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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The UX of CanuMeet and Google Appointment Slots

Use Case: You are a hiring manager or recruiter and you want to set up lots of screening calls with lots of candidates. You could email them back and forth, but that is error prone. It’s better to have an automatic system. I had previously reviewed Calendly and Apooint.ly. Here are a couple of others.…

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Advice for New Designers 2019

I am hiring 4 designers this year, approximately 1 per quarter. Therefore, I’ve been reviewing dozens of portfolios. I spend a little more time than average on them, because when I was looking for new jobs, I hoped hiring managers gave my work more than a cursory glance. Unfortunately, most design websites are fairly poor.…

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Making Things Worse

No one has the intention of making things worse. All designers have positive intent. However, in reality, there are plenty of services that get worse with upgrades. Recently, I have had a few upgrades that feel like downgrades. Feedly iPad App I am not sure what prompted such a big change, but I am completely…

New WordPress Editor 2018

WordPress has released a new editor. It’s very different than the previous one. This is a little meta, but I am going to review my first impressions of the editor in real time. I will also try out a bunch of the features. Drop cap is cool, I guess, but it looks like ass without…

UX Suggestions for Scoop

Scoop is a carpooling/ride-sharing service. Basically, I put in when I want to leave and it matches me up with people who want a ride near my work/home. They pay $6 and I get $5 of that per trip. The service in general is greatly appreciated, but the experience leaves much to be desired. Here…

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Turn your Data into a Story

The essence of data visualizations is to tell a story. There are some great charts like Napoleon’s march to Moscow and Florence Nightingale’s chart on the causes of deaths in the Crimean War. Recently, my oldest son pointed out the following chart to me. Both are an image of Washington DC. The first shows the…

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Maybe I’m a …

I never really thought about this until recently, but my first job as a product designer came when I was 32 years old. Maybe it’s best to backtrack and show the progression of what I thought I was. In 2nd grade, I made a sculpture of my father’s head. It looked better than the other…

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Uncomfortable Chairs

I spend a good deal of my life sitting in an office chair. It’s a good bet that you do as well. The chair at my desk; I have adjusted to have the right parameters of height and position. However, it’s still fairly uncomfortable. When I get up, I find it hard to stand up…

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Rank Choice Voting

Sometimes I imagine the whole world is a simulation and you could change one single variable to see what happens. What would life be like without John Wilkes Booth? What if Franz Ferdinand didn’t get lost that summer day in Sarajevo? What if Alexander the Great had died in his first battle? (He almost did)…

UX Candidate Design Challenge – v4

UX Candidate Design Challenge – v1 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v2 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v3 As I am now hiring more people on the design team, I came up with a new design exercise. However, to jump to the end, it was too damn hard. So I only used it about 6…

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Thoughts on Creativity (2018)

There are lots of threads/books/posts/podcasts on the topic of Creativity. Here is a sampling of my thoughts on the subject. Creativity is combining two unrelated items to form a new thing. I imagine our brains as a home office. We have our desk where we work on things. We have file cabinets with old memories,…

The UX of Waze Carpooling and Scoop

I tried very hard to make CalTrain work, but I had to give up. It took too long, with too many transfers. I would have to buy a scooter or bring my bike on the train. Ultimately, driving was way easier. Goodbye reading.  🙁 So driving takes between 30 and 50 minutes depending on when…

Design Tools Roundup Sep 2018

Preface: Designers are a terrible audience. We have no real loyalty to anything. A new tool comes along and we abandon our old tools in a moments notice. Right now, Sketch + Invision is pretty popular, but I think these new tools are far superior and people are already swapping them out. Let’s dive in……

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What I Look for in a Designer Portfolio 2018

Disclaimer: My own site isn’t perfect. There are much better portfolios than mine. I have done a terrible job of showing the problem, iterations, and case studies for the work I have done over the past 205 years. I put plenty of energy into this blog, but not as much into the portfolio section. With…

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Choosing a Mobile Font

Right now, Im designing a mobile app and choosing a font. (So many fonts to choose from!) Some rough requirements gathered from various stakeholders: Not too stylized/fancy Easy to read at small fonts Round o  – I like circular o’s and p’s and b’s and d’s etc. Enough styles (italics, bold, light, semi-bold) Numbers should…

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Bad Sidebars and Platform App UX

This is my sidebar in JIRA. 19 items! That’s objectively too many. I wondered what would happen if my screen wasn’t as tall. How does it adapt? I shortened my screen height and then refreshed the browser. Do you see it?  The scroll bar in the middle of the sidebar? This is how I feel…

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UX Mission: Complex Column Sorting Icons

Mission: To communicate to the user that a table has a complex sort. Data Example: Sort order: This data is sorted first by State, then by City, then by Age. So what icons can I put in the headers to help communicate the sort? Google images shows alot of different icons for sort. The simplest…

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Warnings about Using Cookies – Lawyers Suck

Ok, so now there is a law somewhere in Europe that says that websites must disclose the use of cookies. I have one question: Who seriously thought ANYONE would care or read those warnings? Have we learned nothing from Apple’s Terms and Conditions? People do not understand. They do not care. This is just nonsense.…

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2018 – My Year of Mostly Rejection

It’s been a strange year for my household. My eldest son got rejected from all but one university he applied to. My middle son got rejected from several musical groups that he was more than qualified for. He also failed his drivers license test 3 times in a row. My youngest got in a fight…

Joining SiteTracker and Designing using Salesforce Lightning

I joined a new company called SiteTracker this month as their newly minted Head of UX. Just to be clear, I am the only designer, so “Head” is a little high falutin. I will post eventually about my interview process and lessons learned. SiteTracker is a Series A startup growing quickly in Palo Alto, CA…

Google Assistant with a Foreign Accent

I’d like my Google assistant (and Alexa) to speak American English with a foreign accent. Specifically, I’d cycle through different dialects such as Jamaican, Australian, British, Irish, and maybe even Spanish. Again, I don’t want them to speak a foreign language, just speak my language in their accent. It just sounds nicer to me. It’s…

Chat and SMS Tools

Let’s start with my list of requirements for the perfect chat tool: Mobile, Browser, and App form factors Easy images (especially memes) Video conferencing on demand Group chat SMS Integration End-to-end encryption Broad distribution (Everyone has it) Ultimately, I want a one-stop shop. Alas, I cannot find exactly what I want. Some of the candidates:…

Designing with the Salesforce Lightning System

I’ve started designing a product in the Salesforce Lightning System. There is nothing extraordinary about it. It’s a perfectly reasonable design language, similar to Google Material in many ways. Of course, there are a few things I wish they could improve. How could I use a tool or system and NOT have requests? Have you…

Our Maps are Upside-down

I am going to assume you believe the world is spherical. No point otherwise. Ok, imagine the sun in the middle and the Earth is spinning around it. I ask you this question, “Is the Earth going around the sun in a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation? I think any normal person would say that the…

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First Try: LimeScooter

In case you haven’t heard, Electric Scooters are the new “disrupting” thing in cities, especially San Francisco. Today, I had a lunch with a recruiter in the city and CalTrain was running very late. The walk would have been 25 minutes and I only had 20 to get there. Previously, I had used Lyft to…

Bad UI Example: Moving the Cheese

I have a 2018 Kia Sportage. Nice car overall; not too expensive, drives well, cool moon roof. However, the radio does something that is a UI no-no. I’ll explain. First, this is the offending UI here. It is on the left side of the steering wheel and controls the radio station. The left rocker (technical…

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Google Inbox vs New GMail (2018)

I’ve been a Google Inbox user for a few years now. GMail felt absurdly outdated and unpleasant, so I switched. Recently, Google splashed a new can of UX and features onto GMail. I would say without doubt it is an improvement, but there are still some flaws compared to Inbox. I wish they would take…

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UX Review: Calendar Schedulers

In talking with lots of folks, I have been using Calendly.com to help coordinate schedules. The back and forth of scheduling is a real pain and these systems make it much better. I tried three today. For language sake it can get confusing, here is a legend: Host = Person who has the subscription and…

Product Specification Phases

TL;DR Product specification has a point of diminishing returns. Like most things in life, a nice chart makes it easier to understand. Time flows from left to right. The green line is how complete a specification is and the red line is how hard it is to make the green line move. Important: This chart…

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Hello PowerPoint, My Old Friend

Figma had been doing a decent job of letting me specify the product I am working on. However, there were some pretty serious gaps. Performance was a constant problem. First time load: 20 seconds. Freezing the screen, about 20 times a day. Community is ridiculously slow to load/use Strange behavior pretty frequently Also, a more…

Design Influences

Every major product I have designed has had specific influences. Some examples: Marketo In 2007, when I was thinking about the Marketo UI I rewatched Minority Report (2002). The UI where Tom Cruise waved his arms in the air was the inspiration for how Smart Lists would drag items from the right to the left.…

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New DirecTV UI Fail/Learn

As a designer, I always look at the design of things, especially user interfaces. Recently DirecTV updated their user interface in dramatic fashion. It’s very different than before. I could call it an epic fail, except that I hate that term. It’s an Epic LEARN. There is a forum thread on AT&T (who now owns DirecTV)…

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