In product design, constraints are good. They help us assess trade-offs and confidently make the best decisions. Ultimately, constraints create more targeted, more optimized experiences. Through analyzing data, we can create constraints where previously there weren’t any.
For the sake of this post I’m going to use a specific example of a project I worked on last year : Gusto Job Offer Letters. The problem I was tackling was designing an experience for potential employees of our customers.
At the beginning stages of the project I was trying to understand what information people expected as a part of a job…
Why do some design critiques go really well, while others go sideways and make you wish you never came to work that day?
Over the past decade I’ve presented design work hundreds of times. Some reviews left me feeling inspired and energized, ready to take the work to the next level—while others sent me back to the drawing board with my tail between my legs, confused and distressed about what to do next.
Imagine a terrible design critique. We’ve all been there. You worked so hard on the designs, but the room just stares blankly. Nobody gets it. What ensues…
At a fast-paced startup, we spend so much time designing new experiences that sometimes we ignore the old ones.
That’s why last week, the Gusto design team had a two-day offsite to focus on polish. We called it the Polishathon. We paused our normal work and spiked on redesigning and improving some of Gusto’s most under appreciated pages and flows.
We aren’t the first team to do something like this—Asana has a company tradition of having Polish Week, and Figma recently had Quality Week. We only planned for two days, so we had to make sure we did our homework…
Before we can even think about creating delight, we need to remove frustration.
If a product frustrates or confuses, it needs improvement to meet user’s basic expectations. Only when a product meets expectations and is usable do we have the opportunity to provide value in unexpected ways (to be delightful).
I saw Jared Spool speak once, and he outlined the perfect example to describe basic expectations.
Right now I’m staying at a hotel, on the 23rd floor. Inside my hotel room, there is another smaller room. Inside this smaller room, there is a sink, a toilet, and a shower. There…
About a year ago at Gusto we were talking about building a component library; the holy grail signifying a design team maturing from a startup to a team that puts value on process. A component library would let us design and build without bickering about consistency. It would let us design at scale.
In the beginning, the scary part about the conversation was always “where do we start”? But things got interesting when an announcement came from Figma that their ‘team library’ shared component feature was in beta. This was the time to begin.
We started by documenting every element…
I learned a lot of things in school. However one idea stuck with me, and informs my design process to this day. I’d like to share this idea with you:
Imagine a circle. This circle represents the range of acceptable design solutions for a given problem.
Within this range are the ideas that pop into our mind right away.
Depending on how much “experience” we have, the circle is either larger or smaller—but everybody has this ability. It’s called “thinking inside the box”.
And as long as we start inside this circle…
we’ll rarely ever create anything innovative.
There’s already been plenty written about why Figma is awesome so I’ll skip that for now. Instead I’d like to focus on how we use Figma to collaborate with our team at Gusto, and processes you can apply to your team.
Remember when you had to send files? Or wait for Dropbox to sync? Or realized you were working on the wrong version?
In Figma, ‘sending’ and ‘syncing’ are things of the past. Sharing a file is as simple as sharing a link. …
If you’ve ever accidentally sent an email before it was ready, you’ll know that familiar sense of dread that sinks from your throat down through your chest into the pit of your stomach, as you writhe in self-loathing and hatred.
How could I be so dumb??
— Never again! With ‘Undo Send’ enabled, you can just ‘UNDO’ an email you didn’t mean to send. Bye-bye, embarrassment!
Don’t forget to hit ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom.
Good luck, & happy sending!
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Press 💚 if this was helpful to you!
Love it or hate it, using selective gaussian blurs is an effective way to create depth in minimal, photo-centric UI designs. And now you can make it happen using CSS! However, this property is currently supported by only ~9% of browsers (but almost 75% of iPhones):
As the feature becomes adopted by more browsers, we may see an increase in dynamic blurred elements in UI designs. And since it’s already supported in iOS Safari, we may start seeing it popping up in mobile web more and more today.
(Pen works on Safari only…)
It’s March. If it wasn’t for Resolutions, I would have completely forgotten my personal goals for 2015.
Forming new, positive habits can be challenging. It takes time, patience, and long-term commitment. Working on improving oneself, in whatever way, is one of life’s never-ending tasks. However, if you’re able to follow through with your goals, the benefits are immensely enjoyable and rewarding.
But — how is it possible to commit to a year’s worth of change at once?
Take the time to write down your resolutions that are actually goals. And not just any goals. …
Lead Product Designer at Amplitude