Design Process posts

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.
Michael Abehsera
Free eBooks All Designers Should Read

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.

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Bree Chapin
Stay Cool: Take Design Feedback Strategically

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.

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John Roose
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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Waldek Graczyk
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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Jônatas Vieira
How Much Coding Should Designers Know?

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?

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Luboš Volkov
Design In A Remote Setting: A Toptal Design Talk

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.

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Darko Stanimirović
Usability Past Its Breaking Point: A Toptal Design Talk

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.

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Kent Mundle
What Is Strategic Design Thinking and How Can It Empower Designers?

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 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. Designer Kent Mundle outlines how designers can better communicate their abilities and establish a vocabulary to increase the potential value of their projects for clients.

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