Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson

Freelance since '08 Joined about 2 years ago

  • 0 stories
  • Posted to Design Sprints Are Snake Oil, Mar 14, 2017

    As with all shiny business problem solving frameworks, the rising popularity of "design sprints" is born out of the insecurities of its devotees and a fallacious appeal to authority (You can't argue with GOOGLE!). Combine that with a clever name that sounds "agile" & begs you to talk about it on your LinkedIn and you've got buzzword wildfire.

    The book way over-sells the concept, and ventures into check out this one cool trick or trainers hate him territory.

    Although I guess if they called the book:

    "Hey, this sometimes worked for us in these specific situations...try it, maybe it might help you if you are in similar situations...but then again, there's tons of variables so you'll probably still make bad decisions and fail like most people" probably wouldn't sell many copies.

    2 points
  • Posted to Is it just me or did DN use to be more interesting?, Mar 12, 2017

    DN was never that interesting, it's why I spend most of my time on Hackernews and only come here occasionally.

    Here's what I wish could be improved:

    1.) Expand the scope of topics discussed outside of UI/UX Design. DN is like going to the bar with a guy who ONLY talks about work and what wrench he uses. I also want to hear designers opinions on current events and other things they have going on in their lives. Hacker News nails this one.

    2.) Attract more designers who don't exclusively live on Dribbble. In about 60% of the comments here I often get a sense that the author has zero understanding of the design world outside of what is posted on Dribbble. What about academics, traditional graphic designers, communication designers, brand designers, etc. etc.

    3.) Get aggressive about killing off links to content marketing. It's a huge issue here. Generally if the link comes from a 'UX' article farm, Medium, or the blog of a company, it's hollow crap.

    4.) Find some way to get older designers on the site. This would be helped by expanding the scope of topics discussed. If I had to guess, the average age here is 22. I'm 31 and every time I post a comment I feel like I'm talking to college kids about how the industry works and not getting much wisdom in return.

    5.) This one might be controversial, but de-emphasize the use of real names on the site. Hacker News thrives as an anonymous community. I often get the impression people posting here are doing so with the sole purpose of looking good when someone searches your name. It feels artificial and fake, and we rarely get controversial opinions here as a result. I want to hear what you REALLY think, not what you think a recruiter is going to want to see when they search you.

    80 points
  • Posted to How many of you (designers) have relevant education?, Mar 08, 2017

    Over the past 10 years, since getting out of university, I've probably freelanced (on-site) for over 40-50 companies, agencies, and studios. Not once has anybody ever asked a single question about my education.

    The time it matters is only for your first job...and even then...I'll pick the person with a better portfolio or work experience over the person who went through a "human computer interaction UX information visual architecture yada yada" program which will become outdated by the time the first student finishes it. The design/tech industry has a strong aversion to credentialism, which I find very refreshing.

    1 point
  • Posted to "UX! We've got UX! Get your UX here!", in reply to Perttu Talasniemi , Mar 08, 2017

    Service Design still has some room to grow into full-frontal buzzword status at least in the US.

    Although I hear in Europe it's reached near-UX levels. I have buddy in Sweden who says every big company suit is now billing themselves as "service design" experts on their LinkedIn.

    0 points
  • Posted to "UX! We've got UX! Get your UX here!", Mar 08, 2017

    For me, the sign of a buzzword dying is when the chop shop "creative staffing firm" from my small hometown starts sending unsolicited emails about taking online courses in said buzzword.


    0 points
  • Posted to Should early startups outsource design or hire full time designers?, Mar 03, 2017

    So I think the ideal is to have a designer founder.

    However, if no to the first sentence, I'm going to go contrary to popular belief here and say that, no, early startups shouldn't hire full time designers.

    Here's why. As an early stage startup your access to talent is extremely limited. Not only can you not afford to pay market salaries, you are unlikely to have the reputation needed to attract good design talent. Many early startups end up hiring designers straight out of college, and only have their pick of the people who didn't make it to the more prestigious companies, agencies, and studios.

    Not only that, technical and business founders will likely have no experience hiring design talent, and will definitely make mistakes. Why add a fixed cost of questionable value when you are just getting started?

    I'd lean towards hiring a local freelancer or product design studio. It may cost more on a per hour basis, however you will likely get access to much better talent and have the benefit of limiting your engagement to a project and/or retainer agreement.

    If the app takes off, you can continue using that team on a freelance basis, try to hire them full time, or use the success you've just created as leverage to attract the good design talent you couldn't before. You can even use the consultative expertise of the studio or freelancer you just hired for help in hiring your first design team.

    2 points
  • Posted to Behind the scenes: Upstatement’s redesign of MIT Technology Review, in reply to Du Hoang , Mar 02, 2017

    So maybe I was a bit harsh. You touched on one of my pet peeves. It seems like the internet's favorite thing to do when looking at design is call out something as a "ripoff of X." People often mistake the popular examples of a certain style as "original" while not understanding their place as part of a larger movement.

    If you read the case study, they clearly explain how they were heavily influenced by the 1960s design program for MIT Tech Review done by Cooper, Casey & Coburn. And of course the original CCC work was not at all "original" since it strictly followed the same Swiss International Style principles that literally almost all graphic design studios were churning out back then.

    In the 80s the international style went through a revival and hence why American Apparel's branding looks like that. So American Apparel ripped off all of the the famous mid-century design studios....who ultimately ripped off the work coming out of swiss schools in the 1920s...which ultimately was a rip-off of the foundational aspects around which sans-serif typefaces were invented.

    1 point
  • Posted to Balenciaga Design, in reply to Tyson Kingsbury , Mar 01, 2017

    Change for change's sake is literally the business model of the entire fashion industry.

    0 points
  • Posted to Behind the scenes: Upstatement’s redesign of MIT Technology Review, in reply to Du Hoang , Mar 01, 2017

    Learn some graphic design history and then come back to DN please.

    0 points
  • Posted to Balenciaga Design, in reply to anass hassouni , Feb 28, 2017

    You are not the audience for this website.

    8 points
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