Ex Libris

Screen grab of a hand/arm and a chicken

Some choice words from the pundits that I’ve posted, shared, pointed to, quoted, and enjoyed.

Below is a combination of design-specific commentary, some useful insights and inspiration.

There is so much written these days, on a multitude of platforms and outlets–it’s how some designers build careers after all–but as someone recently pointed out objectivity and actual design criticism in relation to tech products is pretty much non-existent. Work is almost always being discussed from a designer’s perspective and often by someone with interests directly connected to what is being examined.

Anyway, here are my indulgences:

The Art of Designing With Heart

How to make useful, friendly software for real people.


We all know about the revolution of the 60’s and we are familiar with terms like “youth activism,” “student protests” and “children of the revolution” – but are these phrases of the past? Where is this happening today? Are we becoming lazy or just revolting via taps of our iPhones?

Making a case for letter case

A little thing like capitalization can be a big deal.

10 Icons of Brutalist Architecture, from the Breuer to the Barbican

With béton brut (“raw concrete”) as its namesake and primary material, Brutalism initially surfaced in the middle of the 20th century, in part as a quick, economical solution to the urban destruction wrought by World War II. At first centered in England, the style spread across the world in the following decades, proposing a radical new form of Modernism, steeped in socialist ideas, that embraced hard lines and a utilitarian lack of ornamentation. Long reviled but recently revived, Brutalism is nothing if not striking, with its heavy, imposing buildings that privilege function over form. Here are 10 of the world’s most iconic examples of the style.

Mobile First: Insights from going mobile only

Joe Toscano spent a month without a computer. Here’s what that experience taught him about mobile-first best practices.

Goodbye, etc: why the UK government will stop using Latin abbreviations online

Software for the visually impaired often has trouble with ‘eg’, ‘ie’ etc – ergo gov.uk plans to phase them out.

How to Support Design Decisions Through Iterative Testing

A while ago I was tasked with designing new features for a client’s data-rich web app. The requirements came from business analysts who, together with the product owner, would talk to the client’s product manager and discuss the features that needed built.

8 principles of bot design

Despite plenty of excitement it’s still unclear how conversational UIs can be made to work in a practical sense.

Complexion Reduction: A New Trend In Mobile Design

We have been living in a world of ‘clean and minimal’ for quite some time, so what’s next?

A designer’s guide to Parkinson’s Law of Triviality

What to do when your team is focused on unimportant details.

The London Underground’s Iconic Typeface Gets A Redesign

Monotype overhauls Johnston, the official font of the London Underground, for the first time since 1979.

How to choose the right UX metrics for your product

When designing for the web, you can analyze usage data for your product and compare different interfaces in A/B tests. This is sometimes called “data-driven design”, but I prefer to think of it as data-informed design — the designer is still driving, not the data.