The podcast for UI developers, designers and independent thinkers who strive for simplicity. The state of user interface design and development is at a crossroads: do we embrace complexity and raise the barrier to entry, or can we learn from the past and strive to make our tools, frameworks and methodologies simpler and more intuitive for everyone - regardless of experience or persuasion. I'm a strong believer in the latter, and if you are too, come join me on my journey to make a difference and push back against the forces of complexity and chaos. Featuring guest interviews; reviews of tooling, frameworks and methodologies; deep-dives and tutorials all related, sometimes tangentially, to user interface design and development on the Web, in apps, games and appliances. I will seek out industry professionals and experts who are striving to make real positive change in the industry. Pioneers of simplicity if you will. I also want to talk to people who are struggling in the web design, web development or frontend development industries; perhaps they are like me - fatigued by the increasing complexity around tooling, frameworks and ideologies; perhaps they are new to this space or are thinking about joining and pursuing a career here - and they are feeling overwhelmed and confused. I want to let this latter group know that there is simplicity out there, and that there are great people working hard to turn the tide against the status quo.
#Series - Efficient and scalable Sketch documents - Part One: Symbols
UIT 8: In this weeks episode I start a series on using Sketch to build and maintain efficient and scalable design documents.
Share with the audience why the absence.Cover important aspects of symbols in Sketch.Talk about the future content in this series.Symbols
Symbols, when used properly, help to vastly speed up your workflow by giving you ways to save and reuse common elements across your designs and design systems. They also form the foundation of Sketch libraries (I will cover this in a future episode of this series).
When you make changes to a Symbol, those changes appear everywhere you use it in your designs. One of the major added benefits of symbols is overrides, which allow you to change specific parts of individual Symbols, without altering the underlying symbol itself.
I cover these symbol subtopics in this episode:
Organise with good naming conventionsNest symbols, and treat them akin to an atomic symbolName the layers inside the symbol with generic namesCreate atom variations at equal sizesLearn how to pin the layers that make up your symbols for correct resizingPinning
Before you create a symbol, make sure you spend the minute or so necessary to correctly pin, or anchor, all the elements that make up your component. It makes for drastically simpler and less pain when you eventually find you need to resize them. It’s essential practice for things like forms and buttons. Once you understand the benefits you’ll start setting it on everything!
Full show notes available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/8
Great Ormond Street HospitalSketchSketch: SymbolsSketch: Smart LayoutSketch: ResizingSketch: Fix SizeSketch: Pin to EdgeSupport the show
#QuickCuppa - Design tips for developers Part One
UIT 7: In this weeks episode I share five fundamental tips aimed at developers who want to build their design skills and design appreciation.
Think and plan
As a developer, you wouldn't start building an app or Website without some planning! It's the same for design. Give it the time it deserves.
So before jumping straight to the code, establish a plan. I'd suggest downloading and printing out some gridded PDFs, but using sticky notes, a whiteboard, or sketching in a notepad are all great options. Don't skip this step even if you think you have all the details in your head. When you finalize your wireframes, review it and you will probably notice you are missing something.
Develop a solid understanding of UX principles
One of the most important tips I can give is to get a decent understanding of user experience design. If you can always design with the user in mind, and not your own personal preference (because you aren't usually the target audience) then the slightly less important user interface design will be able to absorb some perhaps more quirky design choices. This might seem like common sense, but I've worked with many CEOs, product owners, project managers and developers who don't appreciate the value of good UX, and it shows.
There are a series of ‘laws' associated with UX design, and I'd recommend digesting these over time. Pick one a day and keep it in your mind throughout your work day.
'Laws of UX' defines twenty laws, with a few examples being:
Aesthetic Usability Effect: Users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as design that's more usable.Fitts's Law: The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target.Law of Proximity: Objects that are near, or proximate to each other, tend to be grouped together.Law of Similarity: The human eye tends to perceive similar elements in a design as a complete picture, shape, or group, even if those elements are separated.Use a colour palette
Unless you've studied colour theory, colour harmony doesn't come naturally to most of us. And trying to come up with colour combinations that complement one another during the design process can be a real bottleneck to beautiful aesthetics or at least seriously slow down the process whilst you try to work out if this colours works here and there... As a solid starting point for a new project I'd suggest a tool like Coolors, and check their Trending palettes... which gives you seemingly endless options.
Over time, you'll develop your own preferences and learn to recognise which colours complement each other, but this is a great starting point...
Full show notes available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/7
Laws of UXSneakpeekitFree Online Graph PaperGridzzlyCoolorsCanvaColormindAdobe ColorDesigner NewsCodepenDribbbleAwwwardsEpisode 4
Full show notes available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/7
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How do we unbundle the Jamstack, thoughts on meta-frameworks, Toast and Party Corgi with Chris Biscardi
UIT 6: In this week’s episode I talk with Chris Biscardi about the Jamstack, gatsbyJS and his own meta-framework called Toast, amongst many other interesting digressions :)
IntroductionJamStackToastParty CorgiMDX ConfWrap Questions
Got into the industry via ActionScript, then moved over JS when Adobe killed it off. Worked at Docker, Dropbox and recently finished a contract with GatsbyJS.
Talk a bit about the Party Corgi Podcast, and the rainbow corgi logo (which is cute). Chris shares that he has nerves with his podcast too (after I apologies for a few nervous erm/ahhs etc). I’ve left these in unedited because the conversation took a nice direction.
What is the Jamstack
Jamstack and serverless are pretty much the same thing, and are both associated with Build vs Buy Paradigm i.e. if the technology is your core competency then build it, else buy it.
It’s basically the reduction in complexity associated with large devops pipelines i.e. you’re not running a kubernetes or large distributed infrastructure. Instead you’re basically shipping a zip file that’s then deployed on to Amazon S3 or a CDN, and you’re serving a bunch or static files. All the compute necessary to generate your site is done at build time.
A reasonable understanding of where the reduction in complexity ends up; is instead with the developer. One may have removed the need for a server to host a dynamic site with databases etc, but the same functionality has to be achieved at build time in a way that shouldn’t be too complex for the developer.
Full show notes available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/6
Chris BiscardiActionScriptJAMStackServerless computingBuild vs Buy ParadigmAmazon S3Amazon LambdaWhat’s a CDNSapperNextJSCreate React AppGatsbyJSVueJSVuePressGruntGulpBrunchJoel HooksSWCES BuildRustWASMNeonCloudinaryStyled ComponentsEmotionHMR...Full show notes available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/6
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#QuickCuppa - Thoughts on GatsbyJS, the React-based SSG framework
UIT 5: In this week's episode I share my thoughts on the use of GatsbyJS and whether I feel it's a viable static site generator framework.
What are static sites?
What’s a static site generator?
It’s a tool that generates static sites whenever you decide to run a build on your code base.
How is this different from server-side rendering? The primary difference is that there is no server-side code. So, unlike a framework such as Django, Gatsby does not render anything on the server when a request is made. Everything is generated at the build time of the application.
A few benefits of a static site are: speed, the simplest infrastructure, search engine optimization, and security.
“Gatsby is a free and open source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing fast websites and apps”
Built on top of ReactJSGraphQL for dataUses any source for content; I use MDX (JSX in Markdown)Pros
Love React, writing components is a joy.Because it’s built on ReactJS has access to a huge ecosystem of packages....Full show notes available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/5/
Free Stickers: https://uitherapy.fm/journal/free-stickers/ GatsbyJS: https://www.gatsbyjs.org/ GraphQL: https://graphql.org/ Static web page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_web_page JSX: https://reactjs.org/docs/introducing-jsx.htmlMDX: https://mdxjs.com/hopking.io: https://hopking.io/Django: https://www.djangoproject.com/ Wagtail CMS: https://wagtail.io/ Django-graphene: https://docs.graphene-python.org/projects/django/en/latest/ Support the show
#QuickCuppa - Thoughts on creativity, innovation and intuition in design
UIT 4: In this week's episode I share my thoughts on creativity, intuition and introduce the terms 'Qualitative Design' and 'Quantitative Design'.
Welcome subscribersIntroduce #QuickCuppa formatTalk about the Free Stickers giveaway, open to everyoneShare thoughts on creativityInnovation
The following doesn’t necessarily directly apply to UI design, but I think it’s important to keep in mind as I continue through this exploration into creativity.
Firstly, design can begin with the recognition of societal changes or trends. This involves listening carefully to users’ voices and needs. This can be called ‘demand-driven’ or design.Secondly, design can begin with discovery or development in science, technology or the arts. This can be called ‘genesis-driven’ design. Example being a new platform or media type: app design etc.Thirdly, design can begin with the generation of a product idea aimed at bridging the gap between demand and genesis.These three approaches are not mutually exclusive, and they can and usually are applied in parallel. Both demand and genesis are essential for design, and in actual cases of breakthrough design, the three approaches are often integrated.Full show notes, including multimedia assets available at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/4/
View stickers on InstagramMami Kajiho, my wife and creator of the London themed illustrationsDesign Fixation - A Cognitive Model [PDF]History of the graphical user interfaceThinking outside of the boxQualitative researchQuantitative researchThink aloud protocolNeumorphism in user interfacesSupport the show
Snowpack and Pika: the next generation of bundler, package manager and CDN for the modern Web with Fred K Schott
UIT 3: The first two minutes before the episode ‘officially’ starts we talk a bit about why I’m creating this podcast, and then talk about how Fred started on his Pika journey. It’s nice content so I’ve included (note, that the recording quality for Fred during this segment is lower quality.
Fred talks about how he got into programming, and goes on to talk about his time at Google working on Polymer, the native components system for the Web. At this time JS was going through a similar transformation (think ES6 and ES Modules, which is for allowing the browser to import modules), which contrasted to the ES5 way of a single document with hierarchical organisation, was a paradigm shift for JS. Pika began as a way to explore this new technology. The old world of ES5 however did allow for an immediate feedback loop of write/reload/see changes applied (this was lost with NPM and bundlers). ES6 created the opportunity to re-enable this instant feedback loop, and Pika’s focus is to make that happen...
Complete notes at https://uitherapy.fm/episodes/3/
Great tips and advices
Learning a lot about user interface design and development from this podcast, and I also enjoy the style, format and presentation of show. Keep up the great work!