Stewart McCoy

Designer.


Why startups should care about App.net


When App.net became a thing last summer, everyone thought it was a Twitter clone. That’s a huge marketing problem because most people in the startup…


Twitter is not for friends

I’ve used Twitter since February 2009, after Jeffrey Zeldman, at the end of his blue book, asked me to follow him. Twitter has given me many gifts, including some pivotal friendships, my first professional design job, and a new city to call home. Over the years the majority of my social connections have come through Twitter. But, over time, I found those…


Using design to unblock stakeholders

As designers we are uniquely positioned to show people the future. We can visualize a website, an app, or a new logo, and define constraints, features, and interactions, whereas others can write bulleted lists and whiteboard diagrams. Where others can react to and debate opinions in the abstract, we can anchor conversations in the reality of what could…


At 30, dealing with my first family death

My maternal grandfather is dying from pancreatic cancer at age 75. He was diagnosed the 3rd week of June. It hasn’t felt real for me and I’ve…


Introducing PushPickup

Better than email for organizing pickup basketball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee


Keeping PMs and designers on the same page


I’ve found that more than anything, “design” is the decisions made in conversations between teammates. To be effective I’ve needed to learn how to stay on the same page as my PM, which means learning how to talk about the project to others in the company. The use of a design brief for each project has become instrumental for me. In effect, it’s…


Asking for product design feedback 

Being more intentional about who to ask, when, and about what, can go a long way in reducing miscommunication in the product dev…


Why startups should care about App.net


When App.net became a thing last summer, everyone thought it was a Twitter clone. That’s a huge marketing problem because most people in the startup…


Let's be friends again


Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

That tagline says a lot about Facebook, especially the “connect” part, because Facebook is all about connections—it's a directory of almost everyone you've met. Who actually has 900 friends? I don't know about you, but I text my mom, brother, girlfriend, and the guys I go…


Thoughts on succeeding at your first UX job


1. Design ahead of the product development curve. An important part of being an excellent designer is thinking about what you can bring to the table before the project kickoff.

2. Seek out people to brainstorm with. Before you ask people to join you, figure out specifically how you want to organize the session—what are the…


UX-driven: Design leadership in an agile enterprise startup


I’m a professional UX designer who has been working full-time in San Francisco for 2.5 years—and I don’t have formal design training. This is relevant to the recent discussion over whether formal design education is necessary for practicing designers. The verdict of the design debate club was ‘yes, it is’—and I agree 100…