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The Design Squiggle (thedesignsquiggle.com)
108 points by ingve 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments

For anyone like me who is on mobile and wondering "where's the squiggle?" here is a trick I stumbled into. This worked in Chrome on Android:

1. Tap menu and select "Desktop site".

2. Watch the black squiggle flicker a couple of times and then go blank again.

3. Scroll down so the blank area is off the top of the screen.

4. Take your finger off the screen and pause for a moment.

5. Scroll back up to the top.

6. Now you can see the squiggle.

It's like the Konami Code of design squiggles!

If the other two squiggles on the page don't appear, leave Chrome in desktop mode and and use the same trick: scroll down past them so they are off the top of the screen, pause, and then scroll up again. With a little persistence you will eventually see them all.

I think this has helped me understand why the squiggle looks so chaotic.

Weird I saw it in the HN app browser and chrome just fine on my phone.

It also works just by opening it normality Firefox (or Firefox Preview, but not Firefox Focus/Klar, which use the built in webview).

VP Designer: generic medium blog pablum for personal brand building.

How do you manage design and implement such a basic website (thanks, I like that) and still screw up something like zooming? Seems there is a JS library or something that adds `font-size: 51.39%;` automatically to the HTML tag in the markup, effectively killing zooming...

That’s what you get when you define font sizes relative to the viewport size.

I’d say “disable JavaScript” since this one is JavaScript-induced rather than just `font-size: 5vw` or similar, but the body element has `style="visibility: hidden"` which is removed by JavaScript, so you’ll get a blank page for your trouble. And the squiggle and other images use <img data-src> which is turned into <img src> by JavaScript.

I still haven’t decided which I hate more, pure-JS pages that should have been plain HTML, or pages that are gratuitously hidden in CSS and then unhidden in JavaScript… so long as you run it.

This is one of those "hidden in CSS" sites so disabling JS doesn't help. Anyway, the squiggle is a disappointment. Closing the tab is the best option.

Is this the "pet rock" of design? A late April fool's joke that I don't get? Is it Andy Warhol or Andy Dick?

Similarly, "The Creative Process":


With one ever so tiny tweak, this would be an apt metaphor.

It should be "The Design Squiggles" plural.

Design process is rarely a continuous line or a singular path.

You generate, observe, understand, and decide. Repeat. The squiggles can take on different forms (they are squiggles!) but they do take on a shape of their own.

If anything, I think it would be interesting and valuable to look at the patterns of the squiggle groups to see what those may tell us about the designer and the scenario.

Yep. I saw the drawing and thought "Wrong. It gets into a single straight line too quickly." I have gone back to the drawing board many times for my personal projects. I just did again for another project today, as a matter of fact.

I like the idea of the squiggle but it does appear to be trending in the correct direction from the very beginning, which would require tremendous foresight or just not really finding anything too unexpected on your journey. I think a more realistic squiggle - while still being chaotic - would trend one way for 50% of its development, then have some 90 or 180 degree hand break turns of realisation before finally having its straightening up phase in probably a completely different direction.

Some of the "book" examples don't have the squiggle included...? Am I missing something?

From the "in use" page? I'm assuming it's somewhere inside the book, rather than on the cover.

If you're on the "in use" page and are using Chrome on Android, try the trick I described in another comment: set desktop mode, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, take your finger off the screen, then start scrolling back up.

Or as smichel17 suggested, try Firefox.

Looking forward, life's a zigzag; looking back, I see it was a straight line.

Nice page. Very abstract. The design squiggle is blank white, then?

It's always easy to refine an abstract idea, such is trivial.

For implementing and maintaining designs, especially in software, the squiggle goes in the opposite direction.

The squiggle is meant to explore a particular design paradigm, where the mess is the research, and things start calming down as research is synthesized, constraints are applied, a design is created and tested, and finally an iterated version is delivered. It assumes surprises but suppresses the height of ups and downs in the middle 50%.

Yes, I know. I am saying refining an idea is done all the time. But you have to realize that designers are only dealing with an abstract idea. It is easy to cut a thing in half and reconfigure components of that thing into abstract perfection when that thing (aka Design) lives only in your imagination.

Such is not the case for an idea that has already been materialized. There are high costs to modifying an idea that is already implemented.

The cost is so high that often developers don't reconfigure the product from scratch, what they do is build patches, grafts and superficial additions on top of the core product so that the implementation of the idea looks like the actual idea.

Like patching up an old car, eventually the accumulated ugliness reaches an apex and the core product must be rebuilt from scratch. I would say for the vast majority of projects implemented in the real world, the squiggle is in the opposite direction.

Most Designers tend to not understand the realities of what happens to their designs in production. The design of a system should not end at implementation. Implementation is just the beginning of the journey.

The best designers are the ones that can create designs that account for the inevitable degradations that happen to an idea that has already been crystallized.

The best designers are ones that can modify a design to take into account current limitations of technology and flaws while the idea is being executed in production.

Indeed, somethings it begins with a clear statement of the goal.. then gets messy.

If you zoom in enough at the start, it looks like a straight line.

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