In this past month, Figma Config 2021 might have been the biggest gig in the design community. It’s great to tune in, listen to inspiring talks, and learn about FigJam to level up your next brainstorm session. Tools are always evolving, and so are our ways of thinking. The three books of this month share heuristic discoveries about design, from applying a just cause to a real-world business (Patagonia), designing an inclusive team culture and process, to understanding the psychological irrationality behind pricing.

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

Mid-March, we stepped into the Daylight Saving and adjusted the biological clock to an hour ahead. Spring is a wonderful season to enjoy outdoor time and soak in the flourishing green. Today, I’m bringing you three new books to carry along on a weekend hike, or a picnic with your loved ones.

The New Great Depression: Winners and Losers in a Post-Pandemic World

This month, I recommend three books that dive into our life through three distinctive lenses — business, community, and reality.

1. Business

As the home life extends in January, I started picking up on some new books. Not in any particular order, I would recommend these three this month:

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

This is not another business book. It started with stories like why former tech giants like Nokia and BlackBerry failed in their rival competitions with Apple and missed out on making critical transitions to keep up with the ever-changing market. It’s not that their products are not good enough, it’s the negligence on understanding platform-based business and its networking effects.

When we look into Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber, their businesses never stand…

Some words for young designers setting foot in the tech world.

Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino

2020 has been a heavy year. It put so much weight on every individual in the design community. Early in March, I’ve considered every work-from-day as if it was the last. I won’t lie about the anxiety of losing a steady stream of income due to the fact of seeing massive layoffs and emotional meltdowns around the tech world. It’s challenging to keep up with positive morale and remain a reliable shoulder for others to lean on.

If you are a young designer stepping into tech jobs, you’re incredibly credited for what you signed up for. It’s less about fulfilling…

This is a UX case study on solving echo audio issues when people use video conferencing applications.

# 1 Can you hear me?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when we join video meetings. We want to make sure our voices are clear and identifiable.

It’s the end of 2018. 🎉🎉🎉

Congrats if you and your team accomplished your design sprints throughout the year. Plenty of your design ideas made to the product. Some of them are in the queue for development. It feels good to take a retro moment and review what you have learned and contributed.

How do you usually construct your design handoffs to collaborate with the development team? What are the most effective practices you want to keep in the new year? What are the ineffective ones you want to discontinue?

Delivering a design story is like crafting a fiction. Many…

Round or square? It is a question.

Should we swap sharp-cornered buttons with rounded buttons? Do rounded buttons perform a better usability? How do we make wise button decisions?

These are the questions you may run into when you dive into the UX behind rounded buttons in apps. We know that a larger button size, a brighter color, and a stronger drop shadow can make buttons more standout, yet it’s challenging to find the right balance between actions buttons and other non-interactive elements.

My best friend messaged me that she got laid off from her design team. The tech startup she worked for was going through a reorg and she was let go as a UX designer.

For a moment, I thought she was joking because she is exceptionally talented and passionate about UX design. Last time when we stood in line waiting to get boba, she showed me the design mockups from her phone and asked me for thoughts on her design explorations. She gets excited about beautiful interface designs and she loves talking about the design trends that inspired her.


Thoughts for iOS 12 and Mojave.

Last week, Apple announced a bunch of new iPhones. The new features on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave were introduced to the public earlier in WWDC 2018. On mobile, iOS 12 utilized hardware upgrades like A12 chip, dual-camera, and dual-SIM capabilities to support social features like Animoji and productivity features like Siri Shortcuts. On the desktop, Mojave added dark mode, dynamic desktop, and stacks to make it fun to work on a Mac.

Shan Shen

Product designer at Lyft. I explore the needs, perspectives, and possibilities of future digital services.

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