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Welcome. I write about design, UX, UI, animation, creative entrepreneurship, art, & life in NYC. UX Director Lelantos Press, Artist, UX GA NYC Bootcamp grad.

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


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

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


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.


UI/UX Design Essentials: Prototyping Design Strategies

There are many design applications to choose from. They are all excellent tools to design with. Augmenting these applications, new design widgets and accessories come to market every day. These are produced to making the designer’s job easier.

However, the numerous choices can be overwhelming. There might be compatibility issues, redundancies, or hard-to-grasp modules.

Therefore, it is important to focus on design techniques and principles to build a strong design concept.

Developing strong design principles and knowledge of design tools across applications is key to building a strong conceptual foundation for prototyping.

These top…


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


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]

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…


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…


An illustration of an “i” in bold, and quotation marks, to signify the importance of an i-statement in your product strategy.
An illustration of an “i” in bold, and quotation marks, to signify the importance of an i-statement in your product strategy.

UX Design Essentials: i-statements

i-statements are important research tools that help capture your users’ emotional interest in your product. They are gathered from your user interviews during your research phase. i-statements uncover the why of your users’ commitment to your product.

The Double Diamond method, a UX process model created in 2005 by the British Design Council, defines the best practices tools available for both research and design to arrive at a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).[1] The Double Diamond features the i-statement as a valuable tool to define your users, and describe your users’ sentiments about your product.

Thus, i-statements…


A dragon motif, in bright orange on a black background, is applied to a repeat grid. Mirroring and flipping of the original unit on the upper left are activated, thus creating a lovely pattern that is almost abstract.
A dragon motif, in bright orange on a black background, is applied to a repeat grid. Mirroring and flipping of the original unit on the upper left are activated, thus creating a lovely pattern that is almost abstract.
A dragon motif is applied to a repeat grid. Mirroring and flipping of the original unit on the upper left are activated, thus creating a lovely pattern that is almost abstract. The dragon design proper embeds to repeat grids, for the dragon’s scales and spikes.

Integrated design flows

Repeat grids are trending as design tools for visualizing multiples of grouped elements. Based on columns and rows, the repeat grid feature takes a single design unit, usually consisting of different elements such as labels, text, buttons, or photos, and duplicates it integrating various spacing options.

Horizontal and vertical spacing adjustments are made by increasing or decreasing the space in-between, column and row adjustments, such as off-setting and mirroring, can be implemented for additional layout effect.

A simple repeat grid in two different executions

In this example, a simple two-element unit, composed of a grey square rectangle and a white circular icon, is arranged in a repeat grid…


The High Line Park near Gansevoort Street in lower Manhattan.

The High Line Park by the West Side Highway in Manhattan is one of my top ten most loved parks in the world. Its distinct character is that it runs above ground, on the third-floor level, on rail tracks originally built in the early 1920’s for freight trains. These industrial era trains were transporting goods from the docks of lower Manhattan to the many warehouses and factories located in the northern areas of Manhattan’s West Side.

In 1999, the abandoned remaining rail structure of the High Line was threatened with demolition. …

Eva Schicker

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