Zane Riley

San Francisco, Ca UX @ Google – Joined over 8 years ago

  • 0 stories
  • Posted to UX Designers - How do you Spec?, Mar 09, 2018

    To answer your question specifically: Only you and your team know the best technical implementation of a design system. CSS vars can be easily overridden, they might not have browser support you require, you may need fallbacks anyway (like if you tried to use them in @keyframes). If you have a native mobile application, you'll still need another way to consume those variables. You need a good UI engineer or other technical lead to piece this together.

    On design-ops more generally: You need to approach it just like any other design project. Your users are primarily designers and engineers, so you need to build a set of tools to help them collaborate and do more meaningful work.

    That might mean:

    • systemizing patterns from multiple designers
    • making engineering implementation easier
    • making design exploration faster
    • getting rid of the handoff/spec process all together (hot take: the problem Zeplin solves shouldn't exist)
    • creating tools/plugins to automate the boring work.
    • finding a way to not be the bad cop

    Styleguides, even if completely automated, can still become "zombies." The majority of the work in making design systems is org/process based. You want to change the way designers and engineers work, but if you don't have full support from your team, then the automated styleguide will still go unused.

    Hope that helps. Design-ops is sorely needed and I'm always happy to see companies take it on.

    2 points
  • Posted to Anybody else not that interested in stories about design tools?, in reply to Jamie Diamond , Dec 29, 2017

    I've never known DN to have "meaty" stories. If you look at this year's top stories, I think it accurately reflects what the community here wants:

    There's nothing wrong with this content, but I think the "lack of substance" feeling comes when you combine these types of post with the large amount of low quality self promotion.

    Where do you all go to find more substantive content on design?

    6 points
  • Posted to Improve Your Web Typography with This One Plug-in, May 09, 2017

    I almost skipped this because (a) the title is clickbait and (b) the obsession with tools is irksome. However, I'm glad I read it. This article is interviewing Bram Stein from Typekit about a chrome extension he made.

    Here's what I took away for anyone still interested:

    2 points
  • Posted to Portfolio of Peiran Tan, 2017, Apr 27, 2017

    Yo Peiran,

    It's obvious, but great use of typography throughout your portfolio. It was a joy to look at. The hierarchy on the homepage was clear and your work was clearly up front. I loved the color palette, though I didn't know if the colors on hover meant to represent anything.

    On your case studies, you have done a great job laying out the information.

    a screenshot of Peiran's case study

    However, many parts of the screen can be densely packed. Density can be excellent, but often times it depends on having homogenous information or it's focused on a single point (e.g. showing the same data multiple ways).

    These are unique points, different insights in your portfolio. I'm unsure of what to read first, or if I can skim anything. If you were to make these single-column, I think it increases the legibility significantly:

    a revised screenshot of Peiran's case study

    I look forward to seeing more from you!

    1 point
  • Posted to Heather Vandervecht - Front End Developer, Apr 27, 2017

    Hey Heather!

    I love this portfolio, definitely memorable. I got hit with a bit of nostalgia when it loaded up.

    A couple notes for you to consider:

    • I'm weary of providing information about myself in the chat app. What data are you collecting? Who is going to see it? If I'm recruiting, I haven't made any decisions yet. Consider lowering friction for people by having a conversation that doesn't involve personal information.

    • I would love to go grab coffee, but I couldn't find where you live. I went to your twitter and it said Ontario. It might help mentioning where you're located.

    • Your work is really nice. I'd love to learn more about what you worked on and what the challenges were. Not everyone needs case studies, but I liked your portfolio and would have read them if available.

    • After I "shut down" your portfolio, is there a way to start it back up? I couldn't find it, if so.

    3 points
  • Posted to My Portfolio - Feedback appreciated , Apr 26, 2017

    Hi Tom,

    I like that you've included case studies for your projects, but I'll echo Cory here in saying I wish they had more details and insight into your design decisions.

    For instance, here in the user research section:

    User Research

    Initial user research was conducted amongst friends. We found that time was the biggest factor; both in searching for a deal, and getting to it’s venue.

    What kind of user research? How many participants? How many rounds?

    Also, let me know what you specifically owned in the project:

    We wanted to keep the users as engaged as possible throughout the user journey. Who is 'we'? You and your friends? If so, what did you specifically work on throughout the project.

    With the majority of users would be in a dark bar or using the app at night, a dark UI fit the bill perfectly.

    This is a good example of explaining your design decision, but the next sentence...

    Keeping in tow with a short user journey, the UI was kept to the bare essentials. pretty hollow. What did you leave out of the UI?

    Again, too vague here:

    Although this was a much larger design project than the User Experience -

    I'd love to hear more about what else you did other than the user experience.

    we, and others

    Who are others?

    were very happy with the result

    What was the result?

    which was completed in less than one week.

    This is a good detail, and you could further explain the timeline more.

    It went on to be a main and valuable talking point amongst investors and potential venues.

    Were you seeking funding for this? I'm not sure I understand this sentence.

    I can see from the screenshots that you put thought into your decisions, so lets hear about them. Writing thorough case studies are a pain, but they are key. Plus, it'll be good practice for the stories that you'll have to tell again and again during the interview process.

    If you're ever in the bay area, hit me up for coffee – hello at zane riley dot com

    1 point
  • Posted to Where can I find charities to work for free?, Mar 10, 2017

    No one seems to have mentioned Catchafire yet.

    I worked for two nonprofits and enjoyed doing information architecture, user research and strategy consulting for them.

    Rolando Murillo works at Catchafire and frequents DN, too.  

    0 points
  • Posted to Do you get more productive with music?, in reply to Nathan Cooper , Feb 09, 2017

    Nathan, wanted to let you know I love your neurofunk playlist. I've had a hard time discovering this through Spotify. Great music to work to.

    1 point
  • Posted to Yassin's Falafel House, Jan 27, 2017

    Everyone involved with this should feel proud. Great work.

    1 point
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