Overheard on Slack: designing with words & VR in journalism

Here at Envato, people are a little Slack-obsessed.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Slack, it’s a messaging app for teams: think e-mail, instant messaging, and file-sharing all rolled in one. It’s a smart, efficient way to communicate, and we’re big fans – especially since Slack’s stunning new Asia-Pacific HQ opened up down the road from us in Melbourne last April (invite us over anytime, Slack!)

Slack is widely used as Envato’s go-to communication system: the Envato Slack team has over 450 groups, or ‘channels’. These are dedicated to everything from general #allcompany news and #industry-updates, to project-focused conversations, to sharing favorite music in #daily-fire or coordinating plans for #friday-drinks.

Almost 300 people work at Envato – from designers and developers, to project managers and marketing – and that means a lot of link-sharing and inspiration is bounced around within the (virtual) walls of our Slack community. It’s a lot to keep up with. Here are a few of the best links and conversations that caught my eye this week:

On the #community channel

Dear Internet: It’s Time to Fix This Mess You Made, via Wired. An open letter against harassment and bullying online. From Cameron, product delivery at Envato Tuts+.

Inspiration from #design

7 tips for designing with words, from a designer at Dropbox who ‘hates reading’. Trim it down, make lists, make headings – check, check, check! Recommended by our digital content producer, Fiorella.

“To put it another way: You shouldn’t design with lorem ipsum. You should design with words.”

Designer John Saito’s advice for good design with words (#skiptheloremipsum?)

Cool design tool of the week:, a ‘simple, focused drawing application for the iPad and iPad Pro. Shared by UX Designer Matt.
Things we like:

“In the past, I’ve worked in Product/Marketing/Onboarding for a SaaS product. When I come across best of breed UX, I must share it… So without further ado:,” wrote Ash, a product manager. Airtable is part database, part spreadsheet, and promises to help you organize anything you can imagine . “I particularly like the execution of their ‘how to’ lessons when you’re playing with an Example Base.”

Did you know that the New York Times covered a recent Donald Trump rally – in 3D? 10 great examples of VR media in modern journalism, written by content growth specialist Nicklas, for VR Today Magazine.

And finally, a few well-designed websites we’re admiring:

  • A bright, water-logged, interactive site from Converse’s Counter Climate campaign (from UX designer Ioanis)
  • This super-interactive agency homepage by digital agency Resn (from product manager Ash)
  • Wow-web, a collection of great web design (from UX/UI designer Luke)

In the #diversity channel

Did women stop coding because people started buying personal computers – but mostly for boys? This NPR piece, When Women Stopped Coding, tries to make sense of the numbers drop for women in computer science. Shared by Envato CFO Sigal Pilli.

“I like that someone has been thoughtful about the header image and representing different users, over at Formstack,” wrote Chaman, from our legal team.

A great example of paying attention to diversity, from Formstack.
A great example of paying attention to diversity, from Formstack.

Workplaces based on achievement – or gender?  A study from the Guardian (Australia) says that some organizations that consider themselves meritocracies ‘often hide gender biases’. Recommended read from our social media manager, Carl.

#public-relations chatter

The psychological effects of taking a Twitter break (plus a shout out about Envato) from WP Tavern’s podcast, WPWeekly.

“It was not the fashionable thing to do – it was considerably bizarre.”

Envato director Cyan Ta’eed, on launching an online business in 2006

We celebrated a big company milestone recently – a 10th birthday! Selina from our PR team shared this cool interview on StartUpSmart with Envato’s founder and Executive Director, Cyan.

Over 200 ways to make extra money in your spare time – including sharing your creations on Envato, at #7! This piece could also be titled ‘thing you could share’ (including, but not limited to, your knowledge, ideas, house, food, handbags, and your eagle eye). Spotted by our Envato Tuts+ editorial manager, David.

Brittany Jezouit

About the Author Brittany Jezouit

Brittany is a Contributor to the Envato blog. She helped launch the publication and was its founding Editor. You can follow her on Twitter @brittanyjezouit.