Mar 7, 2024

3 ideas on how software design can impact culture

Creator of Dive

Founder of Not Boring Software

I felt like I could run through a wall when I first read no more boring apps.

Immediately, Andy Allen became one of my design heroes.

Now I use his Not Boring apps daily.

You know what the best part about having a podcast is??

I get to ask my heroes anything I want :)

So here are three ideas from Andy that are currently living rent-free in my brain ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ‘“ Why great design ISN'T invisible

You've probably seen a version of this quote from Jared Spool before:

"Good design, when itโ€™s done well, becomes invisible. Itโ€™s only when itโ€™s done poorly that we notice it"

But what about GREAT design?

Let's look at architecture as an example... <1% of buildings can be classified as architecture. Most are invisible at best and ugly at worst.

True architecture thoughtfully pushes the boundaries and expands our understanding of how a space can be shaped.

It's the same for software design ๐Ÿ‘‡

"Great design jumps out at you a bit. It gets you to pause and admire just like a beautiful building."- Andy Allen

Talking with Andy reminded me of this recent tweet from Scott ๐Ÿ‘‡

Good design is familiar. Great design makes you a little uncomfortable.

Which is why Andy mentions how as humans we have a "certain budget for new things before it becomes overwhelming". This is why Not Boring apps use standard settings menus, share sheets, etc.

You shouldn't strive for greatness everywhere.

The key is to pick the highest leverage areas to make a statement... like the world's most satisfying checkbox.

๐Ÿ“ˆ When design can be a differentiator

We live in a world of feature-differentiated products.

If you want to stand out, then you find ways to add more functionality, more power, etc.

So what does it mean to be design-differentiated?

Here's the question Andy asked himself when beginning his journey to create Not Boring ๐Ÿ‘‡

"What if we did exactly the same stuff but we did it differently?"

When I wrote about my 9 favorite design details in Arc, they weren't that feature-differentiated from legacy browsers...

But the way I feel using Arc is night and day compared to Chrome.

That is design-differentiation.

And the more mature your industry, the greater your opportunity to use design to establish a strategic advantage.

"It's not about what you do, it's how you do it"- Andy Allen

๐Ÿ›๏ธ How software design can impact culture

Software has largely become a tool for business which is why Andy challenges you to ask yourself...

"Why did I get into design? Am I in this to serve some business OKR?"

If the answer is yes...

  1. That's totally ok!

  2. I highly recommend this episode with Mia Blumeโ€‹

But a lot of designers like Andy got into design to contribute something back to culture.

And I'm starting to think that AI will birth a new generation of software "artists".

Why artists?

Well, AI is about to close the time investment gap between painting and writing code by an order of magnitude. It will be cheaper and easier for designers to write software than ever before.

So what is the equivalent of a modern art gallery for software... where the art/code is the destination and no longer a means to a business outcome?

Idk... but I'm excited to find out :)

๐Ÿค” Creating software that is not boring

There's a LOT more where that came from...

In this week's episode, we go behind-the-scenes with Andy Allen to learn about his founder journey, talk about the state of software design today, and get a glimpse of where we're headed next as an industry ๐Ÿ‘€

Some more highlights:

  • The design tools Andy is most excited about

  • Andyโ€™s advice for people wanting to learn 3D

  • The 4 things needed for design to have real cultural impact

  • How AI will empower us to deliver tailored software at scale

  • Why the future of design tooling might mirror the game industry

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, Apple or wherever you get your podcasts ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ‘€ Training your design eye

Talk to anyone at the forefront of AI and they'll all stress the importance of taste for designers.

But very few people talk about how to actually improve your taste...

That's why I'm sharing this incredible thread from Julie Zhuo.

It's an oldie but a goodie ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ–ฑ๏ธ Introducing multi-edit in Figma

You ever make a change in Figma and realize "ugh I need to do that in 8 different frames now..."

Not anymore!

Figma's new multi-edit feature makes it easy to stay in a flow state by cutting out redundant work.

Here's a walkthrough video from Pablo Stanley explaining how it works.

๐Ÿญ What does "delight" in software mean?

Last week Jenny Wen talked about the art of designing for delight and it seemed to really hit home (2nd most plays ever in the 1st week ๐Ÿ˜ฎ).

So let's go even deeper...

I went through the replies to this tweet by Raphael Schaad (the founder of Cron) and pulled out the key ideas for you๐Ÿ‘‡

Anticipation:
โ€‹It's meeting user needs before they even know they have them (likedeleting passwords)
โ€‹

  • Emotional:
    It's what you get when you ask "how does this make someone feel?" vs. "what should this thing do?"
    โ€‹

  • Fast:
    โ€‹It's delightfully reliable and requires sweating the details to shave millisecondsโ€‹
    โ€‹

  • Personality:โ€‹
    It's finding ways to let a little bit of the maker seep in
    โ€‹

  • Fluid:
    โ€‹It's being intentional about how the UI feels (hover states, micro-interactions, page transitions, etc.)
    โ€‹

  • Whimsy
    โ€‹It's finding high impact moments to break convention with the common style

๐ŸŒ— The ultimate method for nailing light and dark modes in Figma

It's taken me over 4 years of tweaking...

But I think I finally have the perfect method for creating a themeable neutrals palette. It's systematic, repeatable, and I wish I would've had this as a resource years ago :)

โ€‹Read the step-by-step breakdown (you'll want to bookmark this one)

I felt like I could run through a wall when I first read no more boring apps.

Immediately, Andy Allen became one of my design heroes.

Now I use his Not Boring apps daily.

You know what the best part about having a podcast is??

I get to ask my heroes anything I want :)

So here are three ideas from Andy that are currently living rent-free in my brain ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ‘“ Why great design ISN'T invisible

You've probably seen a version of this quote from Jared Spool before:

"Good design, when itโ€™s done well, becomes invisible. Itโ€™s only when itโ€™s done poorly that we notice it"

But what about GREAT design?

Let's look at architecture as an example... <1% of buildings can be classified as architecture. Most are invisible at best and ugly at worst.

True architecture thoughtfully pushes the boundaries and expands our understanding of how a space can be shaped.

It's the same for software design ๐Ÿ‘‡

"Great design jumps out at you a bit. It gets you to pause and admire just like a beautiful building."- Andy Allen

Talking with Andy reminded me of this recent tweet from Scott ๐Ÿ‘‡

Good design is familiar. Great design makes you a little uncomfortable.

Which is why Andy mentions how as humans we have a "certain budget for new things before it becomes overwhelming". This is why Not Boring apps use standard settings menus, share sheets, etc.

You shouldn't strive for greatness everywhere.

The key is to pick the highest leverage areas to make a statement... like the world's most satisfying checkbox.

๐Ÿ“ˆ When design can be a differentiator

We live in a world of feature-differentiated products.

If you want to stand out, then you find ways to add more functionality, more power, etc.

So what does it mean to be design-differentiated?

Here's the question Andy asked himself when beginning his journey to create Not Boring ๐Ÿ‘‡

"What if we did exactly the same stuff but we did it differently?"

When I wrote about my 9 favorite design details in Arc, they weren't that feature-differentiated from legacy browsers...

But the way I feel using Arc is night and day compared to Chrome.

That is design-differentiation.

And the more mature your industry, the greater your opportunity to use design to establish a strategic advantage.

"It's not about what you do, it's how you do it"- Andy Allen

๐Ÿ›๏ธ How software design can impact culture

Software has largely become a tool for business which is why Andy challenges you to ask yourself...

"Why did I get into design? Am I in this to serve some business OKR?"

If the answer is yes...

  1. That's totally ok!

  2. I highly recommend this episode with Mia Blumeโ€‹

But a lot of designers like Andy got into design to contribute something back to culture.

And I'm starting to think that AI will birth a new generation of software "artists".

Why artists?

Well, AI is about to close the time investment gap between painting and writing code by an order of magnitude. It will be cheaper and easier for designers to write software than ever before.

So what is the equivalent of a modern art gallery for software... where the art/code is the destination and no longer a means to a business outcome?

Idk... but I'm excited to find out :)

๐Ÿค” Creating software that is not boring

There's a LOT more where that came from...

In this week's episode, we go behind-the-scenes with Andy Allen to learn about his founder journey, talk about the state of software design today, and get a glimpse of where we're headed next as an industry ๐Ÿ‘€

Some more highlights:

  • The design tools Andy is most excited about

  • Andyโ€™s advice for people wanting to learn 3D

  • The 4 things needed for design to have real cultural impact

  • How AI will empower us to deliver tailored software at scale

  • Why the future of design tooling might mirror the game industry

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, Apple or wherever you get your podcasts ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ‘€ Training your design eye

Talk to anyone at the forefront of AI and they'll all stress the importance of taste for designers.

But very few people talk about how to actually improve your taste...

That's why I'm sharing this incredible thread from Julie Zhuo.

It's an oldie but a goodie ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ–ฑ๏ธ Introducing multi-edit in Figma

You ever make a change in Figma and realize "ugh I need to do that in 8 different frames now..."

Not anymore!

Figma's new multi-edit feature makes it easy to stay in a flow state by cutting out redundant work.

Here's a walkthrough video from Pablo Stanley explaining how it works.

๐Ÿญ What does "delight" in software mean?

Last week Jenny Wen talked about the art of designing for delight and it seemed to really hit home (2nd most plays ever in the 1st week ๐Ÿ˜ฎ).

So let's go even deeper...

I went through the replies to this tweet by Raphael Schaad (the founder of Cron) and pulled out the key ideas for you๐Ÿ‘‡

Anticipation:
โ€‹It's meeting user needs before they even know they have them (likedeleting passwords)
โ€‹

  • Emotional:
    It's what you get when you ask "how does this make someone feel?" vs. "what should this thing do?"
    โ€‹

  • Fast:
    โ€‹It's delightfully reliable and requires sweating the details to shave millisecondsโ€‹
    โ€‹

  • Personality:โ€‹
    It's finding ways to let a little bit of the maker seep in
    โ€‹

  • Fluid:
    โ€‹It's being intentional about how the UI feels (hover states, micro-interactions, page transitions, etc.)
    โ€‹

  • Whimsy
    โ€‹It's finding high impact moments to break convention with the common style

๐ŸŒ— The ultimate method for nailing light and dark modes in Figma

It's taken me over 4 years of tweaking...

But I think I finally have the perfect method for creating a themeable neutrals palette. It's systematic, repeatable, and I wish I would've had this as a resource years ago :)

โ€‹Read the step-by-step breakdown (you'll want to bookmark this one)

I felt like I could run through a wall when I first read no more boring apps.

Immediately, Andy Allen became one of my design heroes.

Now I use his Not Boring apps daily.

You know what the best part about having a podcast is??

I get to ask my heroes anything I want :)

So here are three ideas from Andy that are currently living rent-free in my brain ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ‘“ Why great design ISN'T invisible

You've probably seen a version of this quote from Jared Spool before:

"Good design, when itโ€™s done well, becomes invisible. Itโ€™s only when itโ€™s done poorly that we notice it"

But what about GREAT design?

Let's look at architecture as an example... <1% of buildings can be classified as architecture. Most are invisible at best and ugly at worst.

True architecture thoughtfully pushes the boundaries and expands our understanding of how a space can be shaped.

It's the same for software design ๐Ÿ‘‡

"Great design jumps out at you a bit. It gets you to pause and admire just like a beautiful building."- Andy Allen

Talking with Andy reminded me of this recent tweet from Scott ๐Ÿ‘‡

Good design is familiar. Great design makes you a little uncomfortable.

Which is why Andy mentions how as humans we have a "certain budget for new things before it becomes overwhelming". This is why Not Boring apps use standard settings menus, share sheets, etc.

You shouldn't strive for greatness everywhere.

The key is to pick the highest leverage areas to make a statement... like the world's most satisfying checkbox.

๐Ÿ“ˆ When design can be a differentiator

We live in a world of feature-differentiated products.

If you want to stand out, then you find ways to add more functionality, more power, etc.

So what does it mean to be design-differentiated?

Here's the question Andy asked himself when beginning his journey to create Not Boring ๐Ÿ‘‡

"What if we did exactly the same stuff but we did it differently?"

When I wrote about my 9 favorite design details in Arc, they weren't that feature-differentiated from legacy browsers...

But the way I feel using Arc is night and day compared to Chrome.

That is design-differentiation.

And the more mature your industry, the greater your opportunity to use design to establish a strategic advantage.

"It's not about what you do, it's how you do it"- Andy Allen

๐Ÿ›๏ธ How software design can impact culture

Software has largely become a tool for business which is why Andy challenges you to ask yourself...

"Why did I get into design? Am I in this to serve some business OKR?"

If the answer is yes...

  1. That's totally ok!

  2. I highly recommend this episode with Mia Blumeโ€‹

But a lot of designers like Andy got into design to contribute something back to culture.

And I'm starting to think that AI will birth a new generation of software "artists".

Why artists?

Well, AI is about to close the time investment gap between painting and writing code by an order of magnitude. It will be cheaper and easier for designers to write software than ever before.

So what is the equivalent of a modern art gallery for software... where the art/code is the destination and no longer a means to a business outcome?

Idk... but I'm excited to find out :)

๐Ÿค” Creating software that is not boring

There's a LOT more where that came from...

In this week's episode, we go behind-the-scenes with Andy Allen to learn about his founder journey, talk about the state of software design today, and get a glimpse of where we're headed next as an industry ๐Ÿ‘€

Some more highlights:

  • The design tools Andy is most excited about

  • Andyโ€™s advice for people wanting to learn 3D

  • The 4 things needed for design to have real cultural impact

  • How AI will empower us to deliver tailored software at scale

  • Why the future of design tooling might mirror the game industry

Listen on YouTube, Spotify, Apple or wherever you get your podcasts ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ‘€ Training your design eye

Talk to anyone at the forefront of AI and they'll all stress the importance of taste for designers.

But very few people talk about how to actually improve your taste...

That's why I'm sharing this incredible thread from Julie Zhuo.

It's an oldie but a goodie ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿ–ฑ๏ธ Introducing multi-edit in Figma

You ever make a change in Figma and realize "ugh I need to do that in 8 different frames now..."

Not anymore!

Figma's new multi-edit feature makes it easy to stay in a flow state by cutting out redundant work.

Here's a walkthrough video from Pablo Stanley explaining how it works.

๐Ÿญ What does "delight" in software mean?

Last week Jenny Wen talked about the art of designing for delight and it seemed to really hit home (2nd most plays ever in the 1st week ๐Ÿ˜ฎ).

So let's go even deeper...

I went through the replies to this tweet by Raphael Schaad (the founder of Cron) and pulled out the key ideas for you๐Ÿ‘‡

Anticipation:
โ€‹It's meeting user needs before they even know they have them (likedeleting passwords)
โ€‹

  • Emotional:
    It's what you get when you ask "how does this make someone feel?" vs. "what should this thing do?"
    โ€‹

  • Fast:
    โ€‹It's delightfully reliable and requires sweating the details to shave millisecondsโ€‹
    โ€‹

  • Personality:โ€‹
    It's finding ways to let a little bit of the maker seep in
    โ€‹

  • Fluid:
    โ€‹It's being intentional about how the UI feels (hover states, micro-interactions, page transitions, etc.)
    โ€‹

  • Whimsy
    โ€‹It's finding high impact moments to break convention with the common style

๐ŸŒ— The ultimate method for nailing light and dark modes in Figma

It's taken me over 4 years of tweaking...

But I think I finally have the perfect method for creating a themeable neutrals palette. It's systematic, repeatable, and I wish I would've had this as a resource years ago :)

โ€‹Read the step-by-step breakdown (you'll want to bookmark this one)

Join 10,000+ designers

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"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

Join 10,000+ designers

Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

Join 10,000+ designers

Get our weekly breakdowns

"There's no doubt that Dive has made me a better designer"

@ned_ray

"

I've been binging Dive Club lately and the quality is nuts

Literally the only show about design I watchโ€

Eugene Fedorenko

"

I've been binging Dive Club lately and the quality is nuts

Literally the only show about design I watchโ€

Eugene Fedorenko

hello@dive.club

โ’ธ Dive 2024