I chat with Peter Chen, Head of Design & Co-founder at Beaconmaker. I met Peter via the Sydney Opera house hackathon which he won. Peter previously was Head Of Design at Yatango. He also has a lot of digital and advertising agency experience at Holler, Tribal DDB, Soap Creative and WHYBIN. I’ve always been impressed by Peter’s designs and his approach to design. So super excited to be chatting to Pete himself – also his twitter handle!
I chat to my good friend Anthony Cole. Anthony is a product developer with a background in wordpress and frontend development. Originally hailing from Silicon Valley and via NZ, Anthony works in Melbourne for startup Lexer.io. He shares insights on why you should use a pattern library.
A pattern library is a set of components that you can reuse for common design problems. It also defines the interactions of components. By using a pattern library, it allows teams to focus on the bigger customer problems. Ultimately, it helps you ship products faster.
One of the usual ways to design a product is by looking at the average characteristics of the target users using personas. This approach to make products useful has been around for many years. It the standard used by product makers and marketers.
Clayton Christensen, who popularized the Jobs to be Done approach, argued that people with very different characteristics use a product generally the same way. A highly educated grandfather in the suburbs will use the radio the same way a young girl from a remote settlement area would. If we were to base product design on characteristics then, we are sure to fall short. There has to be other ways that will help determine if a product is just right, or needs more work. Continue reading
I’m really excited about the upcoming AMA event with Cliff Obrecht, co-founder of Canva. Here is the Sydney Startups Canva AMA FAQs. Of course the graphic we created to promote the event was made on Canva 🙂
Fiverr is one of those really interesting places on the internet. You can get any task done for $5. There are preset tasks such as drawing a comic, singing a birthday tune or writing a blog post to name a few. I’ve previously had mobile app advertising banners designed and snare drum sound effects created for our games.
For my bday, I bought a gig for $5 for a comic graphic of myself. I decided to get a Street Fighter 2 graphic done of Ryu. I’m actually more of a Ken fanboy, but I thought Ryu suited better given he’s Asian (unlike the blond haired ken). I showed them a few versions of pictures from Google Images and gave them some profile images.
I had 3 versions of this comic done and this was the final result. The problem was that the artist didn’t have a sideways facing profile shot of me. So I submitted the below pic and he based it on that.
Here are some of the out takes which has my head at a weird angle, plus my lips look a bit big (but hey this could be the truth!).
So if you are looking for some fun on the internet and a cheap thrill, I highly recommend checking out Fiverr and ordering some $5 gigs! If you want extra revisions or gigs, you can upgrade to buy the extras on fiverr. They are usually an extra $5 – $10.
Thanks for reading this blog and wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2014.
I’m out like Ryu’s fireball,
I’ve recently become more interested in design and user experience. I found a good talk on Responsive Design Workflow which my friend @sherylyulin recently shared. Responsive Design or more specifically, responsive web design has become a very big buzz word in the tech industry, but is actually quite important given where the internet is heading – internet access from anywhere and any device.
What exactly is responsive web design? Wikipedia defines Responsive Web Design (RWD) as “an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)”.
With more of the emerging world onboarding onto the internet via mobile and the availability of new and different device form factors, responsive web design has become increasingly more important.
I found some good examples via this Socialdriver post. If you go to the Boston Globe and Smashing Magazine website, you can resize the page by dragging the corner in and out to create smaller or larger dimensions. The design will respond and adapt to the changing size. The design is fluid (by using responsive CSS elements). I also came across this fluid layout style when playing with Twitter Bootstrap.
I have to admit that a lot of mobile websites look really crappy when viewed from my iPhone – the ones specifically designed as mobile websites. The culprits can be found on websites that lie on a m dot domain (e.g. m.hoyts.com.au). They usually seem to have a limited functionality set of the actual website and just look plain ugly – I’ve never liked them. With responsive design, the way that we design websites is changing – there are some things that just won’t work on a mobile device e.g. hover effect.
The thrust of the video is that web design itself is changing but the actual design process itself also needs to change. I’ve been through the design process multiple times at a web design agency, and working for a client can be quite painful because of the back and forth process on design, particularly using photoshop. I do like the approach espoused by the speaker to make it more efficient and to rethink how we do it by going from the wireframes to HTML/CSS/JS prototypes (but show them a JPEG version of it first) 🙂
I think that part of the problem is also the emergence of wireframing tools that allow you to make clickable prototypes with actual elements you’d find on an app or website. For example, I’ve used omnigraffle and I was able to re-create an iPhone layout using the exact buttons. I do like the idea of going really basic and using content reference wireframes and sketching. The problem with using actual elements is that it can restrict how you think about the design.
Responsive design and responsive design workflow is some interesting food for thought. The video is at a good pace and the speaker is well spoken, so hope you enjoy it.
I’m out like mobile websites,
I’ve been playing with photoshop the past few days and learning how to use it.
I’ve created the hundred hand slap effect for Street Fighter 2 character, Ehonda. I used the stamp tool to copy the hand and adjusted the opacity level to 38%. Alternatively you can press heavy punch multiple times on the game controller to create the same effect (light or medium punch also works). Original picture below.