This is the first experiment in what I hope to be a series of AMAs on DN with notable designers. I'll start with a few questions:
How does your team work together? Are all the designers over there also developers?
How do you guys decide what to work on over there?
You seem to be ruthless about what lives and dies. How do you decide to stop working on them?
Amazing idea! Just a quick suggestion: Some kind of visual indicator for the OP so it's easier to find the answers between all the questions.
We just had a similar conversation over lunch. We'll make this happen for the next AMA.
Nice! Thank you. :)
A few months ago, I woke up to take a leak and was greeted by a tremendous surprise. Can you tell me how a bongo drum ended up in the bathroom of Elehaus Berlin #00001?
I, too, would like to know.
What are some tips that you might have for those looking to work remotely?
Prove you are good at it. It's hard to do good/well informed work with time zones in the way but it's not impossible.
Make a point of you being available at the right times of day to work directly with your team/client.
I've read some crazy things about Hipstamatic and it's executive team. How was it when you were working there?
Also, how do you feel about Buffer now that Twitter has released scheduled tweets?
I worked remotely so was not really directly involved with any of that stuff. I'm still good buds with all of them.
Buffer wise, I love the team and product. Whatever Twitter ships won't be as good as what the Buffer guys are doing.
/hello Luke, thanks for dropping by. Do you have any tips to avoid burnout and keep every work day exciting and something you look forward too?
Interesting question. Would love to hear his answer to it.
What I've learned is to purely take a day now and again. If you have the option literally do nothing , do nothing. Netflix is your best bud.
I'm a big fan of planes as they allow me todo just that.
Staying excited is all relative. It has a lot todo with how much you are involved with a product/project. If you are not excited about something but still like it you might try asking for more responsibly and there for having more potency.
do you have a beard? if so, have you considered going clean shaven for the irony?
No really, my second name is Beard and hell no. It makes my face cold and I look about 8 years old.
How does Elepath decide what to work on?
We are all self managed for the most part so we decided individually what we want todo.
Once a product reaches a certain state like Beta or Release we commit big chunks of full time to that project.
And how do you come up with ideas to work on or to explore?
Intro: I am Dirk, and I play basketball on Thursdays in the center of Sydney. Today I bought some chocolate covered coffee beans, and as I walked back to work I ran into a colleague. My Wacom tablet came with a few different pen nibs to improve feedback, and it made me wonder.
How do you deal with any disconnects between a client and yourself about what's best for the brand/product?
Thanks for taking some time to answer some questions here on LV's DN. Much appreciated.
(Caffeine made me do it)
From the few times I've had it happen it helps to have some solid gold examples of brands in their space doing it the right way. It's much easier to get across with an example they can see.
Do you ever pull out actual research (papers)? Or do you tend to stick with examples?
I've never gone with research papers but that might be my lack of any real design education.
I see a lot of people asking for research documentation on stackexchange's UX site, hence the question. I'm in the same school of thought as you, I guess. Prefer examples over research papers, possibly due to the same "deficiency" ;)
Hi luke,i'm the big fans of Pasquale,what do you think about him?
You don't think about Pasquale you live him.
Do you know Hacksaw Jim Duggan, are you his son?
He took a bear cub, shaved it and released it it as a human. That cub is me.
Jacob Bijani was a huge hire for you. What's he going to be working on? What was his motivation for joining?
He's physically huge as well from a height perspective. I'm super excited to have him on team.
He's working some experiments (or was well call them sketches) and recently helped out with the web stuff for keezy.net.
He's has same mindset as all of us at Elepath. He wants to fill the world with great software.
So is everyone working on something different? How many people are over there and how many simultaneous projects do you have brewing?
3 core products (take a look at elepath.com for what they are) and several sketches (experiments).
We have 7 people now. 4 of those committed to taking products to release.
What is the design process, structure, and team culture like at Elepath? Why did you join?
As mentioned before, we are all self managed and pretty much our own little islands until we need to get another Elepath involved to make the good stuff happen.
Elepath is constantly evolving. Our process is never set in stone and when something is wrong or feels broken we actively change it. It's very refreshing.
Culture is amazing. We are basically in a spot were we are given the resources/tools/environment we need and left to kickass (and we all do).
Fun fact: We have been doing CrossFit as a team for 4/5 months 3 times a week and It's had an incredible effect on everyone. We are now tough as hell. Don't mess with us.
I joined because of the reasons above and the fact all my favourite creative people were part of the team. This company is set up to breed creativity and it shows.
This is a legit idea. That's all I want to say.
Luke, how do you guys go about validating your products and generally get input from users/customers?
I live in San Francisco and I think Elepath is super cool!
What are the chances I can come tour one of your offices?
...Or maybe you guys should throw a party?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sure we can work something out : )
What was the inspiration for Exposure?
I trip to Estonia where I took these photos https://luke.exposure.so/patarei-vangla. I came back and realized I had no where to post a story that felt like it did the photos justice,
I talked to @kylebragger about it and he simply said "design it and we will build it"
And then "Build it and they will come" haha
Hurrah for Estonia!
Have you ever designed for Android? I know you (or at least the people around you on several occasions) do lots with iOS. If so, why did you do it and did you like it? If not why not?
Edit: Just read through the thread, and it seems you do mainly web work, not mobile. You can disregard the question.
New question: Have you ever designed seriously for mobile? If not, have you considered it? Why or why not?
I vaguely know of the products and brands you mentioned in the title, but I did follow you for quite a while on Twitter (I fucking loved your #000000 flag shirt).
I have a question:
How did you start out as a designer/developer? What tips do you have for people starting now? Specifically, how would you suggest someone really get into the design world, whether it be from getting into startups, freelancing, etc.?
Thanks man! Even I don't have one of those.
I started by self teaching myself some Photoshop and HTML/CSS after school. We touched on it a little bit during my education and it excited me enough to take a stab at it.
Tips for getting started would be to find a reason to learn. Building sites, designing CD covers for my friends bands helped alot. You need a focus you are passionate about.
My design career so far has been a combo of handwork, risk taking and happy accidents. If you work hard good things will come of it. This applies to trying to do either freelance or startup stuff.
Love what you're doing with Exposure, it looks like the community really enjoys using it...can you share any future features or ideas you have for it?
We are still working on creating the best editor possible right now (demo video over at http://exposure.so) and we have had some great feedback from our beta testers that we are working into the product.
Once we leave beta (very shortly) Exposure will cost $9/mo or $99/year for unlimited usage as well as many extra features (we are working on some really great stuff for these). Free accounts will be limited to 3 posts.
After that some really fun discovery tools for people to explore the incredible posts we have been seeing.