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Creator at Sidebar Joined about 6 years ago via an invitation from Allan G. Sacha has invited Jeff Escalante, Adam Howell, Moiz Syed, Kevin Suttle, Alex Boerstler and 2 others, Apurv Ray, Christian Blavier
Thanks! We use https://nivo.rocks/, developed by Raphael (the other member of the StateOfX team).
I think this is going to be very interesting, especially with all the new developments in CSS lately…
You might want to post that to the Figma Spectrum as well if you haven't done so already?
There are a whole lot of things in the world that don't appeal to designers, but that doesn't mean designers can't have a hugely vital role in improving them.
Yes, because they're paid to care about them, usually as part of large corporations that also pay countless other people to define requirements, manage projects, and write code to turn the designer's vision into reality.
If you take all that support structure away and tell a designer to spend their free time learning the intricacies of a project they don't use just so they can contribute back to it, I'm not sure how successful you'll be.
Also I know it comes from a good intention, but there's still something a little arrogant about thinking that just because you have "designer" in your job title, you automatically have the ability to make an existing product better…
I thought this was an interesting case study, thanks for posting it. It's tough to say if this is a successful design: on one hand the visual design is amazing; on the other hand it's also very generic and doesn't communicate much about the product.
For example, the symbols for the company's two main products are just purple and green spheres. The illustrations in general also have a lot of random lines and numbers that look great but don't actually communicate any content.
In my experience this is the kind of result you get when not enough work is put in during the content phase. It shows in the site's copy, which is full of meaningless marketing-speak like "Ringba was designed to push the limits of innovation.". So I would put the blame on the client for not having a clear vision of their message to begin with more than on the designer on this one.
Sorry if my analysis seems harsh but I think projects like these are a great learning opportunity since they illustrate the fact that design shouldn't just be about visuals.
EDIT: I should add that it's also possible that the product itself is not very differentiated from the competition and that the company has decided to make visual design their differentiating factor; in which case the designers are doing the best they can to make a lackluster product more appealing, and you can't really blame them for the genericness of the result.
Open-source is based on the concept that the users of a project contribute back to it, so projects that don't target or appeal to designers in some way tend to not have great visual design.
I don't think there's much you can do to change that, and I'm not even sure it's a real problem to be honest.
Personally I've been using Manta. It's not perfect, but I really like the fact that it's free, open-source, and it's a desktop app.
You could do volunteer work for non-profits and then provide an estimate of how much that would've cost for a paying client?
In my experience the only way to make this kind of tool actually useful is to also provide actual case studies of real-world sites along with a cost breakdown, so that potential clients can find the closest match to what they have in mind and go from there. But for some reason nobody seems to want to do that…
Apart from the weirdly omnipresent ads I really like it. Not the most readable layout ever, but has a ton of character.
(But seriously I counted 10 different ads on the homepage, from banner ads to text links to sponsors to job boards… I get that you have to pay your bills, but geez…)
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