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Paper is a great source of inspiration

Imagine you're hiring an employee and have loads of applicants to review. You want to select a few to invite for an interview.

A typical user interface that does this is probably based on a table component. As developers, we are often tempted to build tables. They mimic our thinking while storing data in a database.

Example of a table with applicants

Example based on TailwindUI.

Whenever I catch myself recreating a database inside a UI, I image how the data would have been managed half a decade ago. When paper was still the way to organize information.

In this case, someone would probably have a big pile of resumes on their desk. And read through them one by one. The resumes of people they find interesting would go to one side of the table. While the none-interesting resumes would go to the other side.

This thought experiment probably inspired Tinder. And might inspire your next design as well.

Instead of creating a table to solve the resumé problem, I would probably create a page in which people can scroll trough all resumés and set interesting applicants aside. A wireframe of this concept could look like this:

Example wireframe

Almost every interface I enjoy using was made by a designer who thought outside the database. Using paper products as a source of inspiration is a great way to do this.


Do you have any questions, feedback, or ideas to share? Feel free to send me an email at vic@vic-luijkx.nl 🙂.

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Vic Luijkx
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