2 min read

Life on the Design Gang

The Verge article on the elusive Google Design team is perhaps one of the most interesting I’ve read this month. The team small like the famed design team in Apple, but with no obvious Ive-like figure.

In fact, the way Google tries to keep the design team under the radar reminds me of the BBCs famed radiophonic studio. (If you don’t know the relevant story with that, the woman who painstakingly created the now-famous Doctor Who theme tune by hand cutting strips of tape together was denied credit—and royalties—as the Beeb preferred to keep the studio credited as a group only).

On a technical note, with the attention being given to responsive rather than Photoshop, this is an interesting review of a vector (and yes, cheaper) alternative to Photoshop. A lot of commenters do point out that if only Adobe had paid more attention to Fireworks when they acquired Macromedia, these conversations might not be happening!

Want to get hired? Cap Watkins, the design lead at Etsy leans in with his comments. Don’t just have a Dribbble profile (though I’d say well done you for getting one, they’re still pretty hard to get), but a website that you actually did a little bit of designing or coding with. Make it clear which bits you did—and didn’t do—on that work, and for god’s sake, check and reply to your email.

On a similar vein, if you want to be a good designer, Greg Hoy says that doing good work isn’t enough. No, you need to be punctual, humble, direct in taking on problems, and in control of your work and life. (This reminds me of the discussion that unlike Steve Jobs, not all of use can be assholes as leaders).

Doing a design review for some design critique? Adam Connor points out that it’s likely that the odds aren’t stacked in your favour, thanks to reviews really being for approval rather than comments, time constraints, and enough people in the room to turn a horse into a camel. He advises designers to take control and be prepared to do a lot of facilitation and interpretation.

Happy about Ive taking the software reins in Apple? As Kontra points out, not so fast. As annoying as the leather Contacts app is, there are far more serious UX and UI problems in the OSX and iOS interface (he’s right that both iWork needs some attention paid to it and Preview needs an entire overhaul).

And one of those ‘get developers and designers on the same team‘ posts.

Speaking of which:  two favourite tumblrs of the moment (posted with no comment, but about developers and creatives respectively): http://devopsreactions.tumblr.com/ and www.thecreativeconfessional.com