By Tobias van Schneider Published September 7, 2020
In honor of DESK’s fourth birthday, we’re sharing the top articles of the last year, and our goals for the next one.
Every year when the DESK birthday rolls around, we say “didn’t we just celebrate this a few months ago?” And while the sudden awareness of passed time will shake any human, there’s something great about it too. Because it means up to that point, you were blissfully unaware of it. You were focused on living in it – thinking and doing and being and working.
And this year, our little DESK team did a whole lot of that:
We started writing a book about writing – specifically, UX copywriting. Read the series with excerpts from the book so far.
We’ve been working hard on making the DESK website and newsletter an even better experience for you, and for us behind the scenes. More on that soon.
And we published 222 articles. Here are a few of our readers’ favorites from the last year:
1. The Kawaiization of product design
The word "Kawaii” is a prominent part of Japanese culture. In English, it most closely translates to "cute.” In the last year or two, I’ve noticed Kawaii being used as a function in design. And it’s quite fascinating to unpack its benefits and potential repercussions.
This is a declaration of love for personal websites, written from years of thinking on the subject, reviewing thousands of portfolios, building websites for friends and bookmarking those of strangers. It’s a subject I’m so passionate about, I built my business on it. And recently, it’s become a matter of principle.
This one seemed to resonate with people, even more than we expected.
Every trend is an answer to the movement preceding it, and minimalism has just about had its run. We are emotional and sentimental beings; we survive on self-expression. We will forever return to what has colored society since humans first walked the earth: art.
Last year, I announced a new venture: Joining Carbonmade.com as partner and co-CEO. We’ve come a long way since this announcement, but it’s still a nice introduction to Carbonmade if you’re curious about using it for your portfolio.
It started with a tweet asking for books that changed your life or had a massive impact on the way you think. It became a list of 76 books that were mentioned again and again. I’ve read several of these, added many to my queue and revisit this list anytime I need a new read.
What happens from here? As always, we want to make DESK even better. And that means writing better: More essays and articles that feel relevant and resonate with you. More thoughtful, honest insights on design that challenge you and us. More celebration of talent, more opening of doors that are typically closed, more curiosity. We want to focus on quality over quantity this year, instead of contributing more noise to your day. We want more guest writers that bring fresh perspectives to DESK, more partners whose products excite us, more interviews that open our minds and challenge our preconceived notions.
We want to do a whole lot more of the stuff that makes us look back a year from now and say “It’s already been another year?” Because, as they say, time flies when you’re having fun.
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the author of this blog, nice to meet you!