How grid technologies such as Flexbox and CSS grid work, and how to incorporate them into your designs

Design grids and responsive grids are used for the same basic principle: to add balance, order, and visual harmony to our layouts.

The grids we use today as designers are characterized by equal-width columnar layouts sized by multiples of a baseline grid, usually the 8-point grid, to which content and UI elements are scaled and positioned.

A typical page grid layout

Most responsive grid frameworks utilize a similar columnar scheme (such as Bootstrap’s 12-column layout). The difference between design grids and responsive grids lives in the mechanics. Rather than being fixed to a baseline grid, responsive grids are fluid, and grid columns can scale and…


What we learned about conversational UX and smart message design

If your product facilitates workflow in some way, you likely want to enable these workflows through Slack messages. This article will walk you through the process of designing interactive Slack messages to support your product vision and enhance your user experience.

Why would my app need interactive Slack messages?

Not everyone needs a high degree of interaction between Slack and their app, but we absolutely do.

VictorOps is an incident management service which alerts engineering teams to outages and related service issues (like the server going down at 2AM) and guides them through the process of resolving these issues. We centralize data coming from over 100 different monitoring…


Lean teams are already geared toward building marketable products more efficiently and with less risk, but Lean UX will get you there faster and with less guess work.

If you’ve worked in a Lean product environment for any period of time, you’ve likely heard that Lean is superior to big-bang product development approaches because Lean is focused on building marketable products faster and with less waste. By involving customers earlier, iterating on solutions with them with them frequently, and (based on this data) validating product hypotheses, Lean teams ensure they’re building the right thing for the right audience. This iterative feedback cycle, known as “Build, Measure, Learn”, defines the Lean product development process.

The cornerstone of the “Build, Measure, Learn” is customer validation. Validating a product hypothesis ensures…


A customer problem can often be elusive or difficult to tease out. You may be getting wildly different information from the people you’re speaking with, or vague answers to questions.

These murky results can happen for a combination of reasons. In many cases, this is because people don’t know what information to provide you. They may take something for granted in their every day work that is in fact vital information to you. In other cases, they have a specific feature in mind and are so focused on it that they leave out details they feel unimportant (consciously or unconsciously)…


If you have any experience working on a digital product, you’ve seen your fair share of metrics. Metrics give us a better understanding of who is using your product and how they’re doing it. Metrics also let your team make actionable choices based on this data.

The go-to metric for most teams is overall usage, which gives you a view of feature usage by the numbers over time. Even if you are not on the product team, you’ve probably seen usage metrics paraded around not long after a feature launch.

A typical usage graph for a new feature. Usage peaks, then trails off

The risk with only looking basic usage metrics is that…


And saved ourselves and users a lot of time and frustration

With the unveiling of our new Pivotal Tracker interface, we introduced the ability to multi-select stories (“tasks” to the uninitiated) and perform a number of bulk actions, like deleting, moving, labeling, etc. This feature became frequently used, and enhancement requests common.

However, we were receiving a fair number of complaints which described a experience with accidental bulk deletion: not realizing a number of stories were selected, a user would click Tracker’s bulk delete button and *poof*, potentially hours of work would go missing. …

Drew McKinney

Product designer for Trimble. Formerly Product Manager and designer for @pivotaltracker, and product designer for @victorops

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