Hey, I’m Brian.

I’m a product designer, podcaster, and writer, currently living in San Francisco. Right now I’m building native mobile apps at GitHub.


I like to think out loud about design, development, and building products.

A living list of useful and inspiring product design portfolios.

Updated 1 month ago

This year has been breezing by at an uncomfortable pace, so it is helpful to pause for a second and introspect a while.

Updated 2 months ago

This post aims to outline the characteristics of software that we believe determine its fundamental quality.

Updated 4 months ago

Rebuilding my self-hosted blog with Next.js and Ghost as a headless CMS.

Updated 4 months ago

How adding just-for-me authentication cascaded into new ideas and possibilities for play.

Updated 4 months ago

Fun Projects

Little weekend hacks for fun and learning.

Internet things, saved for later.

Ask me anything.

A better Hacker News.

Design Details Podcast

Design Details is a weekly conversation about design process and culture. I’ve been a co-host on the show for over five years.

This week, we sat down with Danae Holmes, a UX researcher at YouTube Gaming to talk about everything UX research. We dig into research methodologies, effective collaboration with design, tips to get better at user research, the future of the field, and so much more.

Released 2 days ago

This week, we deep dive into tips and strategies for building a better settings experience in your product. In The Sidebar, we discuss the efficacy of paginating onboarding screens.

Released 1 week ago

This week, we dive into the details of having effective user research sessions, sharing tips and strategies to get more value out of customer conversations. In The Sidebar, Marshall explains his work journaling process to capture better day-to-day notes.

Released 2 weeks ago

This week, we try to answer one very simple question: what do designers even do all day? In The Sidebar, we discuss when and where to use system defaults versus creating a custom UI.

Released 3 weeks ago

This week, we weigh the pros and cons of working on a product that you love to use every day. Is it really so bad to be your own power user? In The Sidebar, we discuss steps to take when exploring vague problem areas.

Released 4 weeks ago

Figma plugins

There’s a lot of work in the design process that is boring, tedious, and repetitive. I like to make plugins to help automate it away.

Generate a palette from an image to magically populate your designs.


Quickly test your designs across multiple device sizes.

iOS Export Settings

Applies the correct export settings for every required iOS App Icon size and density.

Export .zip

Easily export assets from Figma directly into a .zip file.

GitHub Data

Populate data from GitHub into Figma mocks

Open source work

The code that powers designdetails.fm.

The code that powers this website you’re looking at.

A checklist for staying safe on the internet.

Simple, powerful online communities.

A podcast network to help designers and developers level up.

Speaking and interviews

Ryan Nystrom and I talk about designing and building the mobile apps at GitHub.

An exploration into the plugins I built to automate the tedious parts of designing mobile apps at GitHub.

Exploring the possibilities that open up when designers and developers can speak the same language.

An interview about how I got into design, my process, and past work.

Bryn Jackson and I interviewed each other. Totally humble.

An interview where we dig into my work at Buffer, Facebook, Spectrum, and what’s in the works at GitHub.

Ryan and I discuss how we designed and built the first version of GitHub’s mobile apps.

App Dissection

In-depth explorations of visual and interaction design in well-known apps.