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 →
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 →
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 →
The top five reasons why creating a styleguide early is especially important for startups in spite of the inherent challenges.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 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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
Although the different design disciplines are often divided into separate categories, many of their associated skills transcend the limits of nomenclature. For example, the ability of an architectural designer to present abstract concepts clearly might help the UX designer communicate an interface with improved efficiency and meaning, just as a graphic designer’s visual knowledge informs the UI designer’s interface compositions.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Designer Peter Varadi explains through his own experience how a multidisciplinary design background has broadened his skill set. Who knew that an architectural education could set you apart in the field of UX Design?Continue reading →
Most designers only publish their finished, polished wireframes and mock-ups without revealing how much work really goes into research and content organization. What results is a community that assumes that design is all about jumping into a composition. This understanding of design produces faulty products.
In this article, Alex Gurevich gives us a walkthrough of his workflow for the design of a significant non-profit company’s website, explaining with each step how a thorough preliminary process leads to holistic web page design.Continue reading →
Today, designers chose a typeface from drop-down menus rather than physical typesets. As a result, designers have become very detached from the original industrial contexts for which their typefaces were designed. So, how can we better inform our design work with good typeface decision making?
In this article, Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle provides an overview of the essential typefaces that have influenced typography today, and why you should stop using them. If the platforms for our type are changing, shouldn’t our typefaces as well?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 →
The greatest mistakes that UI Designers are making may be putting the discipline in jeopardy. Many UI Designers focus so much on getting the tech right that they are missing out on what they have to offer as designers.
In this article, Toptal Technical Editor Kent Mundle outlines the Top 5 Most Common UI Design Mistakes that every designer should know.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 →
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 →