don?t-hire-dribbblish-designers

Picture the scene:

You’re a Creative Director looking to hire a new designer. You’ve found two potentials who have both created designs for a weather app. Based on the following designs, which one do you hire?

Weather examples



Without a doubt, the designer on the right.

Why? Because there is absolutely nothing about Design A that indicates how you should use the app and the information architecture is all off; our attention is drawn to the blue chart, but it’s not clear what it actually means. While Design B is a little plain, the basis for a useful, intuitive design is clearly there.

Yep, it’s another article laying into “dribbblish design” — the growing trend promoting beautiful but pointless design. While the design community has been very vocal about the problems of pursuing form at the expense of function, we still see so many portfolios studded with the stuff — in a recent design recruitment round, about 70% of our applicants took a dribbblish approach to showcase their life’s work.

A ton of young designers clearly believe this is the right way to pedal their talent, and they probably keep doing so because it actually leads to a hire. But we need to discourage this two-dimensional treatment of design — and as recruiters, we have a huge responsibility to curb its influence.

A broken concept

Let’s be clear — we mean nothing bad against the founding purpose of Dribbble or Behance platforms. They both aim to help top designers hone their skills through meaningful critique of each other’s work in a private online space. All very noble.

It’s just their concept has become completely bastardized. The “invite only” quality control has essentially failed, transforming the platform into an ego-centric exhibition of design on steroids. Instead of sharing insights on design problem solving, users upload “visual porn” — taking individual designs out of context to pimp up their aesthetic presentation.

It’s effectively reduced the assessment of “good design” to a popularity contest. Designers chase likes and follows to boost their rankings, and comment sections have become a hunting ground for reciprocal endorsement, instead of a space for debate and critique.

It’s a chronic case of surface over substance, and many designs don’t even seem to be grounded by a real use case or problem. Far from being a platform to analyze useful, innovative product design, it’s become a playground to promote pixel-perfect digital concept art. And sadly, this misconception of design is fast becoming the new standard in the competition for new work.

The dribbblization of portfolios

But what exactly is dangerous about all this? Surely a dribbblization approach to portfolios helps candidates show you all their skills? What’s the shame in indulging in technique?

Simply put, dribbbilization fundamentally misunderstands the point and purpose of design. While drawing visually nice concepts is a good way for a designer to train their hand, it doesn’t say anything about their actual design brain. At best, they come across as an egotist; at worst, an amateur with no real grasp of design.

We need to remember that design exists to solve real problems. It’s what makes products useful; a design doesn’t actually become a design until it meets a consumer need.

Designers need to be able to understand what their users are trying to achieve and provide the most useful and easy route to help them achieve it. So without a tangible product behind their work, your design candidates aren’t really engaged in design at all.

This is what portfolio should be showing usreal designs. We need to know that our candidates understand and design to solve real problems (beyond their own sense of grandeur).

Hire for promise, not polish

As recruiters, we need to focus on the ideas behind the final image. You need some basic indication of how your candidate ended up with their final design. Has the designer explained their thought process? Is the business problem behind the design clear?

Always ask for evidence of how they approached the problem, how they considered the business ecosystem surrounding it and how they iterated their design.

For us at Memory, a fresh, interesting approach to a problem will always beat beautiful pixels. Your visual designs don’t have to be brilliant, but your thinking does. That’s not to say aesthetics aren’t important; it’s just for us form should always follow function, and function itself needs to have the courage to experiment.

For inspiration, take a look at these examples:

  • This app has a pretty basic design, but contains a ton of awesome new ideas. It’s brilliant design work in its purest form.

brickfinder-app

  • Likewise, this app is pretty plain, but the interaction design is really thoughtful:

  • And take a look at this website — they’ve presented their “future living” concept so interestingly that you only half-way through do you realize you’re answering survey questions:

one-shared-house

kontrapunkt’s-type-designers-talks-us-through-its-design-for-copenhagen’s-in-train-displays

Designing bespoke and standardised visual systems for the public which serve hundreds of thousands daily commuters every day is an incredibly exciting brief to receive as a designer. For the Copenhagen Metro’s Cityringen, a 17-station loop line for the Danish capital that opened on 29 September this year, Kontrapunkt’s two heads of type design, Torsten Lindsø Andersen and Rasmus Michaëlis, were tasked with designing one key visual element for the line: a custom dot typeface for the electronic in-train displays.

The pair started working together after meeting at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in 2014. While running a small studio called ABC for the following three years, the two frequently collaborated on custom typeface designs alongside Kontrapunk and its founder Bo Linnemann, who eventually, invited the duo to join the company, later becoming joint heads of type design. “We only do bespoke type design, so on a practical level, this means that we are always designing for and together with others,” the pair tells It’s Nice That. “A bespoke typeface is the perfect polyglot. It can cross borders and bridge cultures. It speaks multiple languages, but its voice and personality stay the same.”

The in-train displays aren’t Kontrapunkt’s first involvement with the Cityringen – it was also involved with redesigning the service map to fit seamlessly with existing lines as well as the signage in the new line. However, Torsten and Rasmus was given the unique challenge of designing for the large by only using the small. “Typically, when we draw letters, we work with a vertical grid height of at least 1000 units. In this case, we only had 24!” they explain.

The roots for the typeface came as early as the original plans for the metro – starting the design seven years ago while the tunnels were being dug and the stations still under construction. For the original identity of Copenhagen’s initial metro lines, a 14-dot version of the highly legible sans serif Frutiger was developed but never used, and part of Torsten and Rasmus’ challenge was to update it for the new trains’ 16-dot displays while solving the shortcomings of the old design.

There were several technical aspects of the brief that the designers had to fulfil. Firstly, the font had to fill a 24-by-192 LED dot matrix display, secondly, it had to be an interpretation of Frutiger Bold that’s also used for the physical signs of the Metro while also fitting “Poul Henningsens Plads,” (the longest station name on the line) without ticker-text. “When you design letters on such a low-resolution grid you quickly realise how difficult it is to draw curvatures and angled strokes,” Torsten and Rasmus explain. “Take the lowercase ‘k’ for example – having two diagonal strokes within the x-height is not easy to get pretty. Either it becomes too heavy, too light, or too long.”

These specific technical challenges pushed them to think about typefaces in a different way, utilising techniques and concepts that they wouldn’t have focused on when designing a standard typeface. “We went to great effort to keep the counters as open as possible as well as ensuring a harmonic stroke-width and stem-width and by all means, avoid what we call ‘orphan LEDs’,” the designers say. Part of the goal is to create the most distinctive shape that does not muddle the LEDs at a distance, “especially when glow or light diffusion is a factor as well.”

The pair, extremely motivated by the democratisation of type design, are “on a never-ending quest to fight typographic aesthetic monoculture.” What this means, of course, is that typeface design should never be boring, too self-referential and insular. Having about three typeface projects ongoing simultaneously at Kontrapunkt, the two designers are not shy at all in picking new challenges like this typeface brief for Copenhagen’s Cityringen and public.

4-best-seo-tools-for-web-designers

There’s a lot of overlap between SEO tools, which is why it can be so difficult figuring out which is the best to use. To simplify things, I’ve selected the 4 SEO tools that will seamlessly integrate with your design workflow and won’t break your budget.

You already have a ton of tools in your web design toolbox which is why I’m reluctant to write this post the way I would for copywriters and SEO pros. Why? Well, because there are literally dozens of SEO tools you could add to your workflow. Unless you’re promising clients that their websites will go to #1 in search results for every keyword they want to win, there’s no reason to add that kind of complexity to your life.

That said, you can’t completely ignore SEO. No one is going to shell out money for a web hosting plan, domain name, and professional web design services and not expect results in return. But before your client’s website can start capturing leads and sales, it needs organic search traffic — which is why you’ll need some SEO tools and strategies to help you out.

Today, I’m going to introduce you to the best SEO tools for web designers.

Moz: The Best Premium SEO Tool

There’s a lot of really good competition out there when it comes to premium SEO tools, but Moz is the clear winner as far as web designers are concerned.

Moz - one of the best SEO Tools for web designers

One of the things that’s great about using Moz for SEO is that it comes with a free toolbox. Whether you need an introduction to search engine optimization or simply want to give a premium SEO tool to try, the toolbox will do the trick.

With free Moz tools, you can do things like:

  • Research possible keywords;
  • Analyze the rankability of your domain;
  • Review your current keywords (regular and branded);
  • See if you’ve earned any featured snippets, backlinks, and more;
  • Snoop on the competition’s website and ranking keywords.

Of course, if you make the upgrade to Moz Pro, you gain access to more powerful SEO tools, like:

  • Technical website audits;
  • Backlink analysis;
  • Missing keyword opportunities;
  • Local SEO strategies;
  • SERP rankings for desktop, mobile, and local.

And it’s all laid out in an intuitive dashboard.

A Word About the Competition

Mangools, Ahrefs, and SEMrush are all fantastic options if you’re trying to build higher-ranking websites and to scale up your SEO offering for clients. However, these are all truly premium solutions, so unless you’re prepared to use every feature these pay-to-play tools offer, it’s probably not worth it to open your wallet for them.

Ubersuggest: The Best Free SEO Tool

You’re probably wondering if any of the leading SEO tools are available for free. There are a few, but Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is by far the best of the litter.

Ubersuggest

What’s really nice about this tool is that, although it’s simple enough to use, you can put it to work for you in a number of ways.

For example, you can use the site audit tool to review current clients’ websites. If you’re looking for a conversation starter, this could be your ticket in. You’ll have insights on how well or poorly their website has done in terms of SEO, get suggestions on how to improve, and even be able to see their site speed while you’re at it.

You could also use this tool for basic keyword research and recommendations, which would make it especially helpful in earlier planning stages. Or take it to the next level and assess what’s going on in your clients’ competitive markets.

Yoast: The Best WordPress SEO Tool

For those of you that design websites using WordPress, Yoast is a must-have SEO plugin.

Yoast Analysis Results

Although Yoast doesn’t help with keyword planning or backlink tracking, it allows web designers and writers to improve their search engine optimization page by page.

  • It allows you to assign a focus keyword, title tag, and meta description to each post or page;
  • It lets you preview your Google search snippet on desktop and mobile to make sure everything fits and a featured image is present;
  • It scores your page on how well it’s optimized around your keyword;
  • It scores your page on other SEO factors like text length, image alt attributes, internal links, and so on;
  • It scores your page on readability as well.

There’s more you can do with Yoast as a web designer. You can use it to generate sitemaps, create custom Open Graph and Twitter Card tags, and even automate how your site’s search metadata is written.

Google Search Console: The Best Analytics SEO Tool

You’re already using Google Analytics to review key website metrics as well as to make data-informed decisions for future design improvements. But did you know you can add Google Search Console data to your Google Analytics dashboard, too?

Google Analytics

From here, you can pull data on:

  • Landing page traffic and performance;
  • Geo-specific data;
  • Device-specific data;
  • Search queries and click-through rates.

However, Google Analytics falls short in providing its users with all of the search-specific data it tracks on the web, which is why you should add Google Search Console to your list of SEO tools.

Google Search Console Dashboard

From this dashboard, you can:

  • Submit your XML sitemaps to Google;
  • Check for mobile usability and errors;
  • Quickly scan for security or speed issues (speed is currently in beta);
  • Review page-specific impressions, rankings, and click-throughs;
  • Track internal links, backlinks, top linking websites, as well as the text they’re using to link back to you.

Even though this tool won’t necessarily help you plan your search optimization strategy, it’s a good place to go when you want to troubleshoot why your hard work isn’t paying off.

Other SEO Tools Web Designers Should Be Using

There’s more to SEO than just link building and keyword optimization. Google looks for other trust and authority signals, too, when determining the rank of a website. And, as a web designer, you’re in the best position to handle this side of SEO.

Here are some of the SEO tools you should be using in addition to the ones above:

  • SSL Certificate: If a website is on HTTP, that’s an automatic penalty. So, always make sure your websites have an SSL certificate installed;
  • Speedy Hosting: Site speed is a huge deal in the scheme of things — and it starts with the quality of your web hosting plan and provider. When it makes sense to do so, power up your hosting with a CDN and caching plugin;
  • Image Compression Tool: For all their worth, images can cause a lot of grief for web designers. By running each image through a compression tool like TinyJPG you can keep their size from shrinking your website’s ranking.

And, of course, make sure you’re always using high-quality design tools and adhering to mobile-first standards. When a website looks outdated, runs poorly, and isn’t properly managed, Google and your visitors are sure to take notice.

Featured image via Unsplash.

10-best-ui-kits-for-web-designers

A good UI kit can make your life as a designer so much easier. They streamline your design process, save you time, and help ensure your designs look amazing and perform incredibly. With Webflow, you can use UI kits to quickly design and build full websites — eliminating the need for design tools like Figma or Sketch.

We’ve selected 10 beautiful UI kits designed by the Webflow community to help you take your projects to the next level. Each UI kit template on this list is CMS-ready. This means you can design, add your content, and launch your site in (almost) no time!

1. Quicksmart

quicksmart

Whether you’re designing for a big tech company, a small startup, or a mobile app, Quicksmart is the perfect UI kit template. It offers a huge selection of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and app-focused landing pages, as well as a robust library of ready-to-use interface kits and components.

The vast array of flexible UI elements included in this kit are all designed to fit seamlessly together, no matter where you decide to place them on your site. Quicksmart makes it really simple to tweak the colors of your site. Thanks to its handy use of global color swatches, you can easily experiment with different looks, or apply your brand’s unique colors.

One amazing feature of this UI kit is its multi-use legal page for your terms of service or privacy policy. As online users become more aware of how their data is collected, it’s important for all websites to have this.

2. Forest

forest ui kit

The Forest component library is a fast and convenient way to build and launch websites in Webflow. This UI kit is perfect for beginners and professional designers alike. The component-based approach makes it simple to use all of the kit’s pre-built UI elements. Forest is an excellent UI kit to bring your wireframes to life, and quickly create mockups. This means that you can share designs and prototypes with clients and teams in a matter of hours rather than days.

If you’re looking for a wide range of cloneable components and fast, the Forest component library is for you. It contains over 300 beautifully designed components that work well together in any environment, and can integrate seamlessly with your existing website. Don’t believe us? Preview it in the Designer.

3. Timber

timber template

Elegant and simple, the Timber UI kit is a flexible, component-based template — perfect for your next design project. With a focus on growth and lead generation, Timber is the perfect UI kit for startups or fast-growing companies. With a variety of effective CTAs and well designed micro-interactions, each element in Timber works hard to ensure that the visitor remains engaged with your site.

As we all know by now, landing page design can have a huge effect on conversion rates. Timber contains a number of strong inner pages that can be customized and used as compelling landing pages for your online brand. Timber also allows you to integrate your own brand color palette easily.

4. Ollie

ollie template

Ollie provides you with everything you need to design a stylish website. This UI kit consists of an assortment of building blocks that you can control and apply as you wish — allowing you to build a polished website fast. You can also create your own, unique pages from modular UI templates.

ollie pricing pages

Ollie packs in a huge range of UI elements — multiple navigation and footer options, a full suite of inner pages, landing pages, different blog layouts, checkboxes, icons, and more. One of the strongest features of this UI kit is the variety of pricing package elements that it offers — ideal for any company selling a service online.

5. Fortis

fortis template

With 5 pre-made demo designs, Fortis is the ultimate UI design kit for startups, SaaS companies, or mobile apps. Packed with multiple elements and symbols, Fortis offers a great start for your next project.

Fortis is an extremely comprehensive UI kit. It offers a massive range of editable UI components and elements — all aimed at making your life easier when designing websites. All elements can be dropped within your preferred grid system. With 5 different homepages and the option to select between different navigation types, you’re able to mix and match what works best for your web design.

fortis homepage

A UI kit like Fortis also speeds up the entire design process. You can use Webflow to prototype, rather than using Figma or Sketch, and get designs out to clients insanely fast. Fortis contains lots of elements that have become standard for SaaS websites. This includes clear, informative pricing plan pages and interactive growth metrics.

6. Designio 

designio

Designio is a fresh and highly adaptable ecommerce UI kit with some incredible features. It contains over 250 components, 4 home pages, 27 inner pages, 3 shop pages, and a slick mega-menu.

Each shop design offers different categorization options, which is fantastic because you can choose the user interface that will best suit your products and your users. If you use the Designio UI kit, there’s no chance of you having a boring UX or UI — all elements are designed to work perfectly with one another.

Designio also has a strong focus on seamless interactions — something that’s time-consuming to create in JavaScript. This adds to the kit’s fantastic UX. Having a strong and intuitive UI on your ecommerce website will lead to higher sales and happy customers.

7. Floria 

floria

Floria is a simple yet elegant UI kit, suitable for any business or agency website design. With Floria, you can create a stylish website, showcase your favorite projects, and quickly add new blog posts. Filled with useful components, this kit ensures that you can design a unique website, tailored perfectly for your needs.

Floria can also provide a perfect starting point for a new blog. With 6 terrific homepage options, as well as a variety of different blog grid layouts, you’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding which elements and components you want to use on your new site.

floria homepage

The blog pages’ micro-interactions and categorization elements help ensure fantastic UI design, meaning that your site will hold the attention of your visitors and urge them to take action. This UI kit also includes sleek social media integrations, so it’s easy for your  readers to share and discuss your blog content online.

8. IndieGo

indiego template

IndieGo is a beautifully designed, and of course, fully responsive web UI kit template. It’s perfect for startups or SMB’s (small and medium-sized businesses) focused on growth and lead generation. The seamless hover animations and clear, yet unobtrusive, calls to action are perfect for your digital-native audience.

You can easily create a stunning Webflow website from IndieGo’s range of landing pages, or mix and match elements from its comprehensive list of UI components to create your own custom website design. Whatever you choose, IndieGo is the perfect starting point for your next online project.

One of our favorite aspects of IndieGo is the fact that it comes with a style guide. This helps you lay the groundwork for your brand messaging online — ensuring a cohesive and seamless user experience all across your new site, without manually coding CSS!

9. Zense

zense template

Zense UI kit is a powerful Webflow UI kit, made specifically for design agencies and freelancers to whom time is of the essence. This template allows you to focus more on designing your content strategy while building less, bringing your web design skills to the next level.

With Zense’s beautifully pre-built elements, designing a site with this web UI kit is literally as easy as dragging and dropping. You can create a great-looking and hard-working site just by adding your own imagery and brand palette to this template. By customizing further, you can integrate your own design system and create something truly unique.

Our favorite elements from this kit include the unique navigation and mouse hover effects that allow you to feature your most impressive projects.

10. Fortun

fortun template

Fortun is a really playful and versatile ecommerce UI kit that emphasizes creativity, efficiency and diversity. The sheer number of different elements and components it contains is pretty amazing — 200 components, 4 agency pages, 2 store pages, and 27 inner pages. It also has a fantastic standard color scheme. 

This UI kit will allow you to create a unique, creative, and enjoyable UI for each and every one of your website visitors. It also features some of the best animations of any kit on this list — including awesome parallax scroll effects as well as tiny effects such as the scroll prompt hover state, a sticky contact sidebar, as well as countless other gems.

The 2 different store pages give you lots of flexibility, and allow you to use the most effective elements for your products. Store 1 uses a more content-based approach, while Store 2 takes more of a featured product approach.

The web design possibilities are endless

If you want to check out more of our amazing UI kits and website templates, check out our template marketplace. There you can find some free UI kits and templates as well as our premium templates.

Also, checkout our post about free cloneable wireframe kits from the Webflow showcase. Get prototyping and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Early Registration Happy Hour provided by Accel

What your conference ticket does include is an early registration happy hour on Tuesday, November 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.! Come pick up your badge and enjoy the open bar and light bites. Thank you to Accel for sponsoring this happy hour! 

Accessibility 

We’ve tried to make No Code Conf as accessible and comfortable as possible for all attendees. We’ll have a desk ready to answer questions and help out on-site, so please ask them about:

  • Aid for sensory impairments
  • ASL interpretation and closed captioning (and reserved seating for viewing)
  • Nursing room
  • Gender-neutral restrooms
  • Non-alcoholic options at all social activities
  • Sober meetup space
  • Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free catering options with clearly labeled ingredients
  • Pronoun stickers for your badge
  • Bike storage inside the venue
  • Our scholarship program — thank you to FlowPros and MemberStack for sponsoring 10 tickets each!
  • Break Buddies for solo attendees looking for someone to chat with on breaks

We’re also covering child care costs through UrbanSitter. If you’d like to arrange this, please email events@webflow.com by November 7.

No code–inspired art installations

We are especially excited to see no code brought to life in our art installations by Nine & Eye. We can’t give away too much, but we can suggest you come ready to snap some photos and share your #nocodeconf experience. 

Demo Theater

Announced last week, this high-energy mini-stage will feature a series of 10–15 minute talks that won’t be recorded. Don’t miss hearing from:

  • Makerpad
  • Typeform
  • Edgar Allen
  • Adalo
  • HelloSign
  • Larkin Street Youth Services
  • Lil’ ole us

Plus, special yet-to-be-announced screenings that pair perfectly with buttery popcorn. 

Ask Webflow booth and Community Corner

Have questions about Webflow? Stop by the Ask Webflow booth and Community Corner during any of the breaks and talk to Webflow experts.

Hangout lounges

Around the venue, you’ll find lounges with seats and tables for taking a break, mingling, or recharging — literally and figuratively! 

  • Hangout lounge provided by Makerpad. Stop by and learn how to build anything, without code.
  • Larkin Street Youth Services lounge. We’re donating $65k to support Larkin Street Youth Service’s mission of ending youth homelessness. And we’ll match all attendee donations on-site, up to $10k. Chat with a representative in their lounge to learn more. 
  • Charging stations to power back up.
  • Introvert Sanctuary for those who need a break from … humans … or just need to de-stress.

No Code Cafe

No conference experience is complete without the caffeination station. Stop by our cafe for your morning (afternoon, evening) cup (or three). 

If you’re curious about the event, get your ticket before we sell out.

Thanks again to our sponsors

no code conf partners



two-top-designers-debate-the-value-of-‘design-thinking’

First popularized by Ideo in the 1990s, design thinking has since become ubiquitous in the business world but not everybody’s a fan. Pentagram partner Natasha Jen and Adobe principal designer Khoi Vinh discuss the virtues and pitfalls of the multistep creative problem-solving methodology.

Natasha Jen: The idea of an operational process, without a philosophy or values, without a specific stance on how to look at the world, is highly problematic because every groundbreaking design has a philosophy behind it, good or bad.

Khoi Vinh: I’m certainly not at the top of the list of defenders of design thinking as a foolproof way of solving problems, but design thinking as a practice has been successful for companies that traditionally don’t have design in their DNA.

NJ: Design thinking avoids the idea of quality, of opinions, of an attitude onto the world. To me, those things are precisely what design is really about. Without design philosophy, products are just products, data just data, algorithms just algorithms.

KV: I don’t see having a value system and pursuing design thinking as mutually exclusive. It’s a way of organizing resources and time and people, and making sure they’re focused on the right things at the right time.

NJ: I think it creates a terrible


illusion. It’s the illusion that once you deploy this operationalized process, you can design. You can’t. Talk to people! Do research! We’ve been doing that for centuries across design disciplines.

KV: Design thinking is quite constructive because what you’re doing is taking values from the act of understanding what it is your users need. That’s a powerful value a lot of companies have not had and are not accustomed to infusing into their processes.

A version of this article appeared in the November 2019 issue of Fast Company magazine.

wordpress-designers-on-dribbble-worth-following

Biljana Jovanovic

Want to give your website a boost and transform its visual identity? Need a helping hand that will make your journey to the authentic website all fun and games? Start at Dribbble. Although there are many great online resources with free vector illustrations and free stock photos, you won’t get far if you are creating your website from scratch, with zero design knowledge. This is where Dribbble enters the scene. This famous platform is a way to go for everyone who wants to find and showcase creative work. In other words, Dribbble is a perfect place to share portfolio and get noticed by both designer experts and potential clients. If you’re looking for talented individuals or famous design studios that can help you with your new website’s look or any other design matter, Dribbble is the right starting point. From animation, illustration, print and product design, to typography and web design, this website features all the design types and elements you might need. If you are particularly interested in WordPress, we have a real treat for you: a curated list of top 8 WordPress designers on Dribbble! The order is random, so your perfect candidate may be at the bottom of our list. So, make sure you read everything from top to bottom.

Milica Andjelkovic

Milica is a designer of all shapes and forms, but her work is primarily focused on web design. Versatile and professional, her Dribbble work selection covers everything from the portfolio, and architecture, to travel, and yoga niche. What makes Milica’s design style characteristics is the mixture of great color combinations and amazing interactive animations. Have a look at Sekko for example. The perfect combination of pastel colors and progressive typography makes each homepage of this theme a little piece of art. Another relevant sample is Mixtape. Thanks to vibrant colors this eye-catching template particularly made for musicians is great for a lively presentation of any other kind.

Ishtiaq Khan Parag

As a product designer at Elegant Themes, this Bangladesh based visual guru, definitely knows how to stand out from the crowd. The facts he works for the creators of the most-widely used premium WordPress theme, says enough. With 7k followers on Dribbble and a portfolio that attract attention, Ishtiag is one of the designers you can’t ignore. Take Art Gallery template he created for Divi Theme as an example. This modern, elegant layout crafted in a minimal manner is almost a paradigm for everyone who wants that perfect balance of simplicity and bold details. In a similar style he also designed Elachii Landing Page. Gentle colors and tiny details are what make this template an absolute winner. As Ishtiag always goes one step ahead, his work is a proven inspiration resource for many design enthusiasts.

Stevan Ivic

This talented design professional from Qode Interactive demonstrated great attention to detail in his works. Specialized in graphic design, illustration and logo design, Stevan creates lovely illustrations nobody can ignore. Here you can check out Bolge, all-in-one portfolio theme with dominant navy, gentle pink and white colors. Meticulously crafted, this professional template is great for any creative niche – from marketing and SEO agencies, to creative design studios and branding companies. Also, we recommend you to check out Krafti, a stylish theme made for anyone who creates arts and crafts. Nice colors and gentle shapes of this theme will make you love Stevan’s work.

JayJay

JayJay is another professional web designer with a great reputation on Dribbble. His flawless works are designed to perfectly fit your website. Besides websites, this talented artist also covers mobile apps, project management dashboards and much more. The versatility of his work and eye for detail are probably the reason behind his amazing list of clients. JayJay has collaborated with some of the leading global brands so it’s not surprising many designers follow him to get inspired. Ocolus sums up his style perfectly. Well-balanced elements and carefully chosen colors are the reasons JayJay is so well accepted at Dribbble.

Jelisaveta Stosic

Jelisaveta is another UX designer that made web designer her favorite playground. Her great graphic design skills and strong visual sense is visible in all the works she shared on Dribbble. Let’s take a closer look at Mintus, a bright, dazzling theme for creatives. As its name suggests, this theme brings a lot of mint elements and design details. Another example that shows Jelisaveta’s talents is Dor. Made for architects, this elegant theme is a great choice for everyone who prefers a simple, minimalistic design style. Dor also proves that less is definitely more.

Marina Pavlovic

Marina is UI/UX designers with over 5 years of experience in creating beautiful WordPress themes. Her contemporary, progressive style always seems to surprise with little, eye-catching details. Also, Marina is one of the contributors to Bridge, a Theme Forest creative bestseller. If you fancy a modern website look and feel, you should definitely check out other works of this designer. For instance, BoostUp – SEO Marketing Agency Theme, which is a great example of a sophisticated, yet vibrant business fashion. On the other hand, for all sweets lovers Marina crafted Panaderia, a delicious theme for every bakery and pastry shop. This beautifully designed theme has tons of lovely templates, all with balanced colors and trendy typography.

Beatris Veres

Based in Romania, but open to collaborating with clients worldwide, Beatris is a member of INK9 Creative Agency. Her rich colors and their amazing combinations, show all the power of this visual artist. Although you can see different aspects of Beatris’ work on Dribbble, this time we want to shed some light on the works she did for Bad Jokes and Dance Festival. If you like simple, yet effective forms and bright colors with dominant red, yellow, purple and white, the first example is for you. On the other side, Dance festival layout demonstrates a strong sense of mixing shapes, images and bold typography.

Mateusz Madura

Mateusz is specialized in creating websites, mobile applications and branding in general. His sophisticated style and talent for bringing different design forms under one aesthetic umbrella, never stops to surprise. Although Mateusz shares multiuse templates, ideal for different niches, each concept displayed on Dribbble is one, independent story. Every work example this designer shared is well-thought-out, authentic and ready to shine. However, our favorites are Seabedee and VidyArk – both made to help your WordPress site bloom.

Dribbble is a special place for the creative community with an endless amount of amazing design works. It’s also a perfect starting point for everyone looking for talented freelancers for part-time or full-time projects. We hope this list got you inspired or helped you find the right designer for hire. Follow us for more as we’ll keep on updating it with fresh authors.

We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!

the-league-of-evil-designers

Linnéa Strid

“So, you want to join the league of evil designers? Come in, sit down. Is the chair uncomfortable? Good. Let’s go through your application.

Ah, 2 years in online casinos? Not bad. Nice touch with the ol’ button switcharoo for users trying to cancel a subscription service! And what else… Non-consensual microphone activation for targeted ads? Very impressive. You’ll fit right in!

When can you start? We need all the help we can get with mass collecting personal data. Well, that, and removing all visual indications that something is interactive. Isn’t it the best when people get all confused and frustrated? Oh by the way, we get together on Saturdays to watch them fail.”

Over the last few years, we’ve become disillusioned with services we once touted as revolutionary.

Like French peasants watching Robespierre’s rise to power, we realised that the movement that gave us so much freedom also spawned terrible oppressors. Social media platforms became battlegrounds for international warfare. We realised we were trading intimate secrets for cat GIFs, memes, and ‘what-food-are-you’ quizzes. Unrelenting ads stalked us across digital plains. The internet fell from innocence into a dirty and complex reality.

For those of us who work with creating things for this brave new world, it’s been a time of introspection. Who are we, and what was our role in this mess? And many of us answered:

“Must be all those evil designers, not me.“

It’s convenient to imagine that there is some great evil conspiracy out there, orchestrating sinister plans for world domination. Shifting blame is easy.

The truth is hard. The truth is that we’re all part of the problem.

Every single one of us could easily make a decision that ruins thousands of people’s lives.

Hanlon’s razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

This applies to design as much as any other subject. A designer’s job is to consider many sides of the same scenario, but this becomes more difficult as the number of scenarios grow. Even the best of us make terrible decisions because we forget, don’t understand, or aren’t aware of the consequences. This is especially true when we’re designing for products at a massive scale, with a diverse set of users.

For instance, a straight designer may not consider how group privacy settings could involuntarily out a user’s sexual preferences 🔗. A European designer might forget that the concept of “first and last name” is different depending on countries and cultures 🔗. A designer on the latest iPhone may insist on high quality images, unintentionally making surfing the web unaffordable and difficult for those with expensive data plans. 🔗.

These “edge cases” are where we risk doing the most damage. While affecting just a few people is bad enough, as Mike Monteiro put it, when 1% of your user base means 20 million humans — missing to address them or turning a blind eye has significant and severe consequences for real people 🔗.

Additionally, large user bases can have contradictory realities, which forces you as a designer to make a choice. For example, there isn’t a neutral answer to the question “How should the map of Israel be drawn?”.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Most of us believe in the companies we work at. We believe that it’s a good thing they exist, and they do good things for people. So when we are asked to work towards a goal like “more users should be more engaged on our product”, we do our best to make sure that happens. We look at the least engaged users and identify where they’re struggling. We set a metric we want to move by solving their problems, so that we can check if our solutions are effective. So far, so good right?

The trouble is, the things that really matter to humans — safety, happiness, belonging, and love — are almost impossible to measure. So, you operate on the assumption that the metric you choose (registration, engagement, retention) is a shorthand for those feelings. Your goal is a number, your problem becomes a number that should move, and your solutions move it. But sometimes we forget to question if it’s the right number, what it really means, and if it’s right to move it.

You want people to stay in touch with their friends, but should that mean getting them to spend more time on their phones?

You want your algorithms to help people find content they’ll engage with, but what if people are more likely to engage with content that makes them angry?

The bigger a company gets, the more specific these numbers get. Somewhere along the line you get a problem statement like “help more Chrome users log in to their browser”, and you arrive at a solution of automatically logging people in when they confirm their details for another Google service. There’s no doubt that a lot of good intentions went into thinking through this problem and its solution. The metrics probably looked great, but the numbers couldn’t show how users saw this as an unforgivable breach of trust. 🔗

It’s easy to be swept up by the narrative that these things are orchestrated by some evil, genius, money-grabbing CEO. Sure, there are people who work on things that have clear ethical implications. 🔗 But to think they are the root of all bad design decisions lulls us into the belief that we’re in the clear. That as long as we are ethical humans working for companies we believe in, we are incapable of “doing evil”. That’s when we’re at the greatest risk of forgetting an edge case, relying too much on our metrics, not questioning whether we’re really doing the right thing. Of making an off-the-cuff call on something we consider minor, forgetting how many people interact with it. Yes, you should be worried. We should all be.

It turns out staying out of the league of evil designers is harder than getting in. How do we stay out of their ranks?

  • By being aware of your power to do harm to users. No matter how diligent or careful you are, there is still a chance you will fuck things up. Don’t stop paying attention once something is shipped, and act when you see that something turned out wrong
  • Asking “who’s missing?” when going through your solutions. Have you thought about users that are LGBTQ, differently abled, elderly, from different countries, politically exposed, a parent, economically challenged, in an abusive relationship, deeply religious, suffering from eating disorders, depressed, sick, injured etc etc? What’s the worst thing your design decision can do for them? Run your solutions by a diverse set of people. PR people and legal teams are some of the best at catching this type of thing
  • Making user emotions equally important as other metrics. Champion their importance. Find a way to make sure you’re achieving your emotion-related goals
  • Choosing the right emotions to focus on — Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are helpful here. For example, if you’re designing for ride sharing drivers — there’s no point focusing on pride and esteem if they can’t get enough rest or don’t feel safe
  • By always asking yourself “is this really the right thing to do?” even if you believe in the company you’re working for. Never stop asking yourself this. A goal that’s been passed down might’ve lost its initial user focus. Bring it up with superiors you trust to have your back. Chances are, pointing it out is not a spanner in the wheels of evil machinery, but a welcome sanity check

Does this sound like a lot of work? Well, I might just have an uncomfortable chair for you.

what?s-new-for-designers,-september-2019

While there aren’t as many new tools out there to play with right now, the ones available are a lot of fun. From tools to help speed up workflows and manage productivity, to creative gamification and funky typefaces, these new tools for designers will make you want to stick to your desk.

Here’s what new for designers this month.

Quark

Quark might not be exactly what you are thinking if you have roots in print design. This Quark, in beta, is designed to help you create projects in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with native app capabilities. The interface is made for rapid development and prototyping so you can create apps fast.

quark

Doka

Doka is an in-browser photo editor. You can perform all kinds of basic photos edits with this free tool, including cropping and resizing (even by aspect ratio). There are even a few simple filters. Get your photo ready to go and download it for use in projects. It’s one of the best simple photo editing tools out there.

swatch

Copy Palette

Copy Palette will help you create the most elegant monochromatic palettes. Pick a base color, number of variations and adjust the contrast on the way to making an SVG palette that you can use in Figma or Sketch with a simple copy and paste.

swatch

Summit Form

Summit Form is a drag and drop online form builder. Embed forms on your website or link through social media or email. It’s easy to use and there’s no coding if you want to build forms with ease. (This is a paid tool, but it is fairly low cost.)

swatch

SVG to JSX

SVG to JSX is a plugin that lets you copy SVG code as a react component for use in Figma. And it’s as simple as a right-click.

swatch

Tiler

Tiler combines small images to create a large image masterpiece. What’s different about this tool is mosaic squares aren’t just square. You can adjust shapes and size to suit your needs. Options include circles, lines, waves, cross stitches, legos, minecraft blocks, paper clips, letters, and more.

swatch

Can I Email?

Can I Email? Is one of those tools you don’t know how much you need it, until you use it. Fill in what you want to know into the “can I email” field at the top of the screen to see what elements are supported by which email clients.

swatch

UseAuth

UseAuth is a simple method of adding authentication to a React app. (Mostly because it takes care of everything for you.) It uses an AuthProvider component for configuration and shares states between components, including users, login forms, and redirects.

swatch

Fragments iOS Wireframe Kit

Fragments is an iOS wireframe kit for Sketch that you can use for mobile app development. It includes 370 layouts in 10 categories based on nested symbols and layer styles. Test it out with the free version – 25 ready-made screens – before committing to the full kit.

fragments

SVG Artista

SVG Artista simplifies the process of making an SVG animation. It was born out of the animation for animista.net. It animates the stroke and fill properties of SVG images with plain CSS and works best with paths, lines, circles, and polygon elements. This isn’t a full animation tool, but does work for quick elements.

swatch

The Most Dangerous Writing App

The Most Dangerous Writing App is a game that deletes your content if you get out of the flow, literally. Stop writing for more than 5 seconds and you lose all your progress. It sounds scary but is an interesting creative tool.

writing

Abstract Illustrations

Abstract Illustrations is a collection of one-line vectors that you can use in projects. It’s a trending style that you can find in a lot of projects right now.

abstract

Day/Night Ambient Animation

Have you ever wanted to change your page content or aesthetic based on light level? Using the Ambient Light API, Many Moore shows you how. It works using the #enable-generic-sensor-extra-classes flag in chrome://flags.

light

Chart.xkcd

Chart.xkcd is a tool that lets you create hand-drawn style charts. All you need to use it is the script included in your website with a SVG node to render the chart. This tool makes your charts quirky and anything but boring.

swatch

Friend NDA Generator

Friend NDA Generator or frieNDA is a silly little tool that creates a non-disclosure agreement between friends so you can really share secrets. Sadly, this might be a necessary tool in the digital age.

nda

Flying Pages

Flying Pages is a WordPress plugin that helps preload pages before a user clicks so they will seem to load faster and more instantly. It uses a tiny bit of JavaScript and preloads when the browser becomes idle. Plus, it’s designed not to crash due to too many preloads.

swatch

Terms and Conditions Generator

Terms and Conditions Generator can help you create a professional document with clauses and legalize for your website or app. Use it to help protect your interests and content. The tool is scalable for everything from simple blogs to e-commerce and works in 100-plus countries.

swatch

Camar

Camar is an art-deco style vintage typeface for display use. The font includes all uppercase characters, numbers, and punctuation with a funky feel.

swatch

Florista

Florista is an elegant script with clean lines and interesting optional tails. It includes upper- and lowercase letters.

swatch

Fox Cavalier

Fox Cavalier is a futuristic sans serif that can make for interesting display use. It contains only uppercase letterforms.

swatch

Leon Sans

Leon Sans is a cool geometric sans serif that’s entirely made from code. You can change weight dynamically or create custom font animations or effects in the Canva element of HTML 5. It’s a pretty cool example of creative coding.

leon

Sporter

Sporter evokes feelings of the fall (American) football season with cool block letters that resemble what you’d see on a jersey. It includes all uppercase letters.

swatch

designers?-job-satisfaction-is-plummeting.-but-why?

Are you worried about your job? How would you rate its stability, from “rock solid” to “I keep my things in a box”? What about happiness—how satisfied are you at work on a scale from “ready to quit” to “extremely satisfied”?

These are among the questions the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) posed to nearly 10,000 designers this year in its annual Design Census, which has tracked the evolution of the design industry through surveys of professionals each year since the inaugural census in 2016. The latest iteration of the census, which was released this week online, collected insights from 9,400 designers, who answered questions about everything from their salaries and benefits (10% make less than $25,000; 2% make more than $200,000) to their opinions about the future of the profession (hot: AI and machine learning. Not: parametric design). According to the results, design remains stubbornly homogeneous when it comes to diversity, though it does show some small signs of improvement; 71% of respondents reported themselves as white, compared to 73% in 2017.

[Image: courtesy AIGA]

The census also polls designers on job satisfaction and stability, and the third iteration of the report allowed its creators to compare how those responses have changed since 2016. Job satisfaction decreased quite a bit between 2017—when 82% felt satisfied—and 2019, when 65% said so. A twin metric that saw a sharp decline? Designers feeling stable in their jobs. Where 25% reported feeling “rock solid” in 2017, just 4% responded that way this year.

“The number of designers who feel worried about their job more than tripled from 2017, with the vast majority of designers saying they feel concerned about the stability of their current position,” says Liz Stinson, managing editor of AIGA’s Eye on Design, via email.

While the report hints at the threat of automation being a factor, Stinson points to another emerging influence on the profession: the acquisition of small design studios by megacompanies like Google and Facebook. After all, independent design studios like Universal and Map, which were both acquired by much larger companies in 2018, and Argodesign, which sold to a $22 billion tech company later in the same year, are being swallowed up by tech. Hannah Hoffman, a 30-year-old associate design director at Artefact, offered this quote to the census:

There are lots of great jobs out here, but they’re getting swallowed up by huge companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google. That’s disheartening because you feel like it’s only a matter of time before more shops close and will be swallowed up by these giants.

Stinson cautions that measuring job satisfaction is tricky: “We tried to contextualize it as best we could with data around why people are generally satisfied or unsatisfied.” For instance, people who reported feeling satisfied saw their big challenges at work as not being paid enough, being too busy, and not having benefits. The unsatisfied designers picked reasons like “I don’t respect the people I work with” and “My role is not valid.”

[Image: courtesy AIGA]

Could it be that designers who have more control over their work and clients are more satisfied than those who don’t have a choice about who they work with and why? Perhaps. “It’s interesting to me that small business owners are some of the happiest designers, despite working the most (60 hours),” Stinson adds. “It’s pure speculation, but I imagine that some of that enjoyment comes from autonomy and ownership over what they’re doing, creative freedom, etc.”

It’s too soon to say exactly how these changing metrics will transform the face of the profession. For now, the census authors are inviting designers to download the raw data and run their own analyses and visualizations. You can check it out here.