A site for bullshitfree design articles

over 4 years ago from , Freelance mobile and web designer | radesign.in

I'm thinking of creating a site that links to bullshitfree design articles.

What the site would link to

  • Articles that are sincere, meaningful, informative and useful.

What it wouldn't link to

  • Articles written for content marketing: This probably will automatically leave out most if not all content from sites like invision, webflow, marvel, medium and the ilk.
  • Articles written to fulfill the monthly quota of product companies or design agencies.
  • Me too articles, the ones with regurgitated content.
  • Pointless listicles
  • Articles about trends
  • Articles that beats a dead horse
  • Articles that are controversial for the sake of it
  • Sponsored content
  • Ads


  • Readers would be able to submit links
  • I wouldn't be under any pressure to post a set number of links daily or weekly. I'd post only when I see a quality article.
  • I would never try to monetize it; So you'd never see sponsored content or ads.


  • The selection process depends on a single human curator; so the criteria depends on what he (i.e. I) considers bulshitfree or not. So, it's inherently subjective.
  • Separating the wheat from the chaff is too taxing and time consuming for a single person.

However I think the challenges are less problematic when compared to that of voting. I'd like to hear DN community's thoughts, suggestions and advice.


  • Karl Fernandes, over 4 years ago

    I recently published a side-project with precisely this intention in mind. A curated list of articles free from trends and popularity algorithms. Plus some other original content as well. It's focused on product design.

    Let me know what you think: https://svbset.com/

    8 points
  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, 4 years ago

    I think it's getting problematic with:

    Readers would be able to submit links

    It will conflict with the "no ads" thing. Designers love to promote themselves and their products. Many of us only do things to get attention. My advise would be to not make anything for designers specifically. Don't target them - produce content that can be relevant to them but don't target them.

    4 points
    • Rakesh KRakesh K, 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The submitted links would be published only after I read them. So, there would be no conflict.

      Many of us only do things to get attention.


      My advise would be to not make anything for designers specifically. Don't target them - produce content that can be relevant to them but don't target them.

      Targeting a wider readership is beyond my capacity and field of expertise.

      0 points
      • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, 4 years ago

        Let me rephrase it: Don't target.

        Targeting a wider readership is beyond my capacity and field of expertise.

        I hardly believe that all you are capable of is make something for people like yourself? Would you turn down a job where you design something for a bakery or a molecular kitchen or anything else, because you are not an expert in it?

        Unless you wanna confirm my theory, that most designers now are only able to design for other designers that is.

        1 point
        • Jack BachJack Bach, 4 years ago

          [A bit offtopic]

          So you say designers should not only design for designers, and I agree. Then you conclude that good designers should not only design for themselves. Which I don't agree. imo the problem is that most designers nowadays are only designers – that's why most of them bore me. I think a cooler solution is that designers have richer lives, and then designers can design for their own problems in other areas ;)

          0 points
          • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, 4 years ago

            No I don't say that designers "should" do anything. I am not attempting to tell an entire profession what they should or not should do.

            With that comment above, I was saying that the ability to get into other minds and to understand different kinds of users is part of a designers mind, unless you only design for people like yourself. So the sentence "targeting a wider audience is beyond my field of expertise" did not make sense to me, has he is a designer.

            1 point
            • Jack BachJack Bach, 4 years ago

              I think I made my point clear, which is that your definition of designer is not the only one.

              So the sentence "targeting a wider audience is beyond my field of expertise" did not make sense to me, has he is a designer.

              That again means that you define designer as somebody that designs for other people's problems. That one possible choice, and is as valid as deciding to create only for your needs. Specially if you are not only a designer, but have a life outside of your workplace.

              0 points
  • Daniel CampagneDaniel Campagne, over 4 years ago

    I can't say how interesting it will be since I know nothing about the taste of the curator, but I absolutely support the idea and will be happy to join and have a look at it.

    3 points
  • Sacha GreifSacha Greif, over 4 years ago

    So basically http://sidebar.io but without the "5 links a day" angle and sponsored links?

    2 points
    • Rakesh KRakesh K, 4 years ago

      Yes, and probably a bit more picky.

      0 points
      • Sacha GreifSacha Greif, 4 years ago

        Yeah, maybe I should remove the self-imposed 5 a day rule and be more picky… Something to think about for the next version.

        1 point
        • Rakesh KRakesh K, 4 years ago

          That would be great. If you do it maybe I wouldn't feel the necessity to realize my idea. Or, maybe I would, just to experience it firsthand :)

          0 points
        • Account deleted 4 years ago

          I also think it could be good idea, so you don't feel in the need of posting anything that's not valuable enough of sharing, just to fill the gap.

          It could also give you, perhaps, more time to add something regarding why that link is there (e.g. your personal views or any sort of short comment).

          I think a problem with some of the sites that only provide links, is that you normally have to open and close them to know what they are about, something that could, maybe be avoided with a short text beforehand.

          0 points
    • Vipin KVipin K, 4 years ago

      What i was thinking exactly. There is sidebar already for this.

      0 points
    • evan kosowski, 4 years ago

      Sidebar is a mixture of article and new/updates. It is also a mix of content forms and demographics. I personally don't love most of what is on Sidebar and/or the content is dead, old or obvious.

      I think there is a great need for highly curated long-form type articles that are actually written well and thought provoking.

      1 point
  • Fran RosaFran Rosa, over 4 years ago

    A decade ago, curation was suposed to be a big deal. Individuals filtering content. But now it's clear there is more and more content, but quality content is scarce.

    If you want this to be a one man project — ie you making all the calls — a newsletter would be more appropiate, because a site of curated content needs to have content on a daily basis in order to gain traction.

    2 points
    • Rakesh K, over 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I want this to be a one man project. Newsletter services cost a lot more than maintaining a simple site with links I guess.

      Also, I really don't care about traction, monthly visitors or any of the growth metrics. I'm tired of bullshit and just want to provide an easier way for people like me to access good content.

      BTW, can you upvote this post to help bring it to the home page so that more people would see and comment? This is exactly the drawback of voting system that I want to avoid in content curation.

      1 point
    • Alessandro Battisti, 4 years ago

      Not necessarily. It could be encyclopedia-style, where entries are slowly added over time and you have to check back.

      2 points
      • Fran RosaFran Rosa, 4 years ago

        But an encyclopedia with no content and just links makes no sense, and you can't just copy other people's articles. Also when sources change links break, so the long term may be tricky.

        0 points
  • Ryan Van GattenRyan Van Gatten, 4 years ago

    You mean like DN was before it was flooded by marketers?

    1 point
  • Labib Rahman, over 4 years ago

    Very high level of interest in this. I wold even pay for it.

    1 point
  • Mitch Malone, 4 years ago

    Here are two:

    I agree though—most writing about design is crap.

    1 point
  • Johannes IppenJohannes Ippen, over 4 years ago

    "I've published 10 bullshit-free articles about design. Number 7 will blow your mind!"

    joke aside, love the idea – do it! Additional idea: publish a "blacklist" as well, articles you sorted out and why.

    1 point
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 4 years ago

    Problem is, everyone has an agenda, everyone is promoting something, it's just a sliding scale. So as you say, choosing where the 'bullshit' threshold is would be hard.

    How about someone just builds a browser plugin so we can filter content marketing articles out of DN?

    1 point
    • tim hickstim hicks, over 4 years ago

      This is an interesting idea but I'm curious how you would discern between marketing content vs other content..?

      0 points
  • Ravi AgrawalRavi Agrawal, 4 years ago

    I curate some by the name: "Weekly Design Reading List" inspired by "Weekly Development Reading List" hosted on Smashing Magazine.

    Here are a few:

    1. https://artplusmarketing.com/weekly-design-reading-list-9-art-of-calligraphy-font-pairing-trust-in-design-growth-9dd628406a73?source=user_profile---------1----------

    2. https://blog.prototypr.io/weekly-design-reading-list-8-fedex-logo-story-copy-in-ui-design-ux-of-vr-tax-the-robots-more-b16bdd4c7ad#.8cb1k4boi

    3. https://blog.prototypr.io/weekly-design-reading-list-7-b8955aeb7522#.heu8mrt1w

    4. https://artplusmarketing.com/weekly-design-reading-list-6-nyc-subway-system-complex-form-design-game-design-and-getting-your-d451cea961da#.tbj9p2ws2

    5. https://artplusmarketing.com/weekly-design-reading-list-5-colours-for-data-viz-9dfe8ee90e7c#.tbnp8uhss

    6. https://medium.theuxblog.com/weekly-design-reading-list-4-learnings-from-bauhaus-web-became-unreadable-designing-at-10-000-27e39593ec2b#.z131tlb38

    For more you can see my posts on medium: https://medium.com/@agrawalravi95

    PS: This is not for self promotion or anything but I started this list because I wanted a bullshit free reading list myself. But what I could do for the community was create one myself. Please support me with the cause if you find my work worthy enough.

    0 points
  • Account deleted 4 years ago

    To avoid being you the sole person behind the project, I think you should consider forming a very small team, maybe 2-3 persons you trust to help you curate contents. Even better if they have a different perspective about the field, so you can present contents responding to distinctive point of views.

    It is a good idea, but do think on how to monetise this, at least to have some sort of motivation to keep the project going if, at some point, you are too tired to continue.

    Maybe creating a magazine on Flipboard (https://flipboard.com/) could be a good, low risk, start.

    0 points
  • Sam ApplebeeSam Applebee, over 4 years ago

    Isn't this Smashing Magazine? They've got a really strong editorial compass.

    0 points