Beyond the interface – The Sameness of Apps and Websites

Friend Thomas Byttebier – Digital Director at Base Design – has written a very insightful post on the sameness of apps, websites, subway maps, and coffee shops.

Why do all apps look the same nowadays? Why do all websites look the same? What can brands do to create more memorable digital experiences?

And also: how do you stand out – without compromising predictability, usability, etc. – when everything needs to (somewhat) look and behave the same?

Read the entire thing. It’s pure gold.

Beyond the interface →

Color in UI Design: A (Practical) Framework

Erik D. Kennedy goes into detail on how to pick color variations for your designs:

Element states for example are variations on a single color, let’s take “blue”. The result isn’t best described as “a palette of 3 blues”. It’s one blue with variations.

But this begs the question: how do you actually modify a color to get good variations?

We’ll get there, but I want you to understand this stuff from the ground-up.

Spoiler: It’s not a matter of adding some white or black to the mix. It’s something entirely different.

Color in UI Design: A (Practical) Framework →

How to design clarity in 3 steps

This article is a quick summary of a basic design course. It addresses a simple question: How do you design interactive systems that are easy to understand? Well, it all comes down to two things: structure and process.

Next to the content itself, I especially love the (animated) visuals created for this article.

Now I get it! How to design clarity in 3 steps →

Using science to make truly tappable user interfaces

Since the average human finger pad is 10 to 14mm — and the average fingertip is 8mm to 10mm we can pretty easily define a range for what constitutes a “truly tappable UI:”

A truly tappable UI is built with elements that are at minimum around 10mm, with the optimum touch element size around 13mm.

Apple’s HIG (which have been around for quite some time now) still recommends 44 points (~7mm) as the minimum, yet Apple themselves seem to be preferring bigger hit areas since iOS10.

With the release of iOS10 the iTunes controls grew from ~7mm to 12.8mm (which is close to the optimum value of 13mm), as pictured above. I guess the bigger phones have to to something with that.

Using science to make truly tappable user interfaces →

The bold beauty of content prototypes

Thomas Byttebier, after having joined a digital team at Base a while ago:

It’s been a crazy six months. And in all honesty: I struggled. I struggled with process. I struggled with communication. I struggled with clients. Front end was too far from design and content only arrived when a project was nearly live.

As a result, I shipped products lacking vision, and on top of that, I shipped too late.

The culprit: the lack of real data during the design process. So he decided to introduce a few changes in the design process. Content First being one of them, of course.

The bold beauty of content prototypes →

Famous Artworks Ruined By Clients Who Think They Know Better


Designers often have to compromise with their clients, but sometimes it’s just too much. Inspired by a tweet and born out of frustration at client demands, Paris agency Graphéine decided to show what would happen if famous artworks were given to clients.

“Make the logo bigger!”; “But my wife likes red.”; “That blue is not blue enough!”; “I’ve heard kids are on the Snapchat nowadays.”; …

Famous Artworks Ruined By Clients Who Think They Know Better →