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Joel Califa

Joel Califa

Community Staff Brooklyn Senior Product Designer at GitHub Joined about 5 years ago via an invitation from Allan G. Joel has invited Robert Vinluan, Burak Nehbit, Amy Chen, Taylor Barnett, Pranav Vishnu and 3 others

  • 59 stories
  • 654 comments
  • 187 upvotes
  • Posted to Ueno Interview, Jan 25, 2018

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

    21 points
  • Posted to Bonsai – Style Guide by This Also, Jan 24, 2018

    I am in awe of this style guide. Amazing work.

    5 points
  • Posted to How I Got Hired by GitHub, Jan 23, 2018

    Hey everyone, this is gonna be the last post in a while. It's a bit on the lighter side compared to previous weeks :)

    Hope you found these valuable!

    6 points
  • Posted to Subverted Design, in reply to Samantha S , Jan 23, 2018

    I sent out a follow-up this week this weekend via newsletter. If you sign up you should get access to the archives :)

    1 point
  • Posted to NYC Paid Creative Internships, Jan 19, 2018

    This is awesome.

    0 points
  • Posted to Subverted Design, in reply to Jimmy Hooker , Jan 17, 2018

    Look, on the one hand you say that "if we build it they will come" doesn't necessarily work (and you're right), but on the other hand you're defending a sketchy tactic used by Airbnb, who already has what, a hundred million users and the accompanied momentum? Where does the optimization stop? When is enough enough?

    To be clear, I don't think marketing and sales are evil. I agree that they are necessary to grow a business. I also agree with "everything in moderation." I don't actually think we're on different sides of this.

    The article isn't about warring factions and I regret that it's being read that way. It's about a system in tech that consistently prioritizes money over user health. The first step is for us to break out of it—because I'm a Designer and I write what I know—the next is for the rest of the industry to break out of it. That can't happen overnight and honestly it's unlikely that it'll happen at all without a serious reckoning, but I have to try. The article is about being better, not about who's wrong and who's right.

    2 points
  • Posted to Subverted Design, in reply to Jimmy Hooker , Jan 17, 2018

    I mean, you might appreciate it, but many others don't. These examples were picked on purpose as stuff that isn't all out user-hostile, but is a ways away from user-friendly.

    Unfortunately going into more depth on this stuff felt like it diluted the point. I actually agree with you 100% about business and user needs not being mutually exclusive, and that's part of what got cut from the article for the newsletter. Here's an excerpt:

    Business needs and user needs aren’t always in opposition. My favorite companies are those where these needs align. 

    That’s one of the main reasons I love working at GitHub. Our approach is fairly simple: make things that are valuable to users. We don’t need to manipulate users into paying for their accounts or engaging for the sake of engagement. They either need those features or they don’t. This is fantastic because I get to focus on what I’m best at: maximizing user value.

    This model isn’t unique to GitHub or even that rare, but it’s entirely dependent on where the money comes from. If it comes from providing user value, decisions will likely be easier. If it comes from ads, your business goals will inherently be at odds with your users’ needs.

    That’s not to say you won’t find variation at ad-driven companies. A solution to a business need can be user friendly or user hostile. Some companies are comfortable with design patterns that could be considered hostile, others aren’t. Avoid the latter. The Ubers of this world do not deserve us.```

    It's hard to put every thought into a relatively scoped article. I definitely think this conversation is nuanced. I just wanted to start it.

    3 points
  • Posted to Subverted Design, in reply to Samantha S , Jan 16, 2018

    This comment is very real. Hit me up and I'll help however I can.

    7 points
  • Posted to Subverted Design, in reply to Steven Cavins , Jan 16, 2018

    They don't :)

    3 points
  • Posted to Subverted Design, Jan 16, 2018

    Hey everyone. I promised you a few articles, so here's the second.

    This one's a bit more serious, and puts into words something I've been feeling for a while now about our place in the industry and what we've become.

    I'd love to hear what you think!

    P.S. the article was getting really long so I had to cut a lot out, but I'll be sending it out this weekend to my newsletter, if you're interested.

    12 points
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