44: A Stark Difference in Design

👋 Hey there! Here are the week(end) reads (and job alerts at the bottom). Our goal is to provide quality sharable content to help move us forward as a community. Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️

Join as a Stark PRO for $2 per month to level up your designs, help power this newsletter & help move our community forward.

Tidbits

1. Getting to the heart of digital accessibility

Yes! In this article, Carie Fish poses the question: Can teaching developers how to write accessible code also help bridge the diversity gap in tech?

“By swapping out one word from the original declaration and saying “Digital accessibility is a priority,” companies and their leaders have reframed the conversation with their employees. When changes are framed as “working towards a solution” and discussed openly and collaboratively, people feel like they are part of the process and are more open to embracing change. In the long run, embracing change becomes part of a company’s culture and leads to innovation (and, yes, inclusion) on all levels. Calling something a priority speaks to Stage 4: Understanding.”

2. FAQ for Juniors

Design gem Helen Tran shared this post based on a number of questions she’s received throughout her career from juniors. She’s hands down one of my and our favorites in the industry, and I’ve learned a ton from her myself — on a personal and professional level. In it, she states…

“Take this all with a grain of salt. It is based off my personal experience with hiring Designers, teaching Design, and being one myself for more than ten years. This doesn't necessarily mean I'm right in every situation or context.”

In it she covers everything from what to look for in a job and what to put in a portfolio to resources you must take in.

3. The Bridge Model

“But it’s important to acknowledge that when dealing with complex systems, you’re doing clients a disservice by jumping straight to screens. You really must figure out the structures that underlie the domain first, and that requires devising models — both of the current and future states. The bridge model is a useful tool to help explain how the process works and why abstraction is important to a successful outcome.”

4. Accessible custom focus indicators

Front-end developer Andy Barnes goes over his current approach to creating accessible focus indicators, the problems with other solutions, and the journey he took to get there.

5. How do you discuss product postmortems?

Alex Muench, product designer @ Todoist, put together a document template for you to grab. In it, he details things to cover when discussing a postmortem, like:

  • Did we meet our primary goal?

  • What went well & what can we take away?

  • What can we improve?

  • Useful conversation topics

  • Future notes

Check out the template that I linked in the title, and head over to our Spectrum community to discuss it.


What’s new from Stark

🚀 Stark launches on Figma!

The launch on Figma was phenomenal and can’t thank you all enough for your support and love. Just a few hours over 24 hours after launch and we’re at 8,000 installs. We wrote about what it is, how it works, and what’s coming in a blog post. You can read it here.

Install Stark for Figma

⏯ Getting started with Stark in Figma

We put together a video for you on getting started with installing Stark in Figma and using the Contrast Checker. And yes actually, the clicks and beats of the music pretty much line up. I’m here nerding all day over this accomplishment, thank you very much.

📣 Resource WIP

We kicked off a resource for you! It’s the Stark Accessibility & Inclusive UI Library. Here’s some of what’ll be included:

  • List of diverse names / avatars (folks would contribute their own info)

  • Personas with a range of differences in abilities

  • Accessibility friendly color palettes

  • Accessible Design Checklist

  • Educational information

And much much more. In every design platform you love. Aside from the above, what else do you want and need in this?

📞 We need your help

Do you use Stark? If so, would you be up for a chat?
We’re planning out some [major] stuff and we’d love to know how you’re using Stark, and what your needs are going forward.

💬 A cleaner newsletter

Next weekend will officially be the first newsletter we send from Mailchimp. So expect a cleaner and better typographic hierarchy in your email :) Always be improving, right?


Job Alert

+ Doist is hiring two (2) Marketing Designers
+ New startup is hiring a Founding Designer in LA.
+ Stack Overflow is hiring a Product Designer, Talent
+ Glossier is hiring a (lot) PM lead, UX Research Team manager, and two (2) Product Design leads


You can find us talking shop on Twitter or our community chat.

– Team Stark 🖤

43: A Stark Difference in Design

👋 Hey there! Here are the week(end) reads. Our goal is to provide quality sharable content to help move us forward as a community. Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️

Join as a Stark PRO for $2 per month to level up your designs, help power this newsletter, and help move our industry forward.

Tidbits

1. Diversify Tech

A gem resource of Conference Scholarships for under represented groups in tech.

2. Take 1 Design

Really love this initiative from Take 1 Design. Their goal is to curate stories about prototypes and showcase how teams learn through prototyping. The product community doesn't share many stories of the early days in the product process — from Day 1 to Day 100 and beyond — so they’re hoping to change that.

They’re still on the low, but there’s lots to learn about what they’re up to.

3. Feeling Stressed? Pinterest wants to help.

“When you type in an anxiety-related query—something like “work anxiety,” or “dealing with stress”—Pinterest will now display a box above the stream of pins. "If you're feeling sad or stressed, here are some resources that may help improve your mood," it says, above a disclaimer that notes Pinterest’s exercises are not a replacement for professional care. You can click into the box to see more, or scroll down to just look at the pins.”

4. UI Cheat Sheets: Text Fields

From the anatomy of a text field to accessibility checks for it, this post shows you how to go about properly styling text fields.

5. Designing For Voice

Bradley Metrock breaks down the basics with four main areas of focus to consider when designing voice user interfaces.


What’s new from Stark

🤩 Let the Figma countdown begin to promising plugins!

Stark for Figma launches on August 1st. Get your engines ready! We’ll be launching with the Contrast Checker and rolling out with the Colorblind Simulator not long after.

Big thanks to the folks at Prototypr for featuring us as one of the 10 Promising examples of Figma Plugins 🖤

Read the post

📣 Resource WIP

We kicked off a resource for you! It’s the Stark Accessibility & Inclusive UI Library. Here’s some of what’ll be included:

  • List of diverse names / avatars (folks would contribute their own info)

  • Personas with a range of differences in abilities

  • Accessibility friendly color palettes

  • Accessible Design Checklist

  • Educational information

And much much more. In every design platform you love. Aside from the above, what else do you want and need in this?

Share your ideas with us

⭐️ Spotlight on our CTO!

Our CTO Michael gave insights on documentation, aspirations, and the importance of practicing as a junior in his interview with Beyond the Pixel.

Read the post

📞 We need your help

Do you use Stark? If so, would you be up for a chat?
We’re planning out some [major] stuff and we’d love to know how you’re using Stark, and what your needs are going forward.


You can find us talking shop on Twitter or our community chat.

– Team Stark 🖤

42: A Stark Difference in Design

👋 Hey there! Here are the week(end) reads. Our goal is to provide quality sharable content to help move us forward as a community. Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️


Tidbits

1. Sorry, your data can still be identified even if it's anonymous

Though unsettling, it’s certainly not shocking. With enough of your data generated from all over the place at a variety of different times and locations, data profiles for every one of us are generated. Enough random data compiled and the data monsters up in the cloud start to infer and assume, and can eventually gather enough to determine if Jane Doe is actually you.

Having said that: What do you think is the best approach to ensure and demand our data can never be re-identified?

2. The definition and social impact of iconic design

“When a value or meaning of design is understood, shared and mutually agreed by a group of people, it becomes iconic. However, if a design cannot be recognized nor understood, then it will appear arbitrary, such as an abstract work of art.”

3. 11 Form Design Guidelines

“The beauty of our sensory experience is what makes us human” 

Form design has a tendency to be boring and a patience-tester for users. This post highlights key guidelines which to designing better forms that make everyone happy.

4. Accessibility in Design

“We were living under the assumption that every other human perceives the world the way we do — a prime example of what not to do as UX designers.”

5. 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design

These are 10 general principles for interaction design. They’re called "heuristics" because they’re broad rules of thumb and not specific usability guidelines.


Bookworms

Paul Rand: A Designer's Art

“A comprehensive collection of his most important and best-known designs, A Designer's Art gives unique insight into Rand's design process and theory.”


What’s new from Stark

Questions:

+ Is there is anything new or different you’d like to see in the newsletter? Can be anything. Toss your ideas our way!

+ Do you prefer Saturday or Sunday for the newsletter?


Join as a Stark PRO for $2 per month to level up your designs, help power this newsletter, and help move our industry forward.


You can find us talking shop on Twitter or our community chat.

– Team Stark 🖤

41: A Stark Difference in Design

👋 Hey there! Here are the week(end) reads. Our goal is to provide quality sharable content to help move us forward as a community. Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️


Tidbits

1. Understanding Assistive Technology: How Do Legally Blind People and Others with Low Vision Use the Internet?

“It is also important that app developers do not overwrite a user’s platform settings. If someone needs large text or high contrast to be able to use your app, they understand that it won’t look quite as nice as the designer intended. Their main goal is to be able to use the app, and if they can’t do that, they will have to delete it and seek out a more accessible app.”

2. An exploration of visual indicators IRL

“Visual indicators are used to make certain items stand out from the crowd. They don’t require the user to take action, but act as communication tools to cue something noteworthy.”

3. How one musician is reimagining hospital sounds

“The beauty of our sensory experience is what makes us human” 

I can recall many a time being in the hospital, visiting others and a fair share or two, there for myself. And I count the large number of times I’ve witnessed other patients startled or discomforted by the various, continual alarms or sounds that went off in a station or room. From the low beeps that become ingrained in your head to the emergency alarms, this video highlights how a hospital can become extremely overwhelming from an auditory perspective, and run antithetical to the healing process.

Most importantly, it brings to light how sound design plays an equally critical role.

4. How complex systems fail

Being a Short Treatise on the Nature of Failure; How Failure is Evaluated; How Failure is Attributed to Proximate Cause; and the Resulting New Understanding of Patient Safety

5. Apollo 11 Mission Out of Control

“The stress in his voice was audible, but only later would the two men learn how bad things really were. In that critical moment, hurtling like a lawn dart toward the surface of the moon, the Apollo guidance computer had crashed.”


Open Jobs

+ Black Girls Code volunteers (Paid)
For our techy developer readers: Black Girls Code is looking for a few more Bay Area tech folks (professionals, students, teachers) to help teach web development and/or android mobile app development at their Oakland summer camp in a few weeks.


What’s new from Stark

+ Hellooo, Figma fans.

This week, we gave a sneak peek around what we’ve been up to on the Figma side of things. We’re stoked to see the love and excitement around it.

+ Switching over to Mailchimp

This upcoming week we’re finalizing the updated newsletter design. While it will look virtually the same lol, it’ll leave room to incorporate more branding elements as we pull all fronts of Stark — from marketing and comms to design and development — into a more unified system. And unfortunately, Substack simply doesn’t have that (yet). As soon as it does, we’ll be back because we truly love it <3

In the process we’re designing the difference between our weekend newsletter versus product newsletters. This makes it easier for you to discern between the two as well — leaving it up to you to read or delete either :)

Having said that, we have two questions:

QUESTIONS:
+
Is there is anything new or different you’d like to see in the newsletter? Can be anything. Toss your ideas our way!

+ Do you prefer Saturday or Sunday for the newsletter?


Join as a Stark PRO for $2 per month to level up your designs, help power this newsletter, and help move our industry forward.


You can find us talking shop on Twitter or our community chat.

– Team Stark 🖤

40: A Stark difference in design

👋 Hey there! Last newsletter had a 35% open rate. Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️


Tidbits

1. Key moments in the user journey

This document is an illustrated sequence that depicts the end-to-end experience of Simple’s primary users: the nurses.

Such a great, digestible, and human friendly format to understand a wide variety in a user journey. In this particular document, Simple documents the steps nurses take from hearing about Simple, to starting out, to managing patients.

2. We Kill People Based on Metadata

“In the Internet era, it is increasingly common that everyone’s communications cross national boundaries. That makes all of us vulnerable, for when the government collects data in bulk from people it believes are foreign nationals, it is almost certain to sweep up lots of communications in which Americans are involved. The initial version of the USA Freedom Act accordingly sought to limit the NSA’s ability to conduct so-called “back door” searches of content collected from foreigners for communications with Americans citizens. But that provision was stripped in committee, leaving the back door wide open.”

3. The problem with "Content"

“...words matter, and we can choose which ones we use to talk about what we produce and the things we admire and cherish.”


What’s new from Stark

After announcing our Pro Plans two weeks ago, we’re heads down back to work as we prep to push out a new feature for you. :)


Benefit from this newsletter? Give it a like, share it on the internetz, or buy us a coffee. Find us talking shop on Twitter or community chat.

–Team Stark

Loading more posts…