Ashley Kolodziej

Ashley Kolodziej

Boston, MA US & Product Design Lead at Boston University Joined about 7 years ago via an invitation from Dakota C.

  • 0 stories
  • 15 comments
  • 622 upvotes
  • Posted to ASK DN: Lets talk about money!?, Dec 02, 2015

    Related to design and especially freelancing - it's really easy to undervalue yourself when looking for a job. Taking the emotion and doubt out of figuring out what you should look for in a salary is huge. For looking for a full-time job, I would have loved to see resources that told me what the average salary for people with entry-level experience doing design work was in my area. AIGA's salary survey is probably a good place to start.

    This cost of living calculator is also an amazing resource I wish I knew about, so that I was more prepared for the difference in prices where I am now vs. where I came from. $40k sounded like an INSANE amount of money when I graduated, and I felt so lucky to even be getting that. If I had known what the COL was, I would have known what I needed to make to survive on my own.

    Finally, I think a discussion of what benefits a full time job may include vs. what benefits you have to provide for yourself as a freelancer - and some general rules of thumb on freelance taxes - would be HUGE, so you don't get out of school and suddenly be surprised that you pay both employer and employee tax. A general formula for figuring out salary for a freelancer would be nice too - something that takes the emotion out of the decision, like (base salary + vacation hours - health insurance - taxes)/hours >= COL in your area. When you're just out of school, it seems insane to charge even $30/hour for your work, but the reality is that you need to charge at least a living wage that will support you. That's the most valuable advice someone could have given me when I went into the design world, but I had to find out on my own.

    1 point
  • Posted to ASK DN: Do visitors actually watch product videos?, Jan 14, 2015

    Speaking only for myself - I generally don't. In the rare case I do, I tend to watch the video without sound. I just want to see what the product does as quickly as possible, and scan through the information at my own pace. In a video, I can't do that, so I will avoid it at all costs.

    If I do have to watch the video - that is, if it's the only content on your page - I'll try and skip around to cut the crap and just get to whatever the product actually does, which is what I want out of the site in the first place. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. Many times, videos don't have any sort of visual cues in them, so I'm stuck listening to understand what's going on. That takes more time out of my day then I want to spend looking at the product - I have other things I need to do - so right around the point where it's clear I have to sit through the entire thing with sound and devote all my attention to it for a few minutes, I give up and don't come back. There are a number of reasons this might happen - I don't feel like grabbing my headphones, I'm at work, etc. The end result is the same.

    If there are some visual cues to help me understand what the video is covering, I'm more forgiving and likely to watch the video in full. This Buzzfeed video on misheard lyrics is possibly the best I've seen in terms of ensuring I get exactly the information I need from the video without having to listen to sound... it showed up on my Facebook feed and I had no intention of watching it, but I could read the misheard lyrics and between that and the song name, hear exactly what they were talking about in my head. So I stuck around and watched the whole thing. https://thescene.com/watch/buzzfeed/the-18-weirdest-misheard-lyrics-of-all-time

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What do you listen to when designing, Dec 18, 2014

    Video game music on loop! I'm playing Persona Q right now with the Persona 4 hero, and I'm currently obsessed with the battle music: http://whyd.com/c/547c91bd1de5648d3c64df31

    0 points
  • Posted to What are you using for your bookmarks these days?, in reply to Jffry Vsk , Dec 09, 2014

    Yeah, as a Firefox user I was pretty displeased about that, and bookmark export is giving me an internal server error, so guess those are gone.

    Back to Kippt for me. :(

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Will you help us build a free, do-what-you want-with icon collection?, Aug 29, 2014

    I'd like to see this. You're welcome to use mine if you like - all are under the public domain. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to contribute as much as I'd like, so they're specific. http://thenounproject.com/ashleykolodziej/

    You might want to try digging through my downloads as well - all are public domain. You might find some good leads there for contacting designers who release their icons into the public domain as well.

    2 points
  • Posted to Authentication in Coin's iOS app, Aug 29, 2014

    For those not aware - one of the features planned in Coin is to have a morse code tap system on the card itself to "lock" it to a certain card, which prevents accidental card switching when you have to hand it to someone else to swipe (for example, a server). Because there's only the one button on the product, it's the only way they can attach a passcode to it without things being super clunky. I believe the idea is to get you to learn the system in a safe place with instructions before you have to set the code on your card.

    Without that context, it seems like a terrible UX decision with no real purpose other than to look "innovative", but they're setting up a learning environment so you're ready and remember your passcode for the physical device once you have it. I do wish it was able to capture your taps on a more nuanced level, though (so I can just tap out a rhythm to my favorite song or something).

    1 point
  • Posted to ASK DN: What are your favorite traditional tools?, Aug 19, 2014

    Can't live without my Pilot Precise V5, Roaring Spring spiral bound graph paper notebooks, and two mechanical pencils - one with regular lead, and one with blue lead.

    Other favorites: india ink, Speedball #512 Bowl Pointed Nib, X-Acto knife, and a nice metal ruler and rubber cutting mat. I'm primarily a web designer, but love to do lettering as a hobby.

    0 points
  • Posted to Knit - Leave hidden notes for your friends to discover. Available for iOS!, in reply to Jon Rundle , Aug 13, 2014

    This is really cool! Can you leave a note for anyone to see? It'd be cool to see what people leave out and about, especially in major cities - kind of like invisible graffiti.

    1 point
  • Posted to Terminal for Photoshop, in reply to Marek Hrabe , Jul 25, 2014

    I would love something similar to Sublime's command palette, especially for all the menu items I use on a daily basis that don't have keyboard shortcuts. Imagine Shift + Apple + P "Shadows / Highlights", or Shift Apple P "Define Pattern".

    0 points
  • Posted to Are there any tools / sites out there to teach young kids how to code? (very basic level), Feb 21, 2014

    I actually just had a friend send me this Kickstarter for a children's book that teaches programming concepts - it looks really interesting and beautiful. I don't have kids, but I kind of want a copy for myself anyway.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lindaliukas/hello-ruby/

    She has a site where she's done a little bit of character development too - I love her description of the fox.

    http://helloruby.com/post/70295200703/day-17-the-fox-another-one-of-rubys-friends-is

    0 points
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