Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be […] and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.
and we are better for it.
My first big project, a whole app redesign (version 3.0), was just released to the app store this morning. I want to vomit. I’m seriously so scared that people will hate it, but we’ve come a long way… This is what I’ve been working so late for; this is why I’ve been working so hard. I hope people find it to be less frustrating and easier to use. But isn’t that what all designers hope for?
I compiled a little comparison so you at least have some context of where I started. I joined the mobile team/project mid-2011 and slowly patched a few things into the existing app, mostly on the owners’ side of things. Come late 2012, I finally get the opportunity to rebuild it from the ground up. Can you imagine how heavy that responsibility feels?! I mean, I was excited but now I’m just shaky and nervous. I can’t believe we started and shipped it in only six months. I knocked out the UX & visual design in the first two.
What if I overlooked obviously major things?
What if things just don’t connect like the majority of people expect?
What if I left something out?
What if it’s just not what people wanted?
What if it’s just a complete failure and everyone hates it?!
We did usability tests, but my nerves are still on edge. This is real…it’s out there now and there’s no turning back. If I’m lucky, thousands of people will use it. If I’m lucky, a large percentage of those thousands won’t hate me. I have to start from somewhere, right? I’m ready to learn from my mistakes. Bring it (I’ll still be crying in a corner).
I’ve never actually seen how a Japanese company goes through the process of designing or creating a product. This is Google discussing the Godan keyboard for Android. I can’t understand most of what they’re saying, but I will be able to, one day soon…hopefully. =_=
safety on the roads
I’m not one for statistics, but it’s pretty scary to know that the amount of traffic fatalities has more than doubled in the last two years in Austin. Now you can see why I have stopped riding my bike on the road; I’ve stopped riding my scooter (after getting hit from behind, who can blame me?); and after FOUR PROUD YEARS of not owning a car, I now drive one every day. Even driving a car terrifies me! Why? Because I don’t want to fucking die on the road. It’s not that simple or easy to give up those things. These are things I love doing. These are things HUNDREDS of people LOVE TO DO. Why should we have to fear for our lives because of others’ inability to realize that they can seriously harm someone with their dangerously large and heavy machine they take for granted? Closed doors, closed windows, music blaring, multi-tasking—sure, nothing else is happening outside of your vehicle—not a damn thing, especially not the fact that YOU COULD KILL SOMEONE because you’re driving like an asshole.
And as far as cycling is concerned, two accidents come to mind immediately. And in both cases, the DRIVER DID NOT STOP TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what they had done. Did you read that correctly? Read it again.
One was just down the street from my old apartment. My downstairs neighbor hit someone on his way home…to our shared apartment building. I couldn’t believe it. It seriously could have been me that was hit. I’m glad to know that Brian Lindquist survived, but unfortunately he had part of his brain removed and had to re-learn how to walk…
And, of course, Andrew Runciman. I didn’t know him personally, but I seriously wish I had the opportunity to have met him. I recently visited his ghost bike with one of his closest friends, Rick, who helps care for his memorial. When you’re driving down Lamar, look for it across the street from Torchy’s and Kerbey Lane, just in front of Red’s Porch. Visit it, learn about him, and understand that when you see a ghost bike on the side of the road, it’s not simply a white bike. It’s the memory of someone who was taken from us. Please take the time to read this recent article, which initiated this post.
Poppy Power Protein Pancakes!
I really wanted lemon poppy seed pancakes this morning but I didn’t want the typical heaviness of sugar-saturated, drowning-in-butter-and-syrup, over-processed flour. I combined one of my favorite recipes with a new one I found that has an extra benefit of protein and using “cleaner” ingredients.
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ cup steel-cut oats ground into a flour
- 1 lemon’s worth of zest
- 2 Tbs poppy seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbs coconut milk
Mix up dry ingredients first, then add the wet stuff. Pour onto a hot griddle and cook them like you typically would a normal pancake.
Serve with fresh fruit! I suggest strawberries and banana slices.
I cooked them in a nonstick pan with a barely mentionable amount of coconut oil. I’m not even sure I needed it at all. The original recipe suggested using a spritz of nonstick spray. I do have a Misto with olive oil but coconut sounded like a much better flavor for this.
I used a clean coffee grinder to grind down the oats into a flour consistency. I might even try grinding up almonds or using coconut flour instead for the next round.
For a little bit of added sweetness and flavor, I used a vanilla-flavored yogurt.
I used Whole Foods’s brand “365 Everyday Value” whey protein powder. I was thinking about checking out Sprouts’s bulk bin protein powders or Trader Joe’s brand next time I go grocery shopping. Does anyone have any thoughts on these?
Poppy seeds, even in small amounts, are a good source of protein, dietary fiber and minerals. (livestrong.org)
Note: The top-left photo is not a representation of the amount of ingredients used, only the type of ingredients, which happens to be all of them except the coconut milk. The photos were taken with my iPhone and edited with Afterlight and PictureFrames.
Just because you met the requirements doesn’t mean you achieved the goal.
Fitting Big-Picture UX into Agile Development by Smashing Magazine
“Why bother adding a design owner? In mature organizations with multiple product offerings that share a unified visual, interactive or brand language, design owner may be responsible for consistency issues that etend beyond a given project. Design decisions and product decisions might be at odds, and making transparent the process of these two constituents discussing and exposing the acceptability of solutions is key to the transparency of the design sprint.”
“design prioritization is a different beast than product prioritization.”
“The goal of each [design] spike is not to produce potentially releasable code, but rather to provide actionable design decisions in the form of wireframes, mockups, prototypes or research.”
“The development team still functions as an autonomous decision-making unit. They simply now have the benefit of a holistically designed foundation on which to build.”
Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell
“The biggest value is really in the conversations rather than the actual numbers. […] The feedback loop is our friend.”
Liberation is not an end. Liberation is from moment to moment in the understanding of what is—when the mind is free, not made free. It is only a free mind that can discover, not a mind molded by a belief or shaped according to a hypothesis. Such a mind cannot discover. There can be no freedom if there is conflict, for conflict is the fixing of the self in relationship.
Sibylle was one of those professors who didn’t take well to slackers. She didn’t speak much either, which forced me to really pay close attention to her visible reaction and hope I read it correctly. These quirks of hers motivated me to work my hardest in her class in an attempt to get a strong reaction (either good or bad) out of her, otherwise I wouldn’t receive much direction.
Surprisingly, when I graduated, she approached me with a hug! With that gesture alone I would have been remarkably thrilled. But she also went on to tell me (I really wish I could have recorded this so I could remember it clearly for all time) that she thought I had good work—and dare I say, talent—and if I continued to work hard I could do whatever I wanted. WHAT?! REALLY?! I wanted to cry. I probably did cry. I wanted to hang on to every last well-spaced and composed letter of each word that came out of her mouth at that moment.
As a natural pessimist about my own abilities, I try to remember and collect moments like these to keep me motivated. I wouldn’t be anywhere in my life without the help of people like Sibylle, who take the time to see me and reflect it back so I can see it within myself as well.
Thank you, Sibylle.