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Athens, Greece Head of Design at Yatzer Joined over 6 years ago
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Very nice subject to discuss, thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions. I have been in both sides of the equation, as I have been a design manager as well as a remote designer for several companies in the past couple of years.
It does. It's effective. In most cases it solves the problem of distractions, as long as the employee is used to remote work and is serious about their work (but I'm making the assumption that we are talking about experienced designers and mid-senior roles).
Remote requires structure and strict processes
Scrum has to be scrum, meetings have to be timeboxed, everyone should focus on efficiency, and collaboration tools must be used properly in order to ensure maximum transparency for both in-house and remote employees. In order to build trust, both parties should make sure to reinforce the use of process and stick to it as much as possible.
Cultural and personal connection is much harder
While remote work is absolutely effective when done right, there definitely is a barrier between people that is much bigger than when working in the same space.
The fact that remote works doesn't mean that it's right for every company and team. I would advise most companies to work on building an in-house team first, and then consider working with remote employees too. Culture and team are two of your most important priorities when building a company, so you definitely want to prioritize this over efficiency. As soon as you have a cultural foundation, you can start working with remote employees and make sure to share that foundation with them so that working remotely doesn't feel like something completely impersonal and lifeless.
We are living in such a transitional era when it comes to working in technology, where people are much less likely to change their whole lives in order to work in-house for a company, compared to let's say 5-10 years ago. Due to the power and flexibility developers and designers have nowadays, it's very common for people to prefer remote work, as it tends to be more efficient, doesn't affect their lives and habits as much, and strikes a good balance between career growth and personal happiness.
I was in the same dilemma (although switching from a 2011 MBP) and decided to go with the older 15" Macbook Retina. I would never go for a touchbar over physical keys, and definitely don't see any reason to pay a hefty 400-500$ extra for the base model just because Apple decided to increase prices. I'm extremely satisfied with this decision, would suggest the same. The 15" MBPr is a beast.
I personally stopped using Symbols after the update. Although some concepts are good in theory, e.g. taking inspiration from object oriented programming and overrides, in practice my workflow was at least 3-4x slower, and the lack of in-context editing was a deal breaker.
What's interesting to me is that all of these websites look incredibly similar, and that's where the MVP undoubtedly fails, for now. The design is something that can be fixed, but the promise of building custom, unique websites through AI is not met in any shape or form.
The header navigation is identical in all of these websites, the content structure and the IA awkwardness is very similar, resulting in websites that feel like they were exported from the same tool, and don't truly serve their purpose.
I would really like to see the team tackling the above in next updates. The actual design and aesthetics isn't what worries me the most atm.
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