commadot.com by Glen Lipka

The Design Case Study Paradox

Every designer has a section of their portfolio where they show their work. The typical method of documenting their work is called a case study. case stud·y/ˈkā(s) ˌstədē/a process or record of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time. Here are attributes that I notice in most designer case studies: Very long pages with lots...

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Product Value/Effort Explained

I often like to think of things in a spectrum or on a line graph. A junior designer asked me how to convince the product management team to increase the scope of the project to add in all of the usability features. He said that it was a better product that way. I drew him the following chart. Let’s break it down from left to right. Products are not valuable...

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Recruiting Two Product Designers (2019)

It’s time to hire again! I have two open headcount for product designers. Woo hoo! Senior Product Designer and regular Product Designer. We aren’t Google with fancy free food. We aren’t Facebook with crazy money for every employee. (Although we do pay quite well) We aren’t Twitter with 330 million users. I need to have a good reason for people to want to work with me. Let’s see what we...

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New Designer 1st Month Checklist

I have 3 new designers starting next week. Here is how I conceptualize their first month of work. Day 1: Fill out paperwork. I just assume that it takes all day long. Thanks HR! (Sarcasm) Set up your desk and computer: Everyone likes to put their monitor and chair into their proper place. Everyone has a few programs they like to use. Lots of stuff to set up. A Mac...

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Never Ask Permission

Most people think that you should ask your boss for permission to do something out of the ordinary. I think this is a terrible idea. Here is why… When you are asking permission for something, there is usually some risk associated with the action. Something could possibly go wrong. You don’t ask permission to do safe things. You only ask permission when you think you could possibly get in trouble....

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Different Approaches to Managing My Growing Team

I have three new designers showing up in the next few weeks bringing my team at Treasure Data to 7. Generally, I feel that doing 1:1 development of an employee takes time and trying to accomplish that for more than 5 people once is difficult. So I am faced with choices of how to structure the group. For reference, I managed a diverse team of about a dozen (including PM,...

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We are all of us

It’s so easy to say, “I didn’t break the law, he did!” or “I am not racist, those guys are!” or “I wasn’t unkind, they were!” It’s finger pointing at its finest. It’s easy to avoid responsibility for things we didn’t explicitly do ourselves. However, we didn’t do anything to stop them either. We didn’t create an environment where those misdeeds were infrequent or impossible. I see people on the...

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I Miss Windows (July, 2019)

I’ve been using a new top-of-the-line Mac as my primary desktop for the past 11 months. Although it was not by choice, I made the best of it. I installed the Beta of Sierra and now Catalina. I experimented with different apps and ways of organizing my desktops. Lately however, I have been missing Windows. Here are the things I miss: A decent dock (start bar) The biggest problem for...

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How Essential is WiFi at work?

We had some WiFi problems at work. It went on and then went off. On and off, back and forth. I think the problem is that we have added too many people in the room and the hardware is getting overloaded. It raised the question in my head, “How much do we need internet to work? Could I work without it?” Meetings I am often in meetings. Usually, I don’t...

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Cord Cutting 2nd Try (2019)

I had tried cord cutting before, but it didn’t work. (Parts 2, 3, and 4) However, that was a while ago and I felt that it was time to try again. My internet access is from Wave communications, 500mbits and pretty stable. I have 8 eero devices scattered around my house. Starting (monthly) costs before cutting the cord: Internet: $97 Modem: $13 Cable TV: $140 (Including HBO) Netflix: $16 Hulu...

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