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Indianapolis, IN Product Designer Joined almost 3 years ago
Great list! Just FYI, Brand.ai was acquired by InVision and is now InVision DSM.
Yeah, my initial post was overkill, so it was toned down.
We've designed an intentionally vanilla system more akin to Bootstrap because every business has different needs, a different brand, and different requirements.
UX Power Tools is a collection of ingredients, not prepackaged meals.
At our agency, we use it every time we start a new client engagement. We spend a hour or two customizing it to fit their brand and/or matching their existing product (down to specific button and field styles), then jump right into production design. Because it's built with styles and symbols, it's incredibly scalable and easy to maintain.
Last month, a client wanted to update the font and brand colors of the entire app. Our designers used to have to spend days updating hundreds of screens. Now they make a couple changes on the style sheet in UXPT and the changes cascade throughout the file. What took days literally takes minutes.
We don't want our designers wasting time recreating the same components over and over again. So we built them perfectly (for us) once, and reuse it over and over and over again, making tweaks to fit the client's needs at hand.
Here's a peek at our forthcoming update.
I appreciate your tact and thoughtful response. Thanks for sharing your opinions.
In my personal view, the design community has taken up a great deal of gatekeeping around design terminology. They spend more time arguing about "what is" and "what isn't" than they do improving their craft. There was never any intention to mislead anyone. It's simply our name for a collection of tools that will help you spend less time fiddling with UI so you can spend more time on the user experience.
It’s okay. I appreciate your kindness. I took an opportunity to share something I created and it came across as too self-involved.
It can be pretty discouraging though as it relates to sharing anything you create though. I can only hope my contributions to the community help at least someone do their job a little better, or work a little smarter.
Thanks for your comment, Mike.
Could you explain what you mean by your last sentence?
I'm biased because I'm one of those UI kit creators, but I absolutely could not do my job without the kit I've created.
I've used it every single day for 2 years for dozens and dozens of client projects. It has saved me thousands of hours of work.
The distinction I make between UI kits and what I call a starter kit is that my starter kit is much more akin to a boilerplate like Bootstrap.
I spent a ton of time perfecting the basic elements and components of a design system, constructing everything with styles and symbols. When I start a new project, it might only take me 20 minutes to customize the system to look the way I want it to look, then I'm ready to start building pages.
It's a fantastic place to start. It eliminates 100% of the set up work, and gets me about 90% of the elements and elements I'd ever need.
UI kits are usually overly stylized, or too designed toward a particular use case. If you're not designing that very specific music app, then it's a useless UI kit. And don't get me started on how poorly they're constructed from a layer/naming/organization standpoint. They're all show, but no support.
We're gearing up for a massive update in the next week or two with detailed documentation and usage examples...all tied directly to symbols and styles. As you make updates to colors, fonts, and symbols, 35+ pages of documentation update automatically.
I think you can draw a lot of inspiration from apps with lots of curated collections of objects.
Smart iTunes playlists, for example, are just pre-filtered collections of songs which meet certain criteria.
Maybe try searching for "curation" or "curated content" on Dribbble? Might lead to some good inspo. Pre-canned filter sets are an awesome way to make enterprise apps with millions of data objects feel less...enterprisey.
I’m enjoying the return of analog techniques and ART. I know design and art are very different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together :)
Glad you enjoyed it, Miriam. Best of luck in this new year.
I feel the same way you do, Aaron. Tried taking a more holistic view of design to try and see where it was headed. Lots of work happening outside of our computer screens in tangential industries.
Cheers to a great year!
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