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329: Web vs Product Design

January 15, 2020

This week, we dig into a three-part listener question about the difference between web and product design, collaborating with print designers, and what it takes to become a unicorn in 2020. As always, we share our cool things of the week, like a subreddit that will make you cry and a website that lets you edit its design.

Golden Ratio Patrons:

Flywheel is a delightfully designed managed WordPress hosting platform, thoughtfully built for busy creatives. Streamline your workflow with their slick platform and sweet set of workflow tools perfectly made for designers! Get started at

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 members!

  • Kevin Gutowski
  • Michael Powers
  • Ollie Taylor
  • Jason Jun
  • Gunnar Gray
  • Damien Menard-Oxman
  • Jonathan Prozzi
  • Patrick Marx


  • We are moving all show production in-house, meaning Marshall and Brian will be mastering, editing, and publishing all episodes going forward. Thank you so much to Drew Luper and Sarah Marie for making us sound smarter than we are for so many years of collaboration!
  • Last week we neglected to mention any 2020 goals for Design Details. Here are a few key goals:
    • Cross 128 patrons on Patreon and make custom merch.
    • Experiment with written posts as a companion to the podcast.
    • Release a monthly Bonusland episode.
    • Continue to move more content and show infrastructure to
  • Brian announced his plans to learn Chinese in 2020, and some of you recommend the following resources:
  • Michelle Lu shouted out Inter and Copilot!
    • Brian and Marshall each have an early access code for Copilot! DM us on Twitter, and the first person will get the code.
  • Just a reminder, if you have any questions or feedback for us to discuss in future episodes, open an issue on our Design Details repository!

Listener Question:

Drew Clements asks:

  1. I’ve been working as a designer for a few years. I’ve done some web design projects but never any true product design. Is there a separation between a web and product designer and if so, what are those separations and what would I need to study up on to transition to product design?

  2. I work with a team of traditionally print designers and, while they’re good at what they’re trained in, their ideas don’t always transfer to the web very well. What’s the best way to have them drop some of their print antics for web projects?

  3. I’m a designer first whose learning to code. How competent do I have to be at each before I become the coveted unicorn? 🦄 Or, should I just pick one and stick to it?

Cool Things:

  • Marshall shared /r/happycryingdads, a subreddit sharing wholesome videos of dads happy-crying. Seeing dads cry makes Marshall cry, so this is a goldmine of tear-jerkers.
  • Brian shared, a neat website that allows you to customize the layout and design, and then publish those changes back to the live website for the rest of the world to see.

Design Details on the Web:


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