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Archive for January, 2014

Post 4: Facebook Paper & Interface Ideas

2013 saw the rise in popularity of ‘cards’ in interface designs (See Why cards are the future of web). There is something about the ‘card’ based interface that I find really interesting. The restraints on size and content are one thing, but I think it is its link with physical cards in the real world that really grabs me.

[See more card interfaces here]

Generally speaking, most mobile applications don’t take advantage of the technology their built on – they often function like web sites, with your finger acting as the mouse pointer.

I was a really big fan of the UI that Tinder went with last year. Swiping left for ‘No’ and right for ‘Yes’ was simply, easy to learn and fun, taking full advantage of the touch screen.

Tinder

Yesterday Facebook announced they would be launching a new way “explore and share stories” called Facebook Paper (watch the video). The demo shows cards folding and sliding all over the screen. It looks great.

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 1.03.12 pm

 

Late in 2013 I began sketching ideas (I can’t code :/) around how card elements might move in the app interface I’ve been working on over the past few days. Cards invite gestures and behaviours that regular web-based interfaces can’t.

Almost everyone has played with a deck of cards at least once in their lives and I believe that really helps the users feel more comfortable with more playful UI designs.

If you’re interested in animation in interface design, I highly recommend watching the presentation below (50mins) given by Pasquale D’Silva. It gives a great insight into how animation can make the difference between a clunky and smooth and enjoyable user experience.

All of this has got me thinking about all the possibilities for my own interface.

Post 3: Rough Mock-up

 

CD_Card_Perspective1

This is what’s in my head, almost. At a very high level, the structure feels correct to me. It has occurred to me that I might just be creating an alternate interface for LinkedIn here… one that is more mobile friendly. I’m not sure.

There is something about “Add a new card” CTA, that feels exciting. A lot more exciting than “Add a job” on LinkedIn.

Am I ‘gamifying’ LinkedIn? (I apologise for saying the word gamify).

The text in the above image mentions that users could purchase cards for the ‘decks’ from within the app. There hasn’t been much tough go into that idea. Maybe you can have 5 portfolio cards by default but need to pay $.99 to add more.

CD_Company

UPDATE: I hadn’t explored what a company profile would look like or what the structure of it might be. It could be interesting to view companies employees and clients, although I think it would be unlikely that all would want to disclose this sort of information.

Really just feels like Twitter for your career at this stage :/

Post 2: ‘Cards’ and Network Information Quality

I’m currently experimenting with the idea of using ‘cards’ as a way of building your professional profile online. Each job you’ve had, course you’ve complete etc. an another ‘card’ you can add to your ‘deck’. Over years you compile a deck of cards tells the story of you professional career.

It occurred to me that the restriction of having to add cards to your deck could also be used to improve the quality of information within a network of people.

Let me explain briefly…

On LinkedIn, currently anyone can add any job/position they like to their profile at any time without any approval process. (I added a position at Motherbird to my profile this morning in a few seconds).

photo

While I don’t feel like this is a common thing that happens on LinkedIn (is it?!) it still leaves the network open to having a lower quality of information amongst users.

LinkedIn has a very large customer base, so  this kind of thing is very difficult to control. But could a new network could design for this problem from the beginning?

Below is a quick mockup of a process that presents a kind of solution.

Each Company in the network can and is required to create ‘Employment Cards’ that are requested by Individual which need to be released or approved by the companies admin.CD_RequestCard4

In this example, Carlos has just finished a contract at Pentagram and wishes to add this to his deck. He sends a request to Pentagram asking for them to release the ‘Freelance/Contract Card’ they’ve previously created so he can add it to his deck.

CD_RequestCard

There are some big holes in this idea. Expecting each company within an industry to create a profile and then their relevant Employment Cards is a big ask.

A possible solution to this could be to allow Individuals to create their own cards and add them to their deck, but by default the card would appear as ‘pending approval’ until the employer logs in and confirms the information is correct.

CD_RequestCard3

 

This is a VERY high-touch way of going about this, and would have a real impact on the growth of a network, but it would ensure a very high quality of content. You can easily imagine a service/network like this commanding a lot of industry respect and trustworthiness.

Still not sure where this is going.

Post 1: Day 2 of Product Development

CD_Version2

Yesterday I wrote that I was starting to explore some ideas from the last 4 years that had started to connect.

Below are some screen grabs / mock-up’s I made today based on some resumes I was sent via Twitter and answers to this Google survey from my friend Carlos from Studio Fellow.

As I said to Carlos today, I’ve no idea what I’m actually building here. Just making things and connecting the dots.

But here are a couple of observations & thoughts that are relevant:

  1. Over the past 12 months, the number of designers that have joined LinkedIn, and/or have started using and updating the application, to my eye’s, has increased significantly.
  2. The are many great services where creative types can display their work online (The Loop, Behance, Dribbble, Cargo Collective etc.) and they all offer varying levels of social interaction.
  3. Until recently, none of them were doing mobile particularly well.
  4. LinkedIn seems to be lacking a ‘verification’ element to it. Anyone can have worked anywhere. This is not their fault, its a huge/complex problem.

I’m wondering if there is a need for some kind of mobile professional network for people who don’t fit in the LinkedIn basket?

We (the professionals who aren’t in suits and don’t have MBA’s) have so many online touch points that blur the boundary between personal and work life (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Dribbble) that perhaps there should be a network that understands this and designs for it?

I see my own and others professional lives as a deck of cards. It’s made up of a) who you are & b) what you’ve done/what you do. One face card and many numbers cards if you will.

All just fuzzy grey thoughts right now.

Notes on Mockups:
I’ve been using the Entypo Icon Set for all the icons here and I’ve referencing the current Twitter UI for iOS and Behance app UI. The objective is just to bring the idea to life as quickly as possible and make it feel like a real thing.

 

 

Connecting The Dots

In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forwards, you can only connect them looking backwards.”

It’s been almost 5 years since I naively started my first online venture. ‘Mobile’ wasn’t ‘A Thing’, very few Australian’s Tweeted, and the word Selfie didn’t exist.

Right now I am continuing to work on my current company and also doing various consulting work for some great clients – but recently there have been all sorts of dots that have started to connect for me and I’m starting to explore what, if anything the mean.

It could all be nothing, or it could be something.

Either way, I’ve decided to share the ‘connecting dot exploration’ here on my blog as a way of personally documenting the process and maybe also creating some value to anyone else who is trying to connect their own dots.

I’ll write some more about the dots soon, but in the mean time, here are some sketches and mock-ups of the ideas that I’ve been having.