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Hello. I write about design, UX, UI, animation, entrepreneurship, art and life in NYC. UX lead Lelantos Press, Artist, UX GA grad, top medium design writer.
A thumbnail image of Mondrian’s painting in white, black, red, yellow, and blue, re-created in html & css.
A thumbnail image of Mondrian’s painting in white, black, red, yellow, and blue, re-created in html & css.
Mondrian’s painting re-created in html & css.

Expanding the design concept from squares & lines to rows & columns

As designers, we are free to access the rich history of modern art. We can apply the concepts invented by artists already inspired by abstraction and simplification.

Inspiration through modern design

Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter and theoretician, is just such an inspiration. Famous for his white-black-red-blue-yellow compositions of the 1920’s, his modular design thinking influences designers over and over again, and provides a fertile ground for adaptation.

Mondrian’s squares and lines versus Bootstrap’s rows and columns

Mondrian’s square/rectangle concept [1]


This landing page is defined by white space. The brand logo is featured in the center of a full color gradient screen, and one actionable button sets the content hierarchy, to scroll down.
This landing page is defined by white space. The brand logo is featured in the center of a full color gradient screen, and one actionable button sets the content hierarchy, to scroll down.
This landing page is defined by white space. The brand logo is featured in the center of a full color gradient screen, and one actionable button sets the content hierarchy, to scroll down.

White space is defined as the space on a page without information or data

Conceptually, it is also referred to as negative space. Contrary to its name, white space can be any color, any gradient, or even a full-screen picture, or movie.

How white space impacts information architecture

Making use of white space can be an impactful design strategy, especially when applying a column grid to the information architecture concept.

White space first = Less is more

White space is used to set the mood and tone of the brand. Less information but more space creates greater awareness of what’s to come

Utilizing white space, or…


An abstract gradient rendition of a sun.
An abstract gradient rendition of a sun.

Their origins in nature and their applications to design

Where it all starts

The history of the gradient goes as far back as humankind’s first perception of a sunrise and a sunset. Where the sky meets the earth with the sun as a strong light in between, all kinds of shimmering, melting, blending, and oozing effects are happening at the blink of an eye. Add clouds, water-particle carrying wads of reflecting puffs, and your gradient possibilities take off into infinity.

Gradients as shimmering seamless colors


Design Essentials: Bézier curves

An animation showing a straight line with two nodes transforming itself into a curved line with variations.
An animation showing a straight line with two nodes transforming itself into a curved line with variations.

We’ve all heard of the Bézier curve. But do we really know how to draw one, how to apply it within applications, how to write it in code, or who discovered the concept? Let’s find out.

The genius of connecting two points by optimizing their control handles

A Bézier curve consists of two nodes with attached control handles. The values of these control handles is used by the computer software to render the curve. Control handles define the shape of a curve on its start- and end points, and can be manipulated by the user within the software.


How to grasp the concept quickly

UX Design Essentials: Atomic design and modular thinking

The concept of atomic design is every visual designer’s dream tool box. It is a simple, modular design system for the digital screen. It uses single elements (atoms) to build entire landscapes (interactive screens).

The system is borrowed from chemistry.

In chemistry, an atom is the smallest unit* which combines with other atoms to form molecules, which then combine to form organisms.

(*Atoms break down into smaller units, but for the purpose of Atomic Design, we will not delve deeper into the structure of an atom here.)

Each atom has a specific shape formed by its properties


Do you like counting pixels?

If yes, you can relax. If no, this is even more important.

Pixel-perfect design provides the most precise creative content design, every pixel is accounted for and utilized

For example, a static iPhone X screen measures 375 x 815 pixels. This provides the designer with 304,500 pixels to design with, providing is a lot of pixels to create with.

To create the design blueprint, or wireframe, screen elements need to be separated into units. Units need be specified either in actual pixel, or in percentage proportion to the device screen size. Maximum user experience, tapping, scrolling, and zooming, need to be integrated into the design elements.

Lead UI elements, such as top status and bottom tool bars, supply the designer with precise pixel specifications

In the iPhone X example, at 375 px w x 812 px h, required UI elements are part of the screen design.


A black & white icon design showing a template design.
A black & white icon design showing a template design.
‘Template’ icon by css.gg. (<i class=”gg-template”></i>)

Open source svg/code icon libraries will brighten your design work anytime

There are many open source icon libraries available to designers, from Bootstrap to Font Awesome, Feather, Octicons, Material Design, iOS, to css.gg, and they are all equally amazing in what they offer. (Links to libraries provided at the end of the story.) [1]


Choosing the right research & design tools for success

UX Design Essentials: Project tools

To build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), we start with an idea, or, in UX terms, initial problem statement . We then move into research data gathering and analysis, user definition engagement, design ideation and implementation. If all goes well, we’ll be ready at some point in the future to launch an MVP to a first crop of customers.

However, this process is filled with hundreds of research and design events that influence the evolution of the initial idea.

The path from idea to MVP


A black and white portrait of Ada King, countess of Lovelace, looking at the camera from an angle and wearing elegant period-style clothing, adapted from a painting by Alfred Edward Chalon, c. 1838.
A black and white portrait of Ada King, countess of Lovelace, looking at the camera from an angle and wearing elegant period-style clothing, adapted from a painting by Alfred Edward Chalon, c. 1838.
Ada King, countess of Lovelace, from a portrait by Alfred Edward Chalon, c. 1838. [1]

Role models matter, especially for young women who want to be creators, designers, and developers

An homage to the world’s first computer programmer

Ada Lovelace, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron), was born as Augusta Ada Byron, Lady Byron, December 10, 1815, in Middlesex, now London, England, to Lord and Lady Byron. Ada became famous as an English mathematician, writer, creative thinker, and has been named the world’s first computer programmer.[2] (Wiki link)

We know Lord Byron, her father, for his extensive romantic poetry, much of it written while traveling across Europe during the romantic era of the early 1800’s.

Ada’s parents legally separated when Ada was only two months old. As Ada was growing up, she was tutored privately. Ada’s mother, Lady Byron…


Where art meets the sky

Partial view of roof top sculpture by Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts, on the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Skyline of New York looking south towards 59th Street. Photo taken in early May, 2021.
Partial view of roof top sculpture by Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts, on the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Skyline of New York looking south towards 59th Street. Photo taken in early May, 2021.
Partial view of roof top sculpture by Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts, on the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Skyline of New York looking south towards 59th Street. Photo taken in early May, 2021.

Getting to the top all depends on the traveler’s point of view

15 months into the Covid lock-down in New York brings out different perspectives and sensations. Outdoor activities are now measured one tiny step at a time, success as one fortunate moment on any given day. Urban spaces have two simple status conditions, open or closed.

Every foray into previously well travelled spots is an adventure with an uncertain outcome. How is the subway? Will it be crowded? Is the place I want to visit open? How can I get there? How do I reserve my ticket?

We are relearning every step along the way, from temperature checks at entrance doors…

Eva Schicker

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