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AMA: Geremy Mumenthaler, Sr. Design Engineer at Lingo ( by Noun Project )

over 3 years ago from , Senior Design Engineer at Noun Project

Hey it's Geremy, Senior Design Engineer at Noun Project ( That place with icons for everything. ) I've been at Noun Project for about 5 years. Since I was the first employee after our founders, I was able to see our team grow. I generally lend a hand wherever I can. Designing, developing, research, making launch hats, etc.

We just launched a new product called Lingo (a desktop app that simplifies visual asset management, sharing, and discovery ). I lead our user testing and helped bring user feedback into Lingo’s product development. I’m very proud of our team for our launch and would love to answer any questions about how we launched this new product, our process, and our philosophy.

Before Noun Project I worked on building brands and designing other awesome things at Simple.Honest.Work. in Chicago. I’m very passionate about the work I do, and excited to talk about it! Ask me anything


Answering your questions Wednesday April 27th between 8AM PST – 12PM PST

To kick things off—It’s Geremy. Just like .GIF, d͡ʒɛɹmi is good on toast.

17 comments

  • Noah SNoah S, over 3 years ago

    I saw this a little while ago and my curiosity was pricked as a long time noun advocate and I’m interested to learn more. I understand that the visual representation of the assets is a nice way to quickly browse and that an app can help to enforce and maintain a uniform convention across a team in terms of file organisation. The plug into your content both free*(with attribution) and marketplace is timely and convenient for you and the user. But as an asset management tool for teams, which this seems to be primarily marketed as, it can only handle visuals which is only ever one piece of the puzzle no matter how large that part of the library.

    We are in the age of the living, comprehensive style guide which includes visuals as well as typography, video, ui elements, content blocks and modules, page and screen templates etc. — ideally every recordable element/piece of content is captured. There are many ways to do this within local or cloud based folders, as well as powerful semi-automated in-program plugins such as Craft for Sketch or Adobe Libraries as part of PS or AI, or even good old html and css — all things which would be used 99.99% of the time in a typical project cycle. With this in mind, how does Lingo fit into an individuals and team workflow? Maybe its not a replacement for any of the above which is fine, but adding a standalone desktop app to manage one part of a much larger, complex library doesn't seem realistic to me.

    I know the perfect solution doesn’t always exist and refinement is endless. To be clear this is only my 2c and I can only speak from the perspective of how I understand Lingo to assist with the kind of projects I do with the teams I work with - mainly the design of large scale enterprise applications down to smaller bespoke digital products. This by no means is not the only use case, it is just the one I am most familiar with.

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    • Geremy Mumenthaler, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      Thanks for the question,

      I feel that when working with visuals, the file is much less important than the content contained within that file. Obviously Lingo has only just started building our platform, but each visual is much more powerful than a single file.

      Content modifiers, such as alternative image cuts, will make those visuals even more powerful. Hopefully replacing the need for duplicates and nesting folders. The idea is when you see the visual you need, you just grab it. It shouldn't matter what application you are using. We found most design teams use a handful of apps. Instead of redefining each designer's workflow, we would build a product that works within how you are comfortable working.

      The current supported visuals ( .png, .svg, pdf, etc ) is just the beginning we are already working on expanding that into many other content types. But most importantly it's not so much about the file, but about how you use that content. ( especially with teams! )

      I'm a big fan of building micro branding sites full of components, but we all know that maintaining any of those systems is a full time job. Most don't even get the time or resources they deserve. Lingo may not be the center of your brand yet, but it will empower everyone on your team to use the visual content, and it's really easy to start using and maintain.

      Now that the platform has been created, the evolution and capabilities of Lingo will move quickly. :)

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      • Noah SNoah S, over 3 years ago

        Thanks for getting back to me Geremy. I agree that it shouldn’t matter what program you use to access a file and that having a visual representation of an asset is helpful. I’m still not sure if this is enough to convince me to use Lingo in the short term but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for any future developments. Can I ask what other content types you are trying to integrate?

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  • , over 3 years ago

    I'll be checking in throughout the rest of the day, feel free to post any questions you may have. :)

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  • Henry MoranHenry Moran, over 3 years ago

    Hi Geremy

    • Do you think in the future PDF import into Sketch will improve?

    At the moment it brings in a rounded button as a mask and that isn't ideal if you want to edit it. That's just one of the examples.

    Thanks

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    • Geremy Mumenthaler, over 3 years ago

      Henry,

      Absolutely! Currently the way apps handle PDF is varied. Luckily with a team like Sketch, they iterate quickly. Hopefully they will focus on how vector content is copied in and copied out more closely.

      We have sent them suggestions, and they have already addressed a bunch of importing aspects. PDF is just one way to distribute vector content between apps.

      To help any app best support those situations, I suggest sending any oddities you find to our support and we can look at them and address them individually. It also helps to send information to Sketch or whichever app you are using so their engineers can address any problems you may have. Formats like PDF are complex and depending on which app they were created in, what features you used, and even what settings were enabled create much different files.

      Hopefully one day we have a better standard, but for now we look for ways to make Lingo as universal and capable as possible.

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  • Max LindMax Lind, over 3 years ago

    Hey Geremy, thanks for joining us!

    • This is a great line, “files hide in folders, visuals live in Lingo”…who is the ideal Lingo candidate? (Seems like Lingo is the best way for the designer to help control all assets involved in a project to ensure the right files and overall esthetic stays true.)
    • Talk a bit more about why designers might want to think about the Pro account… or even Team accounts.
    • Do you ever see Noun Project for Mac and Lingo becoming one?
    • Talk more about the plans for the Lingo Store
    • Lingo’s overall design esthetic is great!…where did, for lack of a better term, the confetti concept come from?
    • Love the Simple.Honest.Work. website… did you have a hand in the design? :)
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    • , over 3 years ago

      Thanks Max,

      • Lingo is great for designers to keep all their visuals, but where I think the real power is when you use it with a team. It's been great internally for everyone here, in addition to our design process it's been helpful when making presentations or gathering content for social media. We have a lot of content in our Lingo. where before designers would create a lot for everyone, they end up finding the assets they need on their own. So, to answer the question, Lingo's ideal candidate is your whole team.

      • Lingo is free to use, but again it's most powerful when everything is synced and shared. That's where Pro or Teams come in. You can try either one out for 30 days. I recommend trying in on a project to see how it adapts to your workflow.

      • This is just at the beginning of the Lingo platform. We imagine a much tighter integration of tools and services for content discovery as Lingo evolves. We currently have a bunch of free kits in the store, one of which is 100 of the most requested icons on Noun Project unified into a collection.

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    • , over 3 years ago
      • The Lingo Store is full of design resources, more every week. What's great about this store is that instead of downloading and managing a folder, all you have to do is click a button. Those assets are immediately available in your Lingo on your desktop. Ready to drag and drop into whatever you were already working on. They are all tagged and searchable so it's easy to get to the one you wanted. There are alternative file cuts, so when you just need a PNG of that icon you can grab it easier than digging through nested folders. As soon as you are done, you can un–sync the kit so it doesn't take up any room on your computer. Need it again? Sync it back up. I've found it really handy when working on quick user flows. I use our wireflows kit, it's super handy.
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    • Geremy Mumenthaler, over 3 years ago
      • Thanks! We were really excited to share the branding for Lingo. We knew we wanted to make the Lingo brand really fun because asset management really isn't. In fact, in our research we found most of the designers we talked with hated their current solutions. I think the confetti direction came from work done on the video we created to announce Lingo. The confetti represents all the visual pieces of the work you create. Each one is different and diverse, but together they form a system. Also, what is more fun than confetti? I think Wayne Coyne would agree, you can never have enough confetti.
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    • , over 3 years ago
      • I didn't have a hand with the current Simple.Honest.Work. website, however while I was there we did a bunch of really interesting things with that site.

      Simple.Honest.Work. lives on for me as a methodology and mantra in my work. Our team here echoes that too. It's really about making things simple, keeping them honest, and just putting in some good hard work.

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  • , over 3 years ago

    Let’s get this started.

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