In a previous life/career, I was an Industrial Designer. An Industrial Designer develops real physical and 3-dimensional products. Not just as the final result, but also along the way, in the form of an often large number of prototypes and models. One of the less creative, yet highly essential parts of this process is sourcing: Finding the necessary materials and manufactures.
With a Computer Science background from an even earlier career, a German mind thriving for efficiency, and a deep interest in knowledge sharing, I soon turned my personal collection of related bookmarks into an online resource: A website to find, share, and rate local suppliers and fabricators. I barely put any efforts in the marketing of the site, but it did get a decent amount of traffic and became useful for some of the members of the local Industrial Design scene.
From Blue Foam to Bootstrap
Nowadays, I work as an Experience Designer at Moment in New York City. The products we create are digital products. And we usually don’t talk about sourcing materials or manufacturers. Yet, under different names, we actually have very similar needs.
Instead of looking for blue foam, plywood, or sheet metal, we make use of fonts, icons, or UI kits. Instead of finding an upholsterer, CNC cutter, or powder coating place, we need the right HTML framework, grid layout, or prototyping tool. And the parallels continue in other areas: Instead of being mindful of available metal tube diameters or ergonomic seat or table heights, we need to consider current platform patterns or the screen resolution of the latest mobile devices.
As expected, due to the subject matter, it is easier to find Experience Design related resources online. Yet, I never came across a single point of entry or a good collection of these multiple distinct resources. So again, I started to build a growing collection of bookmarks. And again, I decided I could turn this into an online resource: A place for the community to find tools, inspirations, and references for UX design as well as bordering areas like UI design and implementation.
So after several weeks of work, I am excited to be able to share the release of my latest side project: A website that provides links to the wide variety of resources that I came to rely on. From free font, icon or image downloads, over design inspirations, patterns and references, to online tools for grid setup, icon generation and responsive design.
I hope this to be the starting point of something bigger, based on feedback, input, and suggestions from the community. (I already do have a decent list of improvement ideas…)
So go ahead, check it out at methodmethod.com, and hopefully find something useful!
(This post was originally published at momentdesign.com)