👉 My UI book: www.designingui.com 👉 My Design YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/MalewiczHype 👉 We build apps at www.hype4.com

Design tools are ultra powerful now, yet they seem to highlight the nightmarish features of collaboration the most.

where teams design together — spoof
where teams design together — spoof

Yes, this is going to be one of those controversial articles, and if you’re a Figma superfan, you likely want to start throwing rocks at me right now. Am I right? But please hold off for a while, and hear me out.

Collaboration is…

Starting my design career in the late ’90s, collaboration simply meant someone sitting behind your shoulder at a clunky grey PC, and pointing at the screen.

“Move that here!” and then “No, that’s too far…”

Collaboration in design of the early 2000's
Collaboration in design of the early 2000's

Our CRT monitors got smudges where the fingers pointed, so the more smudged the display was, the more feedback someone had received. …

UI Trends 2020–2021

Another year, another UI trend is becoming increasingly popular among designers. Do you know it yet?

Glassmorphism in user interfaces
Glassmorphism in user interfaces
Of course this example is purposefully “over the top”.

Last year I unintentionally started the craze around Neumorphism, but as I predicted then, it didn’t really take over the design scene. In that very first article, I also mentioned all the potential accessibility problems this style faces, which hopefully helped all the other articles raising accessibility issues that year :-)

Sure — there were some apps and products done in this style, but most notable, widespread uses were in some Samsung ads and in the MKBHD intro video. …

We’ll be able to do even more! With great design power, comes a need for greater computing power.

Apple Event november 2020
Apple Event november 2020

Today Apple has announced the first computer running on their own in-house made CPU. Of course, they teased it back in June and sent a nice-looking ARM-based Mac mini to developers. But now it’s real — an official machine that you can buy.

M1 Macbook Pro
M1 Macbook Pro
The new MBP is the one I’m getting. Source: Apple Keynote

This is actually a really big deal for designers. Over the years we fell into a typical trap in computing — the more power we had (and used) the more we realised that it’s never enough.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

A mobile app design in Photoshop
A mobile app design in Photoshop

Photoshop design era

When I first started to design websites, we only had Photoshop. At that time it allowed for a single “artboard” or project that you can work at the same time. Sure, you can open more “files”, but you’d have to switch between them to work. So in reality you only moved then-bitmap rectangles on one “artboard”. …

Square 3

It’s the value that matters.

UX is overrated
UX is overrated

As a person who has been doing so called “UX” for about 22 years now I’m going to pop that bubble for you today. Again.

There’s the notion, that UX is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the product.

But it’s really not.

Value is the most important part of the product.

So what is UX?

It’s simply the friction that appears where you want to get to the value. The better the UX, the lower the friction. But it doesn’t depreciate the value, only the road to it.

When the value is mindblowing good, people will jump through flaming hoops of bad UX to get there. …

Square 2

Hey, “Designer”, don’t be so serious.

Laws of UX
Laws of UX


If User Experience has “laws”, and they are so complex that the UX people need to explain them to the users, does it mean that we’re all lawyers?

In reality 90% of people with any intelligence actually subconsciously GET these laws. Why? Since the smartphone revolution in 2007, we are all using the same products daily. We know our sh**.

The understanding gap is not as big as it used to be. No, really. Most regular people really know what works and what doesn’t in digital products. They don’t need UX experts to explain it to them anymore.

What do you think?

How app icons are fighting for our lower attention spans.

Image for post
Image for post

The most recent, controversial Google app icon redesign sparked a discussion around the direction in which digital product icons are moving in general.

App icons have to be brighter, more colorful, and as vibrant as humanly possible. They practically jump out at you. Companies simply cannot afford their products being “missed”, or used rarely because the competition is screaming for attention much louder.

Minimalism? No. Skeuomorphism? No thanks!

There was a time when super-minimalistic, type-based logos were a thing. …

Square 1

Procrastination From Home

Procrastination From Home
Procrastination From Home

Hi, Welcome to Square — this is going to be my super-short-form here. Like Twitter and Medium had a baby and it looked something like this.

Twitter merged with Medium
Twitter merged with Medium

I’m starting to see that staying at home is giving us more creative ways to procrastinate, as we can now do it at our workspace with mostly nobody looking.

We’re building in public … our bad habits. 🤣

My desk looks like a weird mix of snacks, hipster-drink bottles, bottle caps and other non-essentials.

Glued to the screen and almost merging with my chair I’m beginning to notice PFH becoming the next big thing.

The billion dollar idea — maybe it’s time to write a book on how to professionally waste time?

How’s your day?

How fragmentation will affect the way we design UIs.

iPhone 12 screen fragmentation
iPhone 12 screen fragmentation

On October 13th, Apple held an annual iPhone event and introduced four new iPhones. Most of the discussion was obviously about the new design and the features, so let’s get those out of the way:

I think coming back to the iPhone 5/iPad Pro style is a great choice and I personally love that design. I also like the pro features and the fact of having a smaller iPhone available as well. The magnetic charging can bring back hopes of a future Apple laptop (ARM based) charging the same way.

But there is an elephant in this metal and glass room

If you’re a designer working on mobile apps (or responsive websites) you probably know, that there has been a growing number of Apple mobile devices to choose from. This is what the Artboard presets looked like in Sketch and Figma so far. …

How we redefined the way we brainstorm

hype4 crew brainstorming
hype4 crew brainstorming

My goal for hype4 was always to be different. I spent my first decade in the design industry in a couple of agencies, and their micromanaging, lengthy processes and “tried and true approach” to everything was a catalyst for that change.

I simply didn’t want to be like them.

Change space.

One of the key elements of our process is simply getting out of the office. We usually do these sessions at least once a week, where we book a table at a local coffee place and brainstorm.

There is, however, a certain process we follow while brainstorming, to make sure we’re the most effective. It came to life over countless iterations, some lucky finds and some spilled coffee. …

Skill growth is a slow process, but can you hack hard work with a plan?

one trick to get good at product design
one trick to get good at product design

The one advice

One advice I always give to junior designers is that they need to design.

A lot.

And then some more. As with everything you get both better and more confident with practice. It may sound simple and obvious, but it really is not. People enter the job market with only the projects they done in school (which often is just one project) and expect to get hired. That’s very unlikely. You need to do a lot of work outside of the classes, courses and bootcamps.

Obviously you may also need a solid foundation or a mentor, as doing a lot of things the wrong way won’t help you get better. But I’m assuming you know the basics already. And you use apps and websites for years now, so you likely also know what works well and what doesn’t. …

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