sketch by susan

Jan 17

Today is my last day

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!

Jan 13

Use of Abril Fatface & Lato -

on Model View Culture

Jan 11

Small Habits

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.

How

I’m keeping track of four selected top small habits of the moment to work on via Lift. They are currently –

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.

Priority

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.

Flexibility

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.

Why

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.

Jan 07

Use of Source Sans Pro -

I really dig Minnix’s simple site.

Jan 05

Holding Out

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.

Jan 04

[video]

Good use of Open Sans -

Applauding Lift.do for their use of Open Sans!

Jan 03

I rediscovered the secret bonus level sketch from the Daily Color Block series I did last August.
It’s so crazy to me this illustration side project happened the week when I first dyed my hair turquoise and madly prepped for my talk. Productivity is a weird beast which fuels itself on other productivity hence this infinite loop state of über mad productivity!
I can’t wait to be there again.

I rediscovered the secret bonus level sketch from the Daily Color Block series I did last August.

It’s so crazy to me this illustration side project happened the week when I first dyed my hair turquoise and madly prepped for my talk. Productivity is a weird beast which fuels itself on other productivity hence this infinite loop state of über mad productivity!

I can’t wait to be there again.

Dec 30

A New Year

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.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

fin

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.

See you in 2014!

Dec 29

When I added a new line to my internet bio today, I thought of this little project. Based off of Earthbound Mother 3 sprite style. Don’t be fooled by the pixels, 40x30 and 2 hours of work!
True size on Dribbble!

When I added a new line to my internet bio today, I thought of this little project. Based off of Earthbound Mother 3 sprite style. Don’t be fooled by the pixels, 40x30 and 2 hours of work!

True size on Dribbble!

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.

Before

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.

Now

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.

~

Meta – What prompted this…

This amazing article on Marketing to Female Geeks and this hashtag.

Dec 28

[video]

Three set San Francisco sketches! Drawn in Illustrator with the Charcoal Pencil brush, 1 – 4px weights used, minimal amount of 15% opacity shading for the depth.
Pretty pleased. Planning to set myself up to do this a lot more in the future.
P.S. You can Like it on dribbble, ;)

Three set San Francisco sketches! Drawn in Illustrator with the Charcoal Pencil brush, 1 – 4px weights used, minimal amount of 15% opacity shading for the depth.

Pretty pleased. Planning to set myself up to do this a lot more in the future.

P.S. You can Like it on dribbble, ;)

Dec 26

My Mom's Buns on Exposure -

I posted a few photographs of my mom’s bunnies on exposure.

Dec 24

In 2013, we spent a lot of time flattering the web.
Based on a silly conversation with JD.

In 2013, we spent a lot of time flattering the web.

Based on a silly conversation with JD.