UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

February//26//2021

Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!

1.

Design Systems and Scaling Product Solutions. Articles on the importance of Design Systems are always welcome, and this is no exception. Hailing from the MarvelApp Design Blog, this article from author Rory McCormick, sheds light on what a Design System actually is, what comprises it and how it ultimately and effectively potentiates the scaling of Product Solutions within organizations. The article looks at the structure of these tools, shedding light on topics as colors, accessibility standards, while also providing some good examples of renown Design Systems that exist in the market. Highlight of the article includes:

“Behind a good design system is an ecosystem of processes and documentation. These ensure the smooth running of your design system and help you to mature and evolve your system over time.These processes will include rituals, like working group meetings to keep everyone and the design system aligned. It’s also important to document your decision-making process for everyone involved. Each of the artifacts in a design system are connected to others. By focusing on the processes and people involved, then streamlining and automation become possible.”

2.

Solid Decision-Making. Another interesting article from Fast Company, this time around from author and Okta’s CEO, Todd McKinnon. The author focuses on the process of making sound decisions, leveraging 5 different steps in order to do so. These steps include Seeking Perspective, Considering Alternate Scenarios, Being Objective, to name but a few. This is an article that merits reading and reflecting upon, since the pursuit of efficiency, long lasting, sound and rewarding decisions, is something that Designers and Professionals in general seek to do at all times. Pursuing these decision making pathways, keeping some of these factors close by, provides a balanced approach to this, at times challenging, task. Highlight of the article includes:

“Finally, once you make a decision, stay objective in evaluating the result. Go back to your original goals and anticipated outcomes. Did you achieve them, and did stakeholders react as you expected? Then, be honest about whether your decision caused the outcome or if market tailwinds were just on your side. And don’t expect to get it right at first. Learning the path to solid decision-making takes practice, and it requires patience in carving out the time needed — especially when you’re new to the role and used to making fast decisions with little input from others. I’m 12 years in leading Okta and still discovering new things about the process every day, but this framework has allowed me to successfully make some of the more critical decisions at the company so far.”

3.

The Reticence of AI. Interesting reflection on how AI is permeating our consumption habits, and its implications in our behaviors moving forward. In past newsletters and articles, I’ve mentioned AI has an impact on Optimizing Permutations, Understanding Individuals at a Scale, Predicting and Personalizing Features, New Interfaces and Identifying Opportunities, and while this article is cognizant of all these benefits, it also poses questions, namely, how does AI alter what it means to be human and make decisions. Well worth the read and the reflection. Highlight of the article includes:

“Recommendation engines, which are increasingly prevalent intermediaries in people’s consumption of culture, may serve to constrain choice and minimize serendipity. By presenting consumers with algorithmically curated choices of what to watch, read, stream, and visit next, companies are replacing human taste with machine taste. In one sense, this is helpful. After all, the machines can survey a wider range of choices than any individual is likely to have the time or energy to do on their own. At the same time, though, this curation is optimizing for what people are likely to prefer based on what they’ve preferred in the past. We think there is some risk that people’s options will be constrained by their pasts in a new and unanticipated way — a generalization of the echo chamber people are already seeing in social media.”