From March to May 2017, I picked up 3D modeling skills. I started with zero 3D experience (couldn’t even play 3D games well), and I’m now able to create almost everything I want in the low poly style. My models also won an honorable mention and a staff pick on Sketchfab.

I want to share this journey and my methodology-I’m pretty good at picking up new skills. I learned watercolor sketch in about 5 weeks, and I won two prizes at the 2018 Creating Reality Hackathon right after finishing the VR nanodegree program at Unity.

This post will focus on…


👋 Hi all,

It’s been a while since my last post on Medium. I got sidetracked to learn new things and it took me a while to get back to writing. If you see this — my biggest thank you for still being here after 2–3 years of silence.

Now on to some more exciting news. I’m planning to get back to write more regularly and bring back the design content you like.

However, as much as I liked Medium in its early days, I’ve never been convinced that the paywall model is good for the community. …


With hundreds of frameworks and UI kits, we are now assembling all kinds of content blocks to make web pages. However, such modularity and versatility hasn’t been achieved on the web element level yet. Learning from Lego, we can push modular web design one step forward.

Rethinking the status quo

Modular atomic design has been around for a while. Conceptually, we all love it — web components should be versatile and reusable. We should be able to place them like bricks, interlocking them however we want without worrying about changing any code.

So far, we have been doing it on the content block level…


Dec 4th 2015, I wrote an article about the idea of an One Side Project per Year Challenge here on the Mission. In the article I shared my frustration of wanting to work on too many side projects and struggling to get any of those done. I also introduced some simple rules for the challenge: commit to one side project per year, and write a project update every month.

The article got popular with 1.1K recommendations, thank you all. By Jan 1st 2016, I got 56 fellow creators to join me in this adventure. …


This photo is retouched with Photoshop to hide some imperfect details.

After spending hundreds of dollars on Kickstarter, I finally got tired of it. It’s not that Kickstarter projects come with premium prices — innovation comes at a price and I understand that. It’s the wait time that I cannot stand.

I spent a year waiting for my Emotiv Insight, half a year for Bison Bag, and four months for The FreedMan Chair, which actually broke down in four months. …


Including a Recommendation List for 20 Google Fonts

Though there are countless blog posts and recommendation lists for fonts and font pairings these days, when you look for best fonts for numbers, it’s not as easy to find. If you can’t afford FF DIN or Numbers by H&CO, there isn’t much guidance, let alone a go-to recommendation list.

Our Principles

At Graphiq, we think about data tables, charts, and infographics all day every day. Though we use Helvetica for most of our embeddable data visualizations, we do have several guidelines for picking number fonts and we are happy to share them with the world.

1. Lining and Tabular

The first rule for picking a…


Slowly making progress in re-thinking and re-writing Premade.io in React / Redux framework.

Photo by Sebastian Molinares via https://unsplash.com/photos/VcRbMldAFU8

This is the 5th project update on my journey developing Premade.io and taking the One Side Project challenge. You can find my previous posts here.

Don’t be confused by the title, it’s still a slow month. I felt I was moving incredibly slow in React / Redux things. But with a little bit self discipline, I did make some progress this month.

Reorganizing the App Functions using Object-Oriented UX Framework

Not long ago, I went across OOUX: A Foundation for Interaction Design on A List Apart. …


Photo by Ashley Batz via https://unsplash.com/photos/betmVWGYcLY

This is the 4th project update on my journey developing Premade.io and taking the One Side Project challenge. You can find my previous posts here.

Another slow month for myself and most of the One Side Project Challenge community. A third of 2016 had past, and it does feel a little difficult to keep doing the one project we decided in the beginning of the year.

I got seriously distracted into doing the May 1st Reboot for like half a month, then I got food poisoning, and then focused on a hackathon at Graphiq. …


My journey in learning and deploying an isomorphic app with Node.js, Express, React / Redux, and MongoDB.

Photo by Dmitri Popov via https://unsplash.com/photos/S6n0kGrNLrs

This is the third project update on my journey developing Premade.io and taking the One Side Project challenge. You can find my previous posts here.

March was a month of trials and errors buried in all the npm installs, Javascript libraries, and Node.js servers.

Being a web designer for quite a long time, I always wanted to learn more about coding, but I also always had good developers to work with. I was deeply spoiled in that sense because I can easily get…


People are obsessed with reading these days. It seems as if I’ve come across at least five articles every week telling me how I can read more and that I should read more.

But every time I read those articles, I feel they are missing the other side of the story. For me, reading is never the end goal. I read to learn, to change, to write, and to create. Reading is necessary, but is just a step in the whole creative growing process. I don’t want to read 100 books just so that I can tell people at the…

Samantha Zhang

Christian. Help people understand data with design. Get an email when I write new articles: http://eepurl.com/g-LENj · My portfolio: http://samanthaz.me/

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