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Operationalize your Design Workflow with DesignOps Handbook

Operationalize your Design Workflow with DesignOps Handbook

Our friends over at InVision keep delivering amazing content. Today they launched the DesignOps Handbook, an excellent resource for companies that are willing to invest in design. What are DesignOps and when is it time to build a team around it? As companies mature and invest in design, they need to operationalize workflow, hiring, alignment between teams, and more so designers can focus on design work while someone else takes care of the rest — enter DesignOps. They’re the key to scaling digital product design teams with more efficiency, but the craft of a DesignOps team is a process. Below are some of the key things to keep in mind when you start to build out your team. Know when to put DesignOps processes into place It can be hard to gauge when to ramp up a DesignOps function, but three scenarios are good triggers: Craft specialization: it’s no longer feasible for roles to blur Operating a design team at scale: it’s no longer possible to keep everyone in sync Safe harbor: designers need protection from the grind and thrash of creative development. What makes a great DesignOps leader? The most effective DesignOps teams are servant leaders to their organizations and respected peers to design leaders and teams. Whether in an operations or project support role, the DesignOps function is there to push projects forward while providing creative teams the space and time to create. Design program managers should be able to set expectations with the broader company, get the right people with the right skills on the right projects, scope phases, and manage those expectations to delivery. Hiring the perfect team Regardless of the situation, there are some universal qualities and skills to look for in a DesignOps candidate: Hire someone who can build cross-functional relationships while representing design, and who understands the design process. These relationships will necessitate understanding the product development process and product engineering principles. The role calls for an excellent project, time, budget, and resource management, and an understanding of different project management ideologies (like waterfall and Agile, among others) The ideal candidate is calm in ambiguous and changing environments. One size doesn’t fit all. Make the mission clear Well-written mission, vision, and value statements can unify and inspire design teams. Think of these as the glue that brings and holds teams together — they’re great resources to be used within the design organization during onboarding and recruiting, and during those times when designers need guidance to tackle a tricky problem or scenario. These statements should also be shared with cross-functional teams as a reference to better understand how the design organization aspires to operate, solve problems, and define success. Collaborating outside of the design team Relationships are so crucial to successful outcomes for both design and DesignOps. When tackling any design challenge, whether it’s designing a new product experience or designing a new process, identify key cross-functional partnerships and stakeholders who can spot the opportunities for design to provide the most value. Establishing and fostering strong cross-functional partnerships ensures that all possible solutions are surfaced by balancing the user experience with business needs and company goals. Helping others get comfortable with change Managing through chaos is a superpower and flexibility is the most valuable asset. Change is inevitable and happens on all levels at all scales. When working in DesignOps, teams are on the front lines, helping everyone do outstanding work amid the chaos and rapid change. DesignOps keeps design teams focused on the work, not the processes. As everything is subject to change—from the company level down to the individual pixel—it’s important for DesignOps to remain calm and collected. By talking to an extended group of stakeholders, leaders can gauge where the organization stands and determine the strengths, weaknesses, biggest problems, and biggest opportunities.

Adobe teasing some new features about XD and Illustrator at OFFF Barcelona

Adobe teasing some new features about XD and Illustrator at OFFF Barcelona

First of all, would love to salute all our friends and partners at the on-going OFFF Barcelona that is happening from May 24-26. For the occasion, the kind of folks from Adobe were there and they took the opportunity to present a teaser of new features coming soon on XD and Illustrator. Make sure to check the videos below! In their words Adobe shared several sneak peeks of upcoming features to design tools XD and Illustrator CC at OFFF in Barcelona. Adobe XD: Overlays and Fixed Elements These new features are coming soon to Adobe XD. Overlays and Fixed Elements will add richer prototyping capabilities that allow you to prototype beyond artboard to artboard transitions. Illustrator CC: Diffusion gradients A new gradient feature is coming to Illustrator CC later this year. Traditional linear or radial gradients can limit your flexibility, while gradient meshes can have a steep learning curve. The new gradient feature lets you create rich blends of colors that seemingly diffuse naturally into each other. More Links Learn more about Adobe

Getting the First Look at the #InVisionStudio Platform

Getting the First Look at the #InVisionStudio Platform

Our friends from InVision took us by a storm today with the announcement of #InVisionStudio Platform. What is it? Well, it's simply to create the best screen design tool on a daily basis to achieve greatness. Cheesy?They believe that together we can build a unified work design environment for everyone. It's really nice seeing InVision engaging different companies too who really have the same goals at the end of the day. Inside the asset library for example, you will find components, icons, and typography to speed up your design workflow. Give it a first look! In their words That is our mission—our promise—with InVision Studio: to create a unified design environment that empowers creation and collaboration like never before, helping you push your vision and your craft to new heights. Coming soon, our new app store lets you connect Studio to the design, productivity, and collaboration tools you and your team use every day. We’ve been working with Atlassian, Salesforce, Getty Images, UserTesting, Google Material Design, and Dribbble to create seamless integrations. You’ll have access to the most seamless digital product design workflow ever created, with apps and assets to bring your creative work and workflow to new heights, all right inside Studio. More Links Learn more about #InVisionStudio Platform Asset Library Asset Library Through our asset library, we’ll provide a selection of incredible content to help take your screen designs to exciting new places. You’ll find UI kits to jumpstart your next project, components, icons, and typography to speed up your design workflow, and more—all without ever leaving Studio. Open API Our flexible open API will let you build apps that fine-tune you and your team’s product design process. You can keep your amazing app all to yourself—or you can share it with the community in our new Studio App Store. Design the Future InVision Studio Partners #InVisionStudio Platform

Introducing: The Adobe XD CC Starter Plan and Adobe Fund for Design

Introducing: Adobe XD CC Starter Plan & Adobe Fund for Design

What a great time to be a designer. We have incredible tools at affordable prices and we also have a lot of incentive from the big players. Today Adobe announced that Adobe XD is now free via a new Starter plan. Additionally, Adobe has launched a new $10 million investment fund for design technology and released a host of new features and assets for XD users. Introducing: The Adobe XD CC Starter Plan The free Starter plan for Adobe XD includes XD for Mac and Windows, mobile apps for iOS and Android, and services to empower users to design, prototype and share user experiences with colleagues. With this announcement and the release of new features and enhancements, Adobe XD is the only cross-platform experience design platform to combine both design and prototyping with industrial-grade performance. A milestone for the global design community, the XD CC Starter plan enables professional and aspiring designers, teams and students to learn, cultivate and apply their design skills through free access to Adobe XD and share up to one active shared prototype and design spec at a time. And, as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe XD tightly integrates with designers’ existing workflows and top tools such as Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC. The Starter plan also includes Typekit Free and integration with Creative Cloud Libraries, making it easy to share and manage assets across devices. The Adobe Fund for Design Adobe also today announced the $10 million Adobe Fund for Design, which will be distributed in the form of grants and equity investments. The fund will help designers and developers innovate in the world of experience design and leverage Adobe XD as a platform supporting tooling plug-ins and integrations with third party tools and services.  It is open for individuals, small teams or companies interested in or already building products to empower creatives. In addition to providing the financial means to enable growth, working with the Adobe Fund for Design will provide recipients access to industry experts, and significant resources to fuel development, including early access to technology, partnership and go-to-market opportunities, and exposure to Adobe’s network of passionate customers. New Features & Assets for UX Designers These announcements coincide with the release of new features and enhancements in Adobe XD, including time-saving workflow updates. Adobe is also releasing a series of free UI kits and resources for the design community, created by prominent designers around the globe, such as Daniel White, Ana Miminoshvili, Zhenya Rynzhuk, Steve Wolf and Mike, the designer behind Creative Mints. Let me know if you’re interested in speaking with any of the designers and I’d be happy to facilitate an interview. More information on the designers and links to download the kits can be found here.  Adobe has released six Font Packs to provide users access to a collection of licensed commercial type for use in a variety of projects including UI/screen design in Adobe XD. The packs are a great way to easily experiment with fonts across a variety of design tools, and Adobe will be releasing a new pack every week for the next six weeks. More information on accessing the packs can be found here. Please visit the Creative Cloud blog for more information on the Starter plan for Adobe XD, Adobe Fund for Design and latest XD product updates.

Adobe is introducing their third visual trend of the year: Multilocalism

Adobe is introducing their third visual trend of the year: Multilocalism

The awesome folks from Adobe is introducing their third visual trend of the year: Multilocalism. What is it? Let's just say it's all about going back to your roots. Where are you from? Where are your parents come from? How about your grandparents? It's an origin of a multi-cultural question but mostly it's all about: Where do you feel yourself at home? I guess this is what is more important, let's take a look at this stunning and exclusive photo gallery that reflect Adobe's connections in a multi-local world. In Adobe's Words For designers and brands, the multilocal trend requires striking a delicate balance. Images need to embrace true, local moments without appropriating them, and to celebrate the local while elevating our shared global connections. Technology, travel, and migration are shrinking the world and strengthening our connections with each other. As we flow between cultural and geographic boundaries, more of us are embracing our complex global identities, deepening our awareness across cultures, and seeking authentic, local moments. For our third visual trend of the year, we’re exploring what it means to be multilocal in 2018 and considering how the newly imagined global village is shaping visual culture. And we’re looking at how stock photographers around the world are helping brands capture genuine, respectful local images that appeal to consumers’ deepening global consciousness.   Contributor Spotlight: Andy Smith Links Learn more about Adobe Blog Check out the dedicated gallery of Adobe Stock celebrating a multilocal world

Introducing Semplice 4: Packed with New Features that you will love

Introducing Semplice 4: Packed with New Features that you will love

Semplice is a product that I personally love and use for my own online portfolio. For those who don't know what Semplice is, well it's simply a customizable CMS on your Wordpress Platform. It's very intuitive to use and they have recently launched with Semplice 4. It's packed with awesome features. Like I mentioned before, it's far away from being your typical template. It's actually a portfolio system, let's take a closer look! Build with Pride Semplice helps creative professionals show their work in the best way possible. Semplice is not a template but a powerful system. It’s a flexible tool that helps you create a portfolio that stands out. It’s for creatives who want something better than a standard template. Semplice believes in the power of the WordPress community and they believe in open source. That’s why Semplice is built on Wordpress and completely self-hosted. You fully own the code and files, you have complete freedom. Portfolio by Marina Rachello Portfolio by Mackey Saturday Semplice recently released Semplice 4 with all new features. They redesigned and redeveloped Semplice from scratch, making the portfolio tool more powerful than ever. Links Join the Semplice Family Content Editor Pop-up See the Content Editor Customize Grids The redesigned Semplice 4 content editor is clean and elegant, allowing you to create layouts with simple drag and drop design. Add animation and motion to your portfolio elements, create your own custom grids and navigations, add background video, page transitions, scroll effects, and a whole lot more. Check out Semplice 4. Portfolio by Jean-Marc Denis Portfolio by Melissa Deckhert Website by Zazu TV Portfolio by Nicolas Bonté Semplice for Developers Semplice’s goal is to give designers a tool they can fully hack and customize, even if you don’t know how to code. However, if you do know how to code you can take Semplice even further with a little bit of custom HTML, CSS and small tricks. Learn more about Semplice for developers. Links Join the Semplice Family

Meet ELIA: The world’s most intuitive tactile reading system

Meet ELIA: The world’s most intuitive tactile reading system

Back in 1829, Louis Braille introduced us the braille system. What seems to be working after all these years, studies show that the system relies on outdated technologies from the 1800s. Meet ELIA, a new, modern and efficient alternative that's incredibly easy to learn for people who have a visual impairment. This is such an interesting project that is currently live on Kickstarter. After testing this new system to over 300 participants, and analyzed over 175,000 responses, this what they came up with. Check it out! On our quest to re-examine braille, we created an easy to use tactile reading system, utilizing modern printing & technology. ELIA letters—known as ELIA Frames—leverage modern printing technology and design principles to optimize each letter’s design and create easily identifiable characters. We based ELIA Frames on the standard Roman alphabet, since roughly 70% of the world’s population uses it to read and write. Each ELIA Frame features an outer frame (circle, square, house) and interior elements that combine to form the main characteristics of standard alphabet letters. Most of you looking at this page likely aren't visually impaired—but maybe you know someone who is. Or, perhaps you're a designer who believes in the mission and would like to support the campaign by taking home a poster. Either way, we need your help and support to share our message. • About 200 million people with a visual impairment could benefit from ELIA in its current design, and another 85 million could benefit from it if customized to their standard scripts.  • Currently, the employment rate among individuals with visual impairment is at an estimated 43%. For those who read braille, that rate soars to 85%. ELIA can have the same benefit for the 99% who can't read braille.  • ELIA Frames can be learned tactilely in as little as 3 hours—and visually in a few minutes—since the font leverages a previously established alphabet. More Links Learn more and support ELIA on Kickstarter Meet ELIA

Congratulations to Dribbble for One Trillion Served

Congratulations to Dribbble for One Trillion Served

Woah our friends from Dribbble just hit one heck of a milestone, 1 Trillion Pixels Dribbbled! Congrats to the whole team and also to the community! It's crazy to think that the co-founders and launched the platform as a side-project. Over the course of the next few years, millions of shots were shared and now part of a daily inspiration for hundred and hundred of designers coming from all over the Globe. Again, congrats to everyone! 1,000,000,000,000 pixels dribbbled In their words For years, we’ve had a counter in our footer counting the number of pixels uploaded. Today that number became one digit longer when we surpassed a big milestone – 1 Trillion Pixels Dribbbled! 🎉 More Links Read more about it on Medium Learn more about Dribbble The Dribbble design community has come a long way… But we’re just getting started. Dribbble is growing faster than ever. Just this last year, Dribbble more than doubled its user base and more than tripled the size of our internal team, allowing us to build even more of the features the community has been asking for. We’re on a mission to build the world’s best platform for designers and creative professionals to gain inspiration, feedback, education, community, and job opportunities. We can’t wait to share with you some of the exciting things we’re building. Most importantly, we are humbled and honored to have become a catalyst for the design community to gain exposure for their work. Most of the Dribbble team comes from a creative background and has a huge affinity for design. We all feel very grateful to support the design community, to provide the network where the world’s top talent share their best work. We intend to continue this tradition of building something our members love — to elevate the profession of design in the community and to the world.