Getting Started With Sketchnoting Story-centered design: hacking your brain to think like a user | Google Ventures When I first started designing interactive products, it was a struggle. Small projects were fine. But when the interactions got more complex, I noticed that tools, team communication, and even my own thinking started breaking down. I see many startups facing these same problems today. So I wanted to share some of the ways that I’ve changed my design process over the years to handle the complexity of large products. I used to design screens Back in college, we were mostly designing posters, book covers, homepages, and lots of other single-screens. When I moved to San Francisco and started designing apps, I kept working the same way: I designed a screen, or maybe a set of screens, and showed that set to the team. Screen-centered design doesn’t work for apps Once you’re dealing with an app that has a dozen screens and hundreds of states, you can’t hold the whole product in your head like a poster. We were thinking of the product as a set of screens. Story-centered design
Strategy as Simple Rules -- Sketchnotes Dan Grover | Chinese Mobile App UI Trends This summer, I packed up all my things and moved from San Francisco to Guangzhou, China for work. Through an unlikely chain of coincidences that I don’t entirely recall, I’ve become a product manager on WeChat, a popular messaging app in China. Moving to a new country has meant learning how to do lots of things differently: speaking a new language, eating, shopping, getting around. This has applied to my digital life too. One day, for the fun of it, I started writing a list in my notebook of all the things that are different between apps here and those I’m accustomed to using and creating back in the US. Table of Contents Input Is Hard People here use myriad methods of typing Chinese characters: everything from Pinyin, to tracing characters by hand, to a stroke-organized keypad, even one emulating older cell phones’ numeric keypads. Yet sites and apps here do not require using of any of these. Why make typing smoother when you can avoid it altogether? Indeterminate Badges A. B. C. , and
Facebook Design Director: The 5 Most Common Design Mistakes There’s no learning without mistakes. And I’ve done the following (as well as seen the following done) too many times to count. Luckily, there’s this thing called the "Internet" and this medium called an "article" that lets us point at and talk about mistakes behind their backs, in the hopes that by bullying them into the spotlight, they'll have a harder time slinking around, wasting our time, and steering us toward no-good solutions. 1. There are two main reasons why design explorations become over-constrained: Time: Few things are more tempting to a product team than the promise of bringing about a positive change quickly. Risk: If you’ve got a reasonable thing going, you probably don't want to upend it. 2. This is a classic design mistake: you start off exploring a big, ambiguous problem. Maybe your first idea is always the best idea. 3. 4. It’s well understood that designers have a great appreciation for aesthetics, which extends beyond the job into their lifestyle. 5.
I’m an Illustrator and so can you! Marginal success. Turns out there’s actually a lot of strange walrus-related drawings on the Internet. I did find something related — an illustration that is much, much better than mine. It has a thoughtful layout, a clear sense of depth, and obvious intention behind it. Step 3: Finding stuff that is better than whatever you made and learning from it. You can either look at things better than your stuff and get disheartened, or you can let it make you better. Did I become significantly better by the end? Step 4: Identify patterns and stick with the basics. If you look back at my first illustration of Hector, you’ll notice some crude attempts at adding shadows. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on Nextdoor’s Halloween Treat Map, which allows neighbors around the U.S. to see who’s handing out treats on Halloween night. Let’s look at some of the illustrations I’ve made for this project. You can probably tell that there aren’t a ton of components.
Why Your Links Should Never Say "Click Here" Advertisement Have you ever wanted your users to click a link but didn’t know how to get them to act? When some designers run into this problem, they’re tempted to use the words “Click here” on their links. Before giving in to the temptation, you should know how using these words on a link can affect how users experience your interface. Not to mention that having proper link titles is a major accessibility requirement since the term ‘click’ is irrelevant to many assistive technologies and isn’t descriptive enough for screen readers. “Click” Puts Too Much Focus On Mouse Mechanics In my opinion, using the word “click” on your links takes the user’s attention away from the interface and on to their mouse. “View” relates to the user’s task, while “Click” puts focus on mouse mechanics. Instead of using the word “click,” you might look for a different verb that relates to the user’s task. “Here” Conceals What Users Are Clicking Some links use the word “here” instead of “click.” Link to Nouns (al)
5 tips on how to prepare a design presentation You lost. The work was on brief, you spent hours getting it ready and the client generally loved it. So what happened? All things being equal, I’d say someone else had a better presentation. Your work was good but the way you tried selling it wasn’t. 1. Why is this border yellow? If you ever stared at a client with a blank face after hearing questions like these, you made 1 tiny mistake in your workflow — you forgot there was a client involved with your project. Every design decision you make has to be driven by rationale — and reasons to support it. When you approach design projects this way, you solve 2 important problems: first, your designs become functional, not just eye pleasing and second, you have an answer ready when your client pops the question. Be ruthless while designing — keep asking yourself questions and finding good answers for everything you do. 2. When client hires someone to build a house, he knows that it’s not an easy task to do. 3. Mockup templates: Pixeden, PlaceIt
Interface Animations Workshop, BlendConf 2014 Usage and performance Usage Only two properties are required for a CSS transition. transition-property transition-duration The other two properties are optional (transition-delay and transition-timing-function). You could breakout everything: or do shorthand: timing-functions Since transitions and animations must have a beginning and end, cubic-bezier will give you the best unique motion. will-change Give the browser a heads up by listing CSS properties that will more than likely change. No more translateZ(0) or translate3d(0,0,0) hacks ☺ Everything You Need to Know About the CSS will-change Property Performance You'll want to stick to transitioning transform and opacity as much as possible. Altering anything else can be costly at a larger scale. Transitioning layout properties creates browser paint and composite issues. csstriggers.com caniuse.com/#feat=css-transitions CSS Exercise #1 Transitions Transitions, Form misc codepen.io/markgeyer/pen/yklLx/ Add transition properties to these form elements. Whoa...
The Boring Designer Whenever I’m looking at a product designer’s work, I find myself continuously asking the same question: which solution is the boring one? Maybe it’s born out of seeing apps choose flash over function, or trying to understand just one too many indecipherable icons-as-buttons. Whatever the case, here’s an ode to the boring designers among us. The designers who… Choose obvious over clever every time. If you haven’t read Randy Hunt’s book on Product Design, you haven’t lived. Rarely stand their ground. The boring designer chases the right idea over their idea every time. Are Practical. With infinite time and resources we could do anything, but the boring designer knows we have neither of those things. Value Laziness. The boring designer realizes that the glory isn’t in putting their personal stamp on everything they touch. Lead the team. You’d think with all those traits, the boring designer would get run over or ignored most of the time by their teammates and fellow designers. So be great.
What Do You Hope Will Still Exist in 2030? Humanity will change more in the next 15 years than it did in the past century. Some of us may have our pizzas and packages delivered on flying drones. We could travel in driverless cars, use 3D printers to make our meals and makeup, and wear technology from head to toe. Others may face issues with land degradation and water shortages, which could cause droughts in some areas and floods in others. It's crazy what can happen over time. It should get us thinking: What kind of world do we want to be living in by 2030, and how can we make that a reality? From September 21 to 22, the fifth annual Social Good Summit — a unique gathering of world leaders, business pioneers and tech innovators — will explore how technology can be used for social good to build a better future. This week's Mashable Photo Challenge will be based around the event. That could be your iPhone 5s — which will probably be in a museum by then — or a normal pair of glasses and a hardcover book.
CSS and the Golden Ratio A few weekes ago while at Brooklyn Beta, I was lucky enough to sit next to Scott Kellum during lunch. He mentioned how recently he had been interested in the idea of making fractals using nested CSS shapes with sizes defined by ems. I was excited to play with the idea, and so I began working with the golden ratio (1.618033988...). (after 4 years of architecture school, it still has a soft spot in my heart.) click to toggle css visibility click to toggle html visibility Then I began work to create the ubiquitous golden spiral. however, after a bit, I realized my css was flawed (see below). nothing aligned quite right. click to toggle html visibility (same old, just some more classes) After getting lost in the possibilities and hacking away at the CSS, I realized the answer was simple (as is the case with most problems of this type). click to toggle html visibility (only the classes really change) One step closer to global domination! It's pretty basic, but it's a start. tweet
TinyPNG – Compress PNG images while preserving transparency Twitter Announces Its First Commerce Product — A “Buy” Button On Mobile After months of reports and rumors, Twitter is announcing its first commerce product. The company first signaled its interest in this area last year, when it hired former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to lead its commerce team. Then it started recruiting other commerce specialists, and Recode got its hands on mock-ups of a Buy Now button. Over the summer, people started spotting those buttons in the wild. So Twitter is officially announcing that Buy button today — in a blog post, the company says it will be visible to “a small percentage of U.S. users (that will grow over time).” And even though the test is starting out on mobile, a company spokesperson said it will be moving onto desktop soon as well. Twitter says it’s partnering with a number of companies to make the Buy Now button happen, starting social shopping company Fancy, digital content seller Gumroad, fan commerce company Musictoday, and payments company Stripe.