The Design Huddle #11

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Design Huddle — our roundup of the best links shared in the Black Pixel design team’s Slack channel — is now available as an email newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox every Friday. Subscribe now.

Title Case vs. sentence case

Wrestling with varying standards for formatting titles in apps has long been a personal pain point and an active topic of discussion amongst our design team. Dropbox designer John Saito shared a great post on the subject this week. He explores good and bad examples of title and sentence case in apps, along with the advantages and disadvantages of both.

One example comparison of title vs. sentence case in action (courtesy of John Saito).

Saito and the Dropbox team prefers sentence case for its approachability and friendliness:

“At Dropbox … we intentionally write in sentence case because we want our brand to feel natural and approachable.”

Where do you stand on the title formatting spectrum? Title or sentence? Chime in on our Twitter poll:

On a related note, one tool that the Black Pixel team uses internally to check proper formatting of titles is Capitalize My Title, which offers one-click formatting in title case, sentence case, and more.

New Pantone Studio App Aims to be a Mobile Design Tool

Pantone, long associated with the print (and branding) world, thanks to their monopoly on color formulas and specifications, has launched a new mobile app intended to serve as a tool for digital designers. Pantone Studio allows users to generate, name, and save color palettes from photos, either from saved photos or shot in the app.

Image courtesy of Rokkan/Pantone.

Palettes can be shared, and users have the ability to browse palettes created by others — perfect for the next time you need some fresh color inspiration for your work.

New Virgin America Mobile App Begins Beta Testing

Virgin America will soon be launching a boldly redesigned mobile app for iOS and Android, and has opened up beta testing ahead of the upcoming official launch. Fast Company profiled the new app, which is intended to double as a booking assistant and travel concierge. Visually, the app sports a bright, playful interface that may just help bring some fun to the generally mundane (or worse) tasks of managing travel.

Examples of the bold color choices in the new Virgin America app (courtesy of Fast Co.Design).

Facebook Opens Area 404 Hardware Lab

Design prototyping has (rightfully) become a big part of most teams’ processes in recent years, but Facebook is taking things a step further with the launch of a new 22,000-square-foot hardware lab, dubbed Area 404, on the Menlo Park campus. The facility will focus on building and rapidly iterating on hardware prototypes, and includes a machine shop, water jets, milling machines, and more.

Quick Hits

Facebook Paper may be dead, but a brand new (and entirely different) Paper by Dropbox launched in beta this week. The service melds some of the better features of Google Docs and Basecamp into a lightweight tool for small teams to collaborate.

Dropbox’s design team has also done some beautifully minimalistic icon work for Paper.

New icons for Dropbox Paper (via Dribbble).

Astropad, a unique iOS app that turns your iPad into a drawing tablet for your Mac, released version 2.o this week with a host of performance improvements and UI updates.

If you’re looking for a fun, interactive way to learn more about the basics of typography, Typography Insight is a great iOS app for your next deep dive.

Typography Insight v3.0 for iPhone and iPad

For those working with 3D modeling, Xfrog has been running a big summer sale on fully textured models of trees, shrubs, and other environmental items. Check it out (sales ends today).

Zeplin has continued to improve the user experience of its Mac and web apps. Version 1.7 brings a new notes panel with quick reply reactions, a definite improvement in findability over the previous approach.

GIF of the Week

We ended up sharing some Dr. Strangelove randomness in our Slack channel this week, as well as discussing good uses of cinemagraphs (a favorite tool of ours). Of course the two reminded me of one of my favorite go-to GIFs …


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