Designers' Digest 16

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By this point you’re most definitely aware of Instagram’s new update – Stories. Instagram Stories is essentially a secondary feed of content that disappears after 24 hours, and also happens to be similar to Snapchat Stories, but that's not important. Additionally, it features other editing like scribbling or adding text to photos. For instance, the official pics show a cat with laser eyes.

instagram stories on iphone

We do love cats and other animals with laser eyes as much as the next person, but listen: What does this mean for us designers or other creators? When we forget about the Snapchat comparisons and the argument of whether or not the UX is inconsistent with Instagram’s core experience, we have a potential gold mine. Instagram's audience isn't necessarily the same to that of Snapchat. Starting with its cleaner look, Instagram already gives off an "arty" vibe. The "let's create some cool content and show it off here" vibe. And that's why Stories is relevant for creators.

Maybe you'd like to show off what the latest passage you wrote for your +17-minute prog rock suite sounds like. Maybe you want to go over how you use a certain Illustrator plugin to generate beautiful patterns for your textiles. Or maybe you want to demonstrate your sweet screen printing skills. And so on. If you use Instagram as a feed for creative inspiration, this might be one of the best new things to have surfaced in a while. And it's still in its infancy, so it's only bound to improve.

Check it out here.


Airbnb unveils Samara

Airbnb, an often-featured and often-mentioned favorite in the Digest has recently announced a new internal design studio – Samara. While this is certainly an exciting prospect (coming from Airbnb), we thought it’d be nicer to see something a bit more… substantial. Alas. Still! Something to keep an eye on.

The Outline

And on more exciting news, Joshua Topolsky announced a new project: The Outline. As you might know, he’s a co-founder of The Verge and Vox Media. Or, do you remember that time when Bloomberg went all crazy with the vibrant colors, huge typography, and very out-there layouts? Yup, he had something to do with that. He talked about The Outline in his podcast, Tomorrow, wrote about it on Medium, where he also expanded on the insane team he’s put together for the project, and finally, the Wall Street Journal wrote a feature on it. HYPE.

the outline on three different devices

Yet another Paper enters to the arena

Dropbox has been talking about Dropbox Paper, its Google Docs competitor/team-based document creating-collaboration tool (what a mouthful), for a while now, and some of us went and tried it in its invite-only beta for browser use. Sleek interface, nice interaction. Now, Dropbox is unveiling its mobile version and has set Paper to open beta. We can’t help but wonder whether this will end up like recently buried Dropbox ventures Carousel and Mailbox (WEMISSYOUMAILBOX) in the near future. Or like that other neat Paper app.

Ulysses 2.6 is here

Our favorite writing app and Apple Design Award winner Ulysses just released a nifty new version in both desktop and mobile incarnations! New features include posting to self-hosted blogs (and Wordpress, if you’re into that sort of thing), Dropbox integration and Typewriter Mode on iOS, Voice Overs and others. Ulysses is a truly delightful app to work with – we actually write the initial drafts of this Digest in Ulysses. Go and support them!


Music for an Infinite Universe – Are you looking forward to the most hyped video game of the last few years? No Man's Sky is coming out really, really soon. In the meantime, you can listen to the sweet sound waves 65daysofstatic provided for the game as well as read about the creative process.

The UK government has lovely posters – Self-explanatory. Joy!

Share your out-of-office playlist with your friends and co-workers – Spotify put this new thing out that will allow you to generate a playlist based on your business or holiday trip, its location and so on.


Here is where we share what our team members have been exposing their eardrums to the most during the week. This week, our newest member Josef Sauer shares his sound wave of preference.

"Obviously, finding the best song for my first week at STRV was a no-brainer! David Bowie is one of my all-time favorite artists, and in my eyes, he was nothing less than a genius. I love how the variety of instruments goes really well with Bowie’s distinctive voice. And just right before the chorus kicks in, my spine shivers! Simply, an amazing song."