicity. They love it thanks to its plugins, which add numerous features. Here are 50 of the very best plugins for Sketch.Continue reading →
A well-produced, high-quality pitch video can go a long way toward helping a business or individual gain credibility and secure funding. Here are 7 tips.Continue reading →
Want to improve your page load speeds for your responsive website? Here is a full list of everything you could do to improve your site’s loading timesContinue reading →
What is a heuristic analysis? How do you run one effectively by employing a group of usability experts to dramatically improve a product’s UX?Continue reading →
When it comes to large projects, browsing through layers in Sketch to understand what they do is not exactly a comfortable process even with good naming conventions. Unless you use something visual…like an emoji.Continue reading →
An image is worth a thousand words. Learn how to create outstanding illustrations with the Sketch plugin Looper.Continue reading →
It is now possible to more accurately shape experiences that dynamically personalize content by coupling behavioral design with data science and analytics.Continue reading →
Designing for television has become part of the continuum of devices that require a rethink of how we approach user interfaces and user experiences.Continue reading →
Designing past mobile or desktop interaction boundaries and into the physical world opens up possibilities to create immersive environmental experiences.Continue reading →
A competitive analysis can dramatically improve customer satisfaction and conversion rates as well as give assurance that you stand apart from your competitors.Continue reading →
A wireframe map is handy as a tool for estimating work at the start of a project and as a checklist to keep you on track throughout the design process.Continue reading →
Discover the top 13 design podcasts that will inspire you in your work and keep you focused and entertained—a nice change from your usual background music!Continue reading →
Framer Studio is a powerful tool for creating interactive prototypes. Learn how to create seven useful microinteractions in no time to improve your prototype.Continue reading →
It’s crucial that designers focus not only on cultivating their abilities with creative tools but also improve their ability to communicate design effectively.Continue reading →
Craft by InVision LABS is a powerful suite of plugins for Sketch. Learn how to super-charge your process and streamline collaboration for your remote team.Continue reading →
Remote UX workshops call for meticulous preparation and the use of proven techniques as complex details make it a challenge with many potential pitfalls.Continue reading →
These 10 surprising UX books from various disciplines will broaden a designer’s perspective and provide insight into diverse approaches to problem solving.Continue reading →
Framer, the most powerful interactive prototyping tool, just became even more powerful with their latest release. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create prototypes in Framer the same way Uber, Dropbox, and Google do.Continue reading →
In this tutorial, we will give a simple breakdown of the steps that you need to create an animated explainer video like the slick masterpieces built by Slack.Continue reading →
Interaction design principles form the bedrock of awesome UX. Truly great interaction design relies on a set of conventions, standards, best practices and rules-of-thumb.Continue reading →
The relationship between art and design is often misunderstood, and although a design outcome can be artful, the process behind it is altogether very different.Continue reading →
The top five reasons why creating a styleguide early is especially important for startups in spite of the inherent challenges.Continue reading →
Reflections on the disappearance of web forms. How mobile biometrics could unlock a personal data vault that provides what’s necessary, killing forms entirely.Continue reading →
In many product design scenarios wireframes may not be necessary and skipping them altogether may cut down on confusion and save a lot of time.Continue reading →
Getting and receiving feedback—without losing your cool—is an art. This article explains how to encourage your audience to give you quality feedback that begins with preparing a killer presentation that highlights the key problems to solve, walks your audience through your thinking, and foments constructive discussion.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
Every blog publisher hopes to turn their blog into an effective marketing and sales tool. But how do you design a high-conversion funnel for your blog?
Toptal designer Peter Davis offers some helpful examples and describes a series of steps you can take to make it a success.Continue reading →
Learn to turn Comic Sans and other hated fonts into beautiful logotypes in seven easy steps.Continue reading →
UX and usability testing analysis is a critical skill. How do you go about collecting data and analyze results? Here’s a way to stay sane during the process.Continue reading →
Two eCommerce sites were losing customers due to poor UX. A small set of UX improvements were made that greatly enhanced the sites’ usability and boosted sales.Continue reading →
Toptal designer Bronwen Rees explains how in persuasive design, social and psychological triggers can be utilized to influence user behavior.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
In apps, the next big thing is almost always initially dismissed as a toy. Things like Snapchat and VR, initially targeting the gaming industry and teen markets, ended up blossoming into disruptive technologies.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
When done well, emotional design increases engagement and can elicit an emotion that will deliver a positive response in users.Continue reading →
Icons are critical to our designs, yet we download the same tired icon sets for every project.
To address this problem, Toptal Design Editor Tidjane Tall created this guide. In it, you’ll learn how to add visual depth to your icons, and make them unique to the product they represent.Continue reading →
From the great industrial designer Dieter Rams explaining his principle of design, to Adam Grant discussing the habits of original thinkers, we’ve curated the best of the best videos for designers. So sit back, and get cozy with some of our favorite design videos.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
We can harness the power of constraints by consciously choosing to place strict limits on design options, and we needn’t look beyond our own smartphones to find compelling examples of how this works.Continue reading →
Anticipatory design is the UX technique of simplifying processes and responding to user needs one step before they actually express those needs, simplifying user decisions and leading to magical experiences.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
A client just hired you to design a landing page for their new offering. They want more than just a beautiful design – they want a page that converts. What do you do?
You read this post, which teaches you seven conversion rate optimization (CRO) tips for designing highly effective landing pages.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
Like all people, designers have biases about the world. Unfortunately, many of these biases can seriously damage our quality of work before it’s too late to notice. In this article, Toptal Design Blog Editor Michael Abehsera tells us what kinds of biases designers unwittingly hold and how they can overcome them.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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 out fantastic plugins and extensions to make you a better designer.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.
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.Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.
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?Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
Check out a collection of 404 page design inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Designer Jônatas Vieira curated a selection of designs that offer a unique solution.
Designing across cultural boundaries has broader implications and more challenges than Google Translate can solve. Designers must consider not just language differences, but also cultural tendencies, values, and taboos.
In this article, Toptal designer Jônatas Vieira gives us the tools to navigate cultural boundaries and shows us one of his own projects that taught him the value of cross-cultural design.Continue reading →
Designers too often work for their ego and choose to redesign the next billion-user start-up to boost their career, rather than doing something that will really help them grow. We receive no substantial criticism when publishing portfolio work online, but when we design for reality we put ourselves in a position to learn.
In this article, Toptal Lead Blog Design Editor Michael Abehsera shows us how to kill our egos, design for the small and local, and to always be students.Continue reading →
Check out a collection of payment design inspirations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle curated a selection of designs that each offer unique UI solutions to the popular platform.
Most people know that the world of digital products, and how we design them, is changing every day. The question that we must ask then is: how will this affect the role of designers in the future?
In this article, Toptal designer Bree Chapin gives us an overview of user interactions today and how they are changing for tomorrow. Keep reading to learn how designers have to pivot and redirect their foci to create products and services that can adapt for the future.Continue reading →
Recent studies have found that in the U.S., 75 percent of children younger than eight have access to a smartphone or tablet, as do 36 percent of kids under the age of one. Although video games and apps have always carried the stigma of being detrimental to youth development, science has proven that some products can actually enhance a child’s cognitive strength. This presents a great opportunity and responsibility to digital designers and developers to influence tomorrow’s generations in a positive way.
In this guide, Toptal Designer Tanya Unger breaks down the differences and similarities between designing for kids and designing for adults. Then she presents a proven framework and offers some additional tips.Continue reading →
Check out a collection of new Facebook redesigns created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle curated a selection of designs that each offer unique UI solutions to the popular platform.
Check out a collection of intuitive data visualisations created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle curated a selection of designs that each offer unique UI solutions to data.
As freelance designers, we tend to search for any way to leverage our careers to get more and better work. However, with so many opinions online it can be difficult for designers to know how to invest their time. Writing is one of the highest ROI skills a designer can develop.
In this article, Toptal Lead Design Editor Michael Abehsera talks with some of the best designers around the world who write to leverage their careers. Keep reading to learn how you too can get writing.Continue reading →
Check out a collection of intuitive news UIs created by different designers from around the world. Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle curated a selection of designs that each offer unique UI solutions to news interfaces.
Many people believe that designers are unicorns, gifted or special in some way. They’re not. Truth is, anyone can become a great designer if they’re willing to put in years of hard work, experimentation, and failure. All it takes is a simple mindset shift. Instead of looking at other designers’ work with envy, think of it as the key to your success.
In fact, interactive design has a lot in common with the open source software community: You can master it by stealing and copying from the best of the best. Start by getting to know Dribbble’s rebound feature.Continue reading →
Check out a curated collection of beautiful and futuristic vehicle UIs created by different designers from around the world.
UX sketching is a crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect of user-experience design. Sketching is a very efficient way of communicating design ideas while allowing designers to try out a multitude of options and iterate them before settling on one.
In this post, Toptal Freelance Designer Nick Vyhouski explains UX sketching step by step and outlines a range of tips and techniques used by leading designers.Continue reading →
Much of the digital design community is locked in debate over whether or not designers should code. Some are in favor of seeking out the unicorns who can design and code, while others claim they don’t exist, or just get in the way.
In this article, Toptal freelance designer Jônatas Vieira offers his own firsthand perspective on this issue. Can learning how to code elevate your career to the next level? Or would such skills go unused?Continue reading →
Designers spend much of their careers developing the ability to beautifully communicate the intentions of their products. Yet, some designers fail to direct these same skills towards the communication of their own work. The ability to present your design work is fundamental for any designer, as it is often the first step to landing a job with any new client or agency.
In this article, Toptal Director of Design Danielle Reid and Toptal Design Blog Editor Kent Mundle discuss what designers can do to present their work in the most effective ways. Give the products that you make some justice, and use these tips to effectively present your portfolio.Continue reading →
Check out a curated collection of beautiful and futuristic travel UIs created by different designers from around the world.
An often mentioned virtue of remote work is the freedom for individuals to construct their lifestyles as they wish. However, much of contemporary society has not yet shifted to allow for the total freedom that many desire, especially when it comes to housing. Why should outdated housing standards prevent us from living in the way we want to live?
In this article, Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle surveys a group of housing alternatives that apply to several different types of remote workers. The digital nomad has different needs than the young professional or the working parent, and their housing options should reflect that.Continue reading →
Without an office manager, or shift supervisor to look over your shoulder, or set your schedule for you, design in a remote setting can be difficult for some to manage. As well, for those who use the freedom that remote work offers, how can one ensure to find a healthy balance between life, fun and of course work?
In this article, Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle discusses strategies for designing in a remote setting with Lubos Volkov, Toptal Lead Designer. Lubos explains the importance of good planning, a strong will, but also the ability to break the rules and get outside when the world calls you.Continue reading →
Despite the widespread use of the start-up tracker CrunchBase, Toptal Freelance Designer Andrew Graunke believes that its site could use a redesign. Can the redesign transcend an aesthetic makeover, and improve user and business goals as well?
In this article, Andrew walks us through his thorough redesign and reorganization of the CrunchBase website. His process includes wireframes, design reviews, and a usability test.Continue reading →
Today, the notion of repetitively modeling or drawing the windows, doors, and walls of standardized buildings seems archaic, so why do it? If you want to handle DWG files and ACA objects programmatically, one of the best platform options is Teigha Architecture.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Designer Alexey Abramovsky walks us through the DWG production of a small house to introduce us to the benefits of Teigha. Go from foundations to full render in this quick tutorial.Continue reading →
Should usability ever be sacrificed for design experimentation? What is there to be learned from products that challenge the expectations of users? Might portfolio projects be the ideal venue in which to push these boundaries?
In the first Toptal Design Talk, Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle and freelance designer Darko Stanimirovic discuss these questions over the contentious online portfolio for the art studio, Ro-Lu.Continue reading →
The possibility of embedding a custom font in an HTML website revolutionized the potential of web development and opened up many new possibilities for designers. The key advantage of custom fonts over sprite graphics is their superior load time, but that’s not the only benefit.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Designer Ivo Gregurec explains how you can build your very own icon font, allowing you to create a consistently unique style, unified line weight, and pixel-perfect results.Continue reading →
When is the best possible time for a company to conduct a website redesign? What needs to be done in a redesign to ensure another won’t be needed for a long time to come?
In this article, Freelance Designer Goran Ramljak walks us through his redesign case study, exposing key issues with the automotive digital space in the process.Continue reading →
As software engineers, we’re always searching for the best tools and guides that will help us to be more productive while spending less time searching and reading long technical specifications.
Today, Toptal is pleased to present an entirely new resource to the community as a free download: a CSS Cheat Sheet. Toptal’s CSS Cheat Sheet is a quick CSS reference guide, and includes CSS syntax, the most important selectors, properties, sizes, and units, and other useful CSS details, all in a short, easily understandable format.Continue reading →
The impending adoption of Smart Home technology is looming. What will this mean for domestic life as we know it? For as long as people have kept homes, the dwelling has been a refuge for isolation. With the security concerns surrounding Smart Home technology and the rise of the Internet of Things, has our concept of the home changed forever?
In this article, design editor Kent Mundle questions where Smart Home technology is now, how it relates to the history of home automation, and what might be next for the market.Continue reading →
Sketch promises a faster workflow and greater ease-of-use than its counterparts. You can think of Sketch as Illustrator with some Photoshop stitched together, but that’s only part of the story. Many Adobe features that you don’t use 90 percent of the time have been stripped out, giving us a streamlined tool that is designed to quickly prototype everything from simple wireframes to complex mockups.
In this article, Toptal freelance designer Alex Gurevich takes a closer look at the Sketch vs. Photoshop dilemma, explaining which has the advantage from a variety of perspectives.Continue reading →
Freelance designers often work on a project-to-project, short-term basis, a reality that sometimes limits the extent to which they can design products that have a major effect on the big picture. How can designers leverage their abilities to have a maximum impact on more significant projects?
Strategic Design Thinking questions the role of design as a discipline, suggesting that it can offer more than the crafting of products and artifacts. In this article, freelance designer Kent Mundle shows us how designers can better communicate their abilities and establish a vocabulary to increase the potential value of their projects for themselves and their clients.Continue reading →
2016 design trends are an evolution and extension of existing design languages and patterns. We are not reinventing the wheel this year, so this leaves room for innovative designs based on familiar building blocks. However, while the underlying basics remain unchanged, designers will have to master new skills and employ new tools to keep up.
In this post, Toptal Lead Designer Lubos Volkov lists a number of design trends that are likely to mark 2016. These industry trends are not limited to visual appearance or the advent of new tools. Some of them could potentially redefine our understanding of what it means to be a designer.Continue reading →
In this article, Freelance Designer Kent Mundle examines the basics of good design: hierarchy, shapes, sizes, and colors. The foundational rules of visual perception are critical for any graphic design, as they instruct how information with embedded meaning is conveyed as quickly as possible.
However, these rules were founded in print and have yet to be redefined for digital media. There has yet to be a sort of digital Bauhaus school to set these new principles. The rules of hierarchy and composition are not just dated, they break down in web interfaces.Continue reading →
Toptal Freelance Designer Danielle Reid presents a number of exciting technologies and various interfaces to interact with them, while taking a historical perspective on interactions with man-made objects that have evolved with us to where we are.
From typewriters to touchscreens and beyond, UI design is constantly evolving to improve user experience and boost productivity. Find out what the next generation of connected devices will bring to the table.Continue reading →
Many modern web trends offer a lot of visual appeal and the temptation to follow them blindly is quite real. These trends are not always bad, but they can be dangerous if not implemented with caution. In this article, Toptal designer Bojan Janjanin discusses some of the most common UX mistakes and some insights on finding the balance between what looks nice and what is actually usable.Continue reading →
To date, Toptal has been known as a thriving network comprised of some of the best software developers in the world, and up until now, designer involvement at Toptal has been done on an informal basis. As we’ve expanded and evolved, we’ve always been acutely aware of the fact that the diversity of personalities, areas of expertise, and personal passions that come together from across the world at Toptal is one of the primary things that makes our community so strong. With this in mind, today we are extremely excited to announce the official launch of Toptal Designers.Continue reading →
With four times as many pixels per inch, stuff should look better on a 4K panel, no question about that. In most cases, it does. If you play 1080p video on a 4K display, it will still look good, but what happens if you start using a legacy application or old website?Continue reading →
Like it or not, once you start chasing pixels, you are more likely to end up with a bigger screen. This means more backlighting, more GPU load, more juice, and a bigger battery. Huge phones with insanely high pixel densities are a triumph of cunning marketing over sensible engineering.
The trend is not making hardware better in a noticeable way, yet it’s making it more expensive and less efficient. It is no longer improving the user experience, either, and in some cases it is even degrading it.Continue reading →
We often use allegory to pass on an idea, trying to visually present the point of the story to allow the other person easier understanding. Using some kind of visualisation to paint a full picture of the story we are trying to tell is a good idea. Using animation to get the message across can be even better; if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is an animation worth?Continue reading →
It is not uncommon for developers to find themselves in need of a UI component that is either not provided by the platform they are targeting or is, indeed, provided, but lacks a certain property or behavior. The answer to both scenarios is a custom UI component. The Android UI model is inherently customizable, offering the means to create custom UI components in various ways.Continue reading →
For some people, front-end design and development can sometimes start to seem like a chore, and can be monotonous and time consuming. Through a modular design approach, it is possible to both save time and streamline the design and development process.Continue reading →
With an ever-growing device landscape, it is becoming increasingly difficult to design consistent user interfaces across all devices. Using paper and pencil, or design tools that do not properly mimic the dynamic nature of web browsers across multiple platforms and screen sizes, can sometimes lead to obvious inefficiencies. However, the web browser can be used as a critical and efficient tool for designing websites and interfaces.Continue reading →
Is it ever safe to sacrifice usability for experimentation in web design? What can be learned from products that challenge the values of web designers? Are portfolio projects potentially the perfect venue to push the boundaries?
In the first Toptal Design Talk, Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle and freelance designer Darko Stanimirovic discuss these questions over a contentious website portfolio for the renown studio, Ro-Lu.Continue reading →
It’s been over 20 years since Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau specified HTML, which became the standard markup language used to build the Internet.
HTML5 was supposed to finally solve our problems and become “one standard to rule them all (browsers)”. This was probably one of the most anticipated technologies since creation of the World Wide Web.Continue reading →