Product Design Digest April 2019

Product Design Digest April 2019

Product design digest, April 2019

The digest collects fresh articles on interface design, as well as tools, patterns, cases, trends and historical stories since 2009. I carefully filter a large stream of subscriptions so that you can upgrade your professional skills and better solve work tasks. Previous issues: April 2010-March 2019 .

Patterns and best practices

Spectacle - The Best Video Marketing Inspiration

A collection of good video presentations of products and their updates.

Building to learn - The role of prototyping in Design

A chic article by Adobe Cantrell from Adobe on how the design team uses prototypes to better understand the problem and improve the interface. He tells in detail about the tasks that the prototype solves in complex grocery work.

From Like Buttons to Message Bubbles - The UX Designs You Can't Use

Christie Tang has studied and described the interface patents of large technology companies. Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Snapchat, Samsung, Netflix, Airbnb, Tinder.

advise digital payment experience

Adil Siddiqui gathered visual recommendations on the design of mobile payment interfaces. All examples are accompanied by animation in context.

Privacy UX - Better Cookie Consent Experiences

Vitaly Friedman from Smashing Magazine examines examples of requests for the use of cookies in modern websites. A fairly large collection of one of the most clumsy interfaces in the history of user interfaces.

In the next article, he gives advice on a user-friendly product notification policy . It takes into account all the channels - the product itself, the browser, the operating system, additional channels like mail and SMS.

In the final of the cycle, he offers mini-framework for accurate work with personal data of users .

Baymard Institute Research

The importance of cross-references to different configurations and product versions .

Design systems and guidelines

Acronis Design System

Acronis has been developing its design system for several years and has published several articles about it, but apart from this, little was known about it. The other day, the guys posted a video presentation that shows the main features. It turned out to be a powerful tool, where there is a library of components in the code and their combination with symbols in Sketch. It shows the use for the assembly of pages, test coverage, statistics on the use of components - all fashionable things in design systems. I can't wait to add a link to the live guide in the club of the creators of domestic systems .

VKUI Styleguide

VKontakte design system for mobile applications. Supports content based on tokens . Repository .

Mikhail Likhachev talks about creating a dark theme for mobile applications . To do this, they needed to transfer part of the variables to tokens, so they improved the basis for the design system.

United States Web Design System

The second version of the USWDS 2.0 US government website design system. Tokens , thematic and all that .

Designing Our Design Systems Team

Ben Lister talks about the creation of Sprout Social design system and how its team has changed. As it often happens, it began with a group of enthusiasts who allocated 30% of their time to work on it, but a full-fledged dedicated group gradually formed. Very cool example of how such a team evolves with clearly described problems, goals and objectives.

Bonus: Sprout Social design team blog .

Size in Design Systems

Nathan Curtis shows how to describe several component densities in a design system.

Z-Index In-A Component-Based Web Application

Pavel Pomerantsev gives advice on system work with z-index in component design systems. How to ensure that components do not break when pasting into different pages.

Design Systems Publication

Jina Anne mini-magazine about Medium design systems with interesting articles by third-party authors.

Why don’t we just use material design?

Ben Moss talks about the limits of utility of open design systems of famous companies on the example of Material Design.


  • Moving in the direction of a full-fledged live guide for designers, not just developers, the basics of the visual language (colors, typography, pictograms) can be derived in the new version and, in general, it is better to describe the components.

Understanding the User

Children’s Digital Technology

Kim Flaherty and Kate Moran from the Nielsen/Norman Group write about concerns about over-use of gadgets by children and how parents are struggling with this.

The fight to regulate dangerous design is heating up

In the UK, legislation restricting digital products when used by children is being discussed. They are easily bought for all tricks in involving users, which leads to addiction.

Sympathy vs. Empathy in UX

Sarah Gibbons of the Nielsen/Norman Group writes about the differences between sympathy and empathy. Designers do not always use these terms correctly, but are confused with pity and compassion somewhere.

The map is not the territory - Empathy in design

David Siegel and Susan Dray talk about empathy cards that follow characters 'paths - become “like” substitutes for users' understanding, without actually giving the required depth.

Information architecture, conceptual design, content strategy

Lisa Maria Martin - Everyday Information Architecture

A List Apart released in April 2019 the book Lisa Maria Martin "Everyday Information Architecture". They publish a excerpt from chapter 4 .

Journey Mapping - 9 Frequently Asked Questions

Sensible tips by Alita Joyce and Kate Kaplan from the Nielsen/Norman Group to create a customer journey map. Should I break a map into several, how to involve non-designers, what research to conduct and other useful introductory data.

The User’s Perspective

John Rhea offers a simplified version of customer journey map in a hero travel format.

Translation, localisation or transcreation?

AnneSophie Delafosse from Deliveroo describes three approaches to adapting content for other countries - translation, localization and re-creation from the original brief.

Reference Service: Fitness clubs

Stanislav Khrustalev continues a series of posh publications on Customer Journey Map with a detailed analysis of the customer experience of the fitness club visitor.

Why we made a content design playbook

Pete Kowalczyk from Deliveroo talks about how to prepare content for interfaces. These are five stages: problem definition, information structuring, expressive means, specification and polishing.

New Interface Design Tools

Sketch 54

There is no revolution: improving the dark theme, guides, insert pictures and symbols.


  • Sketch Lint : Brings the idea of ​​lint to check layouts for compliance with the basic parameters of a design system. It highlights inconsistencies in the interface elements.

Adobe XD

Collection of free illustrations .


Rasmus Andersson about redesigning the interface . Read also the overview of working with grids .

Sheet 2 Site

The second version of the generator of simple sites from the tables in Google Sheets. A bunch of new templates and important integrations.


A simple online service inserts an interactive video prototype into the frame of the phone for a promo.


The service makes a schematic version of the layout for presentations and promotional sites.

Google Earth Studio

The Google Earth team has released a tool that allows you to collect video overflight over cities based on their maps.

Speak Human

A generator of fish interface texts that are believable.

Workbench Suite

A bunch of simple tools for working on layouts - cutting the desired size, tagging, meta tags, creating a color palette from a photo and others.


Visual service for the selection of the color palette for the interface. Immediately try them on the abstract screen of the mobile application.

Moleskine Studio

Moleskine launched their app for sketching on a tablet.

Vector Flow

Procedural tool for working with vector graphics. In a format similar to Origami, you build nodes and their dependencies, as a result you get a generative illustration.


Another form designer. Collects and stores the entered data.


Another tool for collaboration in the digital analogue marker board. Charts, mental maps, conceptual models and all that.

Sketch vs Figma, Adobe XD, And Other UI Design Applications

Sketch, Figma and Adobe XD comparison by key features from Ashish Bogawat. A good way to quickly figure out for those who know only one product.

Awesome Design Tools

A good catalog of design tools in different categories.


Keyboard shortcuts with the Sketch, Figma and Photoshop hotkeys.

Custom Research and Analytics


Mobile application allows you to test sites on the iPhone using eye tracking. Of course, you need a phone from the latest generations.

How User Team Research Integration

Jared Spool offers a custom research maturity model in a team. Its important clarification is that it makes sense to evaluate maturity with a particular team, and not with the organization as a whole.

The lean research memo

Dani Nordin from athenahealth shows a template of preparatory documents and a user research report in a lean format.

Give Your Research Skills Away -

Good advice from Nancy Lincoln Perry from Microsoft on involving the entire product team in user research. How to improve their design literacy and put tools in place to conduct quick product evaluations so that the researchers themselves can focus on strategic objectives.

Skip User Research Unless You Doing It Right - Seriously

Joe Munko talks about the importance of reusing insights found in user research. In the course of the endless race to test grocery solutions, they forget about it, but investing in the knowledge base is great then pay off.

Visual programming and browser design

Andy Clarke - Art Direction For The Web

Smashing Magazine released Andy Clarke's Art Direction for the Web. It tells about the possibilities of modern technologies in a spectacular presentation of brands on the web. One of the articles shows what a spectacular magazine layout can be done with CSS Shapes .

New Scripts

Important Browser Updates

Metrics and ROI

Why You Should Measure UX Attitudes

Jeff Sauro describes ways to assess brand attitudes according to three criteria: beliefs, feelings, and intended behavior. Estimates within each category may be controversial, but this is important for focused product development.

Design Management and DesignOps

Design Leadership Notebook

Dennis Hambeukers launched a blog on design management, where he describes his vision of the system development of design in companies (before that, he led a similar on service design ). The entire archive (there are about 50 articles) is hardly worth reading (many repetitions, the highlighted articles summarize the main ideas well). But it is clear that he does well in various kinds of conceptual design models, so there’s enough of useful.

A design maturity model that he put together based on the recent approach of InVision and 1972 Larry Greiner classic concept . A strong idea of ​​growth crises is added to the familiar “ladder”, which pushes the next step.

Approach changes in design and organization . An accompanying article about specific steps.

Approach scaling design in a company . Covering article with a model of design benefits at different levels, allowing you to move from product design to organization design.

Design process model based on two popular approaches - a double diamond and gradually unraveling tangle. He called it a "kite" and generally looks like the truth.

Three stages of growing up of a design process. : do, learn, think - as you go, the return from it increases.

Design development stages (offline brand, business software, end-user software) user) and the modern world where the brand and the UX merge into one.

The key role of prototyping in a modern design process is that all stages of working on a product revolve around them.

UX Responsibilities in Scrum Ceremonies

The coolest memo for designers working in the agile process from Anna Kaley of the Nielsen/Norman Group. It shows how to effectively participate in all meetings and scheduling, which are quite intensive in the canonical approach.

Developing UX Teams

Matt Griffin from Shopify talks about the approach to the development of designers in his team. How pair work helps to transfer skills from strong to growing specialists. In the first two parts was a little less interesting, but could also be useful.

The feedback
Fabricio Teixeira gives advice on conducting design review sessions. How to communicate your point of view and comments to other people's decisions.

Bonus: How to conduct a review at
Asana and IBM .

Design Your Team

Jennifer Brook from Dropbox has published a small framework for defining the common values ​​of a design team. Download the instruction and cards .

I like it

Jared Spool cites five criteria for the benefits of a business-specific design: increase revenues, reduce operating expenses, increase revenues from a new or existing business, and increase the value of business for shareholders. For each of them, he shows examples of useful things from the design side.

Product Management and Analytics

Assumption Slam - How not to make it out for me

Julie Booth from Shopify describes her approach to working with hypotheses through a familiar 2 × 2 priority matrix.

(Value ÷ Effort) x Confidence = Priority

Jared Spool talks about the prioritization approach for the product team that product designers can use. It takes into account the value, complexity of implementation and confidence in success.


New and what’s the octopus

Artyom Gladkov spoke about the redesign of Mail. The article tells about the history of work on the eighth version of the product - the principles of design, the initial concepts, the ideas laid out and their run-in on users.


Yegor Korobeynikov talks about the rebranding of RealtimeBoard, which later became Miro. Not bad and quite detailed about the process and key stages. Barbara Gago on the prerequisites for rebranding and using a brand sprint .

How We Redesigned Heap's App in Three Months

Dave Feldman talks about redesigning the Heap service.

Screenshots redesign

Gil Bouhnick studied the best practices of screenshots in application stores and put together his solution, which gave a good exhaust.

How to create a dark theme and do no harm. Experience team Yandex. Mail

Vladimir Klepov from the Yandex Mail team talks about several approaches to automated repainting mailing letters for a dark topic.


Web Design Trends 2019 - Voice Interfaces, Image Search, Fortnite, Roads our world

Very useful overview of trends from Awwwards. Since many of the weary things like animation and large typography turned into genres, they consider the specific nuances of their application, and not just the presence. There are also about visual techniques, and about interfaces, and about the profession in general.

For general and professional development

April Fools

The 10 Usability Heuristics - Free posters for every design office

Visual posters for the classic 10 heuristics of Jacob Nielsen.

Scapegoating User Experience Design

Khoi Vinh examines an article by the Washington Post about how Nest and other companies with smart home products put their customers at risk . Ease of use is important for them, which is why they reduce important security measures like two-factor authorization, which is critical for a product-related personal data.

People and companies in the industry

Purchases of design studios by large companies

Sign up for a digest on Facebook , VKontakte , Telegram or by mail - there fresh links appear every week. Thanks to everyone who shares the links in the group, especially Gennady Dragun, Pavel Skripkin, Dmitry Podluzhny, Anton Artyomov, Denis Efremov, Alexey Kopylov, Taras Brizitsky, Evgeny Sokolov and Anton Oleynik.

Source text: Product Design Digest April 2019