Thursday, February 9, 2017
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
The tools we use to help define UI experiences is constantly changing. The fact is that Photoshop and Illustrator are no longer the preferred tools in an XD designers tool kit. We have transitioned to more flexible and robust applications that allow both low fidelity sketch like concepts to Pixel perfect high fidelity visual designs. Sketch does a really good job at providing both of these levels as well as the in between. In combination with Zeplin and Invision these three applications provide a pretty solid output for creating great experiences for both desktop and mobile applications. Zeplin has been a great tool to lessen the burden on our visual designers for creating redlines to our developers. It has some really neat features that would take weeks for to pull together in a style guide around spacing, colors, fonts etc. They are even experimenting with providing HTML and CSS outputs from the designs.
When creating wireframes I tend to use both interactions that provide some level of prototyping and annotations that help provide specifications not easily seen through an interaction. For the last couple of years I have been using Axure RP as my workhorse application. I could easily create and update flow diagrams, taxonomies, site maps. It provides amazing prototyping with annotations, show / hide, modal windows, and even complex interactions such as rotators. Axure also provides an easy way for me to share my designs with my clients through an online web viewer.
I have experimented with a few other tools such as Adobe XD, however I still think they have a ways to go with making this a single use tool that provides all the features that I need.
I do see a benefit for all designers to be working on the same tool to easily transition from wireframes to visual comps without too much of a complete rework. However, I would be interested to learn more about how your teams work together and the tools that you use?
Monday, February 6, 2017
As time goes on we learn, grow and explore in new areas that make us happy and inspired. I am very lucky to have found that path. Since 2003 I focused on providing great experiences to my clients around a specific tool known as Microsoft SharePoint. I was so invested in this tool that I even wrote a book on how to stretch the limits on customizing it. Over the last couple of years SharePoint has changed to be more stand alone through Office 365.
Within the last few years I have had the pleasure to not only wok for the best company Slalom Consulting but also work for some really amazing clients! My most recent projects have been outside of the world of SharePoint and in all honesty I could not be happier. It is sad to see it go but I think it is time to pass the torch to other great and amazing bloggers that will keep posting technical posts on how to configure and explore new ways of making SharePoint do what they need to present the right information to users at the right time.
My plan is to transition this blog from a technical reference point around a specific technology to a more organic discussion around User Experience Design, Research, and Information Architecture topics. In all honesty this is really what I have been doing for the last 15 years of my career anyways. I am not going to remove or delete any previous post since some of them still can provide value to others that still support SharePoint both in the cloud on Prem.
I have some great UX topics in mind that I think all will gather some insights from. Thanks to all that have supported me over the years and I hope to inspire many others in the future to think outside of the box and create amazing experiences that matter!
Principal Experience Designer