07/26/2019 - No Comments!

Reading, 2018

2018 was a bit of an oddball year with regards to my reading. I managed to read 35 books in total, 9 of which I scored 3/3 on my personal rating system (ie. gut feeling).

My favorite books of the year included Bear Town by Fredrik Backman, The Martian by Andy Weir and Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. Outside of my usual smattering of novels, I dove deep into a few famous fantasy series including Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I'm excited to jump into some more serious fantasy series in 2019.

Finally, I read a few very random wilderness and survival type books which I found really interesting, bringing me back to my days of childhood Boy Scouting.

As usual, I've again designed simplified book titles for each of the 35 read on my reading page.

Have a look at what I read in 2018 here.

10/31/2018 - No Comments!

Dribbble Dashbbboards

Last week, I led a local workshop on designing effective software dashboards with about twenty Sacramento designers. Together, we delved into what users expectations are, how to display information instead of data by using contextual cues and other UI design tips that make dashboards effective. Here's what we discussed about the current state of dashboard design inspiration and how to blend beautiful aesthetics with useful functionality.

Dashboard design is an incredibly common problem for today's digital designer. They're found in most, if not all, software products and offer key insights for the user. Acting as a starting off point, a product's dashboard is responsible for empowering the user to make key decisions and effectively understand what's going on right now.

Read more

07/25/2018 - No Comments!

Designing an Effective UI/UX Resume

Insights from the other side

Hiring UI/UX designers is difficult. Finding the right position as a UI/UX designer is also hard. While reviewing a few hundred applicant resumes for an in-house, mid-level UI/UX position, I gained some interesting insight into the design of an effective resume.

I hope that these tips and best practices will help you to stand out as a designer and avoid many costly errors in telling your professional story to your next potential employer.

Read more

05/09/2018 - No Comments!

Navigation Best Practices — Web App Design 101

Successful navigation orients users and empowers them to move efficiently.

Part One covered Layout Best Practices. Now let’s get into some tips on how to design navigation structures which are both intuitive and predictable, making them more user-friendly.

The purpose of a product’s navigation is two-fold.

  1. Help your user easily get to where they need to be.
  2. Provide visual cues as orientation for where they are now.

The ultimate goal of a navigational structure is for new and returning users to be able to figure out how to get around a digital product easily and efficiently.

Read more

01/18/2018 - No Comments!

Reading, 2017

For 2017, I made the lofty goal to read 30 books! I nearly made that number, coming in with 26. This year I've decided to go for it again, I will make it this time! I've been really enjoying SciFi books like Dune and Ender's Game – with Ready Player One being my favorite of the year.

Similar to last year – I've again designed simplified book titles here, click a cover to view it in more detail on Amazon or another sales website (not affiliate links).

Here's what I read in 2017.

09/29/2017 - No Comments!

Web App Design 101 — Layout Essentials

I’ve been completely focused on designing complex web applications and dashboards for years now and I’m realizing there isn’t much education in this niche. I’m hoping to share some of the essential web application design tips, tricks and design theories with this new series–Web App Design 101.

Hit the comments if there’s anything specifically you’d like me to write about.

Read more

06/02/2017 - No Comments!

Sketch Power User – New Course on Designers.How

Becoming a power user in Sketch is all about knowing the tiny ins and outs of the interface. Recently, I collaborated with the great team over at Designers.How to craft a 5 lesson course all about this subject. In this course, you'll become a better designer through deep knowledge of your tool, shaving seconds and reducing strain from repeated actions. I've gathered up a huge volume of those little tidbits and secrets and bundled them into this jam-packed course!

The first episode is FREE, you'll need to become a member of their incredible community to get into the rest.

Check it out

Read more

03/23/2017 - No Comments!

A Brief Information Architecture Primer

A Brief Information Architecture Primer

Recently, I co-delivered a webinar detailing the basics of information architecture, specific to the design of human machine interfaces (HMIs). We discussed the basics of Information Architecture (IA) and the benefits made possible when you add or invest in an information architecture stage for your product/project. The primary benefits being 1) Meaningful content organization and 2) Intuitive layout organization. I’ll be writing in detail about each of these subjects shortly, but for now let’s focus on IA itself.

This is a quick primer on the subject and the concepts involved – I’ve worked to distill down a ton of information into simple, actionable concepts for you. If you’re interested in more depth–grab a book–but for now, lets get started!

Read more

03/22/2017 - No Comments!

Design for Style Guides

How to craft and document modern component libraries

A primary point of contention in the product design to development workflow comes at the point of hand-off. As a project deadline looms, designers are typically scrambling to write specifications and export the necessary graphics to ensure the intended pixel designs are fully realized in the browser. This stage of a project is fairly fragmented industry-wide with each team doing their own thing with their own tooling. It’s a difficult stage that is regularly underestimated in terms of the time needed for proper completion.

In my experience as a product designer, front-end style guides are the missing deliverable at this stage of a product’s development. When supporting teams of developers, a style guide as design documentation is invaluable in contributing to a project’s long-term success.

When supporting teams of developers, a style guide as design documentation is invaluable in contributing to a project’s long-term success.

That said, I’d like to outline my approach to designing component-based systems with style guides in mind. Each project and the folks involved are unique, so be sure to bend and mold this process to your own situation. Design documentation doesn’t need to be perfect or even beautiful. It’s sole purpose functional, to ease the transition from designers to developers.

Read more

03/22/2017 - No Comments!

Using Social Proof in User OnBoarding

Boosting conversion rates while improving the user’s experience.

During a recent project’s research phase, I spent some time exploring the use of social proof as it relates to product design. After studying the subject and using it as a tool to effectively boost conversion rates in this recent project, I’d love to share what I learned through this article. When used correctly, I’ve seen first-hand how social proof can be leveraged as a powerful tool in the hands of a product designer.

So, what is social proof?

Read more