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Interview task (left) • My fitness tech startup Tona (right)

Over a year ago I was lucky enough to bag an interview at Google for the role of Visual Designer. After getting through several tough rounds I was faced with the notorious Google interview task. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get the job. Fortunately for me, all was not lost as I fell in love with the task so much I co-founded a fitness tech startup on the back of that idea.

Here’s the story of how we built Tona, launched today on Product Hunt.

Has flat design destroyed the role of the web designer? I think not.

I’ve been reading with interest the brilliantly written opinion pieces ‘Fall of the Designer’ by Eli Schiff recently. If you haven’t read them and are interested in the history of trends in the digital design world, they are certainly worth a read.

The problem is I disagree with him completely.

His arguments mainly centre around how the rise of flat design or the ‘modern minimalist’ movement ushered in by iOS7 and Material design have desensitised and devalued the work of visual designers in the digital world.

As a previous architecture student I see a lot of similarities in the sweeping rise of the modern minimalist (flat) design to…

The background noise text editor: Review

At first glance, Noisli seems to be strange bipod of apps, it offers both therapeutic background noises and distraction free text editing. So you can write your nonsensical blog (as I am doing right now) whilst the calming sound of a thunderstorm or train tracks sooth your everyday aches. Perfect for insomniacs with writers block. Not so perfect for those with bladder problems.

I am writing this now within the distraction free text editor and my first impressions are mainly tainted by the over integration of share buttons for every social site going. …

Putting the traditional method to the test

We’ve all experienced it, an endless, daunting online form asking every question from your mothers favourite colour to your shoe size. The reason? So some digital troubadours can provide you a service or sell you something. All you need to do is provide them with a few details….

Inherited from the pre digital age on good old-fashioned paper forms, from your driving license renewal to your mortgage application, the style and experience of filling in forms has changed little. …

Probably the best mobile prototyping tool around

This past week I’ve been exploring transition and animation prototyping with a new app on the market, Pixate. It seems there’s a new one of these every week so it was with some skeptiscm that I decided to give Pixate a go. I couldn’t exaggerate the frustrations of trial and error I’ve been through to get versed enough in this long line of protyping tools, from flinto, easel, marker, origami et al just to find them fizzle out of fashion or get bought out and close doors. Many a time I’ve just wished I’d stuck with learning to code properly…

Simply put, don’t remove functionality

Ok I know its not “new’ anymore its been almost a year, but still my annoyances with the redesign haven’t been ironed out by revisions to the design, leading me to believe Google aren’t intending to make any significant changes. As I also still haven’t ‘got used to it’ even with daily use probably shows that my rejecting stance probably isn’t about my dislike for change, more that there’s some fundamental problems with the design which I will narrow down to ten for the purpose of this post.

1. All that zooming about

I have no idea why it zooms in and out so voraciously…

And why you should too

Last Monday, after much procrastination, I finally arrived (terribly late and flustered) to the Sketch party. To get started with a bang I tried to hash out designs for an iOS app, from wireframes to exportable slices, within a week. All within this new software without any previous training. I’m not sure why I tried to complicate my week deadline given by my boss by learning a new software, but I’m extremely glad I did as the week went by without a glitch. So, without further ado, which features of Sketch 3 did I enjoy most?

Intuitive and simple interface

It is no exaggeration…

Four simple rules to follow to ensure your type online is always legible, accessible…. and beautiful

It is often easy for inexperienced designers to get carried away with the plethora of colours available to them. Who hasn’t been tempted to use a flamingo pink that looks resplendent on your 27" iMac display?! The fact of the matter is though, that colour really matters, the world of web typography isn’t a wild-west free for all. There are certain rules that should always be followed to make sure your site works. If you neglect legibility you’re neglecting your users, and if you’re neglecting them, and you know it, well I don’t know what else to say to you……

A case study of how to get it right

Ever completed a long payment form online just to be rewarded with 76 error messages once you’ve pressed submit, annoying isn’t it, especially when it isn’t clear what errors you’ve committed, and where!

We recently had a chance to re-look at this problem at as part of our ongoing rebranding process, and as expected finding a unified system for form validation proved both problematic but rewarding. …

Andrew Burton

Designer and creative director at

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