Designer's Coffee #05: Rabbit R1, Humanizing Crypto & Free Design Resources

January 2024 Edition

Hey guys! 👋 

Happy New Year! Welcome to the year of good design, useful tips and tasty coffee. Here's what you need to know this January:

  • The design that made $10M within a week: Rabbit R1

  • Case Study: Is humanizing Crypto even possible?

  • Diving into Growth Design

  • A collection of Free Design Stuff

Let’s get started.

Design news

I know it’s everywhere, but I find it really fascinating. This is the first product in a long time that can offer an app-free alternative to smartphones.

I’m talking about the Rabbit R1, an eye-catching, orange pocket AI assistant, that debuted at CES and sold 10,000 units within its first day. By week's end it had made $10M in preorders. 🤯 

rabbit R1, a bright orange AI pocket device, $10M in sales | Kristina Volchek

Images: Rabbit

🤔 The Rabbit R1: What’s the Buzz?

What sets R1 apart is its innovative "Large Action Model" Rabbit OS. It acts as a universal controller for all your apps, saving you tons of time and nerves.

This means you can order the best pizza in town, plan and book your flights, and send messages, all with a single interface without touching your phone.

For example, if you ask ChatGPT to book you a flight, it will suggest options, but it will not assist you in the booking process. Rabbit R1, on the other hand, doesn't just suggest - it gets the job done, using your apps as a human would, without any API or app integrations.

rabbit R1, a bright orange AI pocket device, $10M in sales | Kristina Volchek

Images: Rabbit

🔥 A Design Worth $10 Million

The device’s design is a product of the collaboration with Teenage Engineering, known for their stoic-retro aesthetics.

It’s more than just functional; it’s a statement, a new experience. The device's simple, retro design, reminiscent of Tamagotchis and walkie-talkies, brings a sense of fun and nostalgia.

“You don’t offer something software risky and offer another risky hardware form factor.”

Jesse Lyu, CEO of Rabbit

The R1 is designed for comfort and intuitive use. It features a big push-to-talk button, a chunky scroll wheel for browsing, and a 360-degree rotating camera. Moving away from traditional touchscreens, it introduces haptic feedback, gesture recognition, and a touch-sensitive surface.

rabbit R1, a bright orange AI pocket device, $10M in sales | Kristina Volchek

Images: Rabbit

😅 Will the Rabbit R1 Dethrone the iPhone?

First, we need to see if it actually works. The demo promises a lot, but the real test will be in everyday use.

Second, what stops Apple from adding similar features to Siri, negating the need for an additional gadget? Or another player introducing a similar all-in-one app (one ring to rule them all)?

I’m eagerly awaiting to see how the Rabbit R1 fares once it hits the market. Will it redefine our interaction with technology, or will it be just another flash in the tech pan? Let’s watch this space!

Is humanizing crypto even possible?

Can we ever truly humanize crypto? Can we make crypto simple and user-friendly? Spoiler alert: it's not as straightforward as we'd hope.

But to understand why, you need to read the full story I’ve just written for UX Collective. It’s not a typical case study, but rather a summary of my journey designing for crypto and its unique challenges.

Humanizing Crypto, Web3 & NFTs: A Designer’s Perspective by Kristina Volchek | Mobile Crypto Wallet App | Dark Theme UI UX Product Design iOS | animated with Jitter

I’m sharing my learnings and reflections on working with a new financial technology that directly impacts users’ lives. So if you always wanted to learn what is like to design for what they call the “future of finance”, this one is for you.

👉 You can read it on UX Collective or my website.

Diving into Growth Design

Recently, someone asked me, "How do I dive into growth design with zero experience?" Great question!

First off, let's unpack what Growth Design really is. It's this fascinating mix of product design, marketing, and data analysis, all aimed at bridging the gap between ethical, user-centric design and business growth.

🥊 Product Designers vs. Growth Designers

Product Designers focus on crafting user-centric, high-quality products, whereas Growth Designers wear multiple hats to blend design with business strategy to drive product growth and align with business objectives.

Growth Designers must have a wider perspective and focus on outcomes. They need to constantly balance between business goals and customer problems.

📝 Growth Skills

A Growth Designer's toolkit is diverse: visual design, UX research, prototyping, data analysis, understanding of backend and frontend development, digital marketing, and even product management.

Thinking of jumping into this dynamic field? Check out my free growth design workshops with Gigantic Institute or Community. Did you miss them live? No worries! Catch the recorded session on YouTube and dive right in.

🛠️ Tool of the Month

I want to share my new favourite resource for free design stuff. It’s a collection of icons, illustrations, fonts, and also great learning resources, like the Figma crash course by Mizko.

Social picks

1. The new “YouTube Like Button Glow” featured by @DesignSpells:

2. The Hottest Free Fonts:

I've come across an intriguing thread by @namyakhann that highlights the hottest open-source fonts currently making waves.

The two most-mentioned fonts are Geist by Vercel (a typeface specifically designed for developers and designers) and Cal Sans by Mark Davis (that was designed for as the new Futura). Be sure to give them a look!

That’s all for today! If you found the newsletter interesting, don’t forget to share it with your friends 😉. And if you have any cool links to share - drop them my way. 📮 

See you next time!

P.S. To ensure you don't miss any future editions, consider adding my email to your contacts, primary inbox or whitelisting it. I promise, no spam - just a good cup of Designer's Coffee each month! ☕

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