What We’re Reading: Medium designers share their favorite stories

Perspectives on emoji, typography, AI-generated art, and more, handpicked by our design team

Medium Staff
The Medium Blog


Hello from the Medium design team!

We’re a small and mighty group who shape the features you know well — like the page you’re reading — to help you better share and discover new ideas. This week, we’re taking a break from all our Figma tabs to highlight a few recent favorite articles.

Designers form some of the largest and most vibrant communities here on Medium, and part of our design process is digging into that rich repository of ideas. Thank you all for contributing!

If you’re curious about design, find insight and inspiration by browsing topics like Visual Design and Accessibility and following publications like UX Collective and Microsoft Design. Read on for a few selects from our team.

, design director

Microsoft Design

Designing in the Open(Source) by

Here, Microsoft’s Design team shares that they’ve open sourced their vast library of emoji. Their design work is detailed and unique, and the story includes links to their entire emoji library on Github and Figma. Jon Friedman (VP of design and research at Microsoft) shares his perspective on the importance of open source, and the power of recognizing and building on the work of others.

, principal product designer

AI Artwork Will Change Everything: Peter Mohrbacher Shares Thoughts on Midjourney by , product manager and indie game developer

Peter Mohrbacher is a renowned visual artist known for his surreal fantasy illustrations. He’s an independent illustrator and concept artist who has worked on Magic: The Gathering and whose work was used in the training of many popular AI art generators today. I found it eye-opening to read his thoughts on AI artwork, the artistic process, and its broader impact in the marketplace.

, senior product designer

Created using “Mohrbacher” as a keyword in the AI Image prompt in Midjourney AI

Tools not rules by , designer, in UX Collective

As the creative AI landscape continues to expand, how will designers adapt? Matt Owens examines brand guidelines as “creative operating systems,” and predicts that our methods for deploying them will change rapidly in the next few years. Learn about how design teams at MoMA and Square are already building internal tools that empower non-designers to create consistent, high-quality brand collateral.

, senior product designer

AI has a UX Problem by , machine learning designer and researcher, in UX Collective

Caroline Sinders argues that the lack of augmentation in AI software fails to address diversity and inclusivity needs — and that current design trends assume a hyper-specific vision of who and what a user can be. Often, these design trends disregard people with disabilities (and many others).

, senior design technologist

The Coffee Diagram by , UX specialist [written in French]

What are your dealbreakers for drinking coffee outside of your home? What will make you pick one coffee shop over another? To explore these questions, UX specialist and psychologist Manue Marevery created a UX tool called the “Coffee Diagram.” It’s a playful way to differentiate between “must-haves” and the “nice-to-haves” when designing your next product or feature.

, senior product designer

Continuous Design and how to enable it by , cloud software architect, in UX Collective

Mikael Vesavuori discusses what we can learn from Agile and DevOps, and how a continuous design approach can bring resilience to highly variable environments.

, design systems lead

Jack Shepherd

19 Punctuation Marks You Never Knew You Needed by

Learn about punctuation marks, some familiar and some obscure, in Jack Shepherd’s quirky, humorous voice. Did you know that the pilcrow is actually a “c”? Did you know both £ and # are descended from the same root? What’s a commash, colash, and stopdash?

, design director

What We’re Reading” is a roundup of insightful stories from across Medium. This edition was edited and curated by Medium’s design team. Found a great story? Let us know in the responses.