Dear Junior Designer

by Lance on April 25, 2014

You’re damn talented. But in your eagerness to prove it, you sometimes rush toward a solution. You pluck an idea from the branch and throw it onto the plate before it has time to ripen. Don’t mistake speed for precocity: the world doesn’t need wrong answers in record time. Cennydd Bowles’ Letter to a Junior Designer

Selling is frowned upon by a lot of people. It’s true: no one likes to be sold to badly, nor enjoys being interrupted unnecessarily. But being sold to well, by a good salesperson, is an experience that benefits both seller and buyer.  – Andrew Clarke’s A Different Letter to A Junior Designer

When was the last time you stop doing something and look at your craft in the long run? Experience teaches you well but it also wears you down. At times I can feel the tenacity and enthusiasm I once had was no longer there anymore.

I remember how my first creative lead asked me who was my favorite designers. I can be certain I answered “none”. I was a clean slate back then. Eager to explore the possibilities and still trying now.

Building a UX Team

by Lance on February 11, 2014

When smart, capable people with complimentary skills are united by a deep desire to help customers, you can create great things and have an awful lot of fun along the way.

More on Aaron Walter inspiring post about Building a UX Team

How do you know what kind of UX professional to hire?

by Lance on January 25, 2014

What makes an effective UX team is the completeness of the skillset across all the members. The roles of individuals are secondary — a team with generalists will always be more flexible than a team of specialists.

Specialists help when the local economic conditions support their being there. Yet, specialists have general knowledge, so they can be flexible and interact with the rest of the team in a productive manner.

More about building you UX team at UIE’s Ideal UX Team Makeup: Specialists, Generalists, or Compartmentalists

The most important product design work is usually the ugliest

by Lance on September 20, 2013

“In contrast, the best job applicants I’ve seen sent in their thought process. Sketches. Diagrams. Pros and cons. Real problems. Tradeoffs and solutions. Prototypes that illustrate interaction and animation. Things that move, change and animate. Things that use real data.”

From The Dribbblisation Of Design by Paul Adams

A startup is just a means to an end.

by Lance on May 30, 2013

Startups have been systematized, mythologized, culturally and socially de-risked; reduced down to formulas and recipes. Yet, there is no enduring formula for creativity and rebellion. When we attempt to factory farm innovation we breed out the very thing we’re trying raise: the creative destruction that stokes and re-stokes the fire of capitalism.

From Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup by Alex Payne

Copywriting is now where the interface lives or perishes.

by Lance on July 3, 2012

The visual language of our interfaces has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade. Remember what the Web 2.0 interfaces felt like? Giant type, ginormous forms, and buttons that would make Fitt’s Law insignificant. God forbid you went off task or didn’t know exactly what to do next. Icons lined our digital streets (and still do in some parts). Need to cancel something? A big red circle with an “x” is here so you can be sure what it means.

More on Francisco Inchauste’s post

 

The UI Layer as Experimentation Layer

by Lance on April 24, 2012

The key thing to remember is everything must be in service to the user’s experience. It’s way to easy to forget this and get in an endless cycles of finessing the UI – which I must remind you might not even be the right experience.

Read more on Bill Scott’s article

What Startups Need to Know About Design?

by Lance on April 17, 2012

It’s getting harder and harder to differentiate based on tech talent alone. Designers like Jonathan Ive at Apple, Joe Gebbia at Airbnb, and Dave Morin at Path (to name a few) are changing the world today – not entirely because Apple, Airbnb, or Path have better tech, but because they make their products more usable, aesthetic, and human.

Design is the link missing from your founding team. The perfect balance of business, tech, and design is an incredibly powerful tool…  and an even more powerful business model.

More on Well Riley’s Design Primer for Startups

Designing Objectively

by Lance on March 2, 2012

It’s a common misconception that art and design are one and the same. But although design can be artful, the process behind it is quite different.

Artists engage in the manipulation of a particular medium to produce an aesthetic and personal response. Art is valued for its originality and ability to express an idea. Some people get it, some don’t, and that’s okay. Design, on the other hand, must solve a specific problem relative to a particular user or task, and is evaluated simply by how effective it is at solving that problem. If it doesn’t work, then it failed—period.

Eric Fisher on Designing Objectively

 

What Makes a Good UX Designer?

by Lance on February 26, 2012

The big difference between someone who is a UX professional and someone who isn’t comes back to that word: responsibility. When your job is to provide a positive user experience, you have to do whatever it takes to get it done, from imagining new designs to measuring current ones to make sure they work. You have to advocate for your users when their voices aren’t heard, and align the business objectives with user objectives at every step. 

From 52Weeks of UX