Streaming Live Sports 2021

Every once in a while, I upend my family room and change how everything works. My family loves it. (not) Well, guess what, it’s time again. I currently have a lot of services. Netflix, Hulu, Prime, HBOMax, Disney+, and YouTube TV. All of this streams through a Roku sound bar. Platform I love the Roku…

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Terrible UX: Kia’s new logo

Sometimes I just shake my head in dismay. Today, I was watching the Australia Open on television. In the back of the court is a giant logo that looks like this. My son and I looked at it and said, “What company is that? KN? Maybe the n is backwards. KVI? Maybe the V and…

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My History with Community Q&A and Forums

Over the past 25 years, there have been many forums that I have engaged in. This week Figma just launched a new forum for their users. It made me think I should note the previous communities I have been a part of. I had blogged about Q&A in 2008 and also Forums in the same…

UX: Putting a Chair Together

My son (16) put together a new chair for his home desk last night. It wasn’t very complicated, but he struggled with it for a few hours. This was his first attempt at putting together any kind of furniture. I didn’t help him because I wanted him to experience the feeling of trying to put…

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YouTube Commercials 2020

Recently, YouTube has increased the average length of their commercials. I dont have a scientific study but I had become used to long ads that I could skip after 5 seconds. Now, they are 10-15 second ads that I can’t skip and usually 2 of them back to back. Plus, there are more mid-video ads…

Government Sponsored Design

I was listening to a podcast by Malcolm Gladwell about a 20th century U.S. General named Curtis LeMay. He is a fascinating and influential character by the way. In the episode “May the Best Firebomb Win” Gladwell tells of a contest for our nations elite universities (Harvard, Yale, etc) to design the best incendiary bomb.…

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Video Conferencing Thoughts

Obviously, we have all been using video conferencing way more than usual. I have some thoughts on it, of course. Video conferencing is harder than meetings It’s way more exhausting than talking with people. I feel like I can’t take my eyes off the screen. In meetings, I can look away and not feel guilty.…

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Portfolio as Product Site

If you are a designer, you shouldn’t think of your website as a portfolio. You should think of it as a product site. The product is your time. You are selling your time for money. That’s what employment is. Instead of looking at every other designer’s portfolio for inspiration, you should be looking at product…

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The Crux

crux (krəks, kro͝oks)the decisive or most important point at issue. The figurative use for “a central difficulty” (1718) is older in English than the literal sense; perhaps it is from Latin crux interpretum “a point in a text that is impossible to interpret,” the literal meaning of which is something like “crossroads of interpreters.” But Century Dictionary…

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Ode to the Spreadsheet Designer

What is the greatest user interface ever conceived? In my opinion, it is the spreadsheet. Yes, there are plenty of great interfaces, but this is my favorite. Specifically, what is amazing is the leap of faith the designer made to create this incredible UI. First a bit of history. Dan Bricklin conceived VisiCalc while watching a…

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Notes for my UX Recruiter 2020

About me I am not good for everyone. I know this. A colleague from the UK said I am like Marmite. Usually, I get hired in places that want to innovate and shake up the status quo. I get hired when they want to have a strong, active, design team. On the flip side, I…

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Figma 2020 Wishlist

I have made many requests in the Spectrum.Chat community. Some are long standing, others have been completed. Here is my consolidated Wishlist for 2020. Built In UI Components Every designer I have ever worked with and every desktop application I have ever seen all have some common elements. Here is a short list: TablesComboboxModalsTreesBullet Lists…

2019 In Review

One of the nice things about blogging is that it creates a journal of your life. I know when I got my dog. I know when I visited Japan. I know when I met Hillary Clinton. To a degree, if I didn’t blog it, I am not sure if it happened or not. On that…

Differentiation

Design Principle #12Always create space between you and the competitionGlen Lipka, 2019 Whether you are building a tech product or writing a resume or giving a presentation at a conference, it is important that people remember you. The only time you don’t want to differentiate yourself is when you are trying to blend in, like…

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Figma Features 2019

My primary design tool is Figma. Long gone are my storyboard days of PowerPoint design. Right now, my team is 6 designers strong and they are all co-authoring like mad inside of Figma. We use it for everything. Figma has grown steadily in the past couple of years. They are making innovative features that people…

Clean and Modern

Internally, I have a bullshitometer. It’s a technical device that detects bullshit. It looks like this: My Internal Bullsitometer, highly accurate One of the things that pushes this finely tuned device to the extreme right are when designers say the words “Clean and Modern”. This is just a stupid Jedi mind trick. It’s a way…

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Inspiring Design: Google Doc

A designer asked me the other day what application design I thought was great and I happened to be working on a Google Doc. I thought it was a terrific design in many ways. Just as an aside, Google Slides is one of my LEAST favorite Google applications. It’s awful and everytime I use it,…

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The Default Design

I give a design exercise to candidates to bring in for their onsite interview. The point of a design exercise is shed light on the following: Are they masters of their tool?Are they productive?Are they creative?Are they logical?Are they detail-oriented? One thing I advise candidates to avoid is the “Default Design”. The default is the…

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Passion for Your Craft

My mother-in-law, Penny, is a retired nurse. After retiring, she took up weaving. For those of you who don’t know, weaving takes up alot of space. There are baskets of wool everywhere. The loom itself is enormous. Penny’s loom is roughly as big as this one. Looms are big! She used to have a dining…

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Designer Review Cheat Sheet

When I review a new applicant, I look at their information and decide whether to set up a zoom video conferencing call or not. The truth is that I WANT you to succeed. I want you to have multiple lucrative offers. So to help you, here is a cheat sheet to get past my review.…

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Tips for Designers 2019

Some of these tips are going to seem obvious. Like “Duuuuhhh” obvious. However, I can tell you that I am getting candidates who fail on every single one of these. Master Your Tools The job is to be in a design tool and make stuff (and go to a bunch of meetings). Meetings and design,…

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Project Roles and Responsibilities

The Roadtrip Metaphor I love metaphors and this one is one of my favorites. Imagine a project as a roadtrip with some friends. Sometimes you will be driving, sometimes you will be in the passenger seat, sometimes in the back seat. There are people, like your parents, who just want to know where you are,…

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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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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.…

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…

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Presidential Campaign Website UX Reviews

Let’s do a quick lightning round and some observations at the end. Joe Biden Big picture of Joe and Give me money! Hmm, interesting. Scroll UP from the home page. It’s a bug. A BUG! Come on Joe! How can we trust you with the nation’s highest office if you can’t even get your website…

Adobe XD Listened (mostly)

I have to give credit where credit is due. In April, I complained that Adobe was taking years to build out basic things in XD. Today, they released a huge update. Let’s see how it compares to my complaints. Text Transform. Done!Scale Resize Symbols Independently. Done!Quick Access to Google Font Library – not exactly, but…

Rereading About Face by Alan Cooper

About Face 4th Edition, the Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, and Christopher Noessel. Many years ago an interviewer asked me who my influences are. My answer was pretty lame. He generously gave me a list of books to read. I read them and dozens more. Three particular books formed…

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Why is Adobe XD taking so long on basic things?

Designers are one of the worst markets to make products for. We are fickle/disloyal and we are picky beyond reasonableness. I feel badly for people who design products for us. With that said, I have grievances and need to air them. Adobe. What the heck is going on over there? I am going to point…

Figma UI Refresh – Apr 2019

Figma just released a new aesthetic to their design tool. I use Figma every day for several hours, so I care about any changes. Normally, I love change. Change is good. Even when it’s bad. In this case, there are some things to like, but overall, I think they made a mistake. Bottom line: I…

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Flipping it on its Head

We all have context. Every product you design, every job you do, every email you write all have something that came before it. None of us live and create in a vacuum. All too often, the things we design, do, and write are basically copies of things that have done in the past. We don’t…

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Recruiting Trip to Indiana University

The story starts with a chain of serendipity. Here is a quick summary of how I was invited to Indiana University. I interviewed a woman named Jin (a terrific person) for a PM role at Engagio 4 years ago. We hit it off, but didn’t end up working together.Jin asked me to guest lecture at…

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UX Candidate Design Challenge – v5

UX Candidate Design Challenge – v1UX Candidate Design Challenge – v2UX Candidate Design Challenge – v3UX Candidate Design Challenge – v4 Designing a design challenge is really difficult. There are so many different things you are looking for. Recently, I have been cycling on a few different ones, but I think I want to retire…

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Pie Charts are (almost always) Bad UX

Every enterprise tool out there has a pie chart somewhere in it. Yet, these visualizations often are confusing, hard to read, and a waste of space. let’s look more closely at the notorious pie chart. Where do Pie Charts go wrong? More than a dozen slices make me crazy. These are pure monstrosities. Any designer…

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Designers: Stop using Wix and SquareSpace

I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug Speech from Network I keep looking at designer portfolios. One after the other, after the other, after the other. ALL OF THE PORTFOLIOS ARE THE SAME!Glen, Mar 1, 2019 When I see a portfolio, I can describe them all pretty specifically.…

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Poor Designer Case Studies

I’m reviewing many design portfolios these days. For those of you who don’t know; when a designer works, they sometimes keep track of a whole project from start to finish. They put it on their personal website almost like a school book report. They include pictures and different versions of the design. This is a…

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Advice for Hiring Managers

I’ve given advice to candidates, but this advice is for myself and other hiring managers. One key reality is that candidates often have multiple offers and you need to create a great experience for them. The goal is to make the candidate WANT to work for you. You have to stand out. Here are some…

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