Designing for the Unexpected

As devices continue to diversify in dizzying ways, how can we make sure our work on the web stays as relevant as ever for the long haul? Cathy Dutton shares how practitioners must design for the unexpected by peering through the lenses of content-first and situation-first approaches. In doing so, you’ll ensure your designs are ready both for the paradigms of the present and the twists of the future, come what may.

Asynchronous Design Critique: Getting Feedback

Receiving feedback can be a stressful experience: will an open-ended question attract helpful guidance or harsh criticism? Erin “Folletto“ Casali has already taught us how to provide good feedback; now she shows how to have agency when receiving it. Follow her advice and you’ll be able to structure your feedback process to always generate an ego-friendly, focused, and above all actionably helpful review.

Asynchronous Design Critique: Giving Feedback

How do you know that you’re giving good feedback? Erin ‘Folletto’ Casali offers a tangible framework for delivering feedback through the lens of the design critique process in this first installment of a two-part series. While the examples are concrete and rooted firmly in the world of Design, the lessons are universally applicable: use them during performance reviews, code reviews, mentorship communications. The options are endless!

Keeping Your Design Mind New and Fresh

When we design for ourselves, we exclude anyone who is not like us. We know that, but breaking out of our experience bubbles is hard. In this excerpt from Volume 2 of RECOGNIZE, Regine Gilbert reminds us that successful, inclusive design comes from watching, observing, questioning, and exploring.

The Never-Ending Job of Selling Design Systems

You didn’t start your web career to be a politician or salesperson. But if you want to work on design systems, you have no choice. Ben Callahan shows you how to convince executives to fund the initial design system push and KEEP funding it.

Color Craft & Counterpoint: A Designer’s Life with Color Vision Deficiency

There’s a common cognitive dissonance about design: that good design can’t come from designers with color vision deficiencies. Much to the contrary, people with CVDs are far more aware of color and usability gaps, and can be invaluable during the design process. Sharing his first hand perspective as a color blind web professional, Noah Glushien discusses his career, living with CVDs, and how to enhance projects.

Figure It Out

How much do you really know about color? In this excerpt from Figure It Out, Stephen Anderson and Karl Fast dive deep into the science around color, cultural aspects of how color is perceived, and how our thoughts on color have evolved over time.

Cross-Cultural Design

How much consideration have you given to how the text of your site is rendered when it’s localized? Do you consider whether your webfonts load in China? How dense your paragraphs appear in Korean? How your buttons grow (or shrink) in Japanese? Senongo Akpem covers all this and more in this excerpt from Cross-Cultural Design.

Making Room for Variation

Design systems exist to bring unity, cohesion, and harmony to our designs. That said, the best design systems are flexible enough to enable variation while still maintaining connectedness between those variants. In this excerpt from Expressive Designs Systems, Yesenia Perez-Cruz goes deep on what it takes to create design systems that enables intentional, meaningful variation.

Daily Ethical Design

There’s no shortage of content, manifestos, and opinions these days on how design can be evil. But if they’ve left you feeling more frustrated than empowered, wishing for practical, real-world ways to enact change in your work, we hear you. In this piece, Lennart Overkamp lays out a practice-based approach to daily ethical design. You might be surprised to find out how much you can already do.