Tag Archives: ux

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Don’t Reinvent the Wheel.

I was cleaning out old boxes at home and saw my notes from when I just graduated from college and began preparing for my job search. Seeing them reminded me of how I went through countless iterations of résumé layout designs. Since many of my school assignments were to redesign logos, websites, and other works, I naturally thought I needed to do the same with résumés. I know now that it was excessive; of all the places I should exhibit my design sensibilities and talent, the résumé was hardly the first.

With the portfolio, however, I had more freedom to express myself, though that may be a challenge as well. Ever since I was young, I learned to code web pages from scratch. Using the same approach, I tried to build my web site and portfolio by hand-coding everything so I could also display my skills outside of visual design. I created many custom one-off functions and scripts even though there were better versions out there. In the end, I realized that the necessary code was more complex than I could handle, so I had to leverage the existing web-building platforms out there to take care of the back-end and allow myself to focus on the visual portion of the site.

Now with a few years into my career, I’ve learned that the best solutions to tasks like these should have a balance between being effective and being efficient. As a UX designer in a gaming company, I always try to approach problems by critically looking at the fundamental issue and work my way up to a low-cost, high-reward solution. Sometimes, that may be seem excessive for the more minor problems, where the best solution may just be the obvious one. But this approach more accurately determines whether I need to come up with an innovative solution, or if I could use existing, proven work and save time from reinventing the wheel.

See

11, 18, 25.

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15 11 15 21 8 13 23 12 1 8 18 19 4 13 3 14 23 26 26 11 8 19

  1. I’ve always loved num_ers.
  2. They _onsistently make the most sense to me and bring order to my life.
  3. I love how such a simple concept creates so many _ifferent properties (Primes, Pythagorean, Pascal, just to name a basic few).
  4. Numbers equ_lizes _nd democr_tizes society.
  5. The more one understands powers, the more power and opportunities they get in li_e.
  6. Numbers connect with nature and science, like chemistry and physics, a_ain, to name the very basic few.
  7. It’s practically a universal language, as in a language of t_e universe!
  8. So is g_om_try, which is pack_d with numb_rs and probably how I got int_r_st_d in graphic d_sign.
  9. I’m a _unkie of numbers, and I’ve got time, quantities, rankings, lists, etc. on my mind.
  10. I group life’s moments in bus arrival estimates, the lunch hour, tabatas, wee_ends, seasons, birthdays, Olympics, anniversaries, etc.
  11. I design with screen reso_utions, tab_e ce__s, pixe_s, dynamic spacing, etc.
  12. I _onitor weights, sets, reps, percentages, and averages, etc.
  13. I ask i_ my head, “How old will I be/was I whe_ they’re my age?” a_d “How old do I _eed to be to be twice, or thrice, or half, or a third of their age?
  14. I com_are gains and losses against inflation and tax rates.
  15. _t’s an As_an stereotype that _ fully l_ve up to.
  16. Similarly, I l_ve puzzles.
  17. They work my brain and make me feel _uite smart.
  18. I enjoy the jou_ney f_om total myste_y to “It all makes sense!”
  19. Puzzle_ are ju_t a form of problem-_olving.
  20. Being a UI/UX designer is an excellen_ example of _ha_.
  21. And life is all about problem-sol_ing.
  22. I naturally try to solve life’s problems _ith numbers as much as I can.
  23. I often s_spect that I might be a robot.
  24. At the same time, I know that some things e_ceeds what math and formulas are capable of.
  25. And _et I still tr_.
  26. I just have to find the balance between numbers and pu__les.

See

11, 14, 15.

Muni App Goals

Currently:

  • Plenty of apps that tells you when the next bus is arriving for a certain route and stop, and sometimes tells you how long it takes to get to your destination
  • Doesn’t include trips that requires transfers
  • Hard to tell where the bus is exactly and if there will be a delay
  • Existing apps tells you what “should” happen (how many minutes will the bus arrive, etc.)

Potential Implementations

  • Include a function that lets you create “trips” which include multi-vehicle transfers
    • You can create your trips by entering addresses (and from your Contacts), tapping on a map (a la Maps App), or by bus lines
    • Include recommendations for a route based on traffic conditions at the time.
  • Include information that tells you whether the bus is probably late
  • Include information that tells you if this bus route is usually late on this day of the week at this time
  • Include traffic accident information, include street closures for special events
  • Include links to any info that has not been integrated to the app yet
  • Include a crowd-sourcing feature that gathers real-time comments from riders commenting on any line (e.g. tweets complaining that a bus is late or explaining why it’s late)
  • Include a map of all the buses running or the lines you selected.
  • Include suggestions for places to go via public transportation

Goal of the App:

To improve upon existing apps by providing a more pain-free and a more fun user experience for getting the user from point A to point B.

These two features aim to achieve that goal:

  1. Provide an easy way to find the best route to get to a destination based on real time conditions, using as many vehicles as it takes.
  2. Provide information that suggests the punctuality of each bus/vehicle

Nice to haves (V2+):

  1. Crowdsourcing real time comments via tweets, other social media, or within the app’s data network
  2. Suggests places/landmark to go via public transportation

Flush.

What Am I Doing? (September 2009)

Contract/Freelance

Near the end of August, one of my good designer friends from college contacted me about a contract job in the Visual/Signage Team at her workplace at a Pottery Barn corporate office. Not only was it great to see her again, but it was also refreshing to be in a working environment that is different from the one that I have been in.

Without getting too much into the details, I’ll just say that the job is to put together a seasonal guide book for internal use, and it allows the opportunity for me to be asked back and work for future seasons. They also had a bunch of little tasks that need an extra hand with, so I helped the team out with those, too.

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