Overthinking in Figma

Welcome to the latest edition of Designer’s digest. This week I have a cool font I want to share, an example of overthinking in Figma, and a criticism of Netflix’s UX. If you missed the last one where we spoke about designers quitting design and research about line length, you can read it here

How’s it going? It’s been a challenging period for me. It feels like I’ve been rushing for months now, without stopping to take a breath. I expected becoming a father would be challenging but it still surprised me. I think it’s because they’re twins. I’ve been working alongside shuffling baby bottles and I think I’m doing well, considering everything. Expect more updates from me in the coming months.

In this newsletter:
🅰 Space Grotesk (Open source, variable font)
💔 Figma I love you, but you’re bringing me down (6 min read)
👎 Netflix’s UX flaws everyone stopped noticing (8 min read)

🅰 Space Grotesk
I’m always on the hunt for cool-looking fonts. If they’re Open Source (read: free) and possibly even variable, all the better. I managed to find another one like this — Space Grotesk. This one is packed with features: Oldstyle figures, slashed zero, fractions, stylistic alternatives. The most important thing is that it looks great! Take a look for yourself

💔 Figma I love you, but you’re bringing me down
I have a love/hate relationship with Figma. I hated it when I was learning the auto layout, but once I learned it I loved it. I also hated how prescriptive the components were in the design system at GitLab. I know why the designers that work on these components make them so prescriptive. They want consistency. And in order to achieve that, they overthink things and create bloated components that are hard to use and too limiting. Today I read Joe Bernstein’s article that touches on this topic, but this time it’s from the perspective of one of the designers behind the components. Joe admits that he sometimes overthinks these components and makes something that becomes overwhelming to other designers—the users of the design system. I wish more designers realised what he did and decided to create simpler components that allow more flexibility. 

👎 Netflix’s UX flaws everyone stopped noticing
I use Netflix almost every day. There are things about it that bother me. The main one being the “play next episode” button countdown. It’s just too short and it feels like Netflix is trying to force me into binge watching a show, which I never do. I only watch one episode per day, not matter what I’m watching. Rita Kind-Envy never used Netflix and only signed up for it recently. So she had a fresh perspective on it and noticed quite a few things that are wrong with its UX. I think most of us don’t notice these anymore simply because we got used to them. The main one that she found for me is the white font on the dark background problem and the issues that come from that. Take a look at the article to see all the flaws she found.

Thanks to everyone suggesting alternatives to Mailchimp. I forgot to mention that the main reason for switching away from it is the cost (they increased their prices very aggressively in the past year and I decided to draw the line). It looks like ConvertKit might the best alternative for me, it has better features but would cost me half of what Mailchimp is charging me right now.

That’s it for this Monday. Have an awesome week! 👋


Matej Latin

I’m a self-taught designer proving that you don’t need a design degree to make a career in design. I went from doing boring graphic design work to working for big tech companies as a Product Designer. I thrive in the grey area between design and web development and I wrote a book about web typography for designers and web developers.

Triple Your Salary Guide cover

Get the design salary that you deserve

Increase your salary by learning when to switch jobs, which skills to improve and how, and how to find a UX-mature company to work for.

Download the free guide

Related posts

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *