What We’re Reading: Medium designers share their favorite stories
Perspectives on emoji, typography, AI-generated art, and more, handpicked by our design team
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.
— Helena Zhang, design director
Designing in the Open(Source) by Microsoft Design
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.
— Greg Dougherty, principal product designer
AI Artwork Will Change Everything: Peter Mohrbacher Shares Thoughts on Midjourney by Mike Messenger, 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.
— Jon Wong, senior product designer
Tools not rules by Matt Owens, 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.
— Ellie Budzinski, senior product designer
AI has a UX Problem by caroline sinders, 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).
— Nouf Aljowaysir, senior design technologist
The Coffee Diagram by Manue Marevery, 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.
— Sophie Aguado, senior product designer
Continuous Design and how to enable it by Mikael Vesavuori, 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.
— I’m Rick James (Chatas)!, design systems lead
19 Punctuation Marks You Never Knew You Needed by Jack Shepherd
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?
— Helena Zhang, 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.