Nick Perich

Product Designer Joined over 7 years ago

  • 0 stories
  • Posted to Identity Crisis: Designer Job Titles, in reply to Louis-André Labadie , Nov 02, 2015

    I'm not fond of "experience designer" either, but I think the idea behind the title is obviously that the person is the advocate, within the team, for the user's experience. It's where her attention is directed and the level at which her "success" is based. Everyone on the team contributes to the experience, but their focus and responsibilities will be on other important aspects of the product, from marketing to management to development. To take the biggest example: having an app be fast and responsive is as important to the UX as anything, but the software engineer working on that problem might have a hard time both thinking critically about the holistic experience and solving the bazillion tiny problems and optimizations that constitute achieving the currently set goal (I, at least, am unable to design well and develop well at the same time).

    0 points
  • Posted to Your favorite jean brand? , Oct 16, 2015

    If you like APC New Standard but don't want to pay the price or J Crew slim straight but are annoyed by the increase in cost for what are not at all craft jeans, I'd recommend trying a pair of LL Bean Signature Premium.

    One of these days I want to get a pair of Momotaro!

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What is it like to be a product designer who doesn't program, or a front end developer who doesn't design?, Aug 14, 2015

    I truly can't imagine being a UI dev and not having design skills since even perceiving the subtleties of a quality design for implementation requires a sensitivity most folks don't bother acquiring. Most UI devs I know are actually decent designers, but they lack creative confidence and the designer self-identity.

    And I personally can't imagine working as an app product designer and having no programming skills. Speaking from my own experience, a few years back I couldn't do more than HTML, CSS, and show-a-modal-with-jquery-plugin and in fact I was constrained as an app designer. Even if I could imagine some cool transition, say, I could only actually show some plugin I found or what I spent 3 days tediously hacking together with imperative, fragile jQuery code.

    Interaction design tools are better now, but they're still not as fast and flexible as my current post-Sketch prototyping stack of React, Redux, Firebase, React-Motion, and a custom layout abstraction. And when you don't have the luxury of a team of developers to pass a design off to, using not-quite-production-ready code while prototyping is a huge win.

    (That said, as someone who does both I'm acutely aware of how my designing suffers when I focus on development and how my code suffers when I focus on design. There seems a clear advantage to the pair model of a design and dev specialist collaborating in tandem, but I've never personally worked in that environment.)

    0 points
  • Posted to Say Hello to Designer News 2.0, in reply to Willem Shepherd , Jul 02, 2015

    +1 I like the redesign overall and these are great tweaks! At the very least, the upvote button needs to be moved to the right, since it's not more important to see at a glance than the story title. FWIW I'd personally also shrink the story type icon since it feels to me like it just adds noise. I know getting that right would be tricky though!

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Easiest way to get up and running with modern front-end frameworks?, Feb 23, 2015

    If you're a true javascript beginner, start with jQuery (use Jon Duckett's Javascript and jQuery book). Eventually add Firebase to get a feel for interacting with a backend without wasting time now on the ugly process of starting backend dev. Backend data management has complexities which are very different from those of UI or app development and if you're a designer you'd probably rather not bother.

    When you want to go further, first you have to select a javascript framework.

    I recommend using React or Ember depending on taste. If you have friends or coworkers who use either, go with that one at first---being able to ask questions to live people helps! Just avoid Angular. Seriously. It was designed by and for backend Java devs. I would argue it isn't a good solution for UI engineering in general, but it's certainly not good for a designer starting out with app development. I think Backbone and that generation of frameworks can safely be leaped over if you're starting out now.

    The Ember CLI is supposed to be easy, but I use React. Here's the quickest way to go from 0 to walking on a new Macbook with React.

    Learn the Basics of React

    Go through React tutorials. The one in the official docs is good. You really don't need an environment set up for this. Read a lot to get a vague sense for the lingo and what's going on. Write a lot of code to actually learn it.

    Get Ready For a Dev Environment

    • Install Node.js and Git from the website or using Homebrew.
    • Open the Mac app Terminal (use Finder and type "terminal") and Google for basic usage instructions (first just learn moving between folders with cd ... and listing contents of folders with ls).
    • Install Webpack from Node's package manager by typing npm install webpack -g.
    • Create a new folder for your project and move to it in Terminal.

    Start a React Project

    • Use git to clone a React starter project. Avoid starter projects with lots and lots of features. Even if you end up adding those features later, you won't know what they do at first so they'll just be confusing noise. I recommend React Hot Boilerplate. When in the new folder, type into Terminal: git clone which copies this code to your machine:
    • Type npm install into Terminal to automatically install all the dependencies that are listed in the package.json file you copied in the previous step.
    • Then just type npm start to begin developing! You can see the app by typing localhost:3000 into your browser.

    This project contains "hot loading" which lets you see updates to your app immediately any time you change the code without losing state! Perfect for designers! You will need to read about CommonJS module loading. With Webpack from within javascript you can load images, css files, markdown...whatever! It can also handle SASS compilation if that's your thing.

    Later Steps

    • Add a flux library only once you realize for yourself why something like a flux architecture is needed. And, yes, something like it is needed. I recommend Reflux because it is the simplest to understand and get started with (ignore its huge API...the long documentation is just explaining various ways to do the same things).
    • Look into Digital Ocean for hosting/deployment. Or Heroku, which is less designer friendly but has a free tier which is nice for learning.
    2 points
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