How to reclaim your smartphone focus

Weekly curated resources for designers — thinkers and makers.

Over the course of several months, Nir Eyal has experimented with changing elements of his smartphone so he could have the best of the technology — and avoid the worst. Those experiments paid off, and the steps he took are measures any and all of us can take to reduce distractions smartphones cause while not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The best part: all of these steps took him less than an hour to put in place.

Smartphone too distracting? Here’s how to reclaim your focus

The UX Collective is an independent ad-free design publication that elevates unheard design voices, reaching over 418,400 designers every week. Here are our editorial plans for 2021.

Editors’ picks

The anatomy of a design trend
How do design trends come and go?

Understanding data feminism
A new way of thinking data, informed by intersectional feminism.

Designers: mind your language
How bad writing is giving non-designers the wrong impression.

A digital archive of graphic-design-related items that are available on the Internet Archives.

Food for thought

Internal design teams and thought leadership
“I wonder to what degree designers’ perceived dissatisfaction with the discipline correlates with the move towards UX as an in-house function. I suspect the shift to this de facto monoculture has slowed the field’s evolution. Many practices and tools we take for granted were pioneered by ‘outies.’ Most of the field’s foundational books and blogs are by people outside in-house teams. This isn’t because internal designers aren’t as clever or dedicated. It’s because internal design roles are structurally misaligned with public thought leadership.”

Let this be the year April Fools’ Day for brands dies
“The latest example of this cautionary tale is Volkswagen, which, earlier this week, messed up so spectacularly with a fake rebranding that created a backlash so severe that I truly hope that it ends the practice forever.”

You probably don’t need A/B testing
“There is a popular misconception that A/B testing tools are miraculous money printing machines that turn average websites into winners, no human intervention required. Optimisation starts with research.”

Japanese typography, kilograms of sinograms, and a visual introduction to the Japanese writing system.

Little gems this week

In defence of physical buttons

Connected by light: Bringing colour to Canary Wharf

When all you have is a hammer…

Tools and resources

Container queries
After years, container queries are coming and will transform UI design.

Stark’s accessibility library
Stark acquires a11yresources and launches its own public resource library.

Designing for the autistic community
Product design principles that will improve usability for everyone.

We believe designers are thinkers as much as they are makers. So we created the design newsletter we have always wanted to receive. Feel free to forward this to your friends.