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A design reckoning and shared responsibility

News you can use from Design Twitter
A design reckoning and shared responsibility

If you feel like you’ve been riding a social media roller coaster over the past few months, you’re certainly not alone. The influx of information can be overwhelming at times, and we’re cycling through topics at a rapid pace. We’ve seen folks respond to the global pandemic and how it’s disrupting how we work. We’ve seen an uprising in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, we’re reckoning with changes that need to be made in the design industry. 

From taking more responsibility for our work as designers to actively figuring out how to make remote work more inclusive, here are some of the most engaging conversations that happened on Design Twitter this month.

Holding the design industry accountable

The next generation of designers is here and they’re holding the design industry accountable. Jason Yuan, an interaction designer and kinetic typographer, shared a thread about the negative experiences he’s had as a young designer. With the number of responses and shares his post received, it’s clear that he’s not alone. Design leaders have a responsibility to lead with empathy, advocacy, and sponsorship.

Inclusion in remote work

Many folks are finding themselves working from home much longer than they expected to be. And not everyone signed up for remote work. Vicki Tan, Principal Designer for podcasts at Spotify, planned to move for a new role, but had to stay put due to the pandemic. She onboarded remotely with a 9+ hour time difference and shared her experience. In the thread, she acknowledges feelings of isolation and suggests how teams can work to make design exercises more inclusive. If you’re looking for ways to facilitate remote design sprints for your team and include asynchronous activities, read about our process at Abstract from design manager, Sarah McIlwain.

Making impact with metrics

How do you measure the impact of design at your organization? Jules Forrest, design systems manager at CreditKarma, asks what metrics you would measure in a design systems dashboard. The answers range from tracking JSON packages to calculating the percentage of components that are used by multiple teams. What would you add to your design systems dashboard?

The design process is the perfect place to make mistakes

Pavel Samsonov, Senior User Experience Architect at Amazon Web Services, argues that the design process should be a safe space to make mistakes. In the thread, he recommends moving risks to the design phase rather than the development phase. This way, your design artifacts become research tools, not deliverables. Do you agree?

Responsibility in design

We recently surveyed designers on Twitter and LinkedIn about what 2020 predictions are most relevant right now. On both platforms, the winner was responsibility in design. Randy Hunt said “In 2020, we’ll see designers take responsibility for the consequences of their design choices on the world at large.” If you don’t know what that means, Kara Gates, senior designer at Google, shares a timely example of unethical design. She also suggests actions designers can take to make meaningful impact. 


Did we miss any hot topics? We’d love to hear which conversations stood out to you this past month. Share with us on Twitter at @goabstract.

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