Stressed Interviewer
Stressed Interviewer

Testing potential candidates sounds like one of those fun ideas a designer came up with while slamming work beers. But it isn’t. File it away with other dumb ideas like design policies and working while drunk.

I’ve done a few of these challenges now — I’m going to sound bitter and angry but I always do — and they are a complete waste of time. Interviews aren’t a great way to understand people but that’s a whole another discussion. I’d like to focus on one part of the interview process, and that’s the design test, or challenge, or project, or whatever. They typically go as follows: You’re given a simple project or problem to design for (it’s never simple) and you’re asked to create some basic deliverables such as research, wireframes, or visual designs. You might treat your interviewers as your SMEs or make up the research. The goal is to understand how you work and solve problems. Easy peasy, right? …

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Please consider the following resumes for future employment at your tech company

Brian Shaw

Yale Law School
Juris Doctor

University of Pennsylvania
BS, Computer Science

Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook
2015 — Present

Developed and coordinated administrative policy on cybersecurity technology. We arbitrarily pursued and applied policy goals so as not to disrupt the dominance of our platform. We were well aware that Buddhist extremists were using Facebook to instigate hatred and violence against the Rohingya minority. Myanmar was a success story at Facebook and there is a delicate balance between maintaining success and life. I delicately managed that balance until after a year and 25,000 dead, at which point, we did the least we could possibly do: banned 4 groups. In 2016, oversaw our response to Russia’s attempt in manipulating U.S. elections through advertising, Facebook groups, and bots. …

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Jared Spool, is a professional designer who has made a living designing software and running workshops where he teaches design thinking. I like Jared and he’s a good designer. He is also a designer in the long line of design thought leaders who likes to tell everyone that they’re a designer.

Well, I for one am sick and tired of it. I’ve spent my entire life applying art and design. Thinking about it, practicing it, getting a degree in it and then working at it for over a decade. So have many others like me. I’ve had my soul crushed, buried, resurrected and only to be buried once again in the form of brutal critiques, successes, failures, acceptance and rejection. I like many others have spent countless hours honing a skill and toughening my skin through education and practice. …

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Online dating is by and large a mess. For all intents and purposes, it’s a blind date. Sure you can see what they look like, where they went to school, whether they’re a cat lady or into doggos, and chat beforehand to get a sense of who they are. Which to be fair is not what the chatting is actually about. It’s just the last step in a process of weeding out an undesirable partner.

If you’ve decided to download one of the many apps or try an online dating site then you have a sense of this and understand the concept. If you’re a woman, you’ve probably come across more than your fair share of gentlemen who felt that sending a picture of their genitals is a lovely way to comport oneself in the process of courtship. …

I downloaded the Android 9 update and realized fairly quickly that it kinda sucks. Longtime, loyal Google fans like me might be starting to wonder what the hell is going on? So here’s the thing: we’re mice.

A friend of mine likes to say that Google does not fundamentally understand humans. I’m starting to think he’s right. They’re more like scientists, or 50s era psychologists in white lab coats being paid to run ‘experiments’. And by that I mean torture mice.

It’s safe to say that Google’s corporate motto, ‘Don’t be evil’, is largely bullshit. To me, this decline started around the time when Google decided to kill Reader. I was left confused and annoyed, scrambling to find a decent alternative. (Since then I have, but it’s complicated.) Reader was my primary source of news, and now that distinction belongs to Twitter. Feedly is fine but g’damn that Twitter is like a shot of 4 Loco straight to the veins. Can’t stop, won’t stop. [Leaves blog post to check Twitter] Now that the most powerful man in the world, an overweight racist orangutan, uses it as a source to vent and throw excrement, it’s even more addicting. …

Adobe approaches design the way Stephen Miller approaches D. C. area prostitutes, with insidious rage and murderous intent.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you are a wedding photographer. You make a decent living by hustling the summers and falls. You bust your back during the nicest time of the year and forfeit precious weekends. You deal with a fair share of obstacles like rude clients (bridezilla), mothers of rude clients (bride… motherzilla?), drunk people and annoying children (two sides of the same coin), odd venues, distant locations, and the list goes on. …

Whatever happened to whimsy & delight?

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I walked into an Apple store several weeks ago because I was bored and I’ve been coveting a MacBook Pro for awhile (as my boss damn well knows). I’m not breaking new ground here by saying they make great products. They do. They also don’t get enough credit for pushing for progress within the tech industry. But I digress.

When was the last time you walked into an Apple boutique? Do you remember what it felt like while you were perusing the pristine objects of desire, perched atop ellagant Dutch Essenza tables, in a building made of glass? A space that’s a little too clean? A refrigerator filled with nothing but soylent clean. And what of the instruments laid neatly along those nice tables? …

There is a trend permeating through the user experience design world like a fart permeating through a crowded airplane. The trend known as brutalism is an honest name with a dishonest definition.

Brutalism is described as a design style that strips all elements down to it’s basic core. It’s origins were born in architecture as cement became the material de jour. Imagine the bleak cityscapes that pervade Eastern Europe or the movie and T.V. sets of dystopian futures from science fiction.

In other words it’s ugly and used as a plot device to tell us the future is going to be miserable. It’s like having airport sushi at Dubuque Regional Airport, it’s ugly and your future is going to be miserable. …

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Make it pop? Oh God, make it stop!

Phrases like make it pop, wow factor, have fun with it, and jazz it up sound like nails on a chalkboard to a designer. And if you’re not dead yet, ‘make it sexy’. They are meaningless buzzwords, no different than “synergy,” “diversify” or “innovation” — words that get thrown around so often in business.

“Designers are missionaries for art within the world of business.” — anonymous

While it’s on designers to learn the language of business in order to explain design decisions, giving them more usable feedback will improve communication and result in better refinement. …



just a dude living in boston —

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