January 2018

Fascinating Design News – Arriving Every Month

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Toptal Design World News. Every month, we’ll bring you riveting design news and inspiring content focused on design. If you’re a Toptal Design Blog subscriber, a lively, curated selection of the most compelling design news and trends from around the planet will land in your inbox. If you’re not a subscriber, sign up now! ↓

‘Real Life’ InVision Studio Magic: Demos and Details

design with invision studio prototyping and animation

By now, most designers have heard of InVision Studio. “Intuitive, frictionless rapid prototyping and advanced animation to unlock new dimensions of screen design.” Here’s a quick recap of the InVision Studio Demo + Drinks international tour—packed with highlights and previews….

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Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year Is Ultra Violet

Pantone 2018 color of the year ultra violet web design news

From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way. The shade also makes you think of “the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now”…

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Information Is Beautiful – The Best Infographics and Data Visualizations of Last Year

best infographics and data visualization

It may be hard to get excited about infographics, data visualizations, and information design, until you see these winning designs from the Information is Beautiful Awards in London…

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New in Sketch 48: Color Management, Sketch Cloud Updates, Symbol Scaling

latest design news Sketch updates symbol scaling and color management

Sketch 48 has arrived, and with the latest release, they’ve added support for color management, improved symbol scaling, and a new feature: Now, when you share with Sketch Cloud, your entire document and all its contents will be uploaded, rather than just a preview…

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Protowire – A Plugin Adds Prototyping to Sketch

design news Protowire prototyping in Sketch

Rather than something you do at the end, Protowire—a new Sketch plugin—aims to integrate interaction and animation into the design process without you having to change your designs to suit the software. The plugin has just been released. When you sign up for early access, you will be able to download it and start using it…

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Toptal Designer Showcase

Zille Sophie Bostinius, Art Director and Designer

Zille Sophie Bostinius – Art Director and Designer

Zille is an integrated creative art director and designer. She has over eight years of professional experience specializing in conceptual branding, visual identity, and UI design, as well as art direction and graphic design. She has a client-first attitude with a passionate, ambitious, and strategic approach to design.

Please tell us about a project in your portfolio.

Urbanara is a young eCommerce brand producing high-quality homewares made from natural materials. When I first started working with their site, their navigation and homepage needed some serious TLC.

The design was noisy and did not suit the goal of the site. Usability was poor, and tests showed that the homepage did not invite customers to go more deeply into the site or engage in the Urbanara lifestyle and community.

The overall goal of the project was to improve the UX and make their UI more intuitive by redesigning both the navigation and the homepage in order to improve traffic and click-through rates.

Redesign of an eCommerce Website and Unboxing Experience

The redesigned Urbanara homepage

What was your design process?

At the time, Urbanara was still just a small startup, so resources were limited. As the design lead, I was responsible for everything from initial conception to building the user experience and wireframing, all the way through defining the visual design and UI. During the user-testing phase, I worked closely with the product manager and the development team on perfecting the last bits and pieces and getting ready to go live.

Redesigning the UI of an eCommerce Website

The redesigned Urbanara product pages

What was the outcome? What are you most proud of?

The outcome showed amazing results—much better than we had expected. We found that users coming from the homepage were interacting with the site more deeply than they had previously. They connected with the Urbanara community/lifestyle to a much greater extent, and many more people made it all the way through to checkout and completed a purchase—the ultimate goal!

It was incredible having the opportunity to be part of the entire process and to have an impact on all aspects of the project. It was a great challenge and a formidable responsibility—and though there were no tears, there was a lot of sweat! I learned a great deal, which has has proved to be invaluable in my professional life.

Redesigning the UX of an eCommerce Website

The redesigned Urbanara "About Us" page

More about Zille Sophie Bostinius – Art Director and Designer »

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We hope you enjoyed the first issue of Toptal Design World News. Be on the lookout for next month’s issue, and don’t forget to subscribe if you’d like to receive cutting edge design news and expert articles from the Toptal Design Blog in your inbox.

Addressing all facets of digital design, and written by professional designers in the Toptal network, the Toptal Design Blog is a hub for advanced design studies and includes topics ranging from detailed design tutorials to in-depth coverage of new design trends, techniques, and technologies.

Subscribe today and check out the wealth of design resources published by the Toptal network.

About the author

Micah Bowers, United States
member since January 3, 2016
Micah is a brand designer and illustrator who aspires to elevate design to the level of a story. To reach people and forge lasting engagement, Micah believes that design must identify a need, stir a desire for change, and shed light on a path that is uniquely helpful, hopeful, and human. [click to continue...]
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About the author
Micah Bowers
Designer
Micah is a brand designer and illustrator who aspires to elevate design to the level of a story. To reach people and forge lasting engagement, Micah believes that design must identify a need, stir a desire for change, and shed light on a path that is uniquely helpful, hopeful, and human.