Civic design is the unsung hero of our discipline. To me, it feels like the most profound expression of what we can do—make tools and services and information not just available, but accessible to everyone. Practicioners like Lou Downe and Cyd Harrell have spent years trailblazing in this space. They've raise profound questions about how services are built, about how organizations can restore agency and autonomy to the most vulnerable people.
Last year Downe, previously Design Director for the United Kingdom, wrote a book. It's a top-level how-to for building effective, useful services, couched in the stakes people face in the process: handling sensitive information, volatile environments, the stress of just trying to navigate hostile systems. It's direct but not preachy. You want to build the best things you can for the people you serve—the book just might help you get there.
The recent explosion of variable fonts has expanded the possibilities for interactive type, but it’s also introduced a few new challenges. One specific challenge is how width of a word can expand or contract as the font weight changes. This can have strange effects to the spacing of components and layouts. Lisa Staudinger has a helpful article for UX Collective covering one solution to this issue: Uniwidth fonts. She explains what they are, how they differ from monospace fonts, and even lists out her favorite open source and retail fonts for you to checkout.
Here is a cool new product that hopes to shake up the current professional network space. According to them its " A network that doesn’t restrict you to telling your story through a list of arbitrary job titles; that doesn’t let any random stranger you’ve never even met endorse you for skills you never knew you had." Linkedin better duck down! Polywork allows you to represent your professional journey in a more controlled and granular level. It formats your work as a 'changelog' which is used commonly to describe changes between software version updates. The format works surprisingly well in my opinion, check out this example to get a taste of whats possible. It's currently closed off to the public, but there is a waitlist option that I will definitely jump on.
I've been using Instagram as a source of inspiration for a while now. I find the variety of post formats to be more engaging, vs. the standard dribbble shot. It's also one less site/tool/thing to have to check, and to me that's a big win on its own.
PANTER is one of my favorite short format video tutorial profiles. Time is scarce so I really look for big impact in a small package, and they sure do deliver. A great source of inspiration for creating vector shapes, patterns and trippy graphics.
Zander Whitehurst posts "lightning fast" Figma tutorials that if nothing else, show you the power a few key strokes can have in the tool. He's in the UK and consequently a few hours ahead, so waking up to his energy and enthusiasm is equally as awesome.
Lubnadev is a frontend developer who posts a lot of short tips and tricks. I am a fan of the posts that share practical use cases for when and why you'd want to take a certain approach. She's just getting back into her normal posting schedule after a break, so now's a good time to follow!