Category Archives: Design

Visual Sugar

Subtitle: How designers learned a favorite trick of food industry and why they should stop abusing it


Image courtesy of Attn

How do you make any design better? Just add sugar to it. Visual sugar.

What is visual sugar? Visual sugar is any visual decorative element. The most common types of visual sugar are icons, gradients, shadows, textures, motion etc.

Designers sometimes use them in a meaningless and excessive way to make their designs feel nicer. The word ‘meaningless’ is key here. There’s nothing wrong with any of these per se, it’s just that they are used to sweeten otherwise flavorless and meaningless designs.

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Hover Camera

This is a design outcome that uses embedded intelligent systems. Year 13s?

“Two years ago, we saw an opportunity that was more than just building drones or new cameras,” MQ said in an interview. “What we saw was a unique opportunity to embed AI in compact devices. I personally like to call it embedded AI. Through my grad studies at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon, it was all done on big data centers. What I’ve seen over the past few years is smartphones have not only significantly driven down the cost of components but we’re also seeing huge improvements. We can adopt top-of-the-line smartphones chips to run a lot of these computer vision algorithms.” – Meng Qiu “MQ” Wang (creator)

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