General

16Jan

2017 UX Roundup

This post started off as an email to my team that I thought might have some useful content for other UX folks. This here is a collection of articles, webinars, tools, and other thingies that I encountered over the year that I think are worth sharing, with some inspiring quotes sprinkled in along the way.

Articles and Video

Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.
– Salvador Dali

Interesting read about how to prepare for the next stage of UX

READ: https://www.fastcodesign.com/90135223/the-golden-age-of-ux-wont-last-heres-how-to-prepare-for-whats-next 

Notes from article:

• Don’t just understand users, understand the business
• Think product strategy (understand the totality of the product you are designing for)
• Understand how UX affects growth

Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box

-Deepak Chopra

Video webinar from Jonathan Wheeler, Sr. UX guy from Oppenheimer

WATCH: https://www.invisionapp.com/webinars/ux-leadership-everyone-designs

Main takeaway from video:

  • Don’t be a gatekeeper pf design, be a design facilitator

The above video was from the great webinar series from InVision called Design Talks that has over 60 videos thus far covering topics such as UX Leadership, design systems, and user research

WATCH: https://www.invisionapp.com/webinars

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new

- Albert Einstein

State of UX in 2018: UXdesign.cc

This list does a pretty thorough job of going over the field
READ: https://trends.uxdesign.cc/

Notes:

• “UX Designer” as a title is starting to differentiate; some people are specializing in UX for specific domains, while some are morphing into Product Designers, the new generalists.
• UX is moving beyond the traditional screen and must learn to accommodate new technologies and ways of interacting
• Understanding the complete diversity of your users is becoming more important the more diverse people become (interesting examples are software systems that assume Asian eyes are closed)
• Storytelling will only become more and more ubiquitous; UX and copywriters will collaborate more
• Branding is more than just a logo; how can a brand be expressed throughout an experience?
• AI is now a real thing (Amazon Echo, Google Dot, etc.); How will we design for it?

Anyone who influences what the design becomes is the designer. This includes
developers, PMs, even corporate legal. All the designers.


- Jared Spool

More trends for 2018

https://theblog.adobe.com/10-ux-design-predictions-for-2018/
https://blog.prototypr.io/heres-where-ux-is-going-in-2018-top-7-design-trends-d0cb73e51b45
https://blog.figma.com/18-designers-predict-ui-ux-trends-for-2018-2d04d41361c6

Quote I most identify with:

“I really hope 2018 is the year designers commit to designing with accessibility in mind. 
We need to stop using ultra light grays for essential elements, we need to stop animating 
every single pixel just because it looks nice, and we need to stop making it harder on people 
to understand the content of a page only because we want to prove ourselves as designers.”
— Hubert Florin, Product Designer at Slack; me too, dude, me too

UX podcast: High Resolution

This series has 25 interviews with industry leaders from companies like AirBnB, Uber, Facebook and Slack. You can watch them as videos or listen to them as podcasts.

WATCH or LISTEN: https://www.highresolution.design/

User Research webinars from Usertesting.com:

A ton of content here with a focus on user research and testing

WATCH: https://www.usertesting.com/resources/webinars/

Online UX conferences from UXPin:

UXPin had some great free online conferences in 2017 that you can access as videos.

WATCH: https://www.uxpin.com/studio/webinars/

Tools

Most of the tools I used in 2017 I have been using for years but I did pick up a few new ones.

Note taking and collecting: Milanote

This is a cloud-based tools for collecting notes, inspiration, links, images, and it allows you to organize them into boards. I have a board where I store interesting articles and links and one where I add images and examples of good design that I use as an old-school morgue file.

The tool has free and paid accounts and is definitely worth checking out.

CHECK IT OUT: https://www.milanote.com/

InVision: Boards

I’ve been using InVision for several years now but 2017 was the year I really started using Boards. I probably use this feature a bit different than intended. I have a board that I use as a morgue, which is an old-school term for a collection of inspiration. Another board is literally dozens of ebooks that I have collected. Putting these files on a board makes it easy to share them with the whole team. I use boards for large scale projects to store mocks, zips of assets, palettes, and specs. I also have boards that are filled with terms and their definitions, organized by category (such as Psychological concepts, Design Principles, and Quotes).

InVision has free and paid accounts and is a great tool that is about to launch a bunch of possibly groundbreaking features in 2018.

SIGN UP HERE: https://www.invisionapp.com

SnagIt: Update for MAC!!

SnagIt is a screen capture tool that has been an absolutely essential part of my workflow for YEARS. Unfortunately, the MAC version has been stuck in time while the PC version was much more full-featured. Well, 2017 brought us MAC users a real upgrade!!!! And this is such a cheap tool that upgrading is a no brainer. I use this tool to take quick screen grabs but also to make short videos that explain interactions or to show how an interaction works on another site.

LEARN MORE: https://discover.techsmith.com/snagit-brand-desktop-new-label/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAp8fSBRCUARIsABPL6JZ_yGEvSPTcybYWsoldn9DKE3rwtoXhBgnPNF1yFLAkSMCYepuXc1saAldtEALw_wcB

17Jul

Tips for Getting a UX gig

I have interviewed my share of web designers over the past few years and there are always some things that stand out to me, in the “Don’t do this if you want a job” kinda way. If you are about to apply for a UX gig, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Be Findable on the Interwebs
    If I Google you and have trouble finding your digital footprint, FAIL. Create some blogs where you talk about web stuff, make a site about kittens, get a LinkedIn account, whatever. Just have a presence beyond your Facebook profile.
  2. Have a Flippin Website Portfolio
    Applying for a design position? Where’s your portfolio??? Too many people apply for gigs at my company and they have no website. I need to be able to see what kind of designer you are, and I most totally am peeping at your code (God help you if you use tables for layout…)
  3. Design Your Resume
    Please don’t show up with a generic Word resume. Take the time to design it in Illustrator or InDesign and make it look AMAZING. And do NOT show up with a scrapbook resume with glued bits of craft paper (true story). This aint Hobby Lobby, yo.
  4. Learn to Write Real Good
    Yes, I am using wacky grammar all over this thang, because it is my blog an all, but the point is my resumes and professional writing are carefully created. I craft my words and double-check everything, because the ability to communicate in this profession (or any profession, really) is extremely important. Please don’t mix cases, don’t misspell words, and don’t sound like you dropped out of third grade, because I won’t even bother interviewing you if I don’t believe you have a sufficient grasp of grammar.
  5. Do Your Research
    If you know my name or the name of my company, activate your Google-Fu and learn whatever you can about me and who I work for because I will ask you if you did any research. Interviews are a two way deal-you might not WANT to work at my company and if you don’t take the time to learn about what we do, what our values are, and how we make a living, then I am going to assume you are lazy and just don’t care.
  6. Don’t Over or Under Sell Yourself
    I will totally figure out real quick if your supposed knowledge about xyz is real or not, and if not, FAIL. Please don’t waste a companies time by lying about your skillset. If a company says they need advanced knowledge of Picklemeister Pro, you better have it.  And if you are a master at abc, let your interviewer know! Being humble doesn’t mean hiding your skills. My advice to people is if an interviewer asks you if you know how to do something and you don’t know, say “I don’t know how to do that at this time, but I will. I will learn any and all skills required to perform my job”.
  7. Don’t Be a D!ck
    Do not come up in here with all kinds of sassy pants attitude, acting like you are above it all and know everything, because you don’t. The person interviewing you probably has way more experience than you do and even if they don’t, they have the power to influence your hiring, so show them proper respect.  🙂

So there you go, 7 super awesome tips to help you in your quest to rule the interwebs.

19Mar

I Like Toys

So I have decided to face the reality that me, myself, an almost 38 year old woman, loves her some toys. I love to photograph them. I stay up late thinking of different shooting scenarios for them. That is who I am. I have surrendered to my calling. I started a new Tumblr, called Fun with Toys. I will post my shots there.

 

Check it out: http://shellstoys.tumblr.com/

28May

Welcome to I Heart Dragons, the Design Blog of Michelle Pakron

Hi, I’m Michelle. I have been a web slinger for over 15 years now. I have been running the blog SharePoint for Designers for seven years now and I find increasingly that my interests and discoveries lie less with SharePoint and more with CSS 3 and modern web design techniques. This blog was created to provide me a place, beyond the brevity of Twitter, to share what I am finding. I may also post the occasional dragon, pug, or robot-It’s my blog, I do what I want.

To start off the fun, here be a dragon:

Groovy Dragonfly

 

Discoveries This Week

and because I am feeling generous, meet my new rescue pugish dog, Mickey Midnite:

Mickey the Dog

© Copyright 2016 Michelle Pakron, All Rights Reserved