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When I first joined TableCheck and we discussed having a new design system, I was excited — but also worried. I’ve worked on a number of these types of projects before so I knew how impactful they can be when they succeed. I also knew how difficult they can be to get right and to sustain.

A design system is a long term investment. They’re not something you build overnight, or are ever “done” with. They need to be living things that continue to grow and adapt to meet the needs of your team and product. …


I love side projects. They’re often the first place I get to experiment with new ideas, flex different creative muscles, as well as tinker with new tools and technologies. They also provide another avenue for professional growth, while providing a sometimes much-needed break from other full-time projects.

My most recent focus has been on a mobile app called Suikakeibo, a companion app for anyone who uses one of Japan’s many many IC Cards.

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A Bit of Context


Lessons learned from my time at IBM.

When I joined IBM in 2015, one of the things that excited me the most was the opportunity to see design work done at scale. The challenge to tackle complex problems in interesting domains, where the solutions we ship have the ability to impact the lives of thousands of people around the world.

While large corporations have had in-house designers and design teams for decades, “Enterprise UX” has only been established as a unique discipline onto itself in more recent years. This renaissance has come about as larger companies come to realize what Thomas J. Watson Jr. …


My design director messaged me about a year ago. “There’s a new squad being put together. Sort of a side project for now but it could turn into something big. The goal is to give data scientists a home within Cognos. They’re looking for a designer to help drive the user experience. Are you interested?”

Sign. Me. Up.

This case study covers the business case, our initial research, and how we used design thinking to kickstart the project.

The Business Goal

As companies continue to collect more and more information about us and the world at large, the demand for professionals who can effectively work with large amounts of complex data also continues to increase. In just the past 4 years, the number of searches and interest around the term Data Science on Google has increased over 300%. …


Taking a complex task and making it simple

Project brief

This is a quick look at one of the more significant projects I tackled as part of my work on IBM Cognos Analytics. Aimed primarily at enterprise clients, Cognos is a data analytics, reporting and visualization tool. We help enterprise clients working with large amounts of data from disparate sources, to help them gain business insights and manage their operations. Here’s a quick promo showing some of the this in action.

The first task performed in any data analytics tool is… well… uploading data. …


Project Brief

The work was for a product called Watson Analytics for Social Media (WASM). Like it says on the tin, WASM is a product tailored specifically for social media analysis — pulling in social media content from a number of sources, and surfacing insights around everything from trending topics, to sentiment analysis, key influencers, audience demographics etc etc… figures such as sales data can show how a product may be doing in a certain market over a period of time. Social media data can help give further context to that business data, enabling users to (hopefully) make more informed decisions.

Watson Analytics for Social Media has a number of custom visualizations tailored to surface specific insights and patterns. We’ll be looking at how our team redesigned one of these visualizations. …


Any UI Design System is built on the three main pillars of Colours, Scales (Size and Spacing), and Typography.

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Project Brief

Query was a product aimed at the construction industry. Our goal was to provide a software solution that changed how architects, structural engineers, inspectors and other industry professionals certified projects and used regulations.

While our product never ended up seeing a commercial release, we eventually decided to release what we had built for free.

My role

Primary Responsibilities

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My primary focus was app design and research. This included everything from running design exercises with the team, iterating on our UI as we went from wireframes to hi-fidelity mockups as well as doing research and testing our work with users. …


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So late last year I decided to undertake an arduous task most designers are always telling themselves “they’ll do tomorrow” – update my portfolio. And not just update but a total, honest to goodness, from the ground up redesign.

After doing a bit of house keeping, defining some of the key personas that my site was going to target, writing some content, outlining what key metrics for success would be and how I could measure them… etc etc… I got to the part where it was time to put pixels to screens and start redesigning the UI. And while I was at it, I figured hey — why not try something new? Over the past couple of months I kept coming across article such as this. And this. Which talk about the idea of “designing in code”. …


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This reflection of sorts started after I first came across the Fast Company article “5 Design Jobs That Won’t Exist in The Future” last year. (Yes… the one from last year… I come from the Neal Stephenson / George R. R Martin school of writing schedules…) Anyway, the article posed and then attempted to answer an interesting question:

How will the design industry as a whole change over the next decade?

The article outlines a number of design related roles supposedly on track for extinction, followed by a list of positions that are to take our not-so-little-industry by storm. …

About

Lehel Babos

Tokyo based Product Designer and Frontend Dev. Part time whiskey snob, full time geek. Hopefully leaving the web a little nicer than I found it.

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