I’m closing in on my first week of being a full time employee at my current job. Many of the projects I have touched are starting to come back to me and I’m getting more ownership over them; I’ve really valued the experience i’m gaining working on a product start to finish.
Just posted another article on Medium! I really enjoy writing long form content and Medium is continually proving to be a pleasing writing experience with their beautiful UI. Anyways here is the link to a short essay on my experience over the last weekend at the Lean Startup Machine conference it’s about a six minute read https://medium.com/what-i-learned-today/ab509fbc0460
I recently published an article on Medium entitled “Mind Your Manners”, and I’m ambitiously coining two terms in the process. Writing is something that I’ve always enjoyed for the creative aspect as it’s allowed me to bring the world in my head into reality, at least in the sense that its penned and can be interpreted by someone else.
When Medium first launched I was skeptical/didn’t understand the niche it was meant for - I simply thought that it would be just another Pinterest (When Medium was in the works there was a big emphasis on collections.). A few months ago when I first subscribed to Medium on twitter I was delighted by the number of articles I read and the high quality of the content. It so impressed me that in an effort to improve by my design and writing I have decided to start contributing to collections in my areas of expertise. And whenever I can make a dribbble shot for the article in the process ;).
I’m looking forward to writing more articles and I hope that others out there find them interesting as well.
I’ve been adding a few new habits to my design process and I’ve found that just like breaking bad ones forming new habits can be difficult as well. Here is a short list of habits that I’ve been trying to develop to improve my design process:
- Sketch first, not only is this important for documentation but it also allows you to get your ideas out a heck of a lot faster than idly playing a round with layer styles in photoshop. Thumbnail sketches force you to think about structure as opposed to aesthetic and give you a great reference for when you move into IA and wire-framing.
- Music, lately I’ve seen a shift in my music choices while designing normally I listen to trance or hip hop but I’ve found that down-tempo, ambient music has been working best for me lately. At the start of a plugged-in session of wire framing I often load up youtube and find a nice 1 to 2hr long mix and just let it ease me into flow.
- Informed reasoning, I believe that every designer should take up an interest in becoming well read in the currently available literature on behavioral science, sociology and games. Most agencies claim to do UX but rarely dive head first into research in related fields or even for the products that they are creating. Go on, read a few academic papers, you may be surprised how relevant it is and how much you enjoy it.
Flow is a phenomenon that has always interested me as a creative. In his TED Talk: “Flow, the secret to happiness” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi shares his belief that what really makes people happy is doing things which bring about a state of Flow. As a creative I spend my days working on my process and craft and when I really figure out what I am doing and hit a groove it feels as though my brain finally switches on. That this whole time before Flow (it feels as though) I was on standby waiting for something interesting to happen.
When I enter into this state I can solve problems without thinking through them in a linear fashion, things become more abstract and I can clearly see what needs to be done. It allows me to power through hours of work with little food or water being sustained only by creative energy.
I liken being in a state of flow to sleepwalking with your eyes open. Focus is soft and others’ words are drowned out you aren’t sure what you are doing or where you are going but it doesn’t matter because you can see through all of your obstacles and sweep them away.
Earlier in the month I had the fortune of being drafted and I have made my debut on Dribbble! This is something I’ve been waiting for to happen practically since the SNS launched in 2009.
In other happenings I’m refreshing my self branding in preparation for when I get my new portfolio site together. I had something big planned but I have decided that I’m no longer really interested in making a super fancy portfolio site but rather simply a presentable container to showcase my work. Shamlessly this is mainly because I have grown to hate Wordpress as a CMS, since it has become quite bloated and is an absolute pain to update and maintain. So instead I’ll be using Cargo to run my site which is quite a nice and snappy CMS.
Man I never imagined how much effort actually goes into creating a visual design, it is very draining yet highly enjoyable process. As my experience grows I’m sure the draining part will just go away and it’ll be all fun and games. Designing this journal application has been a big learning experience for me and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.
The new theme is live although not completely finished, some things need to be worked out in IE7, comments need to be implemented and a few other things need to be tweaked but its finished for the most part.
I’ve been making quick progress on the new theme for this blog. I have most of the scaffolding done thanks to Twitter bootstrap. All that’s left now is slicing out the few images there are and adding in some jQuery magic for that extra interactivity. The nice thing about designing themes for Tumblr is that they are much faster to produce than they are on WordPress. Look forward to the new theme
After a long hiatus I’ve decided to start blogging here again. The post content this time around will be more focused on UI design sketches in photoshop. For those of you interested on whats happened between my last post and now I’ll give a quick run-down.
Last post > graduated college > unemployment > 2 month full-time contract (present) > grad school
Quick right? Also be sure to look out for some changes on the blog itself. I feel like a terrible person for using a pre-loaded theme.