Andrew Couldwell

Winter Park, FL (British) Web designer & developer Joined over 4 years ago

  • 14 stories
  • 22 comments
  • 9 upvotes
  • Posted to What does an 'Associate Digital Art Director' do?, Mar 19, 2019

    ...Suuuuuuper popular question, then.... Sigh

    0 points
  • Posted to Laying the Foundations (Book), in reply to twinseN . , Feb 07, 2019

    Thanks, great to hear :) Make sure to register on the website, and I'll let you know when it's available!

    0 points
  • Posted to Laying the Foundations (Book), in reply to Steven Cavins , Feb 07, 2019

    Hey, Steve. Alla wrote a great book! My work is even featured in her book. My book, of course, will be different so far as writing style and personality. And each author's different experiences in the field will bring something different also. We've both worked at very different companies (in size, culture, and continents), and we've taken different roles too. I like to think my book uses 'simpler' language to others out there — not just Alla's, but Atomic Design, for example, and other articles on the subject. It's down to earth, steeped with experience and learning experiences, and different approaches. In general, it's very practical — it gives actionable advice and steps. It's unique in that it focusses also on the role of brand in system design. The name 'Laying the Foundations' references both a simple design system model I present in the book, and also creating digital brand guidelines that design systems are built upon. This book is also 2 years further on in time (2017 > 2019) — so it uses more recent examples. I hope that helped :)

    3 points
  • Posted to Laying the Foundations (Book), Feb 06, 2019

    I am writing a book about system design and digital brand guidelines! I'm well into the writing process, and I aim to go to print (and eBook) later this year. Learn more and register via the link.

    1 point
  • Posted to Maintenance of Symbols and UI Styles, Jun 27, 2017

    I use Craft Library. This will help a lot with colours and symbols. Their management of text styles is not good, but I trust it will improve. I think the most important thing is not just how you share these assets, but how organised and well you set up your UI components (that your team share). Nested symbols is the key to this, for easy/quick access to all your design systems components and states — then use whichever plugin (Craft, Brand.ai etc) you prefer from the options to distribute/maintain latest versions with the team. I wrote a tutorial that might help: https://medium.com/@andrewcouldwell/harness-the-power-of-symbols-204448baaef3

    0 points
  • Posted to Design system resource (download), Mar 16, 2017

    I created a little 'behind the scenes' resource on how I set up a responsive design system for a team of designers to use in Sketch. Also included is a small insight into the documentation. It includes two downloads featuring one of the patterns in the system.

    The Sketch download demos a responsive UI, featuring a small subset of form elements and text styles. If you select the text input symbols you'll see that you can change their state, or switch to a different type of input, retaining all your label and data values. It's only the very tip of the iceberg, but I hope it gives some insight into the potential of the full system in Sketch.

    There is also a PDF download featuring a small excerpt from the documentation for the pattern featured in the Sketch demo.

    I hope it helps :)

    0 points
  • Posted to Creating and documenting a design system, Jan 25, 2017

    Sharing this case study article I wrote about creating and documenting a design system. It shares insight into our process, product design, the tools we used to create and implement the system, and also how we document and share the system with our team. Hope you find it interesting :)

    0 points
  • Posted to Would you 'go back' to working at a design agency? , in reply to John P , Nov 10, 2016

    Interesting and very valid point! I suspect some agencies will also have this issue, between other designers and all the [art/design/creative] directors etc. But this is certainly a painful problem with some companies and startups. The games and politics suck.

    0 points
  • Posted to Would you 'go back' to working at a design agency? , in reply to Andu Potorac , Nov 09, 2016

    An in-house designer is employed specifically to work on their employers project(s) and product(s). The company you work 'in-house' for could be anything from a startup to a fortune 500 company. Comparatively, an agency designer could work on/for dozens of different clients and projects, in many different industries.

    Working in-house gives you greater access to and understanding of the business, its needs, audience, data, and stakeholders. A project doesn't end at launch — you learn, iterate and scale. You are likely more invested in the project, as you are tied to its success, so to speak. The work you do is likely problem solving focused, over creating award-winning work, and you're fine with that. The pay/salary is probably much higher (including stock/shares too) in-house, with less churn, and the hours are probably much kinder.

    An agency designer can ship a project and never see or hear of it again. Unless you have a close bond with the client, you likely won't see any data, learn what worked and what didn't, and may not have a chance to iterate on work that shipped. Most likely everything is done 'on the clock', billed hourly/daily and tight deadlines are more common, which can be reflected in the hours you work. The work you do is likely more short-term focussed, with more emphasis on how it looks (think: portfolio and awards) than long-term strategy, MVPs, product rollouts etc.

    No doubt both have their own pros and cons, culturally, politically and the type of work you do. They are very different, neither are for everyone.

    P.S. Note my repetitive use of 'likely', 'probably' and 'may' in the descriptions of both :)

    2 points
  • Posted to Would you 'go back' to working at a design agency? , in reply to John P , Nov 08, 2016

    In agency culture?

    3 points
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