2020 was a year to remember, but also one to forget. From COVID disrupting all kinds of plans, forcing many of us to reinvent our daily lives at home, 2020 was a year of transformation.
Going into 2020, I had never heard of “product design”. Never heard of Sketch, Figma, XD or anything similar and only vaguely understood what UX was. It’s crazy to think that within a year I’ve accepted a dream role as a product designer at CBS, specifically CBS Sports.
For the scope of this review, I’m breaking it into themes that categorized my year in 2020, and the themes that I hope to guide my 2021. It’ll cover the good, the bad, the journey, and the foundation I’m trying to build to start my design career. I’m writing this for myself to be able to look back and reflect on this insane year and the good and bad things that came with it — let’s dive in. …
The onboarding sequence has defaulted to become the go-to spot for Dribbble designers to flex their UI muscles. And usually, that happens with an utter disregard for the effects that the five-ish screens that sit pre-launch can have on a product.
Onboarding isn’t something that should be left in the dust. It’s no secret that effective onboarding can drive growth and retention, even Facebook attributes it to be a major factor in their rise to 1 Billion users. But, Facebook’s success is just the tip of the iceberg.
Major consumer apps all utilize a blend of experience, information, and conversion tactics that set users up for long-term product success. …
As I said, Tangerine is a habit app. But what makes it different?
Tangerine takes pride in being simple above all else. Their app is designed to do two main things:
By focusing on these two experiences, Tangerine can easily provide a seamless journey from habit creation, to completion. But also including a space for reflection. SO, let’s dive in.
First things first, onboarding. Simple, clean illustrations, concise descriptions, and a relaxed font.
Tangerine does a great job of setting the tone. Managing habits shouldn’t be high-pressure and this app reminds you of that. …
So unless you’ve been living under a rock the past month, you’ve most definitely heard of Hey. They don’t need much of an intro, but the team at Basecamp has put a lot of time and effort into their visionary new email client. If it is anything like Basecamp, there’s no doubt it will find success.
Hey is built on the idea that current email solutions don’t solve basic problems. DHH and Jason want Hey to change that. They’ve added innovative features never before seen in email, far too many to touch on in this thread.
As always, I need to start with onboarding. The HEY onboarding pre-sign up is nothing special, it’s simple and gets the job done. Where it shines is within the app. Users are taken through guided onboarding for your first few emails, with extensive help on setting everything up to use. …
So first, what is Zenly? Essentially, it’s a better way to keep track of your friends & family. You can view location, send messages, and a ton of other cool things. The team at Zenly went above & beyond with their added features, so let’s take a look.
View the live site here!
Wedge is a SaaS startup in the HR Tech space and recently just completed its latest investment round. With that said, Wedge is focused on two things, growth and customer retention.
While that is where the company is focusing its effort, their previous digital experience told a different story.
As the sole designer on the Wedge team, I led the efforts across various product design roles, this spring my pitch to redesign the previous website was finally accepted.
My Role: UX Research, UX Design, Web design, User testing
My Team: Trevor Ploucha, Rob Kish, Patrick McCarren — copywriting, strategy, and development. …
Have you ever struggled to find new music to add to a playlist — or struggled to create a new playlist at all?
Enter Otterr… a playlist generator designed to make finding new music, creating new playlists, and keeping up with your friends — all a breeze.
Otterr was originally a student project. Given to me with a few simple, but challenging tasks:
With the tasks in place, the constraints were…
If you’re in UX or want to be, you’re familiar with the concept of affinity maps. But far too often, people care about color-coding their sticky notes & making them look nice for a portfolio.
This needs to change.
Here is the idea behind affinity maps:
Generate snippets of data, put them on sticky notes, organize them by topic, and create big picture findings.
While that may sound easy, a lot gets lost in the process.
If you’re looking for an article on what an affinity map is, try these:
When you think user experience or UX, you think about the web. Whether it’s mobile, desktop, or tablet, the web is considered as being the house of all great UX.
But we’re wrong. And in my opinion, the best user experience is, wait for it…
…in the car.
What? The car? I know what you’re thinking, “My car’s dashboard is terrible, the interface experience is outdated!” And you’re right. But I’m getting more specific.
Enter Apple CarPlay. (Sorry, Android users)
Before we get into CarPlay, let’s talk about the problem it solves.
Car dashboards & interfaces are beyond outdated. They are brutal. Navigating the radio, personal media, & navigation is confusing. You don’t know whether to use the buttons on the screen, or the physical buttons right below it. …
When launching a new product or drafting up your strategy, it’s easy to try & appeal to everyone. But, in 99% of cases, appealing to everyone doesn’t work.
Heck, even Apple doesn’t market to everyone.
The biggest brands in the world are actually niched down. Think of Nike, Starbucks, or Whole Foods. These brands have specific markets they are target hard.
Facebook, college students at select universities.
All three of these brands could use their high price point as a strategy, but instead, they all go a step further. …