Illustration by Chris Gilleard

Last night my small team and I headed out to do a little networking and learn about Design Systems. Being that is was the buzzword of 2017, we were eager to learn how we could create our own.

We had heard all the wonderful benefits of creating a design system: saving time, reducing debates, collaboration, adoption, and more. I was excited!

All the talks spoke about how to create a design system. However, these were big teams or they had dedicated resources, even a DesignOps team (2nd buzzword of 2017) to build and maintain the design system.

At the end…

Amazon Echo

Will a voice assistant help improve my life?

My journey with Alexa began when I was at my brother’s house one day, and my 4-year-old nephew was showing off Alexa. He was excitedly asking Alexa about sharks and changing the Phillips lights so he could party. Then at work, my coworker was telling me how he was outfitting his house to be a smart home. This piqued my interest. Are we starting to get to a point where I may have my own Rosie the Robot?

I’m not the typical early adopter…I need some convincing. But being that I am in tech, I am open to what can…

Not all photo/image galleries are the same. Recently I had to design an image gallery for work. Sounds simple enough. However, it wasn’t meant to be a personal photo gallery. The goal is to showcase product images. A quick scan of the web revealed there isn’t much recent info for product image galleries. Below is what I believe to be the best practices, I wanted to share the love :)

Additionally, my past IRL shopping experiences are slowly converting me to an online shopper. As a UX designer, I want to do my part to make this experience seamless. …

Updated definitions, examples and free resources

UX has a long list of terms and deliverables. The list is even more apparent when viewing job descriptions that seem to throw in the full UX glossary of terms. Factor in that these deliverables have been evolving and many terms overlapping, I thought it was time to revisit.

Break it down

Task Flow Analysis and User Flows are terms I have heard for years. I decided to find out their ‘official’ definitions. However, a quick google search revealed that existing UX glossaries didn’t have these terms defined.

In either case, flow depicts movement. Designers need to consider how the user will navigate…

Modals, Overlays, Dialogs, whatever you call them it’s time to revisit this UI pattern. When they first came on the scene, modal windows were an elegant solution to a UI problem. The first being that it simplifies the UI, the second, it saves screen real estate. Since then designers have readily adopted the modal window and some have taken it to the extreme. Modals have become the today’s version of the dreaded popup window. Users find modals annoying and have been trained to instinctively and automatically dismiss these windows.


A modal window is an element that sits on top of…

photo credit: freepik

The explosion of prototyping tools in the past few years has given designers an opportunity to create detailed interactions. Designers are spending hours and days learning these tools. However, many designers get lost in the technical details of the prototyping tool of choice. Designers must take a step back and ask what is the goal or purpose of the animation. By animating with intent, motion is used as a tool for communication. Designers should avoid using frivolous animation that get in the way of the user.

Designers can take advantage of animation to solve design problems such as showing continuity…

The psychology behind “users don’t know what they want.”

We all know the famous Henry Ford quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” side note: He never said this.

I am not here to dispel the quote and advocate going back to focus groups. So, my fellow UX’ers breathe a sigh of relief. But the solution is not “users don’t know what they want, but I do!

The reason this statement isn’t true comes down to psychology. Specifically, “psychological distance”, which originates from a fancy term: “construal level theory”. …

How to smoothly import Sketch files into Framer.

I have been using Framer.js for the past few months. As I climb the admittedly steep learning curve, I want to help people who are a step behind.
Note: the framer.js community is very active and has been great in answering questions.

Benefits of Importing a Sketch file

There are a couple of ways to bring your designs into Framer:

  • drag them into the Framer workspace
  • place your images in the “/images” folder

These aren’t hard to do, but by importing a sketch file, you have the added benefit of:

  • No ‘hardcoding’ the location of your images
  • Scale your designs with 1x, 2x, 3x, etc. options

Naema Baskanderi

UX Designer. Moderator @DesignerHangout . Trying to help spread the word about good #ux design. Follow me on Twitter @msNaema or on Instagram @gooduxwriting

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