The Design Huddle #19

Friday, January 13, 2017

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

Starting 2017 With a Look Back at 2016

As we dive headlong into 2017 across a host of projects here at Black Pixel, we’ve also taken the time to look back at what was a banner year for our team in 2016.

Black Pixel featured tremendous growth in 2016.

From working with a slew of exciting new clients on dozens of apps to the rapid expansion of our team (now nearly 100 Pixels strong), we’re showing that in fact client services is not dead (despite a ton of consternation to the contrary within our industry in recent years).

“I am amazed by what we accomplished in 2016,” says CEO Daniel Pasco. “I feel like our work demonstrates more clearly than words ever could that this team can have an unimaginably great impact on this industry.”

Opera Explores a Bold New Concept for Desktop Browsing

Opera, a longtime staple of the browser industry, has unveiled Opera Neon, a completely revamped take on desktop browsing. The app boasts nearly transparent chrome, “bringing your computer’s wallpaper into the browser.” Neon also incorporates a new physics engine to allow for both responsive, real-world-feeling interactions when dragging or moving content.

You can download and test drive the Mac version of Opera Neon now.

Microsoft Previews Upcoming Revisions to Windows 10

Apparently Neon is the code name of choice these days. As noted above, Opera’s Neon browser concept has been drawing interest this week, and Microsoft recently unveiled its own Project NEON, a code name for the upcoming visual refresh of Windows 10.

Microsoft has offered a first look at the next generation of Windows 10.

Project NEON isn’t intended to be a drastic change to the existing Windows 10 UI, but instead will focus on simplicity, consistency, and animation across the OS. It also introduces “Acrylic,” Microsoft’s take on Apple’s ubiquitous background blur effect, which is expected to make its way into a variety of apps once the update ships.

Introducing Framer Cloud

It’s rare that an issue of The Design Huddle goes by without something new and exciting coming down the pipe from our friends at Framer, and this edition is no exception. Just prior to the holidays, the Framer crew announced Framer Cloud, their take on a “modern design workflow.”

See Framer Cloud in action.

To quote their launch announcement:

[Framer Cloud is a] frictionless in-app production flow that connects to a beautiful personal dashboard. Upload, share and get feedback on your designs. View your projects, access version history and share with the whole team. A workflow built with design collaboration and iteration in mind.

An Icon Design Marathon

Designer Amy Devereux recently completed 365cons, a year-long project posting a new icon every day. A number of icon designers have undertaken similar challenges in recent years, but Devereux’s work stands out from the crowd with its variety of subjects and styles. Plus, each icon is available to download in PNG and SVG formats.

Amy Devereux recently completed a year-long icon design challenge.

GIF of the Week

Animated GIFs are particularly treasured in our #designers Slack channel for moments of frustration: those times when you’ve been pulling your hair out dealing with a prototype that’s not behaving or a random client request that doesn’t make sense.

At the top of that GIF list is the “table flip,” and this Adventure Time example is one of the latest to make it into our toolkit.

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