The Design Leadership Gap

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We've recently written about progressive design and the role successful designers play in helping companies build great products. Design leadership is an important part of this conversation.

From designers using their thinking skills to the turbulence of the current design environment, it's clear that we view design as a significant business opportunity for companies to grow.

It's been shown that companies that embrace design driven principles produce better financial returns. Design-driven companies need leaders that can drive this value. But we don't see enough business structure in place to help companies and designers thrive together. Creating design value is more difficult than throwing designers at problems. We need leaders.

We need design leaders to increase the value of design in organizations and it's not going to happen without more methodologies to define problems...
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Ringing in the New Year with Three New ZURBians

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three new ZURBians

We're starting the new year with some new hires — actually three plus one who just moved in. The coming year will give these new ZURBians plenty of challenges, but we know they're smart, capable, and willing to take on 2015. So without further ado, let's meet Mandi, Shaina and Tim, our awesome new designers!

Mandi Saeteun: Chasing Big Dreams, Craft Beer and Comic Books


Photo of Mandi Saeteun

Mandi spent most of her early career growing a company with her mother literally from the ground up in Sacramento. In school she discovered that aesthetics weren't as fun as problem-solving —so she jumped from an Art Studio major to Design. That led to a Bachelor's degree in Design from UC Davis. The next step was obvious: She joined ZURB as a design intern. But that didn't satisfy her desire for experience.

To pay the bills (and feed her comic book habit), Mandi worked at Excel Interpreting, a...
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Get a job, nerd!


via Job Board from ZURB

A Growing Foundation Family: Foundation for Sites 5.5 is Here

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Illustration of the two Yetis together

There are so many amazing things happening with Foundation right now and we're excited to share it all. Hot on the heels of Foundation for Apps, we released an amazing update for Foundation for Sites. This release, v5.5, brings some great updates and lots key fixes. On top of that, the community stepped up with some well-written pull requests that allowed us to really strengthen this release.

The Foundation Community Crushes It!

Previously we talked about how the Foundation community is crushing it. The big challenge: dropdowns that weren't behaving like they were supposed to, breaking out of the page boundaries. Five different people submitted their versions of a fix for this hard issue. After weeks of going through multiple iterations with the different attempts, a hero emerged: Corey Snyder, who submitted a pull request with a great solution. We tested it in...
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100 Days in Tavern

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light bulb of ideas

Tavern began with this goal: challenge our fellow designers to define the broader, fuzzier concepts or product design. We'd do this by debating a single question a day, exchanging ideas on what it means to be a product designer. A question that had to be asked and answered in the ticking clock of 24 hours. More than a 100 days later and after some 5,000 contributions, our comrades in design ran with the challenge.

Some articulate and outstanding designers, such as Ren Walker, Bryce Howiston, and Antonin Januska, are questioning and challenge ideas, which is the core of being a product designer. And that's exactly what Tavern is about. The community is shaping up to be the place, as well as the structured environment, that is giving extreme focus on aspects of product design that aren't always easy to articulate, for everyone building product — from designers to managers to...
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Foundation for Apps is Here!

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foundation for apps

The wait is over. Foundation for Apps is here.

We've teased and teased you all over the past five months. But today is the day. We're stoked to finally release the newest member of the Foundation family and the first front-end framework created solely for building fully-responsive web apps. Now you'll be able build any kind of web app with one set of code.

We've chronicled the journey from our new take on a grid, to the introduction to Motion UI, to our integration of MVC frameworks — and many of you followed along. We had tons of people reach out and help us make some huge, tough decisions. While it's been a long road with lot of planning, tons of code and a few restarts, we're really proud of what we've created with the help of our amazing contributors. And now we can't wait for you all to get your hands on it.

We'd like to thank everyone who has helped us over the past...
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Our New Angular Engineer Gives Us a Stronger Foundation

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Often confused as a boy band runaway because of her gravity-defying hair and her tendency to belt out pop songs, our newest ZURBian's interests actually skew toward visiting aquariums and playing video games. So with that, please say hello to …

Jeanie Chung, Angular Engineer

Photo of Jeanie Chung, our newest Angular JS engineer

Jeanie hails from South Korea, but grew up in Chicago. She attended Washington University — the one in St. Louis, MO. After deciding that med school was not the life for her, Jeanie switched into engineering and earned a Bachelor's in Systems Engineering. Following her interest in the health sector's big picture, she became convinced that her goal was to save the world with engineering and public health.

Things took a turn when she applied her engineering smarts and took a job at Razorfish, her first foray into web design. But it was hard to ignore her passion for public health, so she took...
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2014 Design Award

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Last year we moved into a fantastic new space after spending a year renovating a worn down, multi-tenant space. Today we're happy to share that our building was honored with a 2014 Design Award by the American Architects Institute of Santa Clara County (home to some of the most recognized technology companies in Silicon Valley).

We'd like to thank our architect and congratulate David Fenster and Modulus for an amazing job. After working in the space for the past year, we can attest to David's work as it continues to surpass the test of time! It's an amazing space and we're thankful everyday for the opportunity to work in a building specifically designed around the needs of our business.

Interior Spaces Designed for Designers

After spending many afternoons learning and observing how we worked, Modulus was able to design different spaces for the needs of our team. They spent countless...
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The Right Brain Myth

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Designers have been told that they have a gift, or are somehow different or more creative. They've been classified as right-brain thinkers. We know the brain is divided into two hemispheres — the common notion, psychologically, is that the left side of the brain holds language and is more logical, while the right brain is more creative. The problem is, it's not true.

Creatives are right brain dominant, or so the theory goes. Over time we've perpetuated a myth that designers have been given special creative talents. It's hurting our ability to create great products.

Moving Beyond Creative Stereotypes

Research has shown that it's not that simple. We use our whole brain. In our last article on gut-thinking, we discussed the problem with companies not trusting designers — part of this lack of trust is built on the myth that creatives might lack the sense of logic or reason that comes...
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Are You Ready to Become a Product Designer?

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Are you ready to become a product designer?

Five years ago, it was all about UX, but we saw through that. At the time, we were pretty stoked about figuring out the best way to get to answers in product design (still are!). However, we realized that there aren't a lot of designers out there that understand what it actually means to be a product designer.

UX is one part of it, but what are the rest of the pieces? This is the story of how you too can become a product designer. So stop being a UX/UI guru or prophet or whatever and start solving problems.

The Values of a Product Designer

Product designers not only need to have a core set of skills, but a few key values as well. Embodying these values is just as important as being able to solve an interaction design problem or code up a page.

Balancing customer needs and business goals

This is the bread and butter of a product designer — the baseline...
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We're Jazzed to Introduce Our Newest Marketer

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Our newest marketer hit the right note when we first met him. Not only did he impress us with his marketing skills, but his musical talents were off the charts. So without further ado, let's introduce you to ...

Daniel Codella, Marketer

Daniel spent his high school years traversing the globe, learning about different cultures. Most of all, he learned about his passion — music. You see, Daniel is the son of two musicians, so you could say music is in his blood. He's released several indie albums and singles, and had a chance to work with Jason Slater, a former member of Third Eye Blind.

Daniel was also a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Career wise, he thought he become a writer, but music kept calling his name so he pursued that instead.

However, the music industry changed with the arrival of MP3s and streaming services. So instead of the...
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