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Design Humor

Guilty Pleasures for Designers

Like every Taylor Swift song: All the little things you love, but would never admit to your friends. Shake it off!

This trend kind of assumes that your design is lit with a GIANT soft box, which is pretty silly to think about. For one thing, everyone knows you should at least use three-point lighting system. But son of a mustache if I don’t love seeing a gentle, velvety shadow blanketing itself across my design.

Ugh, it’s so shadowy and beautiful. I just want to touch it. Design by Radek Jedynak.

It’s pretty damn loud and arguably the least important thing about a computer, but I feel like the savant child of Kurt Vonnegut and Jane Austen when I’m typing. I, for one, welcome the stares I get when people assume I brought a typewriter to Starbucks.

Not me, BUT I WISH IT WAS. Unrelated: Is there a Medium.com for articles written on real paper? Asking for a friend.

Come on people, these are pretty pointless. When I’m asked if they’re better than flat screens, I usually just make up some “alternative facts” because I’m too guilty to admit that I just like that they are curved. HOW IS GLASS CURVED, YOU GUYS?! Give me 11 of these, please and thank you.

Bonus: When the TV dies, you can just use it as a gamer chair.
Real talk: Can we make this happen, Samsung? You know…for science. Diagram cred: Me.

LinkedIn…Twitter…Windows, you name it. I love them. Now, it’s my job to shame you for wasting your time on it, then discuss how arrogant it is to do something so audacious, but dammit, I love your surface-level redesign. A million bonus points for big shadows.

A redesign that uses broad shadows?!?! Hold me! Design by Jordan Warmoes-Nielsen.

I know…hear me out on this one. Dongles rank right between “Cereal boxes with only a little cereal left” and “The incessant beeping of a microwave” on the list of The World’s Most Annoying Things. But when you walk into a room and announce, “I need special equipment in order to show my work to you fine ladies and gentlemen!”…you feel like Steve-friggin-Jobs presenting the new iPhone. Everyone has saved at least one meeting by having the exact right dongle to plug into that 13" Mid-2013 Retina MacBook Pro.

Kickstarter Idea: Dongle Utility Belt

Everyone has that one guilty pleasure that involves not doing something. You’ve got your Moleskine, six bottles of ink, and one of those fancy nib pens sharp enough to get confiscated at the airport. Heck, you might even do adult coloring books. But, nothing is better than skipping all of the necessary planning, sketching, and pre-work and jumping directly into Sketch. It’ll be fiiiiinne. Sketching is for chumps anyway, right?

Pictured: Actual page from my notebook. Seriously, why do I even try?

I love to hate them, and hate that I love them. Nine out of every ten times, your design gets bashed, you’re publicly shamed, and you start seriously considering a new career in artisan candle making. But you still post, because evvvvery once in a while people are nice and say things that make you feel good. And that high is enough to get you through that Monday morning design critique. At least someone liked my work! Real people! On the Internet!

Story of my life. Comic by Chris Harding.

“No way!” you say emphatically. “Meetings totally kill my productivity.”

Boy, do I have great news for you. Meetings also mean you can mentally clock out for at least 30–60 minutes. That’s more than enough time to read some more Medium articles about how horrible meetings are. Or learn how to appear busy. Now matter how you spend your new free-time, be honest with yourself and appreciate that you’re most likely getting paid to do nothing. And isn’t that everyone’s dream?

I’ve been known to just get up and go get food during a meeting. Illustration from Sarah Cooper’s hilarious book.

“Show us a screenshot of your desktop!” — 18,399 comments


/quickly throws 68 unrelated desktop files into a folder labeled “miscellaneous” and hides it somewhere obvious like My Documents

*hastily Google’s clean 4K desktop wallpapers for designers*

“Here’s mine. I like to keep it clean like my desk at home.” — 5,821 upvotes

Sure you do…

…sure you do.

Fresh air helps me think. Seriously. It also helps me avoid starting on that boring new modal dialog design that I really don’t want to do.

But hey…at least I get my 10,000 steps in!

I cropped out my procrastinating colleagues to absolve them from guilt. You’re welcome, guys! Photo cred.

This Guilty Pleasure™ brought to you by Fitbit:
Helping procrastinators everywhere!

When I’m not writing, I’m working on Sketch design tools like UX Power Tools to make you a better, more efficient designer. All the best Sketch designers are using it, and I think you might like it, too. Check it out on Marvel!

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Jon Moore

Principal Design Partner Innovatemap in Indianapolis. Creator of The Design Encyclopedia (https://www.designencyclopedia.io). Email: 1jonmoore@gmail.com