Nathan Lee

Nathan Lee

UX Designer at Pantheon Joined almost 9 years ago

  • 2 stories
  • Posted to Does anyone else feel guilty for being a product designer?, Oct 02, 2018

    I've had LOTS of existential crises since a lot of why I became a designer was being influenced by social good, service design, and figures like Milton Glaser or Tibor Kalman. I can see a bit more of a thread in terms of what work has interested me and what impact it has had – overall there's a lot of great opportunity to create things that benefit people. Tradeoffs always exist and there will always be a tension of making money to keep a business profitable/viable and balancing how you create for your audience and hopefully leave a positive mark on society. As a person born and raised in Silicon Valley, I've seen a LOT of change and had a lot of anxiety about where my place in society is both as someone in a relatively healthy social class and gentrifier.

    I will say, do not discount working in enterprise. As a general whole there's a lot of developer experiences and technologies that enable to do a lot more with what their efforts. For better and for worse, working in B2B means you're creating function and utility as opposed to viral stickiness or social vanity. You'll focus less on ad revenue or click conversions and focus more on utility and tools. For me this has been a pretty good place where I feel like my skills can be applied and the audience/effect is much more directly scoped. Your experience my differ though, there's tradeoffs of working in this area as well.

    The world is changing rapidly and we can only try as best we can with what we have to make things better. Plastics are clogging our oceans, our clothing is destroying the environment, we waste almost half the food we produce and transit in America still relies largely on gasoline. You can make the best decisions with the circumstances in front of you, keep yourself conscious of where you can have an effect both with your work but also in your day to day life, and hopefully make some effect of making this world a little better bit by bit.

    2 points
  • Posted to YC startup Stitch is a near-identical Slack clone for doctors, in reply to Mike Rundle , Mar 23, 2016

    To be the devil's advocate, by going after doctors and the medical world, Stitch can actually function and enable doctors where it was not possible before. HIPAA compliance and other barriers make the medical world stuck in the past. Having something that allows doctor's to communicate and get all the benefits of Slack... isn't that a great thing? Imagine a hospital that was more responsive, better informed, and had happier doctors (because their jobs were easier and information was better). Isn't that a great thing?

    I can't say I'm happy to hear YC funded people who basically took a product and slapped HIPAA compliance on there... but my hope is that it can actually benefit an industry that's in dire need of better processes. Slack can't get into the doctor market... so what's the harm in a company directly supporting them?

    I'd be more keen on seeing where this product goes. What sorts of UX patterns or features will they add to make hospitals more efficient? EMR integration? Patient messaging?

    4 points
  • Posted to Survey DN: CMS for clients, in reply to Dan Coates , Nov 06, 2015

    Not to argue the point that Wordpress is written poorly, but there are ways in which you can set up better workflows and hosting.

    WP Engine, Flywheel and Pantheon* come to mind.

    *Note: I work for Pantheon and can talk shop if there's curiousity.

    0 points
  • Posted to ASK DN: Which is the best hosting provider for a creative?, Nov 02, 2015

    Throwing my hat in the ring. So I've been working at Pantheon for the past year designing developer and agency tools for fast/reliable hosting for Drupal and Wordpress.

    For one site it might be a bit overkill, but if you have multiple sites you're managing and/or client work, we might be a great solution for you. The hosting is containerized (without too many buzzwords, not shared VMs and fast fast scaling) and the dashboard has a GUI/workflow so you can set up Dev/Test/Live environments for deploying code automatically. If you're doing client work you can set up invoices so you don't have to front any of the money and you can collaborate on the codebase with the your client (even set permissions so they only work on the Dev environments).

    On the side note, I've used ASmallOrange for my own personal site when I was experimenting with static site generators. I used Cactus + AWS which ended up being about $.50 month and about $12/year for a namespace. A pretty ok way to go although I've been having some issues with Cactus deploys on a recent portfolio redesign.

    0 points
  • Posted to ASK DN: What are your favorite well-designed board games?, Jun 26, 2015

    In terms of gameplay, I'm a big fan of 7 Wonders. Card drafting game that is very newbie friendly, managed to convert people who "don't love board games" into playing until 2 AM in the morning.

    If you're looking for something pretty heavy/complex/card drafting try Race for the Galaxy. Complex but pretty rewarding.

    3 points
  • Posted to Visiting San Francisco in May, Apr 18, 2015

    To add to the coffee recommendations I'd throw in Phil's Coffee in the Mission & Civic Center areas.

    Food is pretty good in San Francisco, and there's a good variety. Try a burrito in the Mission if you're around - almost everyone has their opinion of the best but some of the heralded ones are La Tacqueria, El Farrolito, and I'm a fan of fried fish tacos/burritos from El Metate. We have some delicious Burmese food in the Inner Richmond, which is also a fantastic area to get Chinese food if you have a hankering (Chinatown is a strange mish mash right now and there aren't as many places I'd outright recommend there). Some SF staples to check out: SF eater Map

    Sadly the SFMoMA is closed but there's plenty of museums in the area such as The Cartoon Museum, Jewish Contemporary Museum, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

    Don't forget to check out Oakland as well. Blossoming art scene, delicious food, better Korean food + bbq, and a different tempo from SF.

    SF Arts is a decent resource. Foopee has almost any concert listing you'd ever want.

    I'd offer to meet up/show you around the Union Square/Chinatown area where I'm working, but I'm out of town that weekend. Hope you enjoy our city!

    0 points
  • Posted to Fall of the Designer Part II: Pixel Pushers, in reply to Jim Silverman , Apr 14, 2015

    The article makes some valid points but the out-of-context quotes actually got me upset.

    Or citing the wikipedia article about Hieronymus Bosch stating that his work was attributed to multiple painters? That seems like the wrong context - Hieronymus wasn't an amalgam of different artists, his work was just plagiarized or unsigned. If anything a more modern artist and practitioner like Damien Hirst is a better example of multiple artists/craftsmen working under an artist name as a brand.

    6 points
  • Posted to Site Design: ReadyMag, Apr 14, 2015

    Was impressed with their overall design and product. Got an email this morning showing off their new vertical nav feature and a few others. Plus who doesn't like looking at Dieter Rams' design?

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Started a new job last week. Interviewing a Director of UX candidate tomorrow. What would you ask of your potential new boss?, Apr 07, 2015

    I'd love to hear how a potential Director would impact the organization in their own mind. Have them break it down - what does a healthy company culture look like to them? How do they envision nurturing that culture? What does a healthy design culture and design process look like to them? Have them talk about their past environments and what they thought made those environments great - especially if they were a lead or director in a past gig.

    I'd also give thoughts to your own position and what you want from this director. Are you looking for mentorship? In what areas? Do you feel like the company is in need of leadership (in design or in other things?) Will this potential director help you in your advancement of skills and professionalism?

    Hope that helps.

    4 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: How to find a start-up with a mission that fits your values., in reply to Jonathan Shariat , Feb 07, 2015

    I'd give a +1 to the #1 -3 advice - it's really a lot about getting out there.

    To expand on #3 I'd say finding the funds/VCs that seem to recruit or work in a particular area of interest is helpful. Granted most of them diversify and have things ranging from the shared economy to enterprise to education, but there's a few that seem to steer a little more socially minded that are worth a look.

    Check out:

    2 points
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