Joshua Crowley

ojschwa Joined about 8 years ago

  • 0 stories
  • Posted to How effective are modern UX design methods?, Oct 03, 2018

    Great question, I feel this tension a lot. I'm a UX Designer, but also love code and shipping (thanks to Discover Meteor actually!)

    Most teams front load UX into a project instead of threading it through the delivery and refinement of the product and service. I'd like to get better at that personally and I could see how non-Uxers see that as arduous.

    I think modern UX research processes are remarkably effective. Most tools don't take a lot of work, and don't require much in the way of resources. They can be really motivating for teams and users. A great way to help everyone frame a problem and derive a solution. Also your best chance to build a good MVP is going to come out of a UX process, and then you can ship faster!

    I think it's a foundational aspect of good UX, being able to iterate. There are many things I've learnt just from shipping! I find so many teams can't ship fast enough. If you can iterate and ship fast, that's the best place to be.

    When I started to learn coding I inadvertently spent time building side projects with no UX research. They've never gone well, but have been deeply rewarding. I have found it really hard to keep them constrained and stay motivated when I realise features are wrong footed. It can really kill a project if you're not getting feedback at the right time. You can get to caught up in details that don't solve the immediate issue and ultimately burn out. So I think it's very challenging to build stuff without research and feedback. There needs to be some balance, otherwise you're taking a massive gamble!

    9 points
  • Posted to Google Analytics for UI/UX designer, Nov 15, 2017

    I've setup GA on pretty much every project I've worked on for the last 8 years. It's a handy thing to have up and running for basic metrics about your website/app. But to be honest, I find GA actually to be quite onerous in determining the kinds of things that UI/UX Designers would like to know. My advice would be to make sure you look at something like which captures all the little details and unexpected behaviours that are really important to understand. Without this kind of detail, you can very easily read GA data wrong.

    0 points
  • Posted to The has launched, Dec 05, 2016

    I actually got a launch edm from the outline this morning and instantly unsubscribed because it was totally breathless & indecipherable.

    When I found out that it was Josh Topolsky's next, next thing – I gave it a look in. The visual design is intense, but it really works on mobile. I really love the interaction design – especially because this all browser based.

    Can't wait to hear more about the system they've designed to support it. I've resubscribed to their mailing list.

    3 points
  • Posted to Dear Microsoft, Nov 08, 2016

    I think it's fair game to call out when a huge company sherlocks your work. I also wouldn't be surprised if Slack has always thought of Microsoft as their direct competitor. Slack's logo and its colours reminded me of the Windows branding most office workers are familiar with. Except fun.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What's the best way to learn Javascript as a designer?, Oct 24, 2016

    Don't get to caught up in Frameworks and Libraries. There are a lot of fundamentals you'll need to have nailed before you can utilize them.

    Start with so you can start to code a little each day. It doesn't matter that it's Coffeescript, you need to starting thinking like a computer.

    It's a good idea to pick a small project that you can work towards and stay motivated about. Mine has always been browser based games.

    The Meteor framework is super friendly for beginners, and will help you do full stack development.

    Ultimately, learning how to code JS is learning programming. It's going to take some years and you'll need to stay motivated!

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Should I learn to code?, in reply to Todd Padwick , Jun 28, 2016

    Sure - you'll need to learn some HTML and CSS to do anything in the browser. That goes without saying. But that's just markup. It's trivial to learn the basics and barely an introduction to programming.

    I think designers (myself included) spend a lot of time learning front end techniques that are actually really tedious and hard. I don't think we need more designers that can front end - I think we need more designers that understand what coding is about holistically and can augment their design process instead of trying to do two jobs.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Should I learn to code?, Jun 27, 2016

    Yes, I was in a similar spot to you ! I've pursed code and haven't looked back.

    I'd start by learning JavaScript. The trick is folding code into stuff you do now, so that you're always learning and this is quite viable with JavaScript, because there are so many environments/tools you can use it in.

    I highly recommended making a couple of little hobby project using You'll learn about databases, server/client concept, command line tools - just basics you can apply to any environment.

    You're also probs ready to play around with - which is a lot of fun and will help you tease out tricky concepts around coding.

    I'm starting to learn Swift now - would say it's still quite advanced for anyone with zero development experience. But I think Apple want to make it easy for you folks like us.

    Finally, you need to be able to show people stuff as you go, so you can enjoy it and feel good about your effort. Also find some friendly dev to eat lunch with.

    1 point
  • Posted to Show DN: 100 Days of Swift, Jan 05, 2016

    Well done Sam, very inspiring to a community of designer/developers.

    Surprised to see all the requests for source - it's a big ask. I'm a beginner programmer and I'd hesitate to make posts about my code and progress because I'm not confident that I'm following best practice and wouldn't want to spread misinformation. There's generally a 100 ways to implement thing, and often the first way you learn how to do something isn't the best. Plus, going through the motions of piecing this stuff together is really how you learn.

    4 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: How do you validate your product design decisions for new features?, Nov 11, 2015

    Something simple I've just started trying - phone calls. I've compiled a list of our 300 most active and longest playing customers. I try and book two to three 15 minute phone calls each week. I gauge their experience with the product thus far and pitch any emerging features to them to get their take. I try and qualify their feedback with our data and prototypes.

    2 points
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