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…


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…


What I tell clients about the power of the human face

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…


Some reactions to the recent ugliness on display at the RNC and within American politics in general (from an American)

Notice how every time a group of well-meaning, capable but socially-excluded people are turned away from the mainstream and forced underground because of an environment of bullying, machismo, violence, aggression and just generally ignorant behavior, they don’t disappear: they go to work bettering themselves and the people and things around them. They fix what they can from their perspective because the larger group doesn’t or isn’t set up to care. …


The way we do one thing is the way we do everything

“Problems are not roadblocks, but exercise tools.”
Debasish Mridha

I am utterly lost with this.

I’m the only person who doesn’t get this.

I see this is important but I’m still green.

I ask for help with this.

I deconstruct this and strip it down to its core.

I have an opinion about this.

I understand this but I have doubts.

I have to focus on small parts of this even though I don’t fully understand the big picture yet.

I’m responsible for making something for this.

This didn’t turn out like I wanted.

I hate this.

I remember that this isn’t about me.

I try to get distance from this and find another approach.

I observe people using this.

I recognize something…

Brandon Schmittling

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

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