Creative Spotlight — Joshua Kaufman

Part of my 2015 mini-series, All The Designers

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Please meet Joshua Kaufman, a product designer at based in San Francisco.

Joshua and I met in 2013 on , a fundraiser bike ride, which involved cycling 300 miles down the beautiful Northern California coastline into San Francisco with 200 other environmentalists. (Quick side note — Climate Ride is one of the most meaningful and fun supported bike rides out there. If you love biking, we highly recommend checking it out and finding a ride near you.)

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Joshua for coffee to catch up and discuss his thoughts on design.

Joshua talked with me about his favorite mobile design trends. For apps, he thinks today’s best designs are ditching the mobile hamburger menu, sticking with the basics, and returning to the original iOS app pattern library (and the equivalent for Android). He also emphasized the importance of not overcomplicating app navigation options for users.

“Facebook did have the hamburger menu in their app, but realized people didn’t ever open it.” he described. While the hamburger catch-all approach can be smart for sites with deep, heavy content organization needs, most apps can likely can find a smarter, simpler navigation solution to help out their users. “As a result,” he continued, “Facebook returned to the lower navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.”

And with phones getting bigger and bigger, it only makes sense to move navigation to the lowest edge of the screen so that people can reach it with their thumbs while only using one hand to hold their phone on-the-go.

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This is real life. Just amazing, isn’t it?

Joshua thinks this mobile trend of reverting back to the original iOS app pattern library is proof just how insanely good the original iOS 1.0 design was and still is today.

I see this firsthand when designing with the Sketch app (below). The iOS UI templates in Sketch, for example, feature the clean and simple iOS features that people already like using. Hence the mental model is set for folks, making it hard to justify designing away from the existing structure that people know how to use so well.

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iOS UI template kit in Sketch, featuring iOS design that has been around for quite sometime, relatively speaking.

With that, I will leave you with the most adorable “hamburger tossing” icon I could find. Enjoy, and thanks for reading #AllTheDesigners.

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For more, you can view Joshua’s page or follow him on .

And finally, a big thank you to Joshua for taking the time to catch up! I always appreciate crossing paths with you and want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on design, for #AllTheDesigners.

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Climate Ride reunion bike ride on the , with our friends Nuala, Joshua, Erica, and myself. Good group, good times!

Product designer focused on UX/UI and user research (he/him)

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