How marrying design process and design instincts will set you apart.

Illustration by Daina Lightfoot

This article originally appeared on Abstract’s blog.

Design-led organizations are starting to receive more attention, and for good reason. Companies that prioritize design have higher revenue growth and are more tapped into user needs than companies that aren’t design-led, according to an October 2018 McKinsey report. So it makes sense that more and more organizations have realized the impact of design and are investing in design processes.

This heightened focus on the impact of design has also changed the way companies see and value designers. The UX Collective team summarized this shift in their annual The State of UX report:


Automation is killing the tedium in design, but our jobs are about to get more exciting

Illustrations by Daina Lightfoot

This article originally appeared on Abstract’s blog.

With new studies showing that companies prioritizing design are seeing 32% higher revenue than those who aren’t, it’s no surprise that the conversation around design trends (a word we all love to hate) is no longer about gradients.

The way designers work is changing. Whether it’s product or brand design, we’re seeing some dramatic shifts toward more intentional systems and processes, and a more open dialogue between design, product, engineering, and marketing. Working in design no longer means working in a silo.

Many of us are bullish about adopting this new, collaborative way…


Our biggest release since launch, bringing you a streamlined navigation, new project overview, and more!

Today we’re releasing the biggest set of improvements to the product since we launched in July.

This release is all about removing friction, so you can work faster. From finding what you’re looking for to creating new work to loading and syncing files, everything is faster now. We redesigned pieces of the core Abstract workflow and found ways to surface the important things regardless of where you are in the application or what your role is on the team.

Keep an eye out for upcoming posts about the design and engineering work that went into these changes. Read on for…


A small group of our users, from companies including Front, Slack, Microsoft, Zendesk, Blend, and Dropbox, joined us for Abstract’s first community meetup.

Any designer on a growing team has grappled with this question: How do you maintain a centralized design system? How do you enable all the designers on your team to find and use the latest design components — buttons, icons— and collaborate on the same set of design files without tripping over one another?

Our first Community Meetup

We recently brought a group of forward-thinking design leads together to share how they’re solving these problems using Abstract. Aaron Bailey (Thumbtack), Jared Erondu (Lattice), and Amy Devereux (Envoy) discussed how they approach this problem at their respective companies. …


Illustrations by Hannah Swann

So you’ve received a job offer. Congratulations!

The role is exactly what you’ve been looking for, the salary is competitive, the benefits package looks great, you believe in the mission of the company, and they have cold brew on tap! You can’t wait to sign — but you shouldn’t, yet.

Every now and then, I see a designer who’s over the moon to sign with a company, only to find after 6 months that the job isn’t what they expected.

It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of an offer, or the relief of leaving an old employer and putting the job search…


Illustration by Hannah Swan

I’ve reviewed a lot of design portfolios, from design school applicants to seasoned designers looking to join booming tech startups. In the past few months alone, I’ve reviewed more than a thousand design portfolios to select top candidates for the fifth session of Designer Fund’s Bridge program. As you might expect, a few patterns emerged; some good, some bad. To put a finer point on it, some portfolios were much better at showcasing designers’ skills and abilities.

There are many motivations for having a portfolio site, from personal expression to trying to convince someone that you have the right skills…


On learning the true cost of design debt and reimagining RelateIQ’s visual style

Hitting the Limits of Our Visual Style

When RelateIQ publicly launched in 2013, we used an image of a sunset on our homepage to signify the end of relationship management. Something new—our relationship intelligence platform—was on the horizon.

Relateiq.com homepage. June 2013

Until then our team was focused on delivering our users’ most requested features, but features alone don’t make a great product. During that time, some of our work introduced unexpected design challenges that limited our ability to create the best possible user experience.

Instead of hobbling along with a brand that wasn’t working, we stopped moving forward, rethought our approach, and solved this problem with a complete visual redesign…

Heather Phillips

Director of Design @goabstract

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