In this 2019 GDC session, Subset Games co-foudner Matthew Davis details the Into the Breach design process from early drafts to the final balancing decisions. Davis dives into years of cut content and iteration to show how Subset Games approached the difficult design challenges of making Into the Breach.
I was just reminiscing about this a few days ago. Nine years later, @lorenb’s Twitter for iPad is still unmatched. Devices are now several times more powerful, yet the experience of using Twitter on the original iPad is the best we ever got.
Something easy to forget about Twitter for iPad is it wasn't just the sliding panels design, it has some of the best gestures and nice little interactions of any app I've used.https://t.co/RspBi0XFFf pic.twitter.com/anKY6D9SeW— iKyle (@Freerunnering) April 19, 2019
The Galaxy Fold is the kind of device that a random user might think is interesting in the abstract. It’s a phone. It’s a tablet. It folds in half!
But good product design is not about letting your users design your products for you — it’s about solving users problems and making their lives better.
Anyway, I asked Lindsay that question: what is it about web design that makes it so difficult to understand? She posited that the issue is that most people believe web design is like designing a book. Heck, we still call these things web pages. But Lindsay argued that building a modern website is nothing like designing a book; it’s more like designing a car.
There’s a widespread movement in design circles to reduce the contrast between text and background, making type harder to read. Apple is guilty. Google is, too. So is Twitter.
My plea to designers and software engineers: Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black, and vary weight and font instead of grayness. You’ll be making things better for people who read on smaller, dimmer screens, even if their eyes aren’t aging like mine. It may not be trendy, but it’s time to consider who is being left out by the web’s aesthetic.
Research has shown that modals that cannot be closed have the highest conversion rates.
Putting this on Medium: *chef’s kiss*
When everyone finished translating articles to semantic, accessible HTML, I let them in on a secret: This was still design. While we hadn’t yet incorporated color, typography or composition, we had made decisions about prioritization, hierarchy, information architecture and user experience. And those decisions would be the most resilient… accessible to virtually any visitor, not just those blessed few with perfect vision, hearing and mobility. The web was the only medium that offered designers the chance to craft one work for such a varied landscape with so few gatekeepers.
If you’ve spent any significant time on the web, you can likely feel how a website is built from the moment you open a page. Does it load quickly? Is anything broken? Does it work well with your password manager? Is it readable? You likely make a dozen judgments in a split second.
On the other hand, you know the moment you open a site that was built well. Everything just works. The people who built it took care with their markup and CSS to take full advantage of the power and built-in features of those languages.
These differences aren’t arbitrary. They’re the difference between a team that embraces and understands the web with all of its quirks and a team that scoffs at it and its constraints. But when constraints disappear, so does consideration. Forward progress is important, but we should take more time to consider the digital detritus that’s left behind. Bloated web pages. Sites that barely load.
David Heinemeier Hansson thinks that web design quality is at risk of regressing now that it’s increasingly difficult for designers to work directly with code:
(You can’t just ask people what you want to know. Sorry.)
The most significant source of confusion in design research is the difference between research questions and interview questions. This confusion costs time and money and leads to a lot of managers saying that they tried doing research that one time and nothing useful emerged.
BDG shows how Celeste relates to real-life rock climbing and it totally clicks.
While most games will make you grind to improve your character, Celeste makes you grind to improve yourself. When you succeed, you keep that skill and that knowledge. And just link in real climbing, when you go back to a route you’ve already completed, you ask yourself: “how did I ever struggle with this?”
And that’s when you know… you have become the genius beefcake.
Will we ever run out of Celeste praise videos? I hope not.
Graphic design work on Incredibles 2 was brilliant, as expected. But there was one glaring exception, conspicuously missing from this post: the atrocious Edna Mode logo.
During my research process, I noted down the keywords used to describe some of the typefaces. As I read through the list, the same words kept coming up over and over: friendly, modern, clean, simple, human. It’s like everyone wants something that they can use to define their brand, yet they really just want a slightly different version of what everyone has.
Let me start by saying I generally avoid terms like “mobile,” “tablet,” and “desktop” in my work. It’s not that they’re bad; it’s because they’re broad. In my experience, terms like these confuse more than they clarify. Ask a roomful of clients or stakeholders to define “mobile,” and you’ll get a roomful of slightly different responses.
What I think is helpful, though, is breaking down the specific conditions or features that’ll cause our designs to adapt.