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297: Day-to-Day Design Struggles

May 22, 2019

This week, we take a break from talking about high-level design problems and dive into the specific struggles we find ourselves running into lately, including pushing through the last ten percent, maintaining multiple realities, gaining stakeholder buy-in, and designing around moving targets. And as always, we share a couple cool things like a science-fiction page-turner and a thought-provoking video series.


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Designers in tech, you can spot em from afar
They all wear the same clothes, and don't drive cars
They all go on hikes, most ride bikes
And if you hit the dating apps, they look alike
They talk about some big ideas, and use language
Like "design is a tool we'll all use to save the planet"
Then they go back to their desk (standing)
Tweak a couple pixels, cause their job is so demanding
Text a designer? The message is blue
Meet a designer? They probably got a beard, too
See a designer? They're usually white
I'm talking pale-ass motherfucker, blindingly bright
They often have the best intentions, but the truth is
They're just another cog in a machine that is ruthless
Cause if you give a guy a KPI
They're gonna push retention till society dies
We're all different, we think different
All of us uniquely happen to think different
Skeuomorphism is dead, I'm insisting
It's all about that flat design now, listen
On Design Details
Brian and Marshall yell

Industry Talk:

  • It's tedious to push through the last 10% of a project
  • The heat death of the universe is "an idea of an ultimate fate of the universe in which the universe has evolved to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and therefore can no longer sustain processes that increase entropy"
  • Video [GoT Spoilers!]: "Not today" is what we say to the God of Rough Edges
  • GIF: Shame
  • Maintaining multiple realities in one's head can be difficult
  • MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, or "a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development"
  • Ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag is an idiom meant to describe anything that is overfull or a situation that is undesirable
  • Playlist: "Framer Feature Announcements" do a great job of creating excitement around prototyping features
  • Gaining stakeholder buy-in and design for others' surfaces can be tricky with a lot of stakeholders and in-progress roadmaps
  • Design-by-committee is "a disparaging term for a project that has many designers involved but no unifying plan or vision"
  • Headcanon is "an interpretation of a fictional universe accepted by an individual fan, but not necessarily found within or supported by the official canon"
  • Forcing functions are "any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result"

One Cool Thing:

  • Brian shared Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, "a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human"
  • Marshall shared the Spectrum series by Jubilee, a playlist of videos "revealing the spectrum of beliefs within a specific group"

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