Free eBooks All Designers Should Read (Publication)
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.
Skeuomorphism, Flat Design, and the Rise of Type Design (Publication)
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.
Page Speed 101: A Primer for Mobile UI Designers (Publication)
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 times
13 Podcasts Every Designer Should Listen To (Publication)
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!
The Gap Between Developers and Designers is Disappearing (Publication)
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.
Don't Try to Change the World, Design a Toy Instead (Publication)
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.
Decision-Making Biases: Why Terrible Designs Seem Like a Good Idea at the Time (Publication)
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.
The 11 Photoshop Plugins That Made Me a Better Designer (Publication)
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.
Retain Users With These Mobile App Onboarding Inspirations (Publication)
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.
Taking IKEA Out of Its Box and Redesigning It for 1.6B Users (Publication)
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.
Design for Reality, Not Glory (Publication)
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.
Write or Fade Away as a Designer (Publication)
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.
The Art of Stealing: How to Become a Master Designer (Publication)
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.