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334: Keylines and Scannable Designs

February 19, 2020

This week, we discuss key lines, design tokens, and how to make your designs look consistent across all devices. We also discuss a compelling new design tool, add some listener follow-up to last week's discussion on self reviews, and discuss the pros and cons of using Sign in with Apple. As always, we share our cool things of the week, this time featuring a retroactive cooking show and a delightful way to enjoy movies a second time through.

Golden Ratio Patrons:

Sisu is looking for a thoughtful and data-savvy designer to help build the next generation of analytics software. You can find out more at (You might recognize Sisu from our interview with Michie Cao)

Pathrise is an online mentorship program that you land a great UX job. Previous fellows have been placed at Google, IBM, Atlassian and other exciting companies. You can learn more at

Latest VIP Patrons:

Huge shoutouts to our latest Very Important Pixels!

  • Elias
  • Peter Reaper-Reynolds
  • Will Vaughan
  • Sean Kushi
  • Robert Weisbecker
  • Dan Wu
  • Chen Li


  • Michael Knepprath left us a new edit on his iTunes review. We love it.
  • Cody Iddings mentioned the importance of being transparent in self reviews.
  • Emma Gilbert reminded us that listing your accomplishments is not the same as bragging!
    • Emma also disagrees about whether or not you can call yourself funny – what's your take?


  • Ankur Parihar discovered a usability no-no in Apple's podcasts app for iOS.
  • Lily confirmed our theory that creating a meetup in your area is a great way to meet designers! If you're in SF, check out this meetup for product designers.
  • Long Long, (a VIP), has been listening for a long time. Thank you!


  • Play is a new kind of design tool, in beta, that helps you to design iOS apps on your phone. Nuts.
    • Read the Medium post that describes more of the features and principles behind the tool.

Listener Question:

  • Sanketh asks "In the recent Design Details episode, you had answered a question about how to make sure a design looks the same on all screen sizes. You mentioned about having a uniform padding from the screen ends. Can you elaborate on this a bit?"
    • What are design tokens?
      • "Design tokens are an agnostic way to store variables such as typography, color, and spacing so that your design system can be shared across platforms like iOS, Android, and regular ol’ websites."
  • Alec Sukoski asks "What are your thoughts on #SigninwithApple? Specifically the fact that users can mask their email address."

Cool Things:

  • After watching Knives Out with Marshall, Brian shared the concept of director commentaries. Yes.
    • Rian Johnson creates Theater Commentaries so that you can re-watch a movie in theaters and get his insider notes.
  • Marshall shared Good Eats: Reloaded, a show in which its original creator, Alton Brown, revises and updates old episodes in the series.
    • Alton was also on Hot Ones and holds his own.

Design Details on the Web:

BYEEEEEE! (The Classic)

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