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369: Shallow Design Culture

October 21, 2020

This week, we talk about the shallow parts of design culture, where superficial work tends to generate far more attention and praise. We dig into potential solutions for this, too. In The Sidebar, we recap and share our spicy takes on the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and HomePod mini.

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The Sidebar:

The Sidebar is an exclusive weekly segment for our Patreon supporters. You can subscribe starting at $1 per month for access to full episodes going forward! Sign up at

In this week's Sidebar, we recap and share our spicy takes on the Apple Event, iPhone 12, and HomePod mini.

Follow up:

  • Gavin Nelson asked: "How does everyone organize their product design Figma files?"
    • Brian's current approach is a file per release, a page per feature.
  • Transcripts are going to live on our Design Details repository - we appreciate any and all contributions! We'll be pulling these onto the site in the future.


Main topic:

Daniel Burka tweeted:

The current culture of design is weird:

"I designed an icon with a gradient fill" ... everyone loses their shit 🎉

"I wrote a book explaining a design process" ... polite clapping 👏

"We spent three years designing a voting system used by millions" ... crickets 🦗

We discuss what designers can do to generate more excitement about larger, more systemic projects on social media.

Cool Things:

  • Brian shared TheLazyPeon, a YouTube channel dedicated to everything MMORPG. If you're a fan of the genre, you might find something new here.
  • Marshall shared Nectar, a new album from Joji. It's currently on repeat for both of us.

Design Details on the Web:

Hasta la vista!

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