Interaction Design

With all of my studying and research, I wanted to share some important rules I’ve come across several times when designing with interaction in mind.

  1. Goal-driven Design: You want to design for the right user. User research, such as surveys and interviews, will help you create personas for those most likely to use your app. This allows you to create specific goals for your users and tailor your app’s workflow to suit their needs.
  2. Usability: Your app has to be usable. If your audience can’t easily use the app, then they certainly won’t download it from the App Store. Usability makes a product useful, which is the first step in being desirable.
  3. Affordance & Signifiers: The affordance is the function. Signifiers hint at affordance. For example, blue, underlined text indicates that clicking on it will take you elsewhere. Use signifiers correctly so users don’t need to think about what each UI element does.
  4. Learnability: You want users to instinctively know how to use an interface. This is where design patterns come in handy. Familiar patterns help a new user easily acclimate to an app.
  5. Feedback & Response Time: Feedback lets users know if a task was completed or not. It can be as simple as a beep, or more complex like a modal window. Make sure your feedback is friendly, human.

These 5 rules are the foundation of interaction design. Again, the user and the way they interact with your design is the most important thing to keep in mind. If a design is pretty but not functional, it is a failure in the end.

This is a great book I would also recommend reading to get a better understanding people and design.100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People

Design

Design is such an important part of the things we interact with on a daily basis, and more often than not, take for granted.

Throughout the last several months, on top of learning the basics of front end web development, I’ve been focusing on design. I’ve been illustrating for years, but since getting into web development, the design factor and user experience for sites and apps has really hit my sweet spot. Since learning new programs such as Sketch, InVision, Omnigraffle, etc., my passion for design has really skyrocketed.

What I love about UX design is that it’s more than just designing a pretty interface. It’s getting a full understanding of your customer and their relationship with your product. I recently attended a design protohack event last weekend, and it was an amazing learning experience. We teamed up and went through a twelve hour process from forming an idea, researching, testing it, adjusting it, testing it again and finally presenting our prototype.

For anyone looking to get into UX/UI design or coding, I highly recommend getting on meetup and finding events to get involved with.

A Week in…

Ok, so it’s been about a week and I decided to choose to learn Javascript first. My reasoning for this is based on the popularity of the language and the uses for front end development . Having no background in programming, I decided it’d be best to start out learning the very basics of programming (variables, strings, etc.) first. I have found with more repetition and practice, things are starting to slowly make sense.

My biggest suggestion to those finding it difficult to even begin comprehending the early stages of learning JavaScript and programming, is to stick with it and take it slow. Eventually things will start to click, even if it feels like it’s taking forever.

For those of you that already have the basics down, I suggest you read this post I came accross on the free code camp message boards.

job ready guide

Great advice for a way to gain the minimum skills needed to land your first junior developer job.

Now to get started on YDKJS…

Phase one: Hello World…

Since this is my first post on my first blog ever, I’ll start with a short introduction to how I got here. I graduated in 2012 with a BA in art, and moved to New York in pursuit of a career as an illustrator. I’ve had success working mainly as a freelance artist, but in late 2016 something hit me. I realized I wanted more. Freelancing is both rewarding and stressful, as the hustle factor can be relentless. I wanted to expand my learning and skill set, so after lots and lots of research and discussions with friends and family, Web Development seemed to be a logical choice. It relates to what I like in terms of creating things,  and it is in high demand. Now, where do I begin….

I signed up for a course at The City College of New York which began at the end of January 2017, and immediately learned that I needed to dedicate plenty of time away from this class in order to really learn and grow at the rate I wanted. I’ve spent countless hours researching which bootcamps to take, and outside the box ways of increasing my chances of landing a junior developer job. I began learning HTML and CSS first with Codecademy, then signed up for Free Code Camp and a paid course with Colt Steele through Udemy. While I’ve learned HTML and CSS at least well enough to put on my resume as a skill, I’d also say I learned that my fear of not knowing every aspect of covering these two “basics”, I have failed to push myself to move on to the next step. If you are a beginner and reading this, my first suggestion is to pick a learning site, dedicate yourself to it, and move on when its finished. Don’t seek camp after camp to try and relearn things you think you might have missed. Push yourself to move on to the next challenge.

I’m currently debating the move from either Javascript or Ruby. My next post will be about what I chose to pursue.