You looked around, you saw all the arguments on why to use a grid, how to set one up, and you’re totally on board with all of that, but nobody told you how to use one. Same.

Technically this article can be applied to grids in print but for our purposes, I’m specifically talking about web responsive grids for desktop, tablet, and mobile. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s get our terminology right.

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The purple parts are the field elements

Field Elements are your blocks of design, whether that be text, image, or a combination of both. Background colors don’t really count as field elements unless they are a container for your text/image. …

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Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

I’ve been doing keto for three years now (approaching four years), to help with my PCOS. Low carb is a lifestyle that I will continue for overall health since it supports whole foods and no overly processed stuff. Low carb is a lifestyle that is good for everyone even if you don’t have a medical condition, since “bad carbs” such as bread, sugar, tortillas, most things made with flour, have no nutritional value. I’ve had my fair share of conversations with people that range from no understanding of keto to moderate understanding, and here are their most common questions.

Wait so you just don’t eat carbs? Is that what it is?

Almost! It’s supposed to be no carbs but high fat. Also no sugar, because sugar is carbs. You train your body to use fat as an energy source and enter ketosis. It’s great for weight loss and helps with mental clarity since your brain uses fat for energy. …

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Illustration by DrawKit

You did it! You got to the final interview and now you’re preparing for a design whiteboarding challenge. They say it’s like working with a coworker on a problem, but you know it’s not quite that, because it’s an interview. Most big tech companies use 45 minutes to an hour for the whiteboard challenge, which means you need to plan out your strategy beforehand. In reality, it’s probably like 5 minutes of small talk, 5 minutes of the interviewer describing the exercise and the prompt, and only 35 minutes left to work through the problem. …

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Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Keeping up with keto can for sure be a struggle when you miss your favorite comfort food like a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After living a ketogenic lifestyle, I learned that you can pretty much buy anything keto, you just have to be willing to spend more. Keto alternatives generally mean replacing sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol, allulose, stevia, or xylitol, and replacing flour with almond flour. Even though these are meant to be keto or for people who are doing a low carbohydrate diet, the reality is that sugar is a terrible toxin that is bad for everyone. I would encourage everyone to use these substitutes when you can because there is absolutely nothing good about sugar for your body. Having said that, a true keto lifestyle would frown on processed foods or anything artificial. …

Web accessibility, casually explained.

Image of a keyboard with a blue tab key and a wheelchair accessibility icon. The wheelchair icon is holding a laptop.
Image of a keyboard with a blue tab key and a wheelchair accessibility icon. The wheelchair icon is holding a laptop.

There are a lot of great articles describing what accessibility is, and some basic guidelines exist like color contrast ratio, and having alt tags and stuff. But if any part of you is still scratching your head on what it really means or how to follow the super grey guidelines set be WCAG, hopefully this article will help you think about it in the right way.

Respectful disability language

It’s important to use the proper terminology when addressing those with a disability so that you don’t accidentally take on pejorative connotations. I personally have been guilty of this without realizing it. Trust me it is very embarrassing, and I was very grateful that somebody pointed out my ignorance. The ACE Disability Network provides examples of better terminology. Instead of “blind people,” it’s more appropriate to say “person with visual impairment,” or “person who is blind.” On the other hand, do not refer to people without disabilities as “normal” or “healthy.” According to the National Youth Leadership Network, these terms can make people with disabilities feel uncomfortable because it can imply there is something wrong with them and that they are “abnormal.” The best thing you can do is address the person by their name, and ask what the person is most comfortable with. …

Part II

How to use the right responsive grid and UI layout based on your design goals.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to use grids, you might be wondering how to apply them to layouts you see on the web. Responsive grids are a method to systematically align your designs, to give order, establish hierarchy, and “logic” to your designs. It makes things look less floaty, and you can generally tell who is and who is not using a grid. As people become better designers, their eyes are constantly drawing horizontal and vertical lines everywhere to create that order and alignment.

On that note, I often get questions like “Wait, how do sticky panels work in a grid layout?” or “What do you do for a web app where things go edge to edge?” We’ll look at some applications of the responsive grid and also how they scale down to mobile. More importantly, I want to teach you how to mix and match your layouts to cater to your design needs. …

Why being a product designer is so much harder than people think, and an overview of the skills you need to be a good product designer.

A pink headphone on top of colorful background split into pink and turquoise.
A pink headphone on top of colorful background split into pink and turquoise.
Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

I have always quietly thought to myself, that being a product designer requires the highest standards. Even though the job is fun, fulfilling, and impactful, it’s not for everyone. Or at least it’s not something that a lot of people can do well.

The “definition” of a product designer is always changing, and too many different titles were born out of that problem. Not because it’s a new and upcoming thing and people don’t know what to call them, it’s because being a good designer by nature has a lot of requirements. Why is that?

First of all, you can’t be lazy.

Because industry trends change often, and as technology improves, there are more possibilities for UIs. That means you need to always indulge yourself in the newest products and frequent the internet for trends. More and more tools are coming out, so if you can’t learn them all quickly, you’ll just get set behind. …

This year’s big scoop on everything you missed from logo redesigns, big design news, trends, and UI patterns.

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Image created by Christie Tang (me), bottom images are by Cuberto on Dribbble (left), by Maya Koeva on Dribbble (center), and by Mike Kus on Dribbble (right).

2019 was a good one, and now it’s time to reflect on all the trends and highlights of the year. It’s important to keep yourself in the know of design trends so you can always be designing for the newest, most modern look. And in case you were MIA all year, don’t worry, I gotchu fam. For those who were active, we can reflect and wonder if your 2019 predictions were right, or just celebrate the ways design has moved us forward. Cheers friends.

We’ll start with big news, which touches on this year’s logo redesigns, products, and UI revamps, and then we’ll go to visual trends. …

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“We should all meet up during Chinese National Holiday,” said Huan Cha, our twenty-nine-year-old guild leader. “Yeah! Let’s bring everyone from Eternal Weekend,” replied Lazy Pig, “and any other girls.” As I read the lime green text in the guild chat, a mixture of excitement and anxiety boiled within me.

I was living in China at the time and was attending an international high school. International schools are meant for students whose parents had to relocate for work. Only those with foreign passports are admitted to international schools, and everything is taught in English. It’s also very expensive.

At the time of the story, I was part of a guild in an online game called World of Warcraft, and the guild name was Eternal Weekend. There were over five hundred people in the guild, and together we raided every weekend, played battlegrounds, chatted over the microphone, and so on. Despite the amount of time we spent talking and playing, I never considered meeting these people, in real life. …

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On a scale from 1 to 72, 72 being the happiest that you can possibly be, how happy are you with your life right now in general?

I mean, by now you already know that happiness is a weird human trait. Studies have shown that mental wellness has a deeply rooted link to physical health, such as stress causing a dry cough, efficacy of medications, and even one’s mortality. Happiness has been a hard subject to study because how the hell do you quantify such a thing? But forget quantifying it, the more interesting part for me is why someone feels the way they do. So here’s a thought experiment, “From 1 to 72, how happy are you with your life in general?”

I’ve asked maybe 50 people about this in person, and the way people answer this set of questions can tell you so much. Do they operate analytically by calculating a percentage and then scale it to 72? Do they go by their gut feeling? Can you tell they’ve thought about their happiness a lot? Can you tell that they haven’t thought about it at all? The questions go as…


Christie Tang

Product Designer. Jury at Awwwards. eSports enthusiast. Bonafide nerd. Ketogenic foodie. Sarcastic and crass INTJ.

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