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I’ve personally built or assisted in building several design libraries for use in large-scale, multi-platform, long term digital application projects and I’d like to share some of my perspectives on these specialized and increasingly critical types of design resources.

First, some background: I was curious about what kind of design library I would build if I knew it had to be current, useful for the widest variety of users and, of course, relatively future proof. I say “relatively” because design tools and project workflows are changing so rapidly that my expectation with design libraries has become “let’s try to get as close as possible at the beginning and adapt as time goes on”. …


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Constructive ideas for making Twitter a more human platform

It’s been almost two years since I’ve written about improvements I’d make to Twitter. Last time it was about better ways to cover breaking news and I was supportive. My point then was our information tools need to get better at covering real time events because narratives are confusing enough already. Judging by reactions to the recent Olympics coverage, we are still very interested in features that would help us make sense of the fire hose of constant information.

Twitter is an easy punching-bag for design professionals because it’s exciting, content-rich and full of promise. But lately it isn’t just our community that’s taking them to task and definitely not in supportive ways. Charlie Warzel’s piece on BuzzFeed, “A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment”, is an unfortunate condemnation but for good reason. …


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One of the reoccurring debates that designers and clients get into is why designers tend to show real, living people — and their faces — in digital contexts. It’s a fair topic, because from a business perspective there are plenty of good reasons not to: privacy concerns, identity theft, tight budgets and general anxiety about the blurring of personal and professional life, just to name a few.

From the other side, the common reaction from designers is confusion because the debate on faces seems settled. Daily use and repetition of the word “interface” reminds us of the strength and efficacy of millions of tiny actions taking place “between faces”. Entire industries such as advertising, telecommunications, and entertainment are pretty much based on showing us ourselves through liberal use and broadcasting of faces. And now, the cultural importance of faces is being demonstrated in real time with Meitu, a Chinese startup specializing in “godly tools for selfies”, who reports hundreds of millions of monthly users focused on one action: fixing their faces. …

About

Brandon Schmittling

Be valued and valuable. http://bschmittling.com

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