Our Blog

Not sure where to start? Why not dive into our review of prototyping tools? It was so popular, we even wrote a part two.

You can learn more about our process by reading about conceptual models and interaction models, or why we won’t sketch in Sketch.

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A Dating App Analysis
Natalia Bourges, Ariane Garoff
July 27, 2017

In this day and age, digital products help us to be more efficient, more social, more self-promoting, and more informed. We can hop online to find everything from the best-performing…

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Week 223: Responsibilities
Hans Gerwitz
July 13, 2017

A year ago I wrote about our resistance to roles.Since then, half of the team is new but the character of the studio and our work has remained remarkably stable. I’ve been reflecting…

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Hand-Drawn Icons Tutorial
Shannon E Thomas
June 26, 2017
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Making Good Hiring Decisions
Shannon E Thomas
June 12, 2017

When I began my career as a designer, I thought about designing stuff. I worried about things like typography, transitions, and usability. Then, through several promotions and starting…

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Week 218: The Rift
Hans Gerwitz
June 5, 2017

We recently received payment for a couple of overdue invoices. Our established clients are invoiced after the work is complete, and this one insists on a due date of at least 2 months…

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Designing Service
Shannon E Thomas
May 20, 2017

Dear Schiphol,Like many of my Dutch friends, I recently had a bad experience with Schiphol Airport. Unlike many of their experiences though, it wasn’t because of the long lines or…

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Week 213: Bubbles
Hans Gerwitz
May 5, 2017

Since my last notes, we’ve been busy having fun. Shannon wrote about our trip to Belgrade, and last week we had a great Konigsdag (King’s Day). The Artificial rented a nice boat where…

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Join the Conversational Interface
Shannon E Thomas
May 3, 2017

For the past six months, we’ve been designing an app for a product that doesn’t already exist on the market, and that likely won’t be ready for consumers for another year or two. The…

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Thoughts That Resonate
Shannon E Thomas
April 24, 2017

We’ve just wrapped up a week in Belgrade, a majority of which was spent at Resonate. Aside from the meta-thoughts about how to run a conference – presentation synopses are helpful…

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Week 210: Milestones
Hans Gerwitz
April 13, 2017

Two major milestones were passed last week. First, we have found someone who is both a culture fit and qualified to be an Artificial studio manager. Hopefully this will free Shannon…

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Creating a Design Test for Prospective Candidates
Carol Liao
April 11, 2017

For a single design position, it’s not unusual to look through a hundred candidates’ portfolios and résumés just to get to five interviews. Even with strong candidates, making the…

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Week 203: Designing Design
Hans Gerwitz
February 23, 2017

We passed our 200th week and I didn’t notice. Our 4th anniversary is coming soon, but celebrating that will wait for summer; April is already disrupted by Resonate and King’s Day.

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The Artificial Book of Cocktails
Natalia Bourges
January 16, 2017

This year we decided to treat our clients and friends to a very special Sinterklaas gift, a collection of our Friday cocktail recipes.We started off by analyzing…

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Week 189: The Boys' Club
Hans Gerwitz
November 15, 2016

Last week, we all went to Lisbon to attend Web Summit. This is essentially the SxSWi of Europe—attendance is large and largely oriented towards the business and marketing side of software…

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Redesigning watchOS
Shannon E Thomas, Ariane Garoff
October 3, 2016
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Artificial Diversity: Creating a Feminine Culture
Shannon E Thomas
September 15, 2016

This year marks my tenth year out of university. It’s also my tenth year as a full-time designer. I’ve been around. I’ve worked in-house. I’ve consulted. I’ve worked in advertising…

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Week 180: Diversity
Hans Gerwitz
September 14, 2016

The weather has been nice, so we have the office open. (And this office really opens.)Occasionally (and always during Tuesday’s lunchtime), carilloneur Boudewijn Zwart plays an assortment…

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Fishes, a Deep Dive Into the Interaction of Filters
Ariane Garoff
September 2, 2016

Right after a scuba dive, I love to identify the fishes I encountered under the sea. For this purpose I downloaded a reference app called Fishes: East Pacific. Like an Herbarium collects…

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The Communication That Makes an Outstanding Design Internship
Carol Liao
August 29, 2016

Many people who’ve worked with me know that I’m extremely passionate about the quality of internships. When I was studying, I had worked with mentors on all ends of the spectrum —…

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We're Three!
Shannon E Thomas
August 9, 2016
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Week 169: Roles
Hans Gerwitz
June 30, 2016

At this point, calling these “week” notes has become a farce. I continue to use the title ironically.The Artificial is now into our third year! We will celebrate with a summer party…

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Selecting the Optimal Prototyping Tool (Part 2)
Ariane Garoff, Carol Liao
May 4, 2016
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Week 154: Considering Growth
Hans Gerwitz
March 17, 2016

In Boris van Hoytema’s self-written job description he wishes to help his company grow “not faster than it can, not slower than it should.” This is the crux of our current outlook…

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Week 148: The Mundane
Hans Gerwitz
February 5, 2016

We’re having a calm period at the moment. There are two projects underway, but one is well ahead of schedule and the other is straightforward support during implementation of a very…

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Finding an Interaction Model
Shannon E Thomas
January 19, 2016
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Week 146: Expectations
Hans Gerwitz
January 18, 2016

When Shannon and I started The Artificial 145 weeks ago, I found the “weeknotes” of existing agencies such as BERG and Go Free Range often helpful for orienting myself.I hope to…

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Selecting the Optimal Prototyping Tool
Carol Liao, Ariane Garoff
November 23, 2015
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Designing a Conceptual Model
Shannon E Thomas
November 3, 2015

Designers love systems. We love creating architectures to organize features, wireframes to provide access to functionality, and flows to provide a sense of navigation. We create guidelines…

Invitation
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Classy or Fabulous
Carol Liao
September 3, 2015
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The Artificial's Robots
Carol Liao
July 16, 2015

As a digital product agency, we work very closely with our technology. Our laptops, phones, and devices are used every day, but this week we’re dedicating some time to focus on the…

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Passion and Beauty at OFFF 2015
Susana Passinhas
July 6, 2015

I want to be inspired!Last time I was at OFFF, it was in 2009 in Lisbon. At that time I was overwhelmed with all the projects I saw as well as the amazing presentations…

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How Will “Privacy” Limit Apple?
Hans Gerwitz
June 7, 2015

Apple’s been creeping towards privacy and encryption as a differentiator for some time, but last week’s address to EPIC was explicit. Tim Cook accused their neighbors of “lulling their…

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Why We Won’t Sketch in Sketch
Shannon E Thomas
May 20, 2015

At The Artificial we create beautiful and intuitive designs by organizing information and exploring possibilities—two modes of thought that are in constant conflict…

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OFFF 2015
Carol Liao
May 11, 2015
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Icon Story: To Doubt
Shannon E Thomas
April 29, 2015
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Designing Our New Studio
Shannon E Thomas
April 17, 2015
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How I Learned to Embrace Familiarity
Carol Liao
April 14, 2015

During the past year, I’ve learned an incredible amount from working at The Artificial.

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Light Therapy
Carol Liao
January 23, 2015
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St. Nicholas Day Traditions in Europe
Carol Liao
December 5, 2014

Happy Sinterklaas!

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Open Copyrights
Carol Liao
October 3, 2014
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Microsoft and Minecraft
Hans Gerwitz
September 15, 2014

Minecraft is a ridiculously popular game that blends exploration and creation.

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to [launch]
Carol Liao
September 12, 2014

A big thank you to all who came out to help us celebrate the official launch of to [icon]!

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Calling Tech-Savvy Designers
Carol Liao
September 9, 2014
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Data Visualization
Carol Liao
August 22, 2014
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Street Art
Carol Liao
August 1, 2014
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to [beta]
Carol Liao
July 17, 2014

We’re excited to announce that to [icon] is now in beta! Our Kickstarter backers now have access to preview and test the site in progress

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Pop Culture
Carol Liao
July 11, 2014
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One Week, Three Graduations
Carol Liao
July 8, 2014

Last week, three of the Netherlands’ finest design institutions handed diplomas to a fresh batch of talent.

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Typography in the United States
Carol Liao
July 4, 2014
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World Cup
Carol Liao
June 20, 2014
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Avocados
Carol Liao
June 6, 2014
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Massimo Vignelli
Carol Liao
May 30, 2014
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Idiomatic Expressions
Carol Liao
May 23, 2014
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Dear Adobe Illustrator
Jo Szczepanska
May 22, 2014

Dear Adobe Illustrator, I am writing this open letter as a close friend.

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Screen Printing
Carol Liao
May 16, 2014
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Mothers & Design
Carol Liao
May 9, 2014
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The Pixel
Carol Liao
May 2, 2014
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Orange
Carol Liao
April 25, 2014
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Isometric Sketching Tutorial
Jo Szczepanska
April 23, 2014

To celebrate all of your support for our first Kickstarter, to [icon], we’ve decided to share with you some of the techniques behind the icons.

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Chocolate
Carol Liao
April 18, 2014
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Resonate 2014 Recap
Shannon E Thomas
April 17, 2014

This year’s Resonate was no less full of inspiring projects than last year’s, with a refreshing amount of variety in the projects themselves.

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Fun & Play
Carol Liao
April 11, 2014
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Action Icons Speak Louder Than Words
Jo Szczepanska
April 10, 2014

We’ve launched our first Kickstarter campaign, to [icon]. Unlike other icon design endeavours, to [icon] will be focusing solely on creating icons that are verbs.

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Resonate 2014
Hans Gerwitz
April 2, 2014
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Iconography
Carol Liao
March 28, 2014
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Welcome to The Artificial Blog
Carol Liao
March 18, 2014