The design field is in a very odd state. At least on Twitter, we seem to always be in a constant state of disagreement. But one thing I think we can all agree on, is that we are all utterly disposable, and quite possibly will one day (maybe soon) be replaced by algorithms.
If you don’t know me, I currently work in R&D for a major automotive OEM. My job most often involves creating new product concepts that convey how humans will interact with technology in the future, and I work with my team to help bring these ideas to life. The reason I bring this up is because as a result of this experience, I often work in less conventional ways, simply because conventional means don’t always work. I recently tweeted a thought that occurred to me and due to the limitations of Twitter, I felt like this subject was perhaps something worth digging a little bit deeper. So let’s begin.
So if you have been a follower of mine on Twitter, perhaps you know that I recently came back from a (business) trip to Germany. I wrote some other thoughts about my trip earlier, but now I want to talk about something more specific to design. When I came back to the office, I made a remark to a coworker about how I felt like some kind of a ‘design diplomat’, in the sense of having to negotiate design stuff with our colleagues.
Information architecture (IA) seems to have fallen off the radar lately, but just because it’s not as en vogue, it doesn’t diminish the value of a good content structure. The problem is it may not always be obvious when to revise your product’s IA, and what you can actually do about it. But fear not, revising your product’s IA is not this mystical thing. Here are some practical things that have helped me. Continue reading “Good IA is good design!”→
I’m sure by now you’ve all seen these things. These clever little images that underscore the design industry’s persistent need to separate UX design from UI design. But as a designer, if you still think this way, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice and it’s time to rethink your approach. Continue reading “Designers, you should know better!”→
I admit that I kinda forgot about this, but a few years ago, I wrote a post about a new way to design by prototyping first. At the time, I had a lot of reasons about why this would be helpful that I think I just sorta forgot about (such is life…). But some recent experiences reminded me of that post and I think it’s worth a bit more discussion again.
Someone asked about UX books that I recommend. I thought it would be much better to just list them here to share with everyone. So the list that follows is really just some of the more important books that have influenced my thinking on design (not just UX-specific things) that I think everyone should read. Continue reading “My favorite design books”→
Have you downloaded an app recently? There appears to be an increasing trend of apps inserting marketing slides into their initial experience and calling that “onboarding”. Usually what follows next is a set of form fields to set up your account.
Consistency is boring. Creating designs to fit cookie cutter patterns is not very fun. Designing for consistency is perhaps the least glamorous aspect of design. Yet consistency is one of the more important principles when creating interactive systems, that is easy to ignore.
Don’t get me wrong. Being creative and “pushing the envelope” is important. Thinking beyond narrow parameters can lead product teams in new directions which can be incredibly valuable for growth. But there’s also a time and place for that kind of work, and there are times when things should be reeled in and made more consistent.
Over the course of the past year, I have been in a state of transition. I changed jobs from leading UX design for new products at Alexa Internet (yes, that Alexa…) to working on in-car HMI and UX design at Mercedes Benz R&D North America (MBRDNA). As a designer, it’s an interesting change of focus to say the least.