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README.md

image

Easy ways to add design flair, user delight, and whimsy to your product!

The Spark Joy philosophy is explained in further detail in my book, check it out if you'd like to explore how this approach applies to a lot more than design utilities.

Table of Contents

Web Design in 4 minutes

Keep it simple: https://jgthms.com/web-design-in-4-minutes/

CSS/UI Templates

HTML/CSS nice templates

Serious CSS Frameworks

Heavier CSS Frameworks

bigger learning curve, may have js, but more OOTB)

Drop-in CSS Frameworks

lighter, no js. preview some of these with https://sites.yax.com/

Superlight: 100 bytes of css to look great nearly everywhere

html {
  max-width: 60ch;
  padding: 1.5rem;
  margin: auto;
  line-height: 1.5rem;
  font-size: 24px;
}

Fun CSS Frameworks

focus is fun

focus is brutalism

focus is fun/nostalgia

focus in futurism

CSS Resets

more control in exchange for more work on your part.

CSS A11y Checkers

Tailwind Component Libraries

Elevation

Good idea to have an elevation system in place. Material's is pretty good: https://material.io/design/environment/elevation.html

Component Default elevation values (dp)
Dialog 24
Modal bottom sheet Modal side sheet 16
Navigation drawer 16
Floating action button (FAB - pressed) 12
Standard bottom sheet Standard side sheet 8
Bottom navigation bar 8
Bottom app bar 8
Menus and sub menus 8
Card (when picked up) 8
Contained button (pressed state) 8
Floating action button (FAB - resting elevation) Snackbar 6
Top app bar (scrolled state) 4
Top app bar (resting elevation) 0 or 4
Refresh indicator Search bar (scrolled state) 3
Contained button (resting elevation) 2
Search bar (resting elevation) 1
Card (resting elevation) 1
Switch 1
Text button 0
Standard side sheet 0

Spacing

More. Spacing. Please.

Double your whitespace

Layout

When in doubt, use Material Layout: https://material.io/design/layout/responsive-layout-grid.html#breakpoints

Screen size Margin Body Layout columns
Extra-small (phone)
0-599dp 16dp Scaling 4
Small (tablet)
600-904 32dp Scaling 8
905-1239 Scaling 840dp 12
Medium (laptop)
1240-1439 200dp Scaling 12
Large (desktop)
1440+ Scaling 1040 12

special topic - responsive media

Typography

typography matters https://twitter.com/kvncnls/status/1399077512014086150?s=21

Fonts

For speed, use System Font Stacks (incl. Segoe and Roboto)

(what are these?)

  html {
    font-family:
      system-ui,
      /* macOS 10.11-10.12 */ -apple-system,
      /* Windows 6+ */ Segoe UI,
      /* Android 4+ */ Roboto,
      /* Ubuntu 10.10+ */ Ubuntu,
      /* Gnome 3+ */ Cantarell,
      /* KDE Plasma 5+ */ Noto Sans,
      /* fallback */ sans-serif,
      /* macOS emoji */ "Apple Color Emoji",
      /* Windows emoji */ "Segoe UI Emoji",
      /* Windows emoji */ "Segoe UI Symbol",
      /* Linux emoji */ "Noto Color Emoji";
  }
  code, kbd, pre, samp {
    font-family:
      /* macOS 10.10+ */ Menlo,
      /* Windows 6+ */ Consolas,
      /* Android 4+ */ Roboto Mono,
      /* Ubuntu 10.10+ */ Ubuntu Monospace,
      /* KDE Plasma 5+ */ Noto Mono,
      /* KDE Plasma 4+ */ Oxygen Mono,
      /* Linux/OpenOffice fallback */ Liberation Mono,
      /* fallback */ monospace;
  }
Premium fonts and some examples

you can learn more about proofing premium fonts here https://www.typography.com/blog/text-for-proofing-fonts

Font Loading Strategy

  • https://github.com/zachleat/web-font-loading-recipes
  • https://iainbean.com/posts/2021/5-steps-to-faster-web-fonts/
  • Everything Harry Roberts writes
    • Google Fonts strategy

       <!--
         - 1. Preemptively warm up the fonts’ origin.
         -
         - 2. Initiate a high-priority, asynchronous fetch for the CSS file. Works in
         -    most modern browsers.
         -
         - 3. Initiate a low-priority, asynchronous fetch that gets applied to the page
         -    only after it’s arrived. Works in all browsers with JavaScript enabled.
         -
         - 4. In the unlikely event that a visitor has intentionally disabled
         -    JavaScript, fall back to the original method. The good news is that,
         -    although this is a render-blocking request, it can still make use of the
         -    preconnect which makes it marginally faster than the default.
         -->
      
       <!-- [1] -->
       <link rel="preconnect"
             href="https://fonts.gstatic.com"
             crossorigin />
      
       <!-- [2] -->
       <link rel="preload"
             as="style"
             href="$CSS&display=swap" />
      
       <!-- [3] -->
       <link rel="stylesheet"
             href="$CSS&display=swap"
             media="print" onload="this.media='all'" />
      
       <!-- [4] -->
       <noscript>
         <link rel="stylesheet"
               href="$CSS&display=swap" />
       </noscript>
  • font-display: optional may be good
  • don't load fonts if prefers-reduced-data see Kilian Valkhof

Line Height

https://www.thegoodlineheight.com

Line Width

Don't forget setting max-width - betweeen 60-75chars is good.

Kerning and char spacing

Don't forget setting Leading on your h1 text and minding kerning:

https://hottips.imgix.net/2020/07/044-tracking-animation.gif

Note: vw has known a11y issues: Preserve Zooming. Sara Soueidan recommends wrapping with calc, e.g. font-size: calc(16px + .3vw);

You may wish to use max-width: 60ch on content. Note on the ch unit not being EXACTLY 60 chars

Font Sizing

DON'T GO CRAZY WITH FONT SIZES.

Typography Talks

Other Typography Resources

If building a collaborative design tool that offers font choice, see how Figma does it https://youtu.be/kVD-sjtFoEI

Colors

Pick a primary "brand" color to match your personality. DO NOT OVERUSE IT.

  • Blue: safe, familiar
  • Gold: expensive, sophisticated (Examples, again)
  • Pink: fun, not so serious

You can also have a grey for secondary content, and lighter grey for tertiary content.

Don't use system default/named colors, too brutal. Soften it a bit. "Never use black" has been proposed as a rule, but this is debated.

Here's a more complete primer on color personalities with more examples.

Mind accessibility. 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have color blindness. Make sure to check that important distinctions can be perceived.

Example blueish palette

Monotone:

  • White-ish Card background: #FCFCFC
  • Blueish-Black icons: #1C1E20
  • Lighter text on white: #485963
  • Bluish background: #202D34

Multicolor:

  • Black: #1d1d1d.
  • purple: #b066ff;
  • blue: #203447;
  • lightblue: #1f4662;
  • blue2: #1C2F40;
  • yellow: #ffc600;
  • pink: #EB4471;
  • white: #d7d7d7;
You may or may not want to use generic names if you want it swappable for dark mode:

Example yellowish palette:

  • primary-light: #FFD151 mustard
  • primary-dark: #FFAE03 UCLA gold
  • secondary-success: #20A39E light sea green
  • secondary-warning: #EF5B5B sunset orange
  • secondary-info: #08D377 dark cerulean
  • grays: #E8E9E9, #D1D3D4, #BABDBF, #808488, #666A6D, #4D5052, #333537, #1C1D1E

Examples: https://dev.to/dcodeyt/add-dark-mode-to-your-websites-with-css-5bh4

Note - THIS IS DISPUTED!!! Even Slack's impl has separate light and dark theming.

The problem is "primary" isn't a color, it's a measure of contrast in the current context. On the same page you might have a white panel with a black button and a black panel with a white button, and both of those buttons are "primary" even though they are different colors. - Adam Wathan

One liner dark mode (careful about perf!): filter: invert(100%) hue-rotate(180deg); - more filters here

https://workos.com/blog/5-lessons-we-learned-adding-dark-mode-to-our-platform?ref=sidebar

Palette Generators

Color Gradients

Note: Default gradients often have "hard edges" that are too rough. (example). You can use esaing gradients in future.

Color knowledge

Not tools but still important so here they are

(fun) history of primary colors

Icons and Favicons

Favicons

Don't forget them!

<link rel=""> tags and opengraph

Ideas of things you can include based on my own site.

  <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/favicon.png" />
  <link rel="webmention" href="https://webmention.io/www.swyx.io/webmention" />
  <link rel="pingback" href="https://webmention.io/www.swyx.io/xmlrpc" />
  <meta name="theme-color" content="#818CF8">
  <title>{frontmatter.title} ∊ swyx.io</title>
  <link rel="canonical" href={canonical} />
  <meta property="og:url" content={swyxioURL} />
  <meta property="og:type" content="article" />
  <meta property="og:title" content={seoTitle} />
  <meta name="Description" content={seoDescription} />
  <meta property="og:description" content={seoDescription} />
  {#if frontmatter.cover_image}
    <meta property="og:image" content={coverImage} />
  {/if}
  <meta
    name="twitter:card"
    content={frontmatter.cover_image ? 'summary_large_image' : 'summary'} />
  <meta name="twitter:domain" content="swyx.io" />
  <meta name="twitter:creator" content="@swyx" />
  <meta name="twitter:title" content={seoTitle} />
  <meta name="twitter:description" content={seoDescription} />
  <meta
    name="twitter:image"
    content={frontmatter.cover_image ? frontmatter.cover_image : 'https://www.swyx.io/swyx-ski.jpeg'} />
  <meta name="twitter:label1" value="Last updated" content="Last updated" />
  <meta name="twitter:data1" value={metaDate} content={metaDate} />
  <meta name="twitter:label2" content="Read Time" />
  <meta name="twitter:data2" content={readTime} />

other boilerplates to use

Icons

Logos (incl company logos)

General & Misc

Important: Note on icon accessibility. Don't use icon fonts.

  • Icon + text: use <svg aria-hidden="true">
  • Icon only: <svg role="img"><title>foo</title>...</svg. Pick from Aria roles list.
  • Icon with link: <a href="/" aria-label="Good Label"><svg aria-hidden="true" ... ></svg></a>

Note you can put gradients on SVG icons manually https://play.tailwindcss.com/yM2N8GpEUK

You may like: Free Fundamentals of Icon design in 1 hour course by MDS

premium/paid icons

Diagramming

Before you get to the tools - some good thinking (and lists of tools) on architecture diagrams:

General Purpose Diagramming

software arch

Sequence Diagrams

Specifically for BPMN: https://bpmn.io/

Entity Relationship Diagrams

Cloud Architecture diagrams

useful eg if needs logos

the 5 types of arch diagrams https://www.readysetcloud.io/blog/allen.helton/the-5-types-of-architecture-diagrams/

Code-based Graph tools

Wireframing

Graphics and SVG Illustrations

Hipster Logo Generator? any others?

Backend entity/ ERD /SQL diagramming

DIY illustration

Device Mocks

Mocking your browser/phone

Illustrations

Illo's in context: https://onepagelove.com/tag/illustrations

3D illustrations

Learn 3d illo in blender https://polygonrunway.com/

DIY Graphic Design

Stock Photos and Videos

Image modification for hover effects: https://photomosh.com/

Stock Videos

Avatars

Pure CSS Tricks

border-radius: 50px;
background: #f3d2c3;
box-shadow:  20px 20px 22px #cfb3a6, 
             -20px -20px 22px #fff2e0;

SVG/Canvas Masking

Background Stuff

Background Gradients and Patterns

Not just for background backgrounds - applying gradients and background images to text is super underrated. Examples:

Background Radial Bursts behind images:

https://hottips.imgix.net/2020/07/063-burst.jpg?w=1200&auto=compress

Background Gradients

Make sure to see the Color Gradients section to generate gradients

background-image: linear-gradient(
  120deg,
  hsl(200 50% 90%) 0%,
  hsl(200 100% 90%) 100%
);

https://meshgradient.com/ swirly backgrounds like apple

Background Patterns

Background Illustrations

Background SVG texture

Misc Backgroundy Stuff

Spinners

Animations & Transitions

Individual HTML Elements

Anything But Dropdowns

Instead of dropdowns, use: (https://learnui.design/blog/4-rules-intuitive-ux.html)

  • Segmented Buttons (Horizontal or Vertical)
  • Checkbox
  • Switch
  • Radio button
  • Cards and Visual options (images as buttons)
  • Typeahead (for large dropdown eg countries)
  • Date (calendar control for poisson dates, input type="date" for high variability)
  • Stepper (for numbers)

Buttons

Forms

Tables

Sound

Paid:

Tools:

Lightweight Charts/Dataviz

Nice React Components

React Toasting

React Gamification

Misc Weird fun stuff

Design Software

Figma

Sketch

Generative Design Tools

Canvas

WebGL

3D

ThreeJS

BabylonJS

Video

Tutorials from successful Youtubers

Onboarding

Misc Genres (Handwriting, Pixel, ASCII styles)

RoughJS Tools

Pixel Art

ASCII Art

Perf

Sample meta tags with preconnects
        <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/temporal-icon.png" />
        <meta name="theme-color" content="#317EFB"/>
        <meta property="title" content="Temporal.io: Build Invincible Apps" />
        <meta property="og:title" content="Temporal.io: Build Invincible Apps" />
        <meta name="description" content="Temporal is the open source runtime for running mission critical code that runs atop unreliable, distributed services at any scale." />
        <meta property="og:description" content="Temporal is the open source runtime for running mission critical code that runs atop unreliable, distributed services at any scale." />
        <meta property="og:image" content="https://temporal.io/logo-font-straight-dark.svg" />
        <meta property="og:url" content="http://temporal.io" />
        <meta property="twitter:title" content="Temporal.io: Build Invincible Apps" />
        <meta property="twitter:description" content="Temporal is the open source runtime for running mission critical code that runs atop unreliable, distributed services at any scale." />
        <meta property="twitter:image" content="https://temporal.io/logo-font-straight-dark.svg" />
        <meta property="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image" />
        <meta name="twitter:site" content="@temporaltech" />

        {/* resource hints */}
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://fonts.gstatic.com" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://www.youtube.com" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://yt3.ggpht.com" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://static.doubleclick.net" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://i.ytimg.com" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://s.ytimg.com" />
        <link rel="preconnect" href="https://www.google-analytics.com" />

        <script
          async
          src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=[Tracking ID]"
        />

        <script
          dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{
            __html: `
                  window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
                  function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
                  gtag('js', new Date());
                  gtag('config', '[Tracking ID]');
              `,
          }}
        />

Other Lists like this one

Helpful podcasts/talks/articles

  • How do I learn design? (CodeNewbie)
  • Design foundations for developers (Syntax)
  • Design tips for developers (Syntax)
  • Tactical design advice for developers (The Changelog)
  • UI Design for Developers (Meng To)
  • Learning How to Design (ShopTalk)
  • Laws of UX
  • 100 Things I Know About Design
  • https://learnui.design/blog/4-rules-intuitive-ux.html
    • Obey the Law of Locality
    • Anything But Dropdowns
    • Pass the Squint Test
    • Teach By Example
  • https://littlebigdetails.com/
  • web interface handbook https://imperavi.com/books/web-interface-handbook/
  • Design Principles
  • https://twitter.com/mrcndrw/status/1283078825870532609
  • https://internetdevels.com/blog/the-10-commandments-of-user-interface-design (infographic)
  • 3 most common mistakes of UI design by MDS
    • too many font sizes used. Try to use 1-2 sizes and vary other things like weight, negative space, color, casing.
    • don't over rely on strict mathematical spacing - use optical alignment instead - make judgments based on the needs of the layout.
    • consistent color usage. Tappable = one color. dont make titles and buttons same color. mind accessibility.
  • Simple Layout checklist
    • Clear idea of purpose, target audience, where/how long it will be seen
    • Information hierarchy (vary size, contrast, position)
    • Clear visual structure - pick the most suitable way to group elements
    • Space - leave enough whitespace. Too much > too little
    • Alignment - use as few lines as possible
  • Human Interface Guidelines from Apple, Microsoft, Elementary OS, IBM, etc
  • 50 UI tips https://fifty.user-interface.io/
  • Steve Schoger - little details of visual ui design
    • add a bit of color to your greys
    • saturate greys when using a colored background
    • consider temp when saturating greys
    • use a consistent corner radius
    • use consistent icon set
    • use font size to emphasize impt info
    • use color to create a hierarchy
    • use consistent spacing scale
    • use color to draw attention
    • offset box-shadows
    • easy on the link styles
    • use contrast to create balance
    • pick an appropriate line height
    • use alignment to clean up your design
    • give actions hierarchy
    • consider spacing instead of borders
    • use color to create depth and hierarchy
    • use good fonts
  • Buffer Design tips
    • Color: emotion, personality
    • Balance: symmetry, asymmetry
    • Lines: straight lines for harmony, curved for movement. guide the eyes
    • Typography: 3 max, san-serif for web, kerning for headlines
    • Add Contrast with shapes, color, element sizes
    • Scale: size elemnts differently to draw attention or demonstrate concept
    • Proximity: group related items together. connect colors, fonts, shapes
    • Hierarchy: most impt elements first
    • Repetition: consistency of fonts, colors, logos
    • Direction: F, E, Z pattern. Put key info in left
    • Space: use space to amplify other objects
  • Matt D Smith Checklist (Notion)
    • Do I have a very solid understanding of the human problem I'm solving with this interface?
    • Is this a low, medium, or high complexity project and have I let that drive my decision for designing a low-fidelity version or not?
    • If I'm using reference material, would I feel comfortable putting my design next to the reference and talking through the areas I used for inspiration, without giving the impression that I copied or created a very close derivative?
    • Have I had the necessary conversations with stakeholders and/or developers about the goal of this project and its ability to be implemented. In other words, am I aware of business and/or technological constraints?
    • Typography
      • Have I chosen font sizes very deliberately (ideally 2-4 per screen or section) and pushed myself to use as few as possible?
      • Am I sure there's not a single straggling font size lying around somewhere that could be matched up with another size?
      • Are there any areas where font weight would be a better change instead of font size?
      • Are there any areas where font case—whether UPPERCASE, Title Case, or Sentence case—would be more affective that a font size change?
      • Does the visual hierarchy of my typography content match my intentions with what is the most important on the screen?
      • Do my titles and body copy feel right together? Am I playing with type scale in a fun and dynamic way?
      • Have I defined the usage of certain sizes and/or colors for my typography, whether in my own head or specifically written documentation?
      • Are my typographic color choices extrememly well defined, a specific color for links, actions, buttons versus read-only text, and is there anywhere that can be improved?
      • If applicable, are there any areas where I could add more visual interest to my typography by adding any decorative or informational elements in the surrouding area?
      • Have I intentionally chosen a specific typeface for specific reasons?
      • If I haven't used sytem or open source fonts (SF Pro, Roboto, Inter, Helvetica, etc.) have I done due dilligence on purchasing the appropriate font licensing and/or checked with stakeholders or developers if the font I've chosen is approved and/or can be used during development?
      • Does the typeface I've chosen convey the right personality or feeling that I want to convey?
      • Have I considered adding the ability for a user to choose their own type size based on their preference, and if not have a made sure that the most important content is no smaller than 16px?
    • Layout
      • Have I used the box model concept while laying out out every element of my designs, or are there a few stragglers here and there that I haven't been intentional about?
      • Have I used a clear grid structure with properly aligned elements that visually balance each other out? (12 column, etc.)
      • Have I used an intentional implicit grid for all of the negative space surrounding the elements in my layout, especially to define intentional relationships with my content?
      • Does my design have enough negative space?
      • Are there elements in my design where the negative space could double to create a much nicer layout?
      • Does anything feel too crammed or too tight and have I considered layering the information where necessary to create more simplicity?
      • Is all of the text left or right aligned and scannable where applicable?
      • Does my eye have to dart around all over the screen to view the content or is there a nice line of continuation I can pay attention to while viewing?
      • Are my interface elements balanced compositionally with layout anchors?
      • Are there any areas where my designs have been mathematically aligned, but still feel off? Have I correct these with optical alignment?
      • Is the density of my design appropriate? Is it tight and condensed because of the high volume of information? Is it a medium density? Are there ways to add more negative space to have a more open and friendly feel with a lower density layout?
      • Are there any areas where I could create more intentional prioritization of content by using scale or visual weight with background color changes, etc.?
      • Is there appropriate affordance given to the interactive objects on the screen? Is it easy to see what's scrollable, swipeable, tappable, etc.? Are there areas where I know that it could be made more clear?
      • Have I fully considered exandable/collapseable or other interactive options for some of the components? Does everything on the screen need to be on the screen or is there a more elegant solution for the content that involves adding another page or another section?
    • Color
      • Have a made a conscious choice between using HEX codes, RGB values, or HSB/HSL section methods?
      • Have I double checked to make sure that all of my interface elements have appropriate color contrast and meet at least WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards?
      • Have I made a very conscious decision about my structural colors versus my interactive colors?
      • Have I clearly defined a primary, secondary, and possibly tertiary CTA (call to action) color and used it accordingly?
      • Could my secondary styles and colors be tweaked slightly to better compliment the primary CTA?
      • Have I very strategically defined all of my color usages to create an understandable framework for future color usage? Is there room for improvement?
      • Does my color palette follow a systematic and intentional method for color selection based on a base HUE?
      • Is there room to provide a secondary HUE for structural or interactive colors or is the one I've chosen adequate?
      • Is there any opportunity for using a well-placed gradient? If I'm using a gradient have I double checked that any text used in combination with it is accessible?
      • Have I specifically chosen a very strict set of greys, if applicable, for my entire project across every screen?
      • Are there any greys that are very close in color that could be combined and simplified?
      • Have I revised and/or adjusted my overall color palette to include all colors and usages of those colors for every single element?
      • Have I considered the Z-axis of my layout and how white, grey, and darker colors create a natural depth? Are the objects closest to my foreground the lightest in color?
      • If my UI is dark in color, have I been extremely conscious with the overall contrast and meticulously chosen each color?
      • If my UI is dark in color, have I reserved absolute white and absolute black for specific pieces of the interface? Is there any room for almost black or almost white, with subtle changes in color?
    • Style
      • Have I consciously decided on a specific design direction?
      • Can I intentionally describe my designs with specific adjectives?
      • Have I considered the constraints of the medium I'm designing for and how that should and will affect my designs?
      • Have I very consciously chosen specific corner radius styles? Should they be hard edge, slightly rounded, very rounded, pill-shaped?
      • If I have chosen specific corner radius styles for modules, buttons, etc. have I explored other options to see if there are better alternatives that specifically map to the type of style I'm trying to achieve?
      • Have I very specifically chosen a certain type of border or divider for my content?
      • Have I considered using only negative space to create a separation of content rather than relying on a line or separate modules?
      • Have I made sure my borders or dividers don't overpower the actual content? Could they be toned down to shift focus on the most important areas of the designs?
      • Have I considered depth, lighting, and shadow to the best of its potential? If I'm using any type of depth as a metaphor, are my darkest elements going back into the design and my brightest elements coming forward intentionally?
      • Have I strongly considered how my buttons are interacted with? Hover states, tapped states, etc. Are there any fun animations that I could add to double-down on the direction I'm trying to achieve?
      • Are my buttons working as hard as they should be to create laser-like focus on the most important actions on the screen when applicable?
    • Imagery
      • Knowing that great imagery will make my designs 10X better than subpar imagery, have I intentionally chosen, selected, sourced, or created the absolute best possible imagery for my designs (if applicable)?
      • Does the imagery I'm using make my designs better or is it distracting?
      • Am I intentionally using a static image in my designs that will never be changed, or is there an opportunity to create something more dynamic based on events or user action?
      • Are there places in my design where I can leverage emoji (like on these checklist titles) to create a more unique design?
      • Am I using a rasterized bitmap image when I could be using CSS or an SVG in place of it?
      • If I'm using dynamic imagery in my designs, have I stress tested for all black or all white images to make sure the design still works?
      • If my designs contain user-generated content, have I carefully considered empty states, the ability to change the imagery, the ability to create and/or upload the imagery?
      • Are there smart defaults that look nice when no user generate content has been added?
      • Am I using any imagery that is only "so-so" and not adding great value to the design?
      • Have I paid special attention to any icons used in my project?
      • Are my icons following a strong pattern of size, color, stroke, fill, etc.?
      • Are my icons decorating or interactive and have I made that extremely clear with the designs?
      • Are there any opportunities to create a simple custom illustration (line, shape, pattern, etc.) to add more visual interest to the design?
      • Have I considered how the products marketing site or branding should or will impact the interface?
      • Is there an app store icon that needs to be designed? Are there opportunies to create a fun branded experience between the app icon, the loading screen, and the default view of the first time a user launches the app?
      • If I'm designing a website have I designed a custom favicon that shows up in the browser tab as an extra little detail for my project?
    • Elements
      • Does my project have a clear navigation structure and ideally prioritize the top 5 or fewer links or sections?
      • Have I strongly considered how my input fields function (default, hover, focused, disabled, error, etc.) and created a very clear state design for all possibilities?
      • Do my input fields match the overall style and direction of the project?
      • Are the forms I've designed absolutey necessary and require the most critical information?
      • Have I very clearly communicated the reasons for requiring certain information?
      • If applicable, have I made it clear that certain pieces of information are required for the progress of the user through the app or site?
      • Have I considered all the variables and/or error states if some information is not gathered properly?
      • If my project has user profiles, have I considered what it will look like the first time it's used, after information has been added? Are the mechanisms for editing information abundantly clear or is there room for improvement?
      • Have I carefully considered the implications of a settings screen?
      • Have I done the hardwork of creating smart defaults for the user and not used the settings screen as a dumping ground for all possible changes?
      • Have I carefully chosen lists and/or card-based layouts in my designs based on the volume of information?
      • Are the any missing components to my designs that might not be needed now, but could be very useful in the future, eg. table designs, etc.?
      • Have I considered the states and function of all of my components and created a well-organized file system?
      • Is there a need to turn my clean and organized file-system into an actual design system to be used for other projects?
      • Are there more people on my team (stakeholders, developers, etc.) who need visibility into the choices I'm making for naming components, etc. and should they have an opinion or a say into what things are called as well?
    • Tactics
      • Have I explored LOTS of alternative versions of what I'm trying to design and by process of elimination decided on what works best?
      • If my project is slightly more complex than the average project, whether because of features or team size, have I spent enough time getting everyone on board with how the app should function by using low-fidelity designs?
      • If my project is a web-based project, have I fully considered the mobile version and used that as a way to force prioritization of features and layout?
      • If my project is an application, have a used a mobile-first approach to create simplicity up front?
      • If my project is more of a marketing site, have I designed and explored really nice and impactful desktop versions before confining myself too much with mobile versions?
      • If my project is an iOS app, have I made intentional decisions about where to follow the Apple HIG (human interface guidelines) or where to deviate from it? If I've deviated, do I have a VERY good reason to do so and are the stakeholders and developers OK with this?
      • If my project is an Android app, have I made the decision to exclusively use a material design system, or do I have strong reasons for not doing that?
      • Have I used very intentional placeholder copy and/or images in my designs that could support specific users, etc.?
      • Have I told a story with my designs (based on features) and could I effectively present my designs using what I've created?
      • Are my designs organized in a clear way to showcase specific features and flows?
      • Have I created the necessary prototypes to experiment with animations and interactions?
      • Do I need to create any separate prototype flows to describe certain functionality to stakeholders or developers?
      • Have a been an excellent communicator from the very beginning of the project and now that's it's time to hand off the design, I already know what my developer needs?
  • UI Common Mistakes Checklist
    1. Poor contrast
    2. Many primary buttons
    3. Small clickable area
    4. Poor paddings
    5. Icon inconsistency
    6. Text hard to read/scan
    7. Wrong alignment
    8. Not enough whitespace
    9. Poor validation
    10. Proximity violation
    11. Long text lines
    12. Redundant texts
    13. Poor quality of screenshots
    14. Small font-size
    15. Taking full width when it's not necessary
    16. No hovering state
    17. Poor shadows
    18. Layout shifts
  • Simple design: https://www.anthonyhobday.com/simpledesign/ (rec by Hey designer)
  • Refactoring UI
    • Starting from Scratch
      • Choose a personality
      • Don't design too much
      • Detail comes later
    • Hierarchy
      • Size isn't everything
      • Emphasize by de-emphasizing
    • Layout and Spacing
      • Establish a spacing/sizing system
    • Designing Text
      • Keep your line length in check
    • Working with Color
      • Ditch hex for HSL
    • Creating Depth
      • (to be continued)
    • Emulate a light source
      • (to be continued)
    • Working with Images
      • (to be continued)
    • Finishing Touches
      • (to be continued)
  • Tracy Osborn Checklist
    • Reduce Clutter
      • use ColourLovers for color palettes
      • Fonts - max 2. Use fancy fonts sparingly
      • more whitespace
      • break up walls of text with bullet points
      • big clear CTA buttons
    • Headlines: talk benefits not details. short.
  • Design Details: Principles of Design - Design Details' most downloaded episode of all time!
  • 7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI
    • Light comes from the sky
    • Black and white first
    • Double your whitespace
    • Learn the methods of overlaying text on images
    • Make text pop — and un-pop
    • Use only good fonts
    • Steal like an artist

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