Angry Birds Slingshot
Angry Birds Slingshot

“An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” — O. W. Kenobi

I am aware that it is the year 2021, and that talking about Angry Birds now might look as anachronistic. Yet I still believe that these characters, especially their original incarnation, offer some very important lessons relevant for Character Designs and Branding.

Full disclosure: my first job in the gaming industry was at Rovio. I had a good fortune to be hired by them in 2012 when they were arguably at their peak. Back then I was just a novice game designer there without much say in how…

As a UX designer and a music producer, I can’t help but wonder why many music production software knobs are still resembling, with such accuracy, knobs on real-world audio recording gear.

When elements of an interface resemble real objects is called skeuomorphism. Skeuomorphism was announced dead by Forbes in 2007 and yet it’s still thriving in music production software.

Skeuomorphism and flat design, a brief history.

This visual language used in computer interfaces proposed in the early 80’ was intended to make early computer interfaces much easier to use for all kinds of audiences. How? The idea was to use objects recalling the real world in order to create affordances, a set of objects that’s shape suggests its use.

After 30 years, software companies recognized that there was no need for that. The main reason was that there’s…

I coded circles every day for a month and this is what I came up with.

Warning: If you do not like circles, this article is not for you. Wait for my article about squares! 
a moving circle leaving a trail of varying size
a moving circle leaving a trail of varying size
circle trail

Right around the beginning of May, in the last few days of April, I began learning OpenRNDR. As a way to learn the framework, the first things I tried to code were circles. And lots of them! I coded circles in such profundity as I’ve never had in my life.

With that impulse, I found myself coding every single day and most of the work I produced involved circles. I would like to share what I found with you!

  1. Trails
  2. Soddy…

Does a crowdsourced network justify the privacy concerns?

Branding sketch of Amazon’s new sidewalk functionality.
Branding sketch of Amazon’s new sidewalk functionality.

On June 8, Amazon is rolling out Sidewalk, its mesh network designed to amplify its hardware ecosystem by improving device setup, range, and wi-fi reliability. Amazon device owners will be automatically enrolled. While they can opt out, privacy advocates worry the default opted-in approach will push people into an untested network.

What is Amazon’s Sidewalk Network?

Amazon Sidewalk creates a low-bandwidth network that pools a small portion of your internet bandwidth to increase connectivity and range. This allows smart home devices to create a bridge between your WiFi and one another. …

Clubhouse app on iOS
Clubhouse app on iOS
Photo by Erin Kwon on Unsplash

Have you ever heard about Clubhouse? The first time I heard about this app was last May 2020, with this article from Wired “What is Clubhouse, and Why Does Silicon Valley Care?”. Clubhouse is the first social media app only based on audio chat (available on iOS and Android now). On the app, you choose different interests to see which “rooms” are live and the ones which are coming soon. You can enter a room, just listen or participate (or leave it quietly) like a virtual conference or party (depending on your interests !). Clubhouse is (for the moment) an…

How might we increase design maturity in businesses which are not inherently design-driven? I think this is a practical challenge that product designers face.

A diagram demonstrating a gulf between 2 circles, which each circle representing design and business respectively
A diagram demonstrating a gulf between 2 circles, which each circle representing design and business respectively
How might we bridge this ‘gulf’, if there is one?

In the book Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda, the author notes that if there was one definitive statement which could be made about what design is, it will be — in Steve Jobs’ words — “design is how it works”. I think the simplicity of this statement is deceiving, for it is just as thought-provoking. Design is how it works. It is the product, users come to it, form follows function. Every aspect of how the product works, is essentially, design. Design is not a means to an end, but it is the end all.

As a product designer who…

Designing gender-inclusive products require us to affirm gender-diverse identities rather than erase them.

Gender Diverse Graphic
Gender Diverse Graphic
Photo from Orana Velarde, What Is Gender-Neutral Design? Here’s How and When to Use It

I recently read the UX Collective’s 100 Design Lessons for 2021 and was quite upset to find that apparently a user’s gender no longer matters in 2021. While the sentiment is well-intentioned, the impact of those intentions could have detrimental effects on the LGBTQ+ community and erase gender-diverse identities from our products. In this article, I will explain how ignoring gender identity is harmful to the LGBTQ+ community, the historical context behind gender identity, and working solutions toward creating more gender-inclusive products.

“When it comes to diversity, our good intentions are only the beginning.” …

Taking a sneak peek at the life of a mother in the design community.

The author is holding her one year old son next to his birthday cake
The author is holding her one year old son next to his birthday cake
Thanks to unlimited holidays, I managed to take the week off from work to celebrate my son’s first birthday

In January, I wrote Mothers that UX to speak broadly about the experiences of UX professionals that represent a minority within a minority (e.g., Ladies that UX). That piece discussed the intersectionality theory and the gender wage gap. Also, it elaborated on how working mothers in our sector faced challenges that are not experienced by women in design at large.

Since then, quite a few women contacted me over LinkedIn and shared how much they have identified with the piece. …

A closeup of several small jars of sand from different locations around the world where one can see the different grain sizes.
A closeup of several small jars of sand from different locations around the world where one can see the different grain sizes.
Sand comes in many colors, consistencies and from many places.

For as many years as I’ve been with my wife, one of our tasks was to gather sand from wherever we were. I’d always thought it was a pain in the ass, frankly. On every trip, we’ve got to source one or more bags (from kitchens or housekeepers or stores) and at every location with sand, we’d stop and gather a bag of it. Usually about a pound each. Sometimes this meant coming home with 5 or more bags in our suitcases. My wife would diligently hand-write the location where the sand was gathered. …

Early in my career in art and design, the one question that used to bother me a lot is ‘How exactly do I appreciate art?’ and connecting to this ‘Why do people tell a work is beautiful?’. I soon realised the answer to this was multiple: everything from the thought, the message, the subjective meaning, the story, the artist’s life and then the visual principles like arrangement of the elements, composition, lighting and more. The more I ventured into this, the more I was “analysing” a work of art, rather than “enjoying” or “feeling” it. And from this came a…

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