leveling-up-from-a-solo-designer-to-lead-designer-is-hard!

A weekly reflection of what I have learnt this week as a Digital Product Designer

Liz Hamburger

Chalk writing on the floor that says ‘ You Got This’

Chalk writing on the floor that says ‘ You Got This’

This week I have a lot to reflect on as the new client project I have been working on with a new team member is drawing to a close. At the beginning of this week, we visited the client in their office where I presented the wireframes as well as the initial UI concepts to a group of 14 people. This is the first time I have had to talk in front of a large group of people, but also a group of people who I was not running a design workshop for. I was nervous and it showed, but I’m still proud of the fact that I managed to communicate some of what we had done and why.

On reflection I should have prepared more, I could have done this by finding out how much information the people in the room already knew about the project and what the purpose of presenting the visual work was — I feel that giving the team a general update on where we were in the project was enough to keep them happy, I think the presentation could have been tailored to be more informative though. As I’m gaining more experience as a senior designer I want to ensure I present more work to clients and their team as the more I speak in the public, the comfortable and confident I will become at doing so.

Towards the end of the week, we have begun winding down the project. The wireframe amends have been completed and the UI concepts we created for the first key screens are now ready to be used throughout the product. As this sprint is ending it’s now the perfect time for me to honestly reflect on the entire experience and look at where I could have done better and what I have learnt. I’m happy with how the project went though there are areas that I can definitely improve on for next time.

I’ve spent a few days thinking about areas that I would have done differently and where I could have improved managing this project. In this project, I was the lead designer working with a junior and this is the first client project that our junior designer was working on. In hindsight, there are a lot of things that I could have done to ensure it was a better experience for us both.


Upon reflection, the one thing I will ensure I do before starting any project where I am working with another team member is to organise a meeting with them where we can speak one to one — especially if that team member is someone who I haven’t worked with before.

In future these meetings, we will be discussing what the project involves, the aims and expectations of the client as well as my own. These meetings would also be used to define what the member of the team would like to learn during this project as well as what their strengths and weaknesses are. And finally, I would also use this time to find out any worries or concerns that the designer might have about starting this project. By having open and honest communication with each other means that I can gauge where I can best support that designer, as well as reassure them when needed.


When looking back at the last two weeks I don’t believe I was the best design leader. This role as a lead designer is one that I am growing into and a role that I currently don’t have anyone within my team to mimic or mentor me. It’s a role that I am creating and defining as I go. Sometimes I will get it wrong which is fine — as long as I identify when I could have done better.

As this is a role that I am getting used to, I sometimes forget that when leading it isn’t always about me. During this project, I put a lot of focus on myself and making sure that I came across well to the client. It was the first time I had worked with this client, and I wanted to make a good impression so that they respected me as a designer but also so they wanted to work with me again. I was incredibly focused on getting the work done rather than spending the time with my coworker and helping them when they needed it.

There are plenty of ways that I could have made myself more available, for example during the working day spending less time wearing headphones. Yes, headphones are great for eliminating distractions and getting in a focused state, but they also signal to your coworkers that you aren’t available to talk. When working with a junior who you are meant to be guiding this obviously is not an ideal signal to put out there, especially if that junior is someone who isn’t forthcoming or willing to interrupt you by tapping you on the shoulder.

I could have also ensured at the end of each day we had a quick catch up about the day, the output of the work, and if there was any issues or concerns that we could deal with before the following day. Not only does that keep the channels of communication open, but it would reinforce the fact that I am approachable and am only happy to help other designers as much as I can.


I really hope that this weeks reflection doesn’t come across that I am beating myself up about my failures, as it’s really not that deep. I feel that it’s incredibly important, to be honest, and look to where I can improve not just to ensure that I become a better designer, but also to make sure that I am useful to my team and those who I am helping grow. I feel that being able to document my failures so easily, and publicly without feeling negative about them is actually a wonderful thing as it means I am growing, I’m becoming more aware of what I want to achieve and what I need to do to get there.


What do you think makes a great design leader? What is the best way to kick of a group project? Get in touch and let me know in the comments! Or you can find me on Twitter as @lizhamburger

#WhatLizLearnt

icon-designer-report-q4-2019


Let’s first take a look at what are the most popular keywords that customers have been using when searching for icons on Iconfinder. The table below lists these keywords in order of popularity, from most searched to least.

The column called Supply-Demand ratio shows how competitive the Iconfinder market for that keyword is:

  • A ratio lower than 1 means that there is space for more icons.
  • A ratio higher than 1 means that the market is very competitive — there are more icons than searches for that keyword, so sales are not guaranteed.

The last column shows whether the searches for that keyword have been increasing or decreasing as compared to the same period last year.

Keywords ordered by the number of searches, from most searches to least (Dates: Jan 1, 2019 to Sep 15, 2019). Data can be accessed here.

It is not surprising to see keywords such as “arrow”, “phone”, “download”, “search” or “user” ranking as the most searched in 2019 so far. These are the basis of UIs and websites and most customers will be looking for these. They are a good place to start if you are new at icon design.

As an icon designer, you are probably asking what are the icons that customers buy together. This is useful information when deciding what icons to include in the same set or the same icon family. To answer this question, we looked at what keywords customers search for successively.

For example, a typical case is to search for “facebook” and then right afterward search for “twitter”. Depending on how many times this exact combination of searches happened, we can intuit how likely it is for a customer to buy the two icons together. Another example of this kind could be a search for “arrow up”, followed by a new search for “arrow down”.

The table below lists the keyword combinations used to search on Iconfinder, from most to least popular. The first keyword is the one that the customer used in the first search. The second keyword is the one the customer used in the second search, immediately after the first one. Most cases are complementary keywords.

Subsequent keywords used in searches on Iconfinder (Dates: Jan 1, 2019 to Sep 15, 2019). Full data can be accessed here.

This list should be taken with caution, however, as some examples could be interpreted differently. Sometimes, the customer might make a typo and then search for the correct word in the second search. For example, a typo such as “cofee” in the first search would be followed by a second search with the correct spelling of the word: “coffee”.

Synonym keywords — a hint for better tagging

Another very important scenario is when customers cannot find what they are looking for with the first keyword and then try with a second one. This corresponds to words that are synonyms. For example, if you cannot find the right icon using the keyword “remove”, you might try using the word “delete” instead. These are important clues for tagging — they should help you come up with better tags.

Knowing that there were 791 times when people searched for “remove” and then, immediately after, searched for “delete” tells you that those are two very important tags to add to your relevant icons. This way, you help the customers find your icons more easily.

If you need help finding synonyms when tagging, a good idea is to use an external tool such as this one: https://www.powerthesaurus.org/. When uploading icons to Iconfinder, our tagging tool also suggests other tags based on what you enter. Note that the recommended number of tags is between 4 and 7 per icon. Read Iconfinder’s guidelines for tagging.

The process of tagging

Tagging icons is the most important thing that you as a designer can do for your business. It should be an integral part of your design process. It is equally important to get the tags right as it is to create good quality icons.

After you have decided on what the right tags are — hopefully also with the help of our tips above — you need to do tagging in a systematic manner. Read about this in our tutorial How to use artboards export to auto-tag icons.

We looked at what keywords gain popularity in Q4 by looking at the searches in October, November, and December last year. We compared those to the previous 3 months and selected only the keywords that had a large increase in searches.

We noticed mostly searches related to the main festivities during fall and winter: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Diwali. The chart below shows at which time of the year the searches for each type of keyword reach a peak. For a complete list of keywords and their increase in popularity, check the Seasonal trends for keywords in Q4.

Searches per week and month for different keywords in Q4 2018.

Searches per week and month for different keywords in Q4 2018.

Searches per week and month for different keywords in Q4 2018.

Here are some of the seasonal sets that we consider as high quality, which can hopefully inspire you.

Left: Halloween set in Outline style / Right: Halloween set in Glyph style

Autumn set in Flat style

Left: Autumn set in Filled Outline style / Right: Halloween set in Flat style

Winter set in Filled Outline style

For more ideas on what icons to create and when keep an eye on Google Trends. It is a good source of popular topics that people are presently searching for online and a good indicator of what customers are searching for on Iconfinder too.

Here are the campaigns we plan to run in Q4, for which we often promote icons that match the theme of the campaign. We recommend designers to upload the themed icons before the campaign begins, in order to have a chance to be featured.

Marketing campaigns planned for Q4 2019

Here is an example of the Halloween campaign (which is running until the end of October) where we offer discounts on the Iconfider Pro plans. For this campaign, we featured beautifully-drawn Halloween icon sets.

Example of our Halloween campaign running in October 2019

The list below shows the category-style combinations in order of sales, from most sales to least. The best-sellers are Business & Finance in outline, glyph, and flat styles, followed by Avatars & Smileys in flat style, and UI in outline style.

You should pay attention to the last column (Supply-Demand ratio), which shows how saturated the market is in each category-style pair.

  • A ratio lower than 1 means that there is space for more icons.
  • A ratio higher than 1 means that the market is very competitive — there are more icons than searches for that keyword, so sales are not guaranteed.

Note that these category-style pairs are very competitive, so it is important to try to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself.

Category-style pairs ordered by sales, from most sales to least (Dates for demand: Jan 1, 2019 to Sep 15, 2019; Date for supply: Sep 15, 2019). Full data can be accessed here.

To make this list easier to grasp, we’ve added a few examples of sets that correspond to the category-style pairs from the top of the list.

Example of Business & finance sets in Outline style (left) and in Glyph style (right)

Example of a Business & finance set in Flat style (left) / Avatar set in Flat style (right)

Example of a UI set in Outline style (left) / Business & finance set in Filled Outline style (right)

From the list above, we have selected only those category-style combinations that offer opportunities to add more icons. These are the ones with a supply-demand ratio lower than 1, which means that they sell more icons than the total number of icons available on Iconfinder.

Pay attention, however, to the number of icons sold in each category-style pair. These are not among the top seller ones, which means that you cannot expect that many sales. Yet, creating icons for these is a good idea because there is less competition.

Category-style pairs with a Supply-Demand ratio lower than 1. (Dates for demand: Jan 1, 2019 to Sep 15, 2019; Date for supply: Sep 15, 2019). Full data can be accessed here.

To illustrate what the list means, we are adding a few examples of good sets for the first few category-style pairs.

Example of a Network & Communications set in Smooth style (left) / Avatars & smileys set in Smooth style (right)

Example of a Transportation set in Smooth style (left) / Computer & Hardware set in Smooth style (right)

Here we are listing a few examples of what we consider as bad practices when it comes to designing icons. We take the point of view of the customer by thinking in terms of the usability of the icon.

Directly-converted glyphs

Over the last few months, we have noticed an increase in the popularity of a certain style of glyph icons. It is the practice of creating an outline icon and then inverting it so that it looks like a glyph.

This is an example of what we mean by glyph icons that have been directly converted from their outline versions:

Icon set in directly-converted glyph style

As you can see in the example above, the icons become very difficult to recognize, especially in small sizes. Icons are meant to be used in small sizes, so simply creating a style conversion, without reinterpreting the icons, makes them lose their entire functionality.

Let’s look at a few examples together.

Bad glyph icons (directly-converted)

In all these examples, the designer made a direct style conversion, mostly because it only takes a second to do. However, the icons do not look good and Iconfinder does not accept them anymore.

When designing a glyph icon, the icon needs to be rethought based on the style limitations, making sure that they are easy to understand. Glyph icons are characterized by the use of negative space.

Good glyph icons

In the examples below, the icons are not simply converted directly to glyph. Instead, the designer has paid attention that the concept that the icon represents is still very clear.

Gradients in outline icons

We also noticed a trend of gradients in outline icons. In general, using colors in outline icons needs to be very well thought out. Colors need to play a role in the icon, like highlighting the important parts of the icon itself.

You might think that adding a gradient to an outline icon makes it cool and appealing. In reality, customers will have more trouble if they want to change the color of the icon, as gradients are not so easy to manage, especially for customers with no graphic design knowledge.

Outline icons with gradient effect — not recommended

In the example below, using a 3-color gradient is definitely not going to make the icons more appealing. Instead, the icons lose their usability, as very few or no customers will want to buy them. Usually, customers look for icons that fit a certain color scheme (their brand’s colors, for instance) and these icons would bring more work for the customers when trying to change the colors.

Outline icons with gradient effect — not recommended

Remember to always keep the customer in mind when designing icons. We recommend staying away from bad practices — such as directly-converted glyphs and gradients in outline icons — that can ultimately hurt sales.

We hope this report will help you identify the opportunities in the icon market and will inspire you to create beautiful icons.


This report is part of a series that are released every quarter. It crunches data on supply and demand on the Iconfinder marketplace, hoping to lead designers to create the right icons.

Drop us a message at support@iconfinder.com if you have any questions or feedback.

Are you interested in becoming a contributor on Iconfinder? This is the place to start: How to sell icons on Iconfinder

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Hello guys today’s i saw some interesting Logos With Hidden Meanings Designed by daniel carlmatz (graphic designer) an instagram user. i like these amazing creative logos. these all Collection proving that inspiration for the design is all around us. Scroll down to check out his work for yourself, and let us know what you think about this collections in the comments section! Thanks

1. Bike

2. Bird

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3. Camp

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4. Cup

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5. Doctor

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6. Done

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7. Dove

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8. Drink

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9. Flight

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10. Grill

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11. Horse

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12. House

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13. Idea

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14. Jazz

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15. Kiss

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16. Loading

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17. Magazine

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18. Noodle

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19. November

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20. Nudist

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21. Panda

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22. Pin

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23. Pirate

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24. Question

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25. Search

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26. Six

Logos With Hidden Meanings-17

27. Sound

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28. Vulture

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29. Wine

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30. Wolf

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“well,-i’m-not-a-designer…”-–-5-ideas-for-devs-making-design-decisions

Most software projects have an established visual design: colors, layout, typography, etc. It’s typically one of the first things to be set up.

But the product is going to change and evolve. Maybe a new button needs to be added. Or a link, or a metric, or some other widget. While a designer often leads the initial design implementation, these smaller tweaks may not have their full attention.

So the developers are going to have to do it. Cue protests of, “Well, I’m not a designer, obviously…” Yeah, but…there’s just you. Go get it done.

Here are some pointers that I hope will make this situation less scary the next time you find yourself needing to do visual design work.

1. Steal

Most features are built on top of an (at least partially) existing product, so you’ll probably already have examples. When I try to decide what things should look like, I find that I can get 90 percent of the way there simply by stealing styling from things we’ve already built.

Here are a few things I look at:

  • What fonts are being used for other similar widgets?
  • Are there backgrounds or borders?
  • Are there drop shadows, gradients, or rounded corners?
  • What sizes and margins are being used?
  • What should the disabled, active, and hover states look like?
  • How are things aligned? Can you place your new item in line with something else horizontally or vertically?

Take whatever new widget or form you’re working on, and make those items match the rest of your app. Just getting those items in place will help keep the new feature from standing out like a sore thumb.

2. Understand that Finished Is More Important than Perfect

Shooting for perfection is often paralyzing. So… don’t. I usually frame the goal as, “What can I do here that will keep us from being embarrassed when we ship it?” That’s a much more achievable goal.

If you were building a house, you might not have an eye for the perfect painting to hang on the wall or know exactly how many inches up from the floor it should be. But it takes hardly any expertise to know that the drywall should be painted and not left raw with screw heads exposed.

Don’t make it look perfect. Just make it look like you didn’t forget to finish the job.

3. Start on Paper

When I’m not sure what a design should be, I like to step away from the computer. This helps me focus on what I want a design to look like and not worry so much about whether I know how to implement it. Getting away from the computer entirely helps me get around those limits and focus on defining the goal.

You might well end up with a design that you don’t know how to implement. That’s okay! Hopefully, you now have more specific questions like, “How do I vertically center things in CSS?” Those problems aren’t always easy, but they are well defined, and you can search Stack Overflow for an answer.

4. Just Try

Visual design is a muscle that gets better with exercise. It’s going to be awkward the first few times you try it, and probably for a few more after that. But as you get better at the implementation tools, you’ll be able to experiment much more quickly.

Keep at it. Try to spend an hour at the end of each user story to make things look a bit better. You’ll get more comfortable with it eventually.

5. Get Help

Your designers probably don’t have time to provide pixel-perfect mockups for every single thing the team builds. But if you make a mockup or implement the first-draft visual design, there is nearly always time to get a thumbs-up or thumbs-down from your designer or your product owner.

By handling the easy stuff yourself, you’ll free up capacity to tackle the hard things and help polish the pieces that really matter.

People Notice

Not everyone will be able to look at a half-finished product and tell you what has to be fixed. But afterward, almost anyone can look at the final product and know that it’s better—even if they can’t say why. People will notice the difference.

If you learn just enough to iterate a design quickly, use established styles, and put in a little bit of effort on every piece, you can dramatically increase the perceived product quality.

how-to-be-a-triangle-shaped-designer

T-shaped Designer

Aman Gupta

If you are from the design community, maybe you already have heard about the T-shaped designer, a term popularised by the IDEO CEO Mr. Tim Brown. For those who don’t know what does the T-shaped designer means, Let me explain in terms of Mr. Tim Brown,

“The vertical stroke of the “T” is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process. That can be from any number of different fields: an industrial designer, an architect, a social scientist, a business specialist or a mechanical engineer.

The horizontal stroke of the “T” is the disposition for collaboration across disciplines. It is composed of two things. First, empathy. It’s important because it allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective — to stand in somebody else’s shoes. Second, they tend to get very enthusiastic about other people’s disciplines, to the point that they may actually start to practice them. T-shaped people have both depth and breadth in their skills — Tim Brown

Being a T-shaped designer could help designers to design products which are technologically feasible and economically viable for humans.

But today, maybe that is not enough, web designer need to be more diverse in our skills because whenever we are working on a project, It is always a business opportunity for an organisation and a problem to solve for people. So, along with problem solving and understanding human behaviour, We got to learn and understand the business, after all every product is designed to create the business, ultimately making money for the company and solving a problem for the people.

Design thinking from IDEO is a concept which completely supports the triangularity of design as it is human center process approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

Now, we are seeing that a lot of companies have started adopting the design thinking approach so that they could design products and features that can grow their business. And it has made the designers to put the elements of the business in the product designs so that business and product can go up together.

Every business is solving a problem for some people.

But what is a Triangle shaped design and why we need to be a Triangle-shaped designer?

Some of the Skills of a Triangle shaped Designer

Triangle shaped design is completely based on the People, Problem and Business, in which a good design solution always lies in the centre.

In a triangle shaped design concept, it is really important to understand the people because ultimately we are going to design things for the people, and understanding the business part of the product can help to take right decision to shape the design in a way that people would love to pay and we should always be designing for the people problems because that’s what our aim is, to solve problems for people.

“A Triangle shaped designer blends the KPIs of business and Design”

The world is full of problems and even we humans face numerous problems everyday but we are lucky that now in 2019, we have a solution for every problem. Moreover, we are now at a stage when we can solve our problems even before getting into them.

So to put in context, let us think in a way that every human got a certain problem, and every problem includes a human and is a business opportunity, and every business is solving a problem for the people. So three of them are interconnecting and supports each other. What lies in the centre is a solution, it can be good or bad. Good solution has a value that business earns.

Being a Triangle-shaped designer is like a mindset to include the user requirements, their issues, problems and also business needs so that we can blend them together to create something meaningful and well designed thing.

So it becomes really important for us, being a designer to understand all of them together so we can design something valuable to both the business and people. And This is not just for the UX or Product designers only, It is for every designer who is trying to solve problems for the people or businesses.

Let me explain some examples, Suppose you are a graphic designer, you might be designing posters, graphics and templates to solve problems for your marketing team so that your marketing team can communicate with people easily and improve the brand awareness of the company. Or if you are a product designer, you are constantly trying to improve the user experience of the products so that the company can sell more but what if you know what factors are really making values for your company and how the company is making money on the products, then it might be easier for you to design better products. So no matter what kind of designer you are, you are always creating a design to increase the value of your business.

Good Design is good business — IBM

And when we went for the user research and put efforts in analysing and gathering insights and problems of people and if we know about our company well then we can really create an opportunity for our business. Like what Apple did with the iPad.

We designers are really good in our craft, that is designing beautiful looking interfaces, awful interactions, and memorable experiences. But we should realise that we designers are ultimately a part of the business strategy but still we did get our right place in the boardroom because people might not know the real value of design or they might think we are incompatible to understand business.

Moreover, When we just simply present our design presentation in the meeting room and we are telling about why we made that design decision then sometimes there might be faces that don’t properly get your decision but when we try to explain the business benefits of those design decision then everybody got attentive to the presentation and they feel really involved in the presentation because all of them are in the meeting to take decisions that can influence their business not just hearing the best solution you have designed. This is the value of business in design. And when you talk about the business in terms of design, everybody feels that you are part of them because you are willing to make something that is taking their business to the next level.

So we designers need to learn the business skills because once we know the business of products we are working on, we might be able to design better products for people and ultimately help our company grow and eventually get a position in the business decisions and strategies.

Doing an MBA to understand the business is not just a solution, We can still understand the business just being a good designer and observer. And to understand the business of the organisation, We can talk to the customer support team because they are the people who are constantly hearing the pain points of users, also the marketing teams and implementation teams (If got one) and most importantly we can spend some more time with the CEOs to understand why they started the business and what is their vision so that while designing the product, you can design a beautiful products with a taste of vision of the company which will have an impact on both sides, that is the company and its customers.

There are companies as successful as they are because they have designers that are focusing more on what those businesses need than on how perfect every pixel is going to look.

But remember, focusing solely on the business side of problems could result in the dark pattern designs which creates a bait like situation for the users to use the product they do not wish to use. So instead of focusing first on the business side of problems, we must first focus on the problem side, because there is the opportunity to create a new business model and solve the problem for the people.

Illustration by https://absurd.design

We were always focused on the people and their problem but now the time has come to become a triangle shaped designer. So that we have a larger impact on both sides, People and Business.

A well designed product based on the triangularity of design can really have a larger impact on all the corners of the triangle shaped design. As the product will sell more the company can money, and the product will be used by as many people and it will solve many problems of the people if it is designed well. So a well designed product can really impact the people and businesses in a larger way.

So be a Triangle shaped designer.


If you enjoyed this post, then don’t forget to show your love. Do ? ? ? to show your love and appreciation.

And if you have any feedback for me, Please comment below. I would be happy to get your feedback.


niching-down-as-a-designer-and-launching-my-own-site

All good things come with a catch

I work with only 2 companies per month at most, owing to the research and intensity each project demands.

You can book a FREE Clarity Call with me to see if we’re a good fit! We’ll discuss your specific challenges, your biggest hurdles, and make a powerful growth plan to help you meet your goals.

Even if we aren’t a great fit, you’ll leave with some quick wins that help your business!

5-podcasts-every-ux-designer-should-listen-to

Design podcasts are a great way to keep up with industry news, snag some workflow and design process tips, or just get inspired by experts making waves in your field. If you’re a user experience designer or just starting out in UX, you’re in luck because there’s an ample amount of UX podcasts at your disposal to learn from — no matter the skill level you’re at.

In this post, we’re rounding up a diverse list of podcasts focusing on user experience design for the newbie, the expert, the curious, and really everyone in between. Have a listen and gain more confidence in your knowledge as a UX designer, walk away with new ideas, plenty of conversation starters, and maybe even a new outlook on your field of work!

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Photo by Galymzhan Abdugalimov via Unsplash.

1. High Resolution

Jared Erondu and Bobby Ghoshal co-host High-Resolution, a fantastic video and audio podcast series featuring 25 different design leaders. Designers from innovative companies like IDEO, Google, Pinterest, (to name-drop only a few) are invited to share their insights on all things Product Design.

The goal of the podcast is to help you learn how to better communicate the value of design, include stakeholders in your design process, instill a design culture at your business and more. Listen in to learn from the best of the best!

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“This project has been a real labor of love. We did it so designers all around the world could learn from people we consider to be the masters of design and leadership. We urge you to bring these tools and ideas back to work with you every week and if you do, we think you’ll see design in an entirely new light.”

2. Wireframe

Former Design Director of the New York Times Khoi Vinh hosts Wireframe, a storytelling podcast about user experience design brought to you by Adobe and Gimlet Creative. Unlike most interview format podcasts, each episode of Wireframe focuses on a theme and brings different voices together to share varying experiences. Khoi himself says the podcast has a “journalistic sensibility” so regardless of your design experience, anyone can listen and enjoy.

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“The ambition here is twofold. First, we wanted to elevate the discussion around design so that it’s treated with the same seriousness, thoughtfulness and sense of fun as any general interest subject matter—arts, culture, technology, sports etc. The second goal here is to talk about design in a straightforward, engaging way that draws in not just seasoned designers but also a wider audience of people who are curious about our craft.”

3. What is Wrong with UX?

For a more amusing undertone, check out What is Wrong with UX, a humorous podcast co-hosted by two women who actually met teaching a UX Design course. In each episode, Laura and Kate dive into a lively (and very entertaining) discussion on all things annoying or needing improvement in the field of user experience. Listen in for a fun, light-hearted approach to all of the qualms you face as a UX designer.

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“Hate reading and enjoy listening to people argue over the details of user experience design? Who can blame you. Listen to What is Wrong with UX, the podcast where two old ladies talk about how to make products suck slightly less. It features Laura Klein, the author of Build Better Products and UX for Lean Startups, and Kate Rutter, Principal at Intelleto – two experienced product designers. They bicker, drink, and explain basic concepts of good user experience design.”

4. User Defenders

User Defenders is a UX design podcast where host Jason Ogle invites seasoned UX designers to share insights on their expertise and specific topics such as building your UX portfolio, designing for accessibility, getting your foot in the door at your dream company, etc… Whether you’re a UX rookie or veteran, User Defenders will challenge and inspire you to make a difference in your work.

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“There are scores of inspirational UX Designers out there who are doing outstanding, innovative work and helping to shape the future in their struggle to solve important design problems while fighting for the user. This podcast is aimed at highlighting those leading the way in their craft by diving deeper into who they are, and what makes them tick/successful, in order to inspire and equip those aspiring to do the same.”

5. UI Breakfast

Don’t be fooled the podcast’s name—the UI Breakfast podcast, also known as “UI Breakfast: UI/UX design and product strategy” covers all things a user experience designer would find value in. Host Jane Portman asks the hard-hitting, nitty-gritty questions to her industry expert guests so you can actually apply new strategies and ideas to your work.

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“Join us for exciting conversations about UI/UX design, products, marketing, and so much more. My awesome guests are industry experts who share actionable knowledge — so that you can apply it in your business today.”

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Be sure to find these UX design podcasts on iTunes or Spotify if you want to subscribe and keep up with any new episodes! For more recommended podcasts, check out our curated list of 10 podcasts for every kind of designer.


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web-designer-job-description-written-by-designers

Here at Folyo we asked real designers to help us write the web designer job description of their dreams.

The goal is for it to be a job description that empowers designers to do the best work of their career and help companies create an awesome user experience.

We think it’s a great starting point for a job ad or RFP, so without further ado here’s the Web Designer Job Description written with help of real designers:

Job Ad Title: Web Design Job for Designer Who Loves to Help Customers

Hi, I’m Bob. I run a small business from my home in Menifee, CA. We are currently hiring a web designer to help me create a better user experience for our customers on our website. We want to help customers get more value from our website, help prospects convert at a higher-rate, and do a better job of marketing ourselves to the world.

The pay is $90/hour or $30,000 for the total website redesign, and we’re open to working remotely so you can work from home or the library or wherever you have a quiet, calm environment, and a fast internet connection. The work will be fun, fresh and dynamic. You will be working directly for me and helping me with a mixture of design projects that have a direct effect on the company’s bottom line.

We’re not big on stress. So, while I will expect you to work efficiently and get things done, I focus on open communication and getting things done right the first go around. We use Slack and Asana to do our work and keep super flexible hours. We will work with your schedule to get a routine that works for you.

Overall, you will make decisions on things that no big stuffy company would ever allow you to do. You will be able to dictate the work that you choose do. Now, let’s take a closer peek at this role:

  • Our website is currently on WordPress. That means you should be familiar with designing websites on WordPress and have at least a few WordPress websites in your portfolio. The site is up and running currently with an existing theme, so you won’t have to build the site from scratch, however you are welcome to start a new theme from scratch if you decide.
  • Although you will mostly be working on self-directed projects, you also need to be the type person who gets joy out of getting things done. Every day, you will bang out a list of stuff.
  • At first you will be on Zoom video calls a lot with me and even customers. So, you need to enjoying talking with people and giving/getting direction. A fast internet connection, and webcam is needed. You need to be a person who loves to deliver remarkable experiences to other people. You know, you need to be someone who feels good by making customers feel good.
  • You need to nail down the details. You don’t need to race through work and get things done halfassed. It’s better if you to slow things down and get them done right. You need to be meticulous in your work. If you are shy or quiet (which actually sounds perfect) that is totally cool. We are looking for a good, fun person, who gets stuff done.

In short, your job will not only help me create a better website but help me create a better business. In addition to being a detailed person, you must follow systems and processes. In fact, just to prove that you are detailed oriented and can follow procedures, when you apply for this position in the subject line of the email you must include “YO FOLYO” in the subject line. Yep, that’s a little trick to sort out the people who blanket send their resume to anyone and everyone, from the folks who are truly interested in this position.

We’re looking to bring on a web designer as soon as possible, but I will spend the necessary time to find the best fit both in abilities and culturally. One thing that will give you a BIG leg up (but is optional) is to send a quick video along with your introduction email. In your video tell me why you think you’re perfect for this job and why you will rock this position. This is purely for us to get a sense of your personality. And if you decide not to send a video (that’s ok), please tell us why you chose not to send in a video.

Send your application along with a couple recent WordPress projects in your portfolio to: bob@yourcompany.com

Thank you and can’t wait to meet you!

You have permission to copy and modify this job for your own purposes. (And if you’re looking to hire a great web designer, we’d love to help.)

How to Customize Your Web Designer Job Description Further (and Make it Even More Awesome)

To make the above job description truly unique to your company, here are few tips you can use:

✅ Introduce yourself

A nice friendly introduction that’s a few lines long is a great way to start your web designer job description.

Example: Hi! I’m David. I run FeedMeow, a small 3-person startup based out of San Francisco. We’re one coder, one biz dev guy, and one cat food expert. Our app lets you order great-tasting, healthy cat food online and then monitor how much food your cat eats throughout the week via a sleek web app.

✅ Answer the tough questions in your web designer job description

Add the reasoning behind why you’re hiring in the first place. That’s the most important thing a professional can learn about you. It might take some soul-searching but ask yourself these questions in your web designer job description:

  • Where is your company lacking?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What will change for you as a result of a successful project?
  • How could your customers be better served?
  • Who are your customers and what do you want to do for them?
  • Who makes decisions?
  • What requirements must be met?

Example: It all started about 6 months ago when Ben (our coder) started blogging about cat nutrition on his blog, UCannotHazCheezburger. Pretty soon all his friends were asking him for cat nutrition advice, and he realized that cat lover’s needs were not being met by the corrupt cat food industry. So we decided to do something about it, and our app is now used by more than 3,000 cat lovers throughout the country. Rampant cat obesity is an epidemic that is endangering the poor critters’ health. The NICH (National Institute for Cat Health) estimates that by 2020, half of US cats will be overweight, costing US taxpayers more than $2 trillion annually in veterinarian costs.

We’re looking for someone to help us design our upcoming iPhone app. We’ve noticed a lot of people are using the site from their mobile phones, so we decided it was time to build a mobile app. The app will let you order cat food on the go, and even check-in at specific cat food places to get special discounts and win badges. So you could say it combines social commerce, geolocalisation, and gamification. And cats.

✅ Keep it brief

This is the main thing to remember. Brevity is key. The best people are busy. Shaving words off of your web designer job description means less work for them and a clearer look at your company. Don’t worry about forgetting something, instead rely on questions to uncover anything you left out.

❌ Don’t prescribe a solution

You’re hiring an outside perspective. That’s means if you provide the solution, you’re not getting what you pay for. You want to access expert thinking on your project more than anything else. So stick to talking about the challenges and goals of your project. This leaves you open to great solutions. “Don’t hire a dog, and then bark yourself – David Ogilvy”

✅ Provide a timeframe

Give a date and more importantly, the reasoning behind this date in your web designer job description.

Example: We’re hoping to launch the app in time for Christmas sales, so we really want to get it done in the next month or so.

❌ But don’t define the timeline

It’s not your job to lay out a complete timeline for the job or project. Again this is part of what you will be paying an expert to do for you. Deliverable due dates for the project should be created later by the designer once they build their process around your targets.

✅ Ask for references

Talking to people that have hired this person or team is a great way to get unfiltered thoughts on working with them.

❌ Don’t ask for spec work

If you ask someone to create work for you without full understanding your goals or constraints, they’re very likely to get the solution wrong. This means you don’t get an accurate look at what they can do. The person or team you hire should begin with a discovery phase and deep understanding of your problems.

✅ Create a paid test project

Test project, unlike spec work, are a great idea. You get to test-drive working together in a real way. Things like personality, style, and communication are a big factor in successfully working together — so bite a tiny piece of the project off together before you do the whole thing. You can even give the same test project to multiple candidates and compare the results. If that’s something you want to do, include it in your web designer job description.

✅ Allow for questions and conversations

Giving people an open communication channel is huge. It creates the best applications and proposals because you allow potential partners to learn about you in a natural way. You’re going to be working together for years. Enjoy each others company, and make sure you’re able to communicate clearly and openly in your web designer job description.

❌ Don’t invite the whole world

You don’t want to get into a deep conversation with more than 5 people. More than 5 conversations simply takes too much time. So be quick on the filtering. Give people a chance, but if they don’t improve, move on to the next applicant.

✅ Share your budget

To truly provide the best solution, a designer needs to know they have an accurate look at your price. This helps them determine what’s possible. It will allow them to develop a custom solution that’s best for your situation. Don’t hide it!

And that’s it! I hope this guide helps you accomplish amazing things with your hires. If you have a job or project you need help with make sure you check out Folyo, it’ll save you a ton of time and headaches.

And that’s it, you’re done!

Send me your web designer job description if you want help tailoring it further. I’m happy to help.

inspiring-ux-designer-portfolio-examples
UX Designer Portfolios
Photo by Erwan Hesry

Portfolio can be instrumental in your career as a UX designer. Good UX portfolio by itself will not get you hired, but it will definitely open many doors and interview opportunities.

There is a lot you can learn from looking at portfolios of experienced UX designers. It is not just about presenting your work and yourself as a designer. You can get insights into design process of experienced designers, as well as get a feel for a wide range of projects UX designers get to work on.

BTW, if you are just getting started in UX and need help in building your UX portfolio, I highly encourage you to sign up for my free newsletter.

You might be tempted to compare your work with what you see in the portfolios of established UX designers. Don’t do that. If you do, make sure you are looking up to what they have done, and not looking down at what you’ve done. Remember, they’ve been practicing their craft for years. If you are just starting out in UX design you are not competing with these designers in any way. These designer would apply and get hired for senior or consulting gigs, whereas you might be happy with a position of an intern or a junior designer. Also keep in mind that the work they show in the portfolio is the best of the best they have done.

Great examples of UX designer portfolios

It is really difficult to pick and choose the best UX design portfolios, so the list below comes in no particular order. My main goal is to showcase variety of presentation styles, and present a range of portfolios for your inspiration.

I said it once, but I’d like to say it again, these are portfolios of established and prominent UX designers, so don’t be intimidated by the quality of work and presentation. This is a level that many designers aspire to achieve. Use these examples as a source of inspiration and as something you can look up to and learn from.


Liz Wells

Text based homepage of Liz’s UX portfolio

Liz Wells is a user experience designer based in Brooklyn, New York. She worked with Google, Spotify, Twitter, Nike, Facebook and many others. A notable feature of her portfolio is a text only home page that resembles a resume. It is very clean and well laid out. It prominently lists some of the projects she’s worked on. One thing that I don’t particularly like is images that popup on hovers over the project names. They seem to be not necessary and detract from simple and powerful text-only design.

Case Studies include text and rich media like photos and videos

In contrast to the home page the case studies are full of large images and videos with some (but not much text). They present context for the projects and tell engaging stories.


Tobias van Schneider

Tobias’s portfolio uses bold text and large images

Tobias served as art director & lead product designer at Spotify. Now co-founder of Semplice — a portfolio building platform for designers.

His home page is almost a complete opposite of Liz’s: loads of images, and large (sometimes too large for my taste), bold typeface.

Case studies are presented right on the home page of the portfolio

Note that Tobias uses the main page to showcase his work, and the menu links to other elements including his personal projects. He doesn’t include much of the process and behind-the-scenes and chooses to focus on the strong visuals of the end product.


Bethany Heck

Somewhat chaotic display of links that lead into neatly designed project pages

Bethany Heck is a multi-disciplinary designer who worked as Head of Design at Medium, Executive Design Director at Vox Media. She also worked at Microsoft and IBM.

Her home page looks somewhat quirky. It lists projects she’s been working on and links into neatly presented case studies for a number of high profile projects.

An example of the case study from Beth’s portoflio

Simon Pan

Simon’s home page is simple, but case studies are elaborate

Simon’s portfolio is referenced on nearly every single “UX Portfolios” list out there and for a good reason. His case studies include projects for Uber and Amazon, which are very well written and presented.

A section from Uber’s case study

Michael Evensen

Michael’s home page presents the case study of SoundCloud iOS app

Michael used to work as the Lead Product Designer for SoundCloud’s Mobile team. What is notable about his portfolio is that it really consists of a single case study (presented right on the home page) and rather concise about me page. The case study itself is an in-depth look at SoundCloud’s iOS app redesign. 

Ed Chao

Clean and minimal design is Ed’s staple

Ed is a Human Interface Designer at Apple. His portfolio showcases work he has done for Dropbox as well as some personal projects. Ed’s portfolio has a very minimal design. In fact Ed doesn’t even include About Me page.

Dropbox for Windows case study

Note that his case studies for Dropbox are focused on Interface design. It should give you a good idea for how involving Interface design can be.


Karolis Kosas

Karolis’s home page is simple and clean

Karolis Kosas is a product designer at Stripe. His portfolio includes a number of very well presented case studies for a number of project (including as self-initiated ones).

Case study for CUJO.

Ales Nesetril

Ales uses bold text to introduce himself right on the home page

Ales Nesetril is a product designer from Prague, Czech Republic. One notable feature of Ales’s portfolio is a large collection of self-initiated projects.

Ales’s portfolio includes a good number of self-initiated projects

Other UX designer portfolio examples

Below is a list of other UX design portfolios. They are by no means inferior to the ones listed above. I could write a paragraph about each one, but there would be way too many words for me to write and for you to read. Let portfolios speak for themselves!

This list of UX designer portfolios is updated regularly to showcase a range of UX design portfolio examples for your inspiration!

Please send me links to other UX designer portfolios and I will add them to the list!

More on UX design portfolios

As I was looking for examples of UX design portfolios I came across several articles that I found very good. Hope you find them helpful too:

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