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While playing battle royale games over the past few years, I’ve said some of these phrases a few thousand times:

I see something…up there…wait….over there…up by that thingy.

The circle is closing in, we gotta go. Yo, stop looting we gotta go!

I found a shield, who needs it? No one? Are you sure? OK I’m keeping it for myself.

This language is filled with ambiguity and requires additional conversation to clarify or resolve. Strong team communication is absolutely essential to battle royale game play. …


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A fundamental part of your work as a designer is to present ideas as clearly as possible so others can provide informed and useful feedback. In order to communicate effectively, you need to consider how your ideas are received. Taking the time to thoughtfully deliver information will speed up your process and help you accomplish your goals faster.

Consider your audience

There are three basic types of conversations that happen when presenting design work:

I. Casual chat

Usually a one-on-one chat or a small group. This is an informal discussion and the best environment for the least developed ideas. …


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Lately I’ve been fascinated with watching people stream on Twitch. I get to peek into their lives, watch them play games, make things and generally be awkward and bizarre.

For whatever reason, I too have felt compelled to participate in this medium and I’ve spend the past few months learning and exploring how it all works. I thought I’d share what I learned so far.

One of the most rewarding parts of the experience has been exploring and playing with the tool-set that streamers use. It is a different kind of creativity than I’ve experienced before and it’s really fun.

1. Basics

Twitch Account

This is obvious, but you will need an account on Twitch to get started. Follow and friend everyone you know IRL. …


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Thoughts on how WhatsApp and Facebook design at scale

I’ve been a product designer at Facebook close to four years. I’ve worked on a variety of teams such as Groups, Sharing, and Privacy. At this time last year, I got an exciting opportunity to begin work on WhatsApp.

Going in, I knew designing for WhatsApp was going to be a significantly different experience than designing for Facebook. It’s been more eye-opening than I expected and taught me to approach problems and my work from different angles than I’d previously considered.

I’ve learned a lot over the past year and want to share what I’ve observed designing for WhatsApp and Facebook. …


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The tradeoffs and benefits of pseudo-realistic menu design

Recently I’ve been playing Splatoon 2, which is a team-based third-person shooter available on the Nintendo Switch. To move between different styles of gameplay, the player must physically move their character in 3D space around a place called Inkopolis Square. This isn’t necessarily a new mechanic in games, but Splatoon’s implementation of it is particularly bold.

Moving through 3D space to make selections

The square acts as the main menu to the game, giving players the ability to start solo play, online play, local play, purchase items from vendors, and more. Most of the areas have non-obvious names like Octo Canyon, The Shoal, Grizzco, and Galleria. …


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I’ve been using the Switch for a few months and I can’t stop thinking about its user interface. Nintendo’s newest console is in the golden era of its UI. The base features you would expect out of a game system are covered, but cruft has not yet been added to the experience. I’ve heard a lot of people say they long for more from the Switch’s UI, but I love the bare bones simplicity.

Speed

The first thing you will notice about the interface is its speed. You can power up the device from a cold start in at about ten seconds. Waking the device from sleep is about as fast as waking your cell phone. That speed feels fantastic on a mobile console where you might need to start and stop playing quickly during your commute. Being able to grab the device and dive right back into a game as dense as Breath of the Wild with no load time feels magical. …


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As a long time fan of Zelda games, I was excited to dive into Breath of the Wild. It is both the largest game in the series as well as the one that most successfully provides a sense of adventure. It has ushered in a new era of gameplay mechanics focused on making every moment of play engaging and meaningful.

Controls

Early Zelda games lacked a third dimension as well as complex controls but still managed to deliver a rich gaming experience. As technology of the Nintendo gaming platforms advanced, so did the complexity of controllers. …


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I’ve been a huge Mass Effect fan since the original game. I’ve played through all of the games of the Shepard trilogy many times. Since I care so much about the series, I knew I would have high expectations for Andromeda. After about 20 hours now of gameplay, I wanted to write down my thoughts thus-far.

Fundamentally Mass Effect: Andromeda is a Mass Effect game and should entertain fans of the series, but it suffers from many well-documented problems. I’m going to focus specifically on the user experience problems, which to me feel unconsidered.

I want to start by acknowledging that some the choices BioWare made might have been an attempt to keep the game feeling closely related to its predecessors. Unfortunately, intentional or not, the choices unnecessarily keep the game from feeling like a contemporary AAA title in 2017. …


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Video Tutorial

Earlier this year I released Framer Snippets Library. It’s a collection of snippets I’ve been building to help speed up my workflow in Framer. You can read more about the snippets here and download them here.

I pushed some updates to the library this week and decided to make a little video showing how I use the snippets, since it’s not exactly how one might traditionally think about using snippets. Check it out:

Update 1/2/17. I created a second video to show how to use some of the less obvious widgets in the library.

If you have any ideas for videos you’d like to see me make, let me know on Twitter @charliedeets or Facebook @robotsecret. Also, subscribe to my YouTube if you’d like to follow along.


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I dream of the day where I design an interface using systematic logic and never again have to push individual objects around different sized artboards. The day I dream of gets nearer and 2016 was an incredible year for adaptive design.

I thought I’d take some time to sample a few popular design tools to compare where they are at with their adaptive layout features.

Why Adaptive Design?

When the original iPhone apps were designed there was one screen size to design for. These days, there are six different iOS screen sizes with two orientations for each. If you want to support multi-tasking on the iPad, you can add four more layouts into the mix for a total of 16 different possible layouts for your view. …

About

Charlie Deets

Designer / charliedeets.com

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