The End of the Engagement era in Tech
The End of the Engagement era in Tech
Our attention span has been reduced from 12 to 9 seconds in the last decades (shorter than a Goldfish)

When was the last time you enjoyed a beautiful sunset without feeling the urge to take a picture and share it with your network? Or the last time you enjoyed a nice dinner with your partner with no other interruption than the waiter taking your order? For me, those moments have become fewer in the last decade, and I know you have noticed this too.

Our attention span has been reduced from 12 to 9 seconds in the last decades (shorter than a Goldfish), political polarisation is on the rise and our capacity to have a simple conversation and to respectfully disagree has been damaged. …


The Agile Trap or How to Differentiate Planning from Building
The Agile Trap or How to Differentiate Planning from Building

“We need to be more Agile.” If you have worked in tech in the last decade you have probably heard this several times. The Agile approach can be traced back to 1957 but it wasn’t until the decade of 1970 and more importantly the year 2001 with the creation of the Agile Manifesto when it gained relevance and emerged as the preferred method in software development.

Since then, many companies have been successfully adopting this philosophy and making changes to the way we build products. …


Are we designing for children? An analysis of infantilisation from a design perspective.
Are we designing for children? An analysis of infantilisation from a design perspective.
Photo by Vanessa Bucceri on Unsplash

Back in 2006, I found myself organising piles of documents to start my first year of practice as an art teacher. I was part of a special program created by Fidel Castro himself to “Make Cuba the most cultured country in the world”. These programs included art schools from all over the country to prepare new generations of art teachers with the mission to educate the country on music, dance, theatre, visual arts and of course, politics. In a communist country with a single accepted ideology and narrative, this was always part of the deal.

But it is 2020, so let’s avoid politics for the sake of our mental health and go back to the story of this article. I had to prepare two different training programs. One designed for my classes in the mornings, teaching children ages 5 to 10 and another program for the evening schedule, covering a wider age range, from teenagers to adults. Despite being trained for four years to be in front of a class and having built a full art program covering history of art, drawing basics, colour psychology and more, designing two programs at the same time was as interesting as challenging. …


From Purpose to Planning. It is not Rocket Science.
From Purpose to Planning. It is not Rocket Science.

Purpose, mission, principles, vision, strategy, plan. The world is full of fuzzy words, overused to the extent of losing their original meaning. However, regardless of how they are used today, my approach is not to dismiss these words but to rescue them by respecting their meaning, using them intentionally, and -maybe- writing about them.
Why? I believe there is value in words and what they represent for individuals, projects and organisations. With an accurate and intentional use of these concepts, we can succeed and achieve our goals, and likewise, we can take the wrong path by ignoring or manipulating them. With this article, I want to cut the clutter, bring clarity to these concepts and organise them all together for a better understanding and -to be honest- for my own sanity too. …


Design for coherence rather than consistency.
Design for coherence rather than consistency.

If we ask any design system advocate what are the main reasons to build and maintain a design system, chances are ‘Consistency’ will come up as first or second in their list, together with the ‘A single source of truth’ point, which is pretty much saying the same, with different words. This reasoning is valid but incomplete, and it could lead to a wrong product strategy and overall poor results.

Consistency in Design is the Wrong Approach

There are 3 major problems with a ‘consistency focus’ approach:

1. It is artificial. When designing for consistency, we are not only ignoring our users but focusing on administrative and maintenance tasks instead. Nothing can be further from the real purpose of a human-centred system. Uniformity might look good on paper, but it is boring, disconnected from the real use cases, and most importantly, it is inefficient. …


Design Patterns: The Stories of our Systems
Design Patterns: The Stories of our Systems

Design Patterns are some of the most over-used concepts in design today. And we all know what happens when you have some ideas all over the place. We start repeating them like parrots and applying them to everything, therefore distorting their meaning. We end up missing the point with over-complicated concepts and lots of fancy words. So here is my humble attempt to bring more clarity to what design patterns are while applying something I live for: Always keep it simple!

Keep it Simple

In my article ‘Understanding the parts of a Design System’ I touch-pointed on patterns with a more ‘neutral’ definition:

Patterns consist of a reusable collection of components that can be defined by their respective interactions when solving a design problem. …


Writty, a minimalist writing app.
Writty, a minimalist writing app.

On the 5th of June, 2020, after almost two weeks of (re)learning javascript, fixing bugs, creating new ones and of course, lots of testing, I launched Writty on ProductHunt. An open-source text editor to help anyone who is into writing to focus on what is most important: Writing!

In less than 24 hours it became the #1 product on the platform for the whole day and it was featured in the daily digest newsletter as one of the Top 5 Hunts.


On the nature and causes of mistakes. Understanding the Error Factor
On the nature and causes of mistakes. Understanding the Error Factor

Back in 2012, I was a young[er] product designer working in a small tech agency in Valencia, Spain. In parallel, I worked as a freelancer on several side projects for different clients. One day I was contacted by a new health services company looking to offer their services online. They needed a brand new website with a complex enough information architecture presenting a variety of services and a content management system that allows easy customizing to users with little or no understanding of code. …


Optimal Information Processing Model
Optimal Information Processing Model

We live in interesting times. No need to tell you this, while I am writing this article the whole world is single focusing on solving a global pandemic crisis. In these times of uncertainty, if there is something I can tell for sure is that the world after this crisis won’t be the same as we know it today.

Paradoxically, a changing world is no news for us, humans of the 21st century. The continuous flow and fluctuation of information and the speed our societies are changing year over year make us more prepared than ever to adapt to the new world that will emerge after this crisis. …


Unboxing a Design System component
Unboxing a Design System component

When building or updating a component, the work seems to be very straight forward; It is only about changing the color of that button, updating the icon or increasing the margin, up to the library and done! But, in reality, a design system is more than just a library of components. Without considering a defined building process and the different inputs and outputs of the system, mistakes will happen.

Depending on the size of the organization the design system serves, the number of hands interacting and contributing to the system increases too. Naturally, the same thing happens with the number of mistakes and misalignments. …

About

Carlos Yllobre

Product Design Lead, freethinker, illustrator, ukulele player, surfer, photographer, avid reader and occasional writer. 🇨🇺🇪🇸🇪🇺 www.iamcharlie.design

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