Gowalla's luscious reboot is a creative palate cleanser
PLUS: Why write at all if AI is better and faster?
Designing for Delight
A @tinystride publication
Happy Saturday! It was a tough week in tech news with the Silicon Valley Bank collapse. In this issue, I’ll highlight some bright spots in design news to lighten the mood and inspire you for the week ahead. Here’s what’s on deck:
Can an all-new Gowalla use a Candy Crush aesthetic to get us out of the house and connected to our local friends?
Wise Bank goes rogue with a very un-bank-like rebrand
The question we’ve all been asking: Why write anymore when AI is capable of doing most of it for us?
Gowalla lives to see another day
Gowalla, the map-based social networking app, is back and better than ever. Originally launched in 2007, it was acquired by Facebook in 2011 only to be shuttered in 2012. But CEO Josh Williams is taking another swing at an all-new Gowalla, and I’m smitten.
The brand is smart and crisp. The interface is dripping in playful sweetness—delightfully chunky and game-like. It’s an instant flex, earning its right to real estate on my home screen.
I can’t wait to take Gowalla for a spin (it’s live on the App Store now) and soak up all the tiny details of their app UI.
Wise Bank’s very un-bank-like rebrand
The new look took design Twitter by storm in part because of Wise’s thorough design system microsite, which welcomed curious designers behind the curtain to get a close look at the project and develop an appreciation for the craft. Ragged Edge did a great deep dive on Twitter about the rollout, breaking down the rationale and the goals of the new look.
My hat’s off to Wise and the Ragged Edge team. It’s a sharp detour from the restrained palettes we’ve come to expect from finance companies. This work positions Wise as a global force, with a dazzling color scheme, diverse images and symbols, and unforgettable type.
The Creative Process
Now that robots can write pretty convincingly for us, why bother writing anything ourselves?
Why Write on the Farnam Street blog touches on what I think many of us find a little unsettling about the rise of AI writing tools: that the process of writing, painful as it can be, is just as valuable as the output of writing. AI writing tools shortcut that mental process entirely.
The whole piece is worth a read. But the conclusion in particular matches my intuition about AI for writing, and I think just as well could be said about AI for all creative work:
Most of the creative people I know are digital packrats: collecting references in open tabs, Pinterest boards, Notion pages…
James Steinberg’s essay touches on a kind of simple collecting as a path to creative self-discovery:
James says this running list is a way to figure out what creatively inspires you (he kept a list like this for 15 years!). You’ll inevitably see themes and patterns as the list grows. The essay wraps up with some practical tips for turning a list like that into creative self-identity, and then into a serious personal or professional project.
Squarespace themes by Studio Mesa
I love stories like this. There’s opportunity everywhere, even in niches like custom Squarespace themes that many people might have assumed had dried up. Aaron’s post is a good reminder that getting a side hustle off the ground boils down to consistency and patience.
I’ve been selling Squarespace templates for a year and have made ~$70,000 in passive income.
Here’s how I got started, what I’ve learned, and why I think you can do it too (for any website platform).
— Aaron Rolston (@aarolston)
Mar 1, 2023
Thanks for reading! My ambitions are high for this newsletter (expect a rebrand and more regular publishing in the future), but it takes time to find a cadence, a tone, and a point of view. Onward.
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