Handlebar Dryers and the UX Iceberg.

Happy Family Day weekend! It’s an amazing 13 degrees and sunny day here in Toronto. Spring in February! I hope this weather lasts, but it won’t. Back to gloomy gray days soon. Article/Blog Post of the Week On Instagram’s Inverted UX Iceberg Ali talks about how the camera icon in the Instagram app – an icon that has been in the same place since 2010 – was changed to a ‘+’ icon, and the consequences of changing this staple icon and functionality. For someone like me who’s only been using Instagram fairly recently (maybe since last year), the change wasn’t too jarring for me – actually, I might have noticed it, went ‘huh..’, and went on. I agree with his points though. The ‘+’ button’s function isn’t immediately obvious – it doesn’t have any adherent affordance when compared to the camera icon. Speaking of affordance.. UX in the Wild I tweeted this the other day: What do you think these handles do? Pulled on them but they didn’t budge. They’re dryers. If you need video instructions, that’s a #UXfail. pic.twitter.com/OQQxMzWKKZ — Rudolf Janns (@rudoyan) February 13, 2017 When I approached this faucet at the airport, I immediately put my hands on the bars and tried pulling. What? They’re dryers? I realized when I read the text instructions in front of me, then noticed there were video instructions. It’s not a big deal. I learned how to use it and get my hands dry right after. But what if I encounter something similar looking in another washroom somewhere, and try to dry my hands on bars that control the water? I’d...

The Late New Year’s Post

More than two weeks into the new year, I bring you the New Year’s post. Happy new year! What’s new? I have my own desk for this month. Woo hoo! I took advantage of a referral deal at my co-working space during Christmas and got a nice discount. I’m not using my external monitors when writing this post (I’m a proponent of distraction-free environments, heh), but they’re a boon when doing design and development! I’ve built up a tiny library of books as well (mostly borrowed). Don’t Make Me Think is pretty much required reading for anyone calling themselves a UX designer, and is light and simple enough to understand for anyone else (i.e stakeholders!). The Design of Everyday Things has me consciously thinking about doors now. It’s a great book but quite dense, so I’m reading it in small chunks. A plus to having my own desk is being able to leave my stuff behind. No more lugging an extra monitor, notebooks, power adapters etc. Happy to say as well, with having a place to store my gym stuff, it’s been easier to achieve my New Year’s Resolution of losing weight ( as of this blog post, I’ve lost at least 4 pounds this month 😉 ). I’m looking for work. After wrapping up a couple of projects before Christmas and doing some maintenance this month, I’m on the hunt for some new gigs. If you’re on this site, I might have linked you to it in a proposal on Upwork or possibly Reddit. Hello! Hopefully I’m selling myself enough here as a dedicated, hardworking professional and you’ll...

The frameworks, oh my.

On the advice of my mentor, I finally dipped into the waters of Javascript frameworks with the delightful Vue.js. This isn’t my first time touching a framework, technically. I poked around with React a little bit when re-designing the UI for a client project, which you can see here. I’ve thought of these frameworks as something too complicated for me for the longest time, but after a couple of hours of being shown the concepts in action, and following along with Laracasts, I’m actually excited to learn more. My mentor’s enthusiasm has to be rubbing off on me for sure. That’s especially why I’m going in clean with Vue instead of React. It’s been written about before and I sometimes hear it at meet ups or see it on /r/webdev, but a lot of developers feel overwhelmed these days by the amount of things they seemingly have to learn. I’m one of those developers. The advice I see/hear a lot is to pick and choose what you’re comfortable with and just roll with it. During our session the other week, I showed him this mind map made (say that really fast 3 times) by the Youtube channel LearnCode.academy. It goes over the different things you have to know as a developer in 2016 (front-end and back-end.. full stack, then?).   Crazy huh? Going over everything, what interested me most was progressing over the orange line as a front-end developer. The stuff on the green line, for back-end? I know a couple of things in there. Even after a lot of it was explained to me, nothing really fired me up. Thinking...

Let’s Start Writing

I read an excellent post this morning on the Invision blog, titled “Write or Fade Away as a Designer”. It struck a cord with me, because I don’t consider myself either a designer or a writer, yet I find myself doing those things quite a bit. I find them enjoyable, albeit frustrating because I feel like I suck at them. Nonetheless, from that post this particular quote stood out: “To be honest, I made every excuse in the book to not write for years. I kept telling myself I wasn’t a writer, so I had no business writing,” Jarvis said. “Then I realized that was a total BS excuse. All it takes to be a writer is to start writing. That’s it. So that’s what I did—starting my first book and a regular writing practice for articles. It snowballed from there, and now I spend as much or more time writing as I do designing.” – Paul Jarvis I’m not a writer, so I have no business writing. Exactly, right? But let’s try this. Here I am now, WordPress post editor open, writing a blog post – and I haven’t even finished reading the original post. Jumping the gun, maybe? But hey, let me just dump a couple of thoughts while I’m here. On reddit’s /r/freelance, I’ve noticed a lot of freelancers do copywriting for websites. This is purely anecdotal, but it feels like an even split between writers and web developers on there. What about me? Am I a web developer? I think so. I mean, I have the basic skills to consider myself one, have been calling myself one, have...