Fascinating Design News – Arriving Every Month
This month on Toptal Design World News, we cover everything from keyframe animations in Sketch to codeless eCommerce and design company mergers.
Plus, we’re highlighting the elegant design work of Toptal Creative Director Christina Barsan, who partnered with Swarovski to improve user engagement on the acclaimed jewelry brand’s global website.
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Anima’s latest Sketch integration—Timeline—allows Sketch designers to create GIFs and videos in Sketch using keyframe animations. Designers familiar with Keynote and After Effects will feel at home using Timeline to prototype animations and interactions.
Webflow has announced new features for their visual web design tool that will allow eCommerce web designers to design and host secure, responsive eCommerce websites without code.
Wake has teamed up with InVision to announce Wake Free, although a version of the popular design visibility tool that more closely integrates with the core InVision app is being developed in the meantime. Wake helps the right people get involved in the product design process earlier and contribute ideas that will shape the final outcome.
Artboard Studio is an upcoming web-based graphic design tool built to help brand designers create product mockups in just a few minutes.
Design Systems Repo is an extensive collection of resources dedicated to design system fanatics, including but not limited to articles, tools, talks, and of course, real-world examples.
Toptal Designer Showcase
Christina Barsan - Designer, Creative Director
Christina is a digital designer and creative director with over 15 years of experience as a visual thinker, problem solver, manager, collaborator, and lover of technology. She constantly seeks to help her clients create the ideal brand for their business that aligns with their big vision.
Please tell us about a recent project you worked on.
Swarovski wanted to redesign certain areas of their global website as well as add some new sections to create more user engagement. Along with the site updates, we were asked to create animated banners, social media integration, an app, and an email campaign. Our objective was to create a modern, fresh aesthetic while still maintaining a consistent overall brand look and feel through various touch points.
What was your design process?
My first step was to work alongside the content strategist to understand Swarovski’s business goals and user needs. I then worked with the UX designer on user flows and wireframes.
Based on my collaboration with the content strategist and the UX designer, I created various sketches and concepts for how the interface might look. Once we had a solid direction, I worked within a grid layout system to design the visual elements, choosing colors and fonts. I also focused on the interactivity of each element and created several animations. Once the UI design mockups were approved by the client, I created a style guide to ensure consistency when moving forward with the designs.
What was the outcome? What are you most proud of?
The final outcome was an integrated yet modern update to an iconic brand’s digital presence, which resulted in increased user engagement. I was really happy with the end result and so was the client. I worked with a great team and had fun doing it–to me, that’s a win-win!
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