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Boston Product Design at Appcues Joined about 9 years ago
It's clean and clear—nice work for this style.
It is super reminiscent of Intercom's new brand, and maybe more importantly, Notion's. Wonder if Notion is the real trendsetter as they started with the whole black & white Swiss look before the other two.
Either way, interesting and well done. I do like that the only color on the page are the CTA's to try—that's gotta work, and it's not ambiguous about what's important in the visual hierarchy.
I've never heard the actual term 'midboarding' -- but I like it. We've been talking about the stages of the user lifecycle in a slightly more fine-grained way in our models (see https://www.appcues.com/product-led-growth-flywheel), starting with trying out, moving to learning, then continuous use, moving into the ideal positive advocate state.
Things that happen in that 3rd stage (users we've been calling Regulars) feel like they fit into that mid-boarding concept. Announcing updates or changes, teaching them appropriately, cueing users toward things they may not be using or adopting, gathering information periodically. Those all feel right as people use an often shifting and changing SaaS product over the long term.
It's a little give & take I'd say.
Only two ideas:
Give: understand how they think and work that into your designs and the way you talk about them (yes, you'll have to be empathetic with them as well as users, with no expectation of reciprocation—that's called maturity and is also just smart). They like things being easy? Show them how a more modular design is also more modular in code, and can be reused and is less work later. Do they like simpler things? Simplify a few things (you probably always can, anyway, to great benefit) in trade for one more complex thing elsewhere. Do they have beef with how design meets reality? Do your research up front and make sure you're understanding what's possible with the technology before you design, and bring them into the process earlier so they have a say. You're not designing in a vacuum; you're helping co-create a system. Work with them.
Take: positively and constructively work to get them thinking more about the end-users and less about themselves and their work. First, find out why they're so focused on development time and scope: is it all just opinion, or are they being measured, rewarded, or punished based on how quickly they work, even subconsciously? Do your best to work on that if so. Are they not understanding users? Get them to spend time on calls, interviews, or research sessions—take some of their time, even 15m per week, and get quotes, videos, highlight reels, or let them sit in on real tests. Get them as close to users as they're willing—and as frontend engineers, they might have some interest in that if offered.
In general—being frustrated with them isn't going to work. Change your strategy, or change the influences on their behavior. Yes, you have to do the work—you can say "engineers should care more!" (mostly speaking to other comments in this thread) or something, and it might feel good, but that won't change anything. Show them why it makes their lives better with real evidence and take small steps that have visible outcomes.
That's cool as a technical achievement, however in my experience, color depth and rendering quality isn't usually the priority with gifs. Rather, it's file size (top priority), smoothness, and frame rate.
It's a very thoughtful piece. I'd imagine they're happy to have him there, and happy to have thoughts like this. :)
I recommend finding or starting a small, private slack group with local designers who you know and respect. Meet them in person, make sure you know they're good folks, then invite them.
I've magically found one of these, and it's been fantastic. People who respect each other, help each other out, and are just plain fun to talk to and be connected to. It's a much better way to create a trusted community.
Yes, of course.
If there are flaws in this argument, it pales in comparison to the imbalance already present in the industry, and the flaws in companies that are overly homogenous and don't have a culture of respect for other backgrounds, histories, skin colors, genders, and other human differences. That difference—true diversity—really does make companies stronger.
And no, I'm sorry, disagreeing with your weak narrow-minded opinion on diversity is not in the same bucket as respecting diverse opinions and backgrounds of other cultures, races, and genders. That's a negative and inhuman argument that you need to think about on your own if you're actually upset about your privileged voice not being respected enough.
I think the other comments are great, and I'll add, people are trying to go outside the realm of "average" for the web, and most sites still have conservative approaches to type, small fonts, reasonable heading sizes, etc. If your design grabs a little more attention or looks different from the norm, it's eye-catching and, if done well, can look impressive. They're trying to flex the grain of the web just a tad and go outside what feels natural or basic. I'll +1 to liking it, and the little added creativity and attention to type it can bring to a design.
While not all "large bold type" is really brutalist, a lot of the trend is around that idea, which comes from architecture -- basically it's visuals in raw form, emphasizing the nature of the materials and brusque overbearing forms. See more brutalist web sites, a little on the hot trend as it's playing out on the web, and some more in-depth thoughts on why it's happening. Bringing attention to this because I think as this trend stretches out the cutting-edge of design, more average or conservative sites are taking small pieces of the style back to the mainstream, including the bolder weightier type choices.
Same. I think people who look at a brilliantly executed site like this and bemoan that "function takes a back seat" have forgotten how to have fun and enjoy something beautiful, that remarkably actually does function extremely well at showing the nature and value of the products they want you to see. Really nicely done.
Just in a general sense -- this is one example of progressive disclosure, so look to that pattern for other examples that might be good for your problem.
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