Maintaining colors in your Google documents

Let’s pick a color:

Not very useful, because later on I will never know what particular shade of gray did I use in my document from this very picker. There had been a number of occasions where I’d try to guesswork the color I’d used, since I want my document to be consistent.

I like the rich palette in general, but what if it had a section that read: “Colors in your document” and it’d populate automatically. You can get to a similar behaviour by using the “Custom” colors for this, but it’s just exactly one step more than what most people want and you can’t set default colors as custom colors (more on this later). Most people want to 1) select some colors for their document 2) next time they’re there, see their used colors in the document.

How do I know this? Because of all the years I’d been using Google Docs, there was never a single occasion where I’d define a custom color or saw someone else do it. Never. Even though I’d spent countless of minutes wasted on trying to find the color I’d used for highlights, it has never occured to me to define colors for a document. For two reasons: first, I’m not exclusively using GDocs. I’m using different software and different software tend to have different solutions for this. Second, when you’re doing actual work, you just can’t be bothered with defining custom colors.

One more thing: if you define a custom color in GDocs, make sure you actually are using a different color from the base palette, because if you tried to set a custom color of the base palette it will not get defined. Good luck with finding your used gray.

Sketch bugs related to vectorizing strokes

Here is a bug that you can reproduce in 3.5.2 Sketch, the current version:

1. Create a circle, make it any size you want (I made mine 200px)

2. Set a centered stroke on the object (20px)

3. Set the ends to “Curved” and create a dashed line, eg:

4. “Layer – Paths – Vectorize Stroke” In later versions: “Layer – Convert to Outlines”, but this doesn’t change the result

Now, here comes the part that is buggy. If you were to edit this vectorized path and hit “Edit”, the object will be selected like this:

The bottom anchor point will only have one handle, will say it’s “Disconnected”. The only thing you can do to restore the normal functionality is to “Finish Editing”, then re-edit the path again:

If you clicked at the bottom point, it will have its proper two handles that you can work with. Took me a couple of tries to figure this one out.

Additional bonus: if you follow the same process, but set the stroke either to be on the inside, or outside, the vectorize stroke function will not work properly in either cases. If you have a stroke looking on the inside, you can get to an expected result by deleting and recoloring layers that had been created, but if the stroke looked on the outside, it will be a mess.

To sum it up: vectorizing strokes in case of dashed lines does not seem to function correctly and depending on where your strokes had been aligned to, leaves you with various, unexpected results.

update 2017.01.02: this works fine in Version 41.2 (35397)

Good bye, Prezi

Last Thursday was my last day at Prezi. I spent almost exactly one year with them and I loved the place: it is one of the best companies to work for in Budapest (they’re hiring an Interaction Designer if you’re interested). A mature startup, you get to work on one product (although at different parts), fancy office and good people.

Why did I leave then? Because Linda and I decided that we wanted to move back to Sweden – and so we will. I’ll be working for as Lead Design. A hot new startup in the area full of amazing people and technology. I spent the weekend with them in Barcelona at a company offsite, and although I think I overdosed on Catalan food, it was an amazing bootcamp.

Looking forward to the next chapter. 😉

Creating hover states that click in InVision

I think it’s not very well articulated how you can make a hover state that clicks when building an InVision prototype. It’s actually very easy to do:

1. set up a hover state hotspot and link it to your hover screen

2. go to the hover screen and define a link hotspot then link it to the next screen

The end result:

Re: Dribbble and The Creation of The Useless Designer

Michael Abehsera:

Today the Dribbble community grew into desiring complete aesthetic Porn, with “function” going out the window and only caring about “form”. Designers are sitting there for hours trying to make a “shot” beautiful (…) Last time I checked design was about solving problems, and that’s why I was excited about becoming a designer. I think we should start penalizing and neglecting designs like the above examples and reward with more “likes” the designers that post different work that has a fresh approach on different problems.

I think Dribbble solves a different problem: it allows designers to showcase their visual skills, to experiment, act like cool etc. It is also big and thus full of mediocre, me-too designs, overdone animations, shadows and blurs. If you can accept this, then you can also deduct the fact that solving design problems might just happen somewhere else, and Dribbble is just fine the way it is and people can give likes any way they want. (Ironically on his homepage Abehsera is not solving any design problems, but showcases screenshots one after the other.)