Lessons learned from working remotely

Throughout the 18 months that I have been working at Pivotal Labs, I have worked on various projects. For 5 of them I worked remotely with a balanced team either throughout the time I was on the project or briefly for a few weeks. At Pivotal Labs, we emphasize the importance of physical co-location because it helps foster communication, iteration, and collaboration. However, there are times co-location is not an option because of time and resources. I happened to be on these projects quite often so I wanted to share the insights and lessons learned from my experiences.

Establish a good foundation

In the past, the best remote working experience I had was when I spent time with the team face to face in advance. By the time remote work happens, I already established a good rhythm and relationships with the team. Instead of trying to navigate through the unknown, I can focus on the work and methods of communication. If possible, fly there for a week or two and get to know the team, see their environment, and understand the rhythm the team has. It also builds up trust and empathy faster.

Communication is key

Communication is extremely important. You won’t be physically there, so a lot of nuance are often lost in translation. It’s important to establish a communication strategy with the team. The first step is to find out what the current communication methods are if you joined a team that’s been running for a while, so that you understand the team’s routine and preferred ways (and why). Some teams really like the immediate responses like Slack, some teams relied on asynchronous channel such as email. Understand the flavor your team prefers will help you better fit into their day-to-day tasks. And make sure you’re added to all of those channels to open up the communication. It also creates a sense of inclusion for both you and the team. Second step is to establish a new routine that helps build relationships between you and the team.

Recreate the co-located experience

The key to being co-located is presence. The implication is

  1. Immediate response when questions come up
  2. Having impromptu discussions when needed
  3. Over-hearing conversations and being able to participate and contribute

To recreate that experience, having you always on the screen and visible to the team is quite powerful. In the past I had the team set up a video chat and have a spare monitor that has the video open at all times. People can walk by and say hi to me as if I’m there. I can hear their conversations and participate as well. The video and audio presence is powerful. With video, it’s a lot more like co-location, and you get the immediate response instead of waiting for people to write back. The downside being if it’s a big space with many different teams, the audio becomes quite distracting for both sides.

Video conferencing when possible

Video is much more effective and beneficial. Messaging is the basic communication method (email, slack), it’s low effort, good for confirmation, and acts as a starting point for discussion. However, it’s really easy to misinterpret the message. Audio meetings are a much better channel because it’s easier to follow up and dig deeper to understand the reasoning behind a person’s thoughts. But when there are multiple people in the room, it’s hard to know who is talking and can create a barrier for the remote person. Video has lots of benefits: you can see the person’s facial expressions and their body language, and you know who is talking. As they say, “Human communication is 20% verbal and 80% nonverbal”. Without the visual cue, a lot of the communication is lost. The disadvantage is that it requires a little set up beforehand. In my previous project, my remote team didn’t have any computers set up in any of the conference rooms. To mitigate, we recommended buying a Chromebook. It’s low cost, easy to carry around, and doesn’t require too much set up.

Utilize real-time collaboration tools

There are so many tools nowadays to help facilitate meetings and workshops when participants are not co-located. Below are the tools that I find useful.

Postfacto 

 Postfacto board during retro

Postfacto board during retro

It’s a web app built by Pivotal Labs and it’s has build in video for retrospectives. With Postfacto.io you don’t need to share screens and everyone can see each other as well as the retro board. I personally find it really helpful to see the board as well as who is speaking. For some video conferencing tools, when the person shares their screen, the camera doesn’t work so you only either see the screen or their face.

Trello

Trello is pretty synchronous and good for different purposes. I have used it for retro by creating Happy, Meh, Sad, and Action Items columns. Trello can also be used for brainstorming and dot voting. Each card is draggable, which makes prioritization easy.

Google Slides

I recently used it for brainstorming and dot voting. It requires a little set up beforehand, but it works pretty well! It’s synchronous so you can see who is typing and what they are writing. Dragging elements around is also very easy to do, which makes grouping and prioritizing easy. I recently ran a Brand Keyword exercise where everyone put adjectives on the board that described the brand, and in the end, we dot voted. Here is the set up I did:

Google Slides set up for dot voting

Appear.in

Appear in requires minimal setup for video conferencing and screen sharing. All you need to do is grab a URL for everyone to join. I’ve used it for retro, brainstorm, short meetings, standups and it’s really easy for everyone to join without much effort. See how to run a design studio workshop remotely using Appear.in. The one downside of Appear.in is that it gets slow when too many people join the room.

 Appear In video chatting

Appear In video chatting

Have everyone join the meeting separately 

When you’re the only person that’s remote, and everyone else is in the same conference room, it’s very difficult to participate. There might be side conversations going on, and most of the time it’s just very difficult to hear. I had good experiences where everyone wears their own headset and joins separately from their computer/laptop, instead of everyone joining through one computer. It ensures that everyone has a chance to speak, and enforces one conversation at a time. Everyone has an equal voice, and the remote person doesn’t feel left out. Also, having a good headset with an attached microphone is crucial to make sure the sound transfers clearly to the other side.

 

 

These are the takeaways from my experiences while working remotely. I of course still prefer face-to-face interactions over working remotely. There is so much nuance and complexity between human interactions. As a designer, I love listening to stories and observing human behaviors. I crave for human interaction. Technology, on the other hand, really helps lower the screen barrier, and creates a way to collaborate through virtual space. As the software world evolves, I’m sure there will be more and more tools that could help make virtual communication more natural.

The 100 days challenge

I started the 100 days challenge following The100DayProject from The Great Discontent. 

"It sounds so interesting" I thought, and looking at other people's projects, I was so inspired. "I'm ready to do this!" I mentioned to a couple people and thought if someone do it with me they can hold me accountable.

As a designer, I found finding a topic is extremely difficult. I was very self-aware that what other will think of this topic, will they find it boring or inspiring. So I spent weeks brainstorming an interesting topic, and a topic that no one is doing so it seems more creative. But the more I think about it, it becomes more stressful. Then I realized that's the wrong way of approaching this project. It doesn't really matter what you do, because it's something that you're doing it for yourself. 

What helped me decide eventually, is to focus on "What I want to improve on", "What I'm interested in" and "What could help me become a better designer". I decided to do information visualization (infographic) because I'm always interested in data, and how to present the data in different way the help people consume and better understand the information.

 

This is a snippet of the data visualization that I did on Instagram . I did it for 42 days, and stopped. The was last year but I still told myself I'm gonna get back to it.

The reason I told other people I switched a new job, I didn't really have time. I moved, my family came visit, etc. There are so many reasons that I could tell others, but I knew that it was excuses. There are a couple things I learn from this challenge still, and I'm positive I'll get back to it because I had so much fun doing it :)

  • Find something you're interested in, so everyday you're excited to do the challenge
  • Gather data (or depends on what your topic is, for example, sketches, you can save it to pinterest) and save it somewhere easily accessible. This will help you focus on the skills instead of spending time finding resources
  • Have someone hold you accountable so you don't stop
  • Knowing that you're doing it for yourself, it doesn't really matter what other thinks

Creativity Exercise - Storyboard

Once in a while, the UX team at Laserfiche will have a creativity exercise, to just be creative and have fun! It helps us move away from our daily routine and think outside of the box. This week we did storyboard.

Time: 30 -50 minutes

Material: paper + pen

How:

  1. Everybody draw boxes on a paper and number them. Then, each person starts by drawing something interesting in the first box.

  2. When times up, pass the paper to the person on your right, start drawing in the second box to create a story

  3. Repeat till the boxes are all full and

Result

Happy Friday!


Smashing Conf: Design Consistency For The Responsive Web

Patty Toland currently working at  Filament group.  She talked about how to design consistency across responsive web. Here are the slides.

  • When doing responsive site, client almost expect everything to be the same, just give us the break point
  • Reality check: samsung, android etc, there are just overwhelming sizes and different type of devices(watch, e-reader)
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s service/product. 

What is design consistency

  • consistency is found in that work show whole and details are suitable for the occasion
  • RWD needs to be ready for all different devices even when it’s not yet invented
  • Triangle (speed, access, scale, style)

Speed

  • they want page load within 2 seconds
  • 250 milliseconds difference is detectable by users, and they’ll choose the faster one
  • your analytics won’t tell you who left your site before it showed up
  • filesize and page speed is design choice
  • Challenges: custom fonts
    • is it necessary? For everyone? Immediately?
  • Speed should be part of the design process

Acces

  • there is no reason to limit access to your content
  • progressive enhancement is your friend
  • involve QA teams when we’re talking about accessibility, bring them into conversation

Scale

  • breakpoints (320, 768, 1024 is good starting point for static
  • don’t necessary want to force them into development . Table responsive tool: Table Saw
  • Do you really need those design element? like different fonts, rounded corner?
  • Animations are very laggy on Android: try lay them over instead of moving things around 
  • Amulator won’t feel like the device feel
  • Consistent is not identical

 

 

Smashing Conf: Cohesive UX

Cameron Moll currently works at authentic job.  He talked about how we should make the experience cohesive across different platform and devices. You can find his slides here.

  • the story of Brooklyn project: we made mistake throughout our career and thought it’s the end of the world. But when looking back, it’s okay.
  • As designer, we use users mental model to make the experience work
  • It’s all about content, the platform doesn’t matter anymore, audience just want story
  • With all different devices emerging, different sizes, it’’s hard to define what’s mobile anymore 

Responsive design

  • ask yourself, does your site disable pinch and zoom? We thought we know what users want on mobile devices, users have the choices to device how they want content to be displayed
  • Take pintrest as example, on desktop the experience is awesome but on phone it only has one column instgram like experience
  • When zoom in, the content flow
  • It ends where the browser ends, but we should consider all different possibilities
  • The best interface is the one within reach

Mobile

  • none: mobile devices, but there are no clear line anymore
  • verb: mobile doesn’t necessary mean you’re being mobile, and in fact, 77% of mobile searches happen at home or work
  • One of the problem is moving between different devices 
  • Cohesive UX: forming a united whole. It’s not replicating the experience. 
  • Unified UX
    • Form and Function
    • Data Symmetry 
    • More than 40% of all online US users start an activity on one device and finish on another
    • Zappos: shopping cart items on desktop but lose the items on mobile
  • Sync not only the content, but consider actions as well

Suggestion to cohesive UX

  • Inventory all elements that comprise the UX and choosey them including the tone
  • Store session data in the cloud rather than locally
  • Consider using web views when develop native app
  • Consider changing click to tap/press
  • Respect mental model 

 

Smashing Conf: Are We Having Fun Yet?

Trent Walton spoke about how our perception is different from others, we(designers+developers+product managers) should evolve our vision together. You can find the slides here.

  • Perception isn’t reality because people see things differently. Same on web: perception of the web =/= reality of the web
  • Our perception changes, but doesn’t mean other people in the company changes
  • A foundation where perfection evolve together, instead of waterfall method, hand off design documents, work together so we can see the same thing the same way 
  • Change the way of thinking “i want this to implement my way” to “let’s work together on our things"
  • When showing a already polished design, it’s hard to get conversation starting. Instead, show the raw design/sketches
  • Have better meeting: when pass 10 minutes, people could get into details that’s based on speculation and no research at all
  • A picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings -IDEO
  • Respond with all the questions and doubts with “What if I just show you”. It’s interesting when showing the code and how it affect the UI, it puts people in different mind set. They now know it’s real.
  • As designer, we should just to extend our skills, we don't necessary need to be really good at it, but always try new skills!
  • Designers and developers shouldn’t be rivals ,  trust each other
  • Prototype won’t leave you nothing! 

Smashing Conf: The Future Of The Web

Pete Smart showed us what's magical for us today and how the future would be like. The slides are here.

The future of the web is tangible

  • touch is one the first sense we have. human respond to touch faster than other senses
  • Haptics - how we respond to touch. But how we respond to touch in virtual world? 
  • touch gesture- tactile feedback to receive depth, edges, smooth, rough
  • Apple release new haptic technology, how would that change our experience? Think about shopping, how would feeling the material could affect our shopping behavior
  • Embodied cognition: not just what people think, it’s how they interact impact how they think and how they learn
  • Usability: how would filling out form and how the tactile sensation can have influence and improve experience

Te future of the web is adaptive

  • devices are driven by senses
  • Security: location, fingerprint, heart rate
    • These create unique identification about us, it’s like our digital footprint
    • image not need to come up with password again, but they’re really bad, it’s guessable, hackable and forgettable
    • Mutliple sensors: heartbeat to open car/phone because it’s unique
  • Mutation
    • What does it mean for web? Mutation starts in responsive design
    • Dynamic changes to the appearance of a website, depending on the device factors being used to view it
  • Avatars
    • personal computing 
    • smart pin - location, connect devices
    • when it’s driven by personal data, the future of the web adapt to us

The future of the web is invisible

    • chris lehmann “technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous necessary and invisible"
    • Design couldn’t be invisible, but it can fit into the culture and make it integrate seamlessly 
    • ambient interfaces: when interface can be invisible and visible when required
    • microsoft only touch
    • how should there interfaces be designed: when can these things be seen as part of our physical world instead of interfaces

 

Smashing Conf: Guerrilla Design Tactics

Samatha Warren was the creator of style tile and she shared her experiences on how to solve problem in big organization and how to apply guerrilla design tactics in your design process. You can find the slides here.

Problem Solving in Big Organization

  • Sometimes design problems can be organization problems. Sometimes it’s more important to make sure the idea get through
  • Think like guerrilla? Flexible, fast and persistent
    • Olek  - flexible: use the material she prepared in advance, and adapt to the situation
    • Banksy - act fast, get things done and get out
    • Invader - persistent. The invader is everywhere! He kept going. 
    • “Don’t wait for an invitation to do the work you want” wren Lanier @heywren

How to use Guerrilla Strategy 

  • break down problem into smaller chunk and map it into your framework, just try and error
  • There are so many talks and articles about the tools we can use, however, the best tools are those you know well and can access quickly 
  • Build toolbox
  • There is more than one way of doing things
  • No matter what we think it works best for the client, always make sure we ask questions, understanding the situation 
  • james buckhouse @buckhouse: Story Map: visual communication of the experience 
  • Wireflow Map: big pictures with small details 
  • Style tile: people use it differently and it’s up to you how to use it
    • Make it feel real when it’s not yet real
    • Use macaw to show how responsive look like 
  • A designer is someone who pays attention to the world. It’s important to pick on the cues to translate into money
    • Increase revenue
    • increase new business
    • decrease cost
  • Harvest - she track every deliverables so that in the end she can prove to the client style tile is saving money
  • Share to the company and community, and understand that there’re multiples ways to work. Change the way you think, try different frameworks

 

 

Smashing Conf: Design + Performance

Steve Souders's talk was about how design and performance go hand-in-hand, like yin and yang.

Principles

  • It’s not one gains and the other loses, design and performance should be complementary
  • “I used to be a reckless designer” said by one of the designer he knows, but it turns out, the pretty pages she designed took 2 minutes to load. 
  • Sometime it’s hard to correlate business goal with technical performance. Solution is to come up with metrics earlier
  • On mobile in particular, the page load needs to be faster to be considered as good design. Google came out new ranking on mobile search where the mobile-friendlyness will affect the ranking

Solutions

  • Possible solution: don’t separate design and developers, and maybe have them sit together from the very beginning
  • Define guiding principles: figure out what users are after, what’s important to this product, what’s the most important element on the page. One example of a news mobile site “Speed is more important than design embellishment"
  • Prototype earlier and measure performance in prototype
  • Performance budgets: google has hard limit about the javascript download size. It’s a hard limit where you can add feature when you don’t go over the size. If you do, take down some other stuff
  • show the data loading time while implementing 
  • window.onload is NOT the best metric for measuring website speed (page load time isn’t providing the proximation of user experience). Page load time could be too optimistic/critical
  • We need to get metrics to have closer proximation of user experience
  • Tool
  • Hero image usually takes 3 sec to load. Hero image delay: it’s not only the downloading take times, even when it’s fast, because it’s in the css and css needs to be downloaded first. And it has to wait till other javascript and css to be rendered first. However, if it's important image, downloaded first.
  • User experience and business goal could be inline with each other
  • what’s the most critical design element on the page and focus on those performance
  • Designing for UX performance

 

Designing software for the people

Staying at Laserfiche for 2 and half year now, I'm really happy to see the movement in development toward more user-centered design and thinking. I still remember 2 years ago, I created a wireframe, almost everything in there got discarded because there isn't enough of time. Our development team was just like other engineering oriented company, quickly discard the ux improvement, which could improve long term user experience and satisfaction, and choose the easy fix.

But now, Laserfiche has changed. Developers have the right mind set. They often asked "is there other way that's easier for users?" or "is this what our users want to do?".  As a UX designer, it's a pleasant to work in an environment that has the mind set of "user needs." Because of the right mind-set, we spend more time solving the problem that needs to be solved. 

Create alone, design collaboratively

When I was in school, I listened to a TED talk from Susan Cain that I really like. She said, "solitude is a crucial ingredient often to creativity." The ideas spark when we were in a shower, walking, or sitting at our desk, alone. Creativity emerges and as designers, we can't stop the creativity. We draw, we sketch, we design. But what happen next? 

If drawing, sketching and wireframing is the end of the design process, we'll never get to show our idea to other people. We'll never see the flaws in our design. Though we create design alone, collaboration is necessary to test the idea, to strengthen the product, to add on more to the original idea. 

Design critics are a crucial step in the design process. I like to sit quietly and create sketches and wireframe alone. After the wireframe is done, I like to show the whole team my work, my thought process, and seek for design critics. 

The Design Critics Process usually looks like this

  1. Design owner present the design, walk through the screens, mention any concerns, or specify what feedback he/she is seeking, weather it's visual or behavior.
  2. 5-10 minutes for all member to think silently and write down 5 good things and 5 possible improvement 
  3. Each member talk about the feedback and stop at any point for further discussion

As a design owner, it's important to mention the constraint in advance, so other people understand the situation you're in. And just keep in mind, the design critics is about the design, nothing is personal. It'll be hard at first, but try avoid "I like" and "I don't like". But start with user, "As a user, I would..." ( it'll be better if using persona)

 

 

 

An Event Apart: Content/Communication

Kristina Halvorson talked about the communication among the team and how to take initiative when others don't necessarily inviting for UX.

Principles

  • A PRINCIPLE internally motivates us to do things that seem good and right. It makes us feel empower as a team to do things. No matter how far you dig into a  website, you see this principles (Good example: GOV.UK)
  • start with principle will not only provide context but also provide identity 

Strategy

  1. this content is not for us:  is this what our users need?
  2. responsive does not equal reactive
  3. the story informs the format: start with objective, figure out what objective is
  • Strategy that allows you to do anything is the worst strategy 
  • good strategy helps you prioritize 
  • keep ourselves accountable to our team

Process

  • Do not make process your god
  • maintain that conversation
  • keep improving and updating your process
  • don’t just look at the the next step, but look at what can you do as a team
  • ARTIFACTS ARE TOOLS, NOT OUTCOMES, they are here to inform activity

Roles

RACI Model: Responsible, accountable, consulted, informed

R – Who is responsible for completing a task?

A – Who is accountable for the work’s success?

C – Who must be consulted before work can be signed-off on?

I – Who must be kept informed along the way? 

  • All people 
  • Make sure everyone is aligned on terminology (we thought you meant….)
  • Identify timing issues, overlapping responsibilities.

Perceptions

  • don’t worry about being stupid and ask “can you tell me a little bit more””tell me where you’re coming from"
  • they don’t sit down and talk, or use a different language
  • “ask” all the time
  • OUR WORK IS TOGETHER

An Event Apart: Mind The Gap

Josh Clark talked about as designer, we should think about the gap between devices. It's not only about file syncing, but about a continuity of a task, where users can pick up where he left off from one device to another.

Physical Interaction

  • Design not only your mouse and keyboard, other kind of interactions 
  • natural physicality is considered 
  • Misfit shine syncing has nothing to do with screen. It has to be close enough to sync, so they make this beautiful interaction to make it sync
  • music syncing from phone to computer, double tab 
  • it’s not a challenge of technology, it’s a challenge of imagination. Never ever try to out-mouse the mouse, when looking at different input method, do something the mouse can’t do. The technology is there, we just need to start thinking about all different kind of input 

Physical & Digital

  • software let the hardware be a portal to people
  • reminder: when devices start to connect, there is possibility to be hacked 
  • mindful for security when thinking about smart devices
  • Software is political. It’s your value to the society. Be mindful of what we are designing. we should amplify human nature
  • We decide what we work for and what we work on, when designing the experiences, we guide those behaviors. There are real value to think about. Think about the data we’re going to be tracking. 

Imagination 

  • Plan for gadget hop so users can hop from one to another (shopping cart from one device to another)
  • design not just for screens, but design for sensors, how can we use these things to create user interface
  • we are surrounding by technology that we can make something amazing
  • It becomes extension to ourselves

An Event Apart: Screen Time

Luke Wroblewski

Not all screens size are equal

  • There are so many screen sizes, and as designer, we need to design for screen effectively
  • Smart phones and tablets are dominant now, it's global opportunity to reach users
  • When designing mobile, compressing white space or moving important action above the fold
  • SHORT AND WIDE:  1) tighten up 2) move up call to actions
  • TALL AND NARROW: 1) Move secondary things off canvas 2) reposition things to bottom tend to work better because people’s behavior
  • Touch screen: is keyboard the only way to interact with touch screen? People need to interact with the device directly. There are so many input methods. Some people might ask “Can’t we just detect input type and change the interface?" But why switch input method,l we should support both. 
  • screen size is a poor proxy but it’s all we got
  • support all input and communicate what’s possible 
  • Netflix case: it's not based on screen size, it's based on viewing distance! They turn it into human factors question and research how we interact with the devices. He goes into the store and measure how big it is or it needs to be to get information. Turns out, the conclusion is 0.5 inch per foot.
  • you don’t want to have the same experiences on desktop and phone, you want to have a different experiences. 

 

An Event Apart: Designing Using Data

In Sarah Parmenter's talk at An Event Apart in Boston MA 2014, she emphasized the importance of using data as research evidence to design.

Instincts are experiments. Data is proof.

  • “Many designers who are skilled technicians, craftsmen, or researchers have struggled to survive in the messy environment required to solve today’s complex problems. They may play a valuable role, but they are destined to live in the downstream world of design execution.” 
  • It makes stakeholders believe when we present our design with data or research
  • Back up decision. Instead of just doing what you do and not asking enough of why, understand as much as you can. I don’t know any of the terminology, but I would dig a little deeper than others.
  • Example: Airbnb did a research on images and result shows that professional images have 2-3 times more click than non-professional image. We need to stop decorating, stop designing, start strategy.
  • If a strategy can’t predict outcomes, our strategy is broken
  • When establish persona, we use Facebook, it is the cheapest why that we can run ads and see who is engaging 
  • Watch out for small hints, small things really allow us to stand out
  • Look for patterns (holiday, monday, birthday), it impacts users behavior
  •  Order of the importance of the content matters.  When you resize, it stays in order
  • Communicate your findings that your users can relate.

An Event Apart: The Long Web

In Jeremy Keith's talk at An Event Apart in Boston MA 2014, he talked about the to preserve web page and prepare for the future when designing.

You can’t predict the future, but you can participate

  • when you look at web, in particular looking at html, you’ll realize it’s all text format. We as creator should think about storing collective knowledge in a readable format so later on the knowledge can be passed on
  • now we don’t know where users will be accessing your website, it could be all kind of devices, so we need to think about content first: task and behavior, what do people want to do fist, whats their first tasks
  • URL first. URL design is something we don’t think about much, URL is universal, (iphone, chrome, IE) and even written down in sticky note. URL is for human, it should be readable, hackable.
  • content first, navigation second
  • try to use css to create logo instead of using image
  • it’s okay to use something in html syntax that not being supported yet. it won’t throw error. but it’s how we improve. 
  • content first, then structure, then styling as progressive enhancement 
  • use javascript, but don’t rely on it. until javascript is loaded, every user is a non-javascript user. You can trust nobody, rely on no third party API
  • What’s the most important things to load first, to device what’s important and what can be loaded later
  • whenever you got third party widget, you should not rely on it to load. you tie your performance to third party’s performance. 
  • think about how long you want your site to exist. Don’t just think about now. Think about future. 
  • We should measure our work in decades, not month or years http://futurefriendlyweb.com/
  • how to be future friendly? How to prepare for future. Backward compability. 
  • every time we move on to another format, we lost some of it
  • HTML format can survive 2 decades is not by accident, it’s constantly being improved. 

 

An Event Apart: Understanding Web Design

In Jeffrey Zeldman's talk at An Event Apart in Boston MA 2014, he reminded us as designer, it's our mission to explains our work to our colleagues, especially our boss. Without their understanding, it's impossible to achieve design that delights user experience.

Web design is about people

  • Clients think of website differently. They think of website as commercial and marketing platform and most agency think like that. They only care if works is effective. They know nothing about web, but they affect and shape what we think about things. 
  • When the agencies that judge our work don't understand it, how can our clients and our teams? 
  • When the director/clients dont understand design, it’s impossible for us to achieve design that delight.
  • People hire you because you understand Web design and they don't. But this is also your greatest weakness. Our partners need to understand what we do so they give us the autonomy to do our best work.
  • When the person who hire you don’t understand what you do, it becomes impossible for you to achieve.
  • .net magazine award is where we talk about what's important on the web. But your boss is never gonna know about this.
  • Web 25th Who explains our work in public, but Who speaks for us? Who is highlighting our work and explaining why its excellent to others? Nobody.
  • Facebook drop html 5 and make their iPhone app faster. Facebook approached mobile as a technology problem, when it was really a design problem

Judging Web Design

  • Instead of amulate desktop experience, we need to make sure we know what users want to achieve, and focus on that
  • Figure out what users wanna do, anything that get in the way of users is bad design
  • We don't design for browsers. We design for people. Layout is always the servant of purpose.
  • We naturally get excited about technology. Its great to think about what we can do with the new tech. But we don't make things accessible to get a godl star, we do it for people.
  • We’re paid to think about the users, deliver the complexity instead of thinking about code
  • Web design is service design.
  • It is more like type design (it enables others to tell their story). It is more like architecture (people take over the space and make it their own).
  • When designing, steps away, let the content create the meaning
  • not being innovative for the sake of innovations, not being innovative because it has to be functional. For example, people complains columns for years, but it works for newspaper, newspaper all have columns!
  • Design details create harmony 
  • a great website guides you subtly toward your heart's desire (a lot of way finding, a lot of design)
  • It can be invisible or in your way
  • Does design have to be totally original? it’s not true, it depends

Spread The Word

  • represent the profession: opportunity of presenting your job
  • don’t wait to be asked(don’t just execute)
  • if they don’t invite you, ask to participate, polite but persistence
  • Reasons that might be wrong for us, but right for the listener  
  • We don’t care about people who use kiosk, who is blind (don’t buy TV). Make it accessible, everyone can make it be found in google
  • your job is to find the reason your boss to care about
  • evangelist than super star
  • we can progress so others can enjoy the work


Animation matters

How many times have you browsed a website and, suddenly, you’re looking at a page with no idea of how you ended up there? Or, maybe you tap a button and a form pops up seemingly from nowhere.

In real life, this is not how we interact with objects, it’s just not natural. Making the digital world more realistic is a natural progression of web design. Part of our job as web designers and engineers is to make the transition between real life and the digital world smoother. This is where animation comes to rescue!

Animation can help provide context and it helps brains understand how the information flows.D’Silva, Transitional Interfaces

To show you an example of adding an item to a list without animation, it looks like this:

animation1.gif

It’s not easy for our brains to connect the action and the result without any transition. With a little bit of animation, we can give users clues to where things are in the interface:

animation2.gif


We should account for implementing animation when planning product releases because animation helps users understand our software’s behavior more easily.

You can find more examples in this article about transitional interfaces, and see how big of a difference it makes when animations are implemented right.

Source: https://medium.com/design-ux/926eb80d64e3

iPhone App: Monument Valley

This is the most addicting and prettiest game I have played on iOS. It's beautifully crafted and well thought through. It's designed by USTWO

I found myself playing non-stop for 3 hours and feel a bit empty when I finished the game. My heart is yelling "I want more!" 

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