Launching our weekly design newsletter

Eileen Schwab

We’re pleased to introduce Product Design Weekly – a carefully curated newsletter of news, insights and eye candy for fellow designers obsessed with creating great digital products.

Designing at Atomic means we’re always keeping an eye on the latest in product design. I’m forever chasing the end of my reading list and feeling the weight of those 20 unread tabs. Figuring this wasn’t a unique situation, we saw a gap for a newsletter that’s considered and curated; that filters a few of the gems from the sea of shiny new things each week, and delivers them in an easy to read package.

The process keeps us connected with the things that are influencing and shaping product design, and helps us stay in touch with the designers we’re making Atomic for.

Here’s a little insight to our process so far, and what’s next:

Lean beginnings to launch

We tested version #0 as a Google Doc internally, then a slightly more polished issue #1 with a wider group of friends. The feedback helped us validate the idea, and we found a common craving for more personality to cut through the noise, and to make the email itself a good read rather than just a collection of links.

Issue #1 gave us something to talk about, and we launched a little sign up page, tweeted, posted on Designer News and got distracted watching the ripple effect. It was picked up by Product Hunt and Smashing Magazine, among others, meaning our early sign-ups quickly surpassed our expectations, hitting 2,000+ subscribers in the first few days.

Test, refine, repeat

We honed our process of gathering content throughout the week with one rule – read and summarise the article before posting it to our Slack newsletter channel. This lightens the load when it comes to pulling the next issue together.

So far we’ve found that it’s the showcases of interactions and animations that are consistently popular (animated gifs ftw), with news and thought pieces being less predictable. Our initial open rates are around 65%, with 41% of those clicking through to just over two articles. Comparable figures are hard to find, but we thought this was a good start. Like with any good digital product we’ll keep looking at the data and talking to our readers, continuing to experiment and iterate.

You can sign up below. Enjoy, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Posted 9 December 2014

Advanced interactive design & prototyping.