When Trine told me she’d been writing a book for the past year I knew it would be good. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at a couple of the same events as her in the last few years and have since followed her work. Her talks gave me a great insight on designing for children — an important topic that we should know more about but that can sound daunting at first.
White Hat UX is a great reminder for experienced designers of the kind of work we should be striving to do, and an excellent introduction to the topic for UX novices, as it dedicates some time to explain some of the basic concepts.
Trine’s book, co-authored with Kim Andersen and Martin Michael Frederiksen, focuses on doing things right. It goes into detail about how we can improve our users’ experience of our sites and products, and our bottom line, without resorting to dubious design practices.
“Day-to-day business is about traffic measurements, conversion rates, cost per click, page views, uptime, media convergence and all the three-letter acronyms of IT business.
“What has become of style, tone, good language, identity, branding and positioning? They are still there, but are struggling to keep afloat among the flurry of new technologies all driven by metrics.”
—White Hat UX, page 53
My favourite aspect of the book is that it holds design professionals to the high standards that we should all want our work to meet, without excuses. Our work can influence the lives of people in ways that we can’t even image, and as professionals with this kind of influence it’s important for us to revisit our practices and consider what we do regularly throughout our careers.
The best part: the book is available for free on Amazon until the 22nd of April. Go get it — it would be rude not to.
Even though I had sworn off ever doing it again, I somehow convinced myself that it wasn’t going to be too hard since this book was going to be much smaller, and I already had a lot of the content anyway.
30 November 2015, in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Five job interview tips you must follow
Almost five years after I wrote Stand out from the crowd, I find myself surprised at how some of the candidates my colleagues and I interview fail to follow basic interview practices, so I guess it’s time to share some tips with anyone trying to do well at their next interview.
A few months ago, while I was still on maternity leave, I asked on Twitter for podcast recommendations. My son was getting more and more mobile, and we were going out more, so watching everything there was on Netflix while he napped on me was no longer possible, and the only podcast I was following was about being a parent, so I needed some ideas.
On August 19th this year I returned to work after being on maternity leave for over a year.
It didn’t feel weird. I think I was lucky: I knew my team was looking forward to my return; I knew I’d have plenty of things to catch up on but I also knew the ropes. Things change in one year, but a lot of things stay the same.
My talk focused on the work that we’ve been doing at Canonical in the process of retrofitting our main site, ubuntu.com, to be responsive. We thought it would be cool to share our process, as we had a feeling that, like us, many designers and developers don’t have the luxury of being able to start responsive projects from scratch.
Before I get to my main point, I must mention (once again) the phenomenal quality of the hand-picked articles that are featured on the Give Me Something To Read website, the source of the piece I will be referring to in the following lines.
The article “The Architect Has No Clothes“, by Michael Mehaffy and Nikos A. Salingaros, explores why modern architecture feels so cold and inhospitable and how that might be easily explained by a phenomenon called “architectural myopia”. The authors describe how this consequence likely has its causes in how architecture is taught and how the methodologies used in the classroom deprive future architectures from any empathy with those who will in the future live and use their creations.
It’s not my goal to provide a summary, as the article does a much better job at explaining this fascinating theory. But I started thinking about whether it would be fair to conclude us web designers might sometimes suffer from a similar malady. I also found it interesting that this profession I hear mentioned so many times as so established and as the ideal model to follow is, like our own, still finding its own ways.
I wanted to call your attention to The Pastry Box Project, which started this year on 1st January, and aims at collecting thoughts from 30 individuals that are “influential in their field”, one thought per day — I can say I’m happy to have been asked to participate (and do visit my thought’s page).
After a restless start to the year, I finally had time and head to sit down and read through the first few weeks of thoughts. Some are longer than others, but invariably there is something alluring about diving in so quickly and for such brief a moment into someone else’s mind.