How long of have you been doing UX/Product Design?
I’ve been designing since 2002. I spent 15 years in New York across various startups and agencies. I was lucky enough to venture into web and mobile at the early stages with flip phones and landing pages as well as designing for the first iPhone.
Do you code?
Yes, but you wouldn’t want to use my code in production. I’m no programmer. Coding is important for designers for a number of reasons. 1. Building your own website (yes, i coded this site, fancy!). It provides a personal playground for practice. 2. Keeping up with the trends. Understanding what’s possible and capacity it helps with generating ideas and what you propose. 3. Exercising the logical half of my brain 4. Better communication with developers. We speak different languages, it helps when there is common language and understanding. 5. Informed decision making. How long does it take to perform certain requests? Should we use a specific library such as AngularJS or React. Or “should we move front-end coding to the design team?” 6. Prototyping. Whether it’s HTML/CSS or FramerJS with coffeescript. Nothing beats being able to see your ideas on the platform you’re designing for.
Can you tell me about your process?
I enjoy the process in it’s entirety but over past years have been gravitating much more towards the Product/Strategy side. Interpreting analytics, understanding user needs and translating that into high level experiences etc.. That said I still enjoy visual design and micro-interaction when need be.
What it one thing that you believe that friends and colleagues would disagree with on and why?
FB vs. Google, Sketching is the most important tool for any designer, private schools in the US are borderline illegal, Deadwood was a better show than Breaking Bad, Spotify is going to crash hard, Email/Slack/Skype do more harm than good in most start up cultures.... the list goes on. Let’s just go with #1.... Facebook is a better investment than Google (Alphabet) This is a good 3 year old argument but comes down to few observations. 1. Brand loyalty 2. Antiquated Ad model 3. Stock price
What is your favorite app/website and tangible product and why?
App - Dots 1. Fun, never ending, great hook model 2. Great use of animation/illustration/haptics 3. Software - Adobe XD 1. Minimalist interface that grow as the design scales. As opposed to traditional software that is everything up front and you have to figure out which Physical product - Apple Pencil. The iPhone was the first Jetson’s device in my lifetime. The Apple Pencil is the second (this is assuming that you’re reading this before the flying car has been invented), the difference being the potential market is way smaller.
If you woke up in the middle of a desert and were missing your cell phone, how would you find it?
Start small and work your way out. Draw a circle in a one foot radius and search the circle, then a two foot circle, then three etc... You don’t try to do too much at once, learn as you go, see what you could have done differently/better.
What is the most important skill a designer (or any team member)
Sketching - really its communication, But visual communication and the ability to work through ideas. We’re visual people, in a team environment. Being able to get your ideas out and visualize them to someone through pictures is greatly more effective than words. No need to be as talented as Michaelangelo but being able to support your thoughts with pictures is indispensable.
What is your biggest weak point?
The strategy here is to answer with a quality that appears negative that you can spin into a positive. Copywriting. I am no writer. It’s not a lack of reviewing my work but, after I stare at something for too long, it becomes impossible to identify typos.
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be?
1. A lighter, Assuming the island has trees to burn. 2. A fishing pole/net 3. A Boat.