Your Work is Starstuff(

5 years ago from Joel Califa, Senior Product Designer at GitHub

  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 5 years ago

    Hey everyone, trying to write a bit more this year :)

    I hope this is meaningful to some of you!

    8 points
    • Pablo StanleyPablo Stanley, 5 years ago

      Thanks for putting so much thought into your writing, Joel. I especially liked where you talk about design as a team sport—welcoming old ideas, embracing the work from your partners (I want to steal your PM's idea of the timeline.) And I loved your reference to Carl Sagan.

      Don't stop writing.

      11 points
    • Giovanni HobbinsGiovanni Hobbins, 5 years ago

      Loved this one like the earlier ones too. There's a lack of content around team dynamics, getting buy-in, and driving change as a team (not as an individual). This one really hit home.

      0 points
    • Oskar LevinsonOskar Levinson, 5 years ago

      Great write-up Joel!

      I recently joined a company that practices Scrum and agile development, and it has changed how I look at software design/development. I almost exclusively work on features in parallel with our developers, and they all go live. We work in tiny increments, which means we will release each of those increments and see what happens. Did it have the effect we'd hoped? If not, we evaluate why and either kill the feature or make it better. If yes, we keep improving on this feature until it is no longer worth the effort. This means that we never have months of work that goes untested on the assumption that it will solve the problem we have.

      I'm thinking about writing a piece on working in a cross-functional agile team as a designer, I think a lot of us are still struggling with the waterfall methods that burden our industry.

      0 points
      • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 5 years ago

        Unfortunately agile design/development is harder to do than most project managers realize. In my experience it often turns into a bunch of small waterfalls rather than designers and developers truly working in parallel. How does your company avoid that pitfall?

        Also to what level of detail do you spec out a feature before designing/developing it? I found we were over-speccing features and project managers were expecting designs to be pixel-perfect reflections of that spec to be handed to developers, rather than an evolving document.

        2 points
      • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 5 years ago

        You should definitely write that!

        For what it's worth, when you're working on bigger leaps, it's not always straightforward to break them into small, shippable (and testable) chunks.

        That said, it's definitely better to validate things early on, and not having done that on this specific project was a failure that we've learned from :)

        0 points
    • Gonçalo MoraisGonçalo Morais, 5 years ago

      This is a great read, thank you for this perspective!

      0 points
    • Joshua Dance, 5 years ago

      Would love a bit more info about how you document everything on Github. I would love to go back into a timeline of an idea and how it was discussed etc.

      0 points
      • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 5 years ago

        I'll dive into it at some point :) Sign up for the newsletter if you haven't already. I'm planning on sending stuff out that wouldn't work as a full essay.

        0 points