Joel Califa

Joel Califa

Community Staff Brooklyn Senior Product Designer at GitHub Joined over 10 years ago via an invitation from Allan G. Joel has invited Robert Vinluan, Burak Nehbit, Amy Chen, Taylor Barnett, Pranav Vishnu and 3 others

  • 60 stories
  • Posted to TSM Website Concept [Case Study + Video], Nov 22, 2018

    I got into web design doing CS clan sites back in like 2001. This is miles and miles better than anything I ever made, though it doesn't seem like you're quite the amateur I was :) It's rare that I see a quality unsolicited redesign, but this is up there. The rigor, aesthetics, system design, and strategic thinking are all top notch. You should be proud!

    I'd be really interested why you took this project on?

    0 points
  • Posted to Microsoft + Github = Github XP (chrome extension), in reply to Marten Bjork , Jun 05, 2018

    A+ fantastic effort

    0 points
  • Posted to Microsoft + Github = Github XP (chrome extension), Jun 04, 2018


    0 points
  • Posted to Games UX: Fortnite, Apr 24, 2018

    let's play tho

    4 points
  • Posted to Your Work is Starstuff, in reply to Joshua Dance , Mar 21, 2018

    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
  • Posted to Your Work is Starstuff, in reply to Oskar Levinson , Mar 20, 2018

    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
  • Posted to Your Work is Starstuff, in reply to Pablo Stanley , Mar 20, 2018


    2 points
  • Posted to Your Work is Starstuff, in reply to Mikael Staer , Mar 20, 2018

    This is a great conversation, and I think I'll write about it some day, maybe in my newsletter.

    I think too often we conflate the final outcome (the thing we shipped) with our competency as designers, but that's inherently tricky. You're never designing in a perfect world, so you almost never ship the perfect thing. Usually there are compromises due to technical hurdles, new information from research, lack of resources, politics, etc.

    The nice thing is that every company has these issues, so as long as you frame and communicate them properly, they'll understand, and maybe even be impressed with how you dealt with certain issues. For instance, pivoting and shipping Team Accounts v1, a mediocre product at best, which was just the best thing I could ship at the team, is the thing that impressed GitHub the most during my interview.

    It feels better when something we've made is actually out there, especially when it's close to the form you wanted it to take, as if that validates the work we put in. But we're only human and all we can do is our best within a set of circumstances. So the advice I'd give is make the portfolio about the process. Be candid about the issues, and show me how you dealt with them. Because if I hire you, there are going to be issues you'll have to deal with too. I want people who make the best of whichever situation they're dropped in. Showing evidence of that can be way more powerful than just showing me that dope thing you shipped.

    3 points
  • Posted to Your Work is Starstuff, Mar 20, 2018

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

    I hope this is meaningful to some of you!

    8 points
  • Posted to Ueno Interview, Jan 25, 2018

    This is hands down the most charming thing in the world.

    20 points
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