At Tradeshift, we’re beginning to maintain a central Sketch document with all our symbols. In order to be added to this document, a symbol needs to be of a certain quality. Everyone designing for us (and potentially our partners) will make use of this document, so we don’t want to be distributing anything but the most solid symbols.

Symbols should behave in similar ways, be small enough to be modular, be large enough to be useful, and be organised well for easy editing (or embedding in a document when detached).

Nobody likes to inherit a poorly organised Sketch file, so let’s not distribute poorly organised symbols. …

Symbols got a big upgrade in Sketch 39. They’re a lot more powerful than they used to be, and we’re all trying to figure out how best to use them.

At Tradeshift, we’re beginning to maintain a central Sketch document with all our symbols. In order to be added to this document, a Symbol needs to pass a few quality and consistency checks. Everyone designing for us will make use of this document, so we don’t want to be distributing anything but the best Symbols of our common UI components. …

I’ve read lots recently about how the EU Referendum was a democratic decision, we’ve got to suck it up and move on, and that everyone signing the petition hoping for a second referendum are sore losers. They’re anti-democracy.

I’d argue that a second referendum would not be at all undemocratic.

I believe another referendum would tip more heavily in favour of Remain now that people truly understand the consequences of their actions. Now that people understand that no, the NHS will not be getting £350m a week. Now that people understand that no, immigration from the EU is not going to disappear. The two pillars of the Leave campaign, crumbling.

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On the left, my quick guides. On the right, Google’s Material guidelines

To me, the best thing about Sketch is the speed with which I can design something. I’ve been working with Material recently, and Google have laid out some great guidelines.

I often find myself creating quick-boxes to snap align stuff to, especially when designing for Material. We’ve all done it — but after discussing with some friends, I figured I’d write this because none had thought of doing it quite like this. After more tinkering, I created some fancier guides and made them Symbols so that I could more quickly drop them into whatever I’m working on.

I just draw on top of them, or drop them in once I’m done roughing to get the alignments right. When done, delete symbols (or drop them into a group and hide it). Quick, dirty, easy! …

I think university and higher education is valuable — there’s no denying that. However, I think the way that we do things (in the UK at least) leaves a lot to be desired in terms of setting people up to have the life they want.

For me, university was never a real option. I never even applied. I somewhat regret that I never applied — it would’ve been nice to get accepted somewhere, even if I did turn it down eventually.

My plan was strong and backed up by my gut: freelance, work my ass off. Take the time to figure out if that’s what I really wanted to be doing — and if I decided it wasn’t, apply to university and/or do something different. I wasn’t about to go to university and spend thousands of pounds, rack up debt — on something I wasn’t certain would help me. Especially considering that I’m a designer, in an industry that cares deeply about experience and hands on work. …

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There’s no denying that Sketch is a great tool — but it can be made even greater once you master some keyboard shortcuts.

I don’t want to make Sketch overly complicated, and I don’t like having to learn a bunch of shortcuts. This post is a continuation of the great — which I referred to often in the first few weeks. These are custom ones I’ve added over the past 6 months of using Sketch.

My Custom Shortcuts

⌘ ; Show/Hide Rulers

⌘ ’ Show/Hide Artboard Grid

⌘ \ Show/Hide Slices

⌘ / Collapse Artboards & Groups (my most used by far)

⌥ ⌘ / Toggle Click…

I’m generally in front of a computer up to (and occasionally over) 16 hours a day — which recently has been driving me mad.

Recently, I’ve been getting into woodworking. I’ve just completed my first real project: a bench to do said woodworking on — I think it’s pretty good for a first project. It was hacked together in an afternoon, it’s made from cheap lumber and it’s built in a very function-first way around the kinds of thing I envision myself doing with it. There’s a joint where the top meets the legs that’s messed up and it haunts me a little, but that can be fixed in the future (or perhaps left as a reminder).

So why woodworking?

It’s peaceful — if my mind is elsewhere, I lose a finger or (worse) I ruin the piece I was working on. When I’m out in my front yard in the sun with my tools and some lumber, my mind is on the craft and nothing else. …


Lloyd Humphreys

Product Manager at Tradeshift in Copenhagen

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