I’m thinking of it as the Dungeon Map for people who just learnt about my existence. To be iterated, of course.
Meta. Two nights of procrastiwork; an excuse to toy with Neat (There are SO MANY grid systems), Fluidbox, and animated GIFs. I’m not famous, so hosting it on Github has been rad! I’ve also learnt about sub-folders with index files will make subdomains, so Raincat and this old art school animation are online too. Started using iTerm2 and it’s nice as well. Entypo icons are still probably my favorite set on the web. Heavy use of Sass math for line-heights this time. e.g. $p*2 for default and $p*2.25 on inverse backgrounds.
I’ll remember heading to a meeting and seeing someone I’ve never met before using this Paper Marker drawing as their desktop wallpaper. She distinctly said, I always wondered if I’d get to meet you.
You’ll see this post is all about people, which when we say the most clichéd “My favorite part of the job is the people,” it’s very true.
There are two great designers who influenced the way I do design today - Sean & Sha. They fundamentally changed the way I approach creative problems, taught me the value of knowing the medium, inspired me to keep looking outwards, and gave me what is now my stance on what I believe in today. The two of them always do amazing things out of work too which makes me aspire for great things out of work as well.
I had opportunity to learn how to charm. We built a mini MHCI alum circle with Sunny and Drew. Then there’s also this unity — Sunny and I had with Donna which confused some with our like-desks. I know they will continue to do great things with the Trulia product. I also want to thank David and Lee who despite my minimal fulltime experience back in June 2012, treated me as a full fledged search designer when I first started.
It’s here where I gained a deep appreciation for the people who build. The OOCSS project in conjunction with Search is where my minimal level CSS evolved into working knowledge of complex styling systems. I had the fortune of working with Nicole and Fiona, incredible front-end developers in the industry. Then there was August who kindly spent at least a week’s worth of time setting up my dev environment and explaining everything to me. At the height of it all — I was empowered with enough knowledge to hold the attention of a crowd for 20 whole minutes on the topic.
Through the time we all worked together, I realized it wasn’t about the pictures, but the people you worked together with to bring it beyond pictures. I just kept getting more excited about the things we could build.
A list of everyone I got to work with just continues.
For my first major project, Suggestions, I will remember getting to work with Skulski and Matt. And all the strawberry wafers I tried to give them in exchange for buttons.
It was with Brandon we learned a lot of hard lessons about complicated product and the village it takes to get it together. What patience it took sometimes.
I found myself in mobile and polished Android with Alice. I was humbled by the thought in the platform and the team who cared so much for it.
In rentals, we moved quick. I’m thankful to have spent time with Sol and Susan. And also, Vaughn, Puru, and Shane (plus August) who all were awesome and didn’t need much guidance from me to get the UX.
There were so many lulz and GIFs in unofficial. Thanks for a good time Evan, PJ, Grace, Skulski, VLam, frambot.
The first holiday season, I even made felt grumpy cats. A boston terrier. (I’m bummed I just started really working with Louis, but I’ll remember his strong vote of confidence of how I could work with the whole stack had I really desired.)
It was a crazy place where the relationships transcended the job.
I’ll remember my first day and the kindness Azi extended. He showed unprejudiced pride in his work even so it was just his first day. it’s people like him who make your day.
Board games night is where I met Rishi and Chris, the one responsible for me having a giant box of Dominion. Ivan put together an epic Mario Kart night and DS brigade. I’m still planning to invite myself to both of these.
I also had the fortune of meeting and socializing with great people by virtue of the ones I did work with. Specifically, I’m incredibly lucky to later meet Derek, Glen, and Damiano, even so we’ve technically not worked together, I feel like we have.
Of course, I can’t finish this post without mentioning JD. (Sorry I left you out earlier, because three mentions would be too much!) He worked with me on the Search / OOCSS projects and we crossed paths during board game nights. There are so many reasons I’m thankful that I had this job, but of course, I’m totally biased when I say he’s at the top of those reasons.
Corollary. My favorite thing about Sha is he would always lift up friends. And that’s what I hope to do too. I hope we’ll still be friends and that goodbye isn’t actually goodbye. That we’ll always find a reason to lift each other up, centralized or distributed. That we read posts like this and not feel sad, but happy because everything was so beautiful the way it happened.
Man, this piece ended up really sobering. At the end of it all, what I meant to say is that I’ll miss you guys!
This year I’m going small. Instead of a new lofty grand mission, I’m continuing the streak of doing things that scare me and adding small habits.
I’m keeping track of four selected top small habits of the moment to work on via Lift. They are currently –
Waking up by 9am (yeah, laugh, I know)
Yoga (min once a week)
Seeing a friend (making an effort to keep in touch more than I ever have)
Working on a side project (this pertains to actually keeping track of sessions where I work on them, ‘cause I sure don’t have a problem biting off more than I can chew)
The decision of four is both arbitrary and intentional. I wanted a finite number and four happened to be the number which fits on the screen of the app without scrolling.
While habits like reading or writing more are always in the back of my mind, I’m giving myself clarity in how I use my time by focusing on the four listed.
That being said, one thing I’m anticipating is that some habits will be more regular throughout the year. Soon, I won’t need the app to be the main motivator anymore. I hope I’ll be able to retire habits and bump up more small habits to facilitate.
While I’ve figured how to throw myself at accomplishing the big things, I haven’t done so at the expense of my health or my social life at times. I think of this similarly to bad user experience by the hand of 1,000 paper cuts. The analogy meaning, without taking care of the small things, the big accomplishments won’t be as awesome as they could be. Thus, this year’s emphasis is taking care of myself beyond career and taking care of my friends.
Whilst yoga. I tend to like the 90 minutes classes the best. For about minutes 0 to 40 minutes, I’m still rather antsy about being there. “So much to do, so little time! Why am I standing still tormenting my weak frame to ups and downs?” But, about 45 minutes in, I stop thinking about what’s going on outside the studio, right around when the tougher poses kick in, and suddenly, that stuff doesn’t matter as much anymore. And it also means about 50 minutes worth of focused appreciation for being alive.
Whilst abroad. Vacations work like this too. For the first half, I’m always worried about what I’ve left behind. There’s always something left undone (the messy room, the unfollowed-up email). During the second half, all of that fades away, and the focus becomes the immersion. The appreciation that we could even hop on a plane and be taken somewhere across the globe. The fact we can walk on our feet and walk along strangers. The welcoming we’d get despite our strangeness into an open door somewhere out there.
I don’t know if there was any lesson to this post aside from Hold Out, It’s Worthwhile. It’s not my most flowy post as well, but I’m holding out for that too whilst being okay with publishing this one.
Every year I’ve felt like I haven’t really lived life until each past year. This year is no exception. It feels like after much guidance, lack of knowledge, catching up, and sometimes serenity disguised as misfortune, I have a little bit more idea of what I’m doing with myself here.
During the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to do more things which scared me. Between all of these moments, I met new friends and reconnected with old ones, some life changing ones from both buckets.
The highlights definitely include — Shipping a major project. Doing a bunch of side art and design. Traveling out of the country on three occasions. Moving to the city. Giving a public talk! Starting to see someone new.
Maybe I’ll have to consider this a success. And I do have ideas of how top 2013, but it warrants a post of its own.
I am my own female protagonist in the game of life
With all the discussion around this, I thought of penning this one down. The bottom line is, I’ve always struggled with my stance on being a girl in geek worlds.
Growing up, I was always alone. My bullies of 7 years were girls. I was an easy target as one of the few smaller, quieter girls. The pressure those bullies exerted on me caused all of the other girls to not have anything to do with me.
Boys were still afraid of cooties, so when they were too kind to me, they would face the wrath of their peers. I spent many after schools as a child with my imagination, and later my machines.
Not too long ago
I’ve gone to geek events alone where I’ve purposely dressed down in a hobo outfit to draw less unwanted attention to myself.
Even in these hobo outfits, many of the interactions I had networking there were an awkward mix of people trying to hire me or ask me out. Sometimes both at the same time.
At some point, it was so much hassle I stopped going to events alone. Soon enough, with the dependency of having to have a buddy every time, I stopped being interested in said events.
Raising a voice means having to continue to stand up.
I’ve only told these stories to friends, because saying something out loud instantly gets a girl labeled.
In the spirit of yearly resolutions, this is going to change. If I could make it so a few more girls feel less alone and more welcomed growing up into the geek world, it’ll all be worthwhile.
Once upon many times, I was on the other side of the table selling, selling, selling. Not as many times, I was on this side of the table armed with nothing, but eagerness and a whole hell lot of I have no idea what I am doing.
If I were the hiring manager—
No means no. Meh means no.
If you are a technology designer. That means you are responsible for Chrome, Firefox, IE, (Opera?), iOS, Android, AND Windows. No exceptions. None of this trendy unnecessary segregation.
You must code for the web. Or at least make an effort to speak its language. No exceptions.
Knowing how things work does not make anyone a ‘worse’ designer. In fact, my experience is quite the opposite. These folks are quite superior.
Portfolio still matters. Gut check. Refer to bullet one. If passed…
Is the candidate using a custom font? If so, what methods? There are so many good tools. This is less about the font itself and more about trying a little.
Is there any part of this website that is modified, if not built mostly from scratch? How is that organized? A little peek into how details are organized.
Is credit given to project teammates or portfolio building help in general? How does the About copy strike you, humble? arrogant? Nothing else matters if he/she is impossible to work with.
Click off to a social media profile of choice. Are the items assembled of good taste? Photoshop can be learned, taste less so.
Never force your team to choose between a hire who is worse or worst. Pressure to pick only creates a bigger cost in the future.
Sometimes, even now, I find myself lingering in the toilet longer than I should. And rarely to fix up my hair.
In my childhood house, the toilets were the only rooms that locked from the inside and not out.
I remember getting chastised for something, something I don’t think I deserved to be—usually something a child wouldn’t need to worry about just yet. They say knowledge is power, and when I discovered the other kids at school were allowed to play so much, so freely, be themselves, I tried my hand in controlling my own fate.
It didn’t go so well.
I ended up on the toilet.
And in the toilet I stayed, sometimes for hours, wondering, dreaming if it ever gets better.
Unnecessary Segregation between "Desktop" and "Mobile" UX'ers
I really, really don’t believe in the segregation between so-called “Desktop” and “Mobile” UX’ers.
A large portion of my work has and still is web design. When the rise of mobile came, some constantly made a point to hint that’d I’d be out of a job along with all the other “Desktop” designers.
Guys, don’t buy into it.
Learning how to create effective desktop AND mobile experiences isn’t binary.
At the crux of it all, the most important thing is to use the platforms. Get your hands on an Android and play with some highly regarded apps. Slow down in your iPhone consumption and notice the interactions. If you need to do a little Windows work, take a bloody Surface home and use it as if it were own.
As for the web, use the internet. Use the internet and notice what works. Observe which sites are “copying” interactions from each other. Chances are, if you see that interaction everywhere, there’s some charm behind it. Look outwards and hoard every visual and interaction worth stealing
for any platform.
It totally pisses me off when there’s a post for “Mobile Designer” as if a “Desktop Designer” can’t do the job. Similarly to how I believe internet designers should code in a know-how capacity, if anyone were motivated enough to take on a project, he or she could just spend some quality time trying it out, failing once or twice, and become really great at it.
Also, there needs to be just about 4 more hours in a day because it’s 2am again. Also, these are just my opinions and not my employer’s something something legal-ease.
I’ve never tried to monetize my art since I never believe it’d sell or that I’d feel like a sell out. Maybe this is the correct assumption, but it’s time to start trying. If one day this becomes what I do all the time, then today is a monumental day in trying to get there.
Also, this link gets you free shipping until the 13th.