The Art of Virtue Signaling: Why so Many Brands Get It Wrong (Publication)
Many brands overshoot the subtleties of virtue signaling. They preach, posture, and alienate the people they’re trying to impress. We explore how companies can bang their virtue drums better.
Mini Tutorials – Working with Figma Button Components (Publication)
In Figma, UI Components are all-powerful and unbelievably versatile, but how do they work? We demonstrate their power by focusing on one of the most common UI elements of all—the button.
The Origins of Bad Logo Redesigns (Publication)
A logo redesign without controversy is like a workout with no sweat. It's possible, but is it impactful? We scrutinize high-drama logo updates and ask why they caught fire in the public arena.
Expert Perspectives on the State of Design Education (Publication)
Aspiring designers have more educational opportunities than any time in history. Do the available options provide worthwhile design training, or are they simply clever money-making schemes?
How to Transition from UX Designer to UX Consultant (Publication)
What does a UX consultant do? More importantly, what does it take for a UX designer to become a consultant and thrive?
Card Sorting: Better Information Architecture by Aligning with Users' Mental Models (Publication)
Users shouldn’t need insider knowledge to find what they’re looking for on the web. Card sorting lets designers create intuitive UX by organizing content the way customers do in their minds.
Logo History 101 – A Walkthrough of Lasting Impressions (Publication)
Join us on a journey through the annals of design history, and test your knowledge of famous logos along the way.
What is Branding? Everything is Branding. (Publication)
From personal brands to anti-brands, we’ve entered an age of incessant brand awareness. Branding is everywhere, but is everything branding?
If You're Not Using UX Data, It's Not UX Design (Publication)
Intuition and experience without UX data lead to a dangerous assumption: Designer knows best. We’re drawing a line in the sand: If it’s not based on user research, it’s not UX design.
Why You Don’t Need Design Education (Publication)
For decades, a design diploma was the golden ticket to career opportunity. As this path now faces scrutiny, we examine the issues plaguing design institutions and offer radical solutions for change.
Color Theory for Designers – A Crash Course (with Infographic) (Publication)
Color: It’s stunningly beautiful and maddeningly deceptive. Use this color theory field guide (with an infographic) to make lightning-quick color choices with unwavering confidence.
The Chat Crash – When a Chatbot Fails (Publication)
There’s much confusion and hyperbole surrounding chatbots. The tech is promising, but the user experience is lacking. We examine five chatbot fails and share practical tips to improve their UX.
A Day in the Freelance Life – Getting to Know Toptal Designers (Publication)
Are remote-working and freelancing viable options for designers? We interview Toptal designers to discover how they’re forging freelance careers with meaningful work for high-impact global companies.
Dissecting the Intricacies of Typography Anatomy (with Infographic) (Publication)
The letters used to construct our written languages have their own anatomical features. Here is a collection of lesser-known letter parts that every designer should be aware of (with an awesome infographic).
UX Research Methods and the Path to User Empathy (Publication)
How can designers move beyond personal insights to understand the problems users face? We introduce time-tested UX research methods that inspire user empathy and lead to better user experiences.
Words Matter – The True Value of UX Copy (Publication)
Well-crafted words improve UX and provide people with decision-making clarity. We explore the true value of UX copy and provide sensible writing tips for greater user engagement.
UX Portfolio Tips and Best Practices (Publication)
This guide shows UX designers how to craft a brilliant portfolio by examining questions about process and sharing practical design tips.
eCommerce 101: Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment (with Infographic) (Publication)
An illuminating infographic highlights ten eCommerce pain points that ruin the user experience and lead to shopping cart abandonment.
A Spectrum of Possibilities: The Go-To UI Color Guide (Publication)
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.
Creating a UI Style Guide for Better UX (Publication)
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?
Icon Usability and Design Best Practices (Publication)
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?
UI Design Best Practices and Common Mistakes (Publication)
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.
Design News – Innovation from Around the Globe - April '18 (Publication)
Every month, we bring you riveting design news and inspiring content focused on design. Here are five hand-picked pieces of design news.
Power of the Pen – A Hand Lettering Tutorial (Publication)
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.
Design News – Innovation from Around the Globe - January '18 (Publication)
The inaugural issue of Toptal Design World News. Every month, we bring you riveting design news and inspiring content focused on design.
Presentation Design and the Art of Visual Storytelling (Publication)
Discover a practical approach to designing results-oriented presentations and learn the importance of crafting a compelling narrative.
Design the Future: The Tools and Products That Await Us (Publication)
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.
Brand Illustration 101: Visualizing the Narrative (Publication)
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.
How to Create Custom Fonts: 7 Steps and 3 Case Studies (Publication)
Designers love to hate some fonts. We're introducing a simple process and seven easy steps that can quickly transform a typeface into something better and can turn a font into a beautiful logotype.
Design Constraints: Why Saying "No" is so Effective (Publication)
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.
Don't Underestimate the Power of Your Brand Story (Publication)
With practice, designers can develop a unique voice and create brands that are infused with unexpected strands of meaning and purpose that thrill clients and the people they’re trying to reach.