Ste Grainer

Ste Grainer

Richmond, VA Creator of UXcellence.com Joined 5 months ago

  • 8 stories
  • 10 comments
  • 5 upvotes
  • Posted to 11 Dos and Don’ts to Make Your Portfolio Shine, in reply to Dean Hayden , Apr 24, 2017

    Only when they are complete sentences :)

    0 points
  • Posted to As a UX designer, what do you consider the must-read book(s) about behavioral psychology? , Feb 13, 2017

    I'm going to have to add some of the suggestions below to my own list, but I've compiled a library broken down by specific topics. Here's a list I made of the top UX-specific books on psychology: https://uxcellence.com/library/topic/psychology

    I also compiled a list of essential UX books across a number of topics, including 4 specifically around various aspects of psychology here: https://uxcellence.com/2017/01/25/essential-ux-library

    2 points
  • Posted to Mac Apps for Recording Screen?, Jan 23, 2017

    It depends on what you plan to do with the recordings.

    If you want something that will record audio and video, ScreenFlow is a little pricey but pretty great. You can also edit your videos with it.

    If you want to capture animation/interaction as a small gif, then either Licecap or Giphy Capture will work great. FWIW, I switched from Licecap to Giphy Capture (when it was still GifGrabber) because Licecap didn't work well with multiple monitors at one point.

    I recommended them (along with several other great apps) here: https://uxcellence.com/2017/01/10/14-great-mac-design-apps

    0 points
  • Posted to UX Designer: Is a proper portfolio really necessary?, Jan 23, 2017

    I wrote about this a couple months ago here: https://uxcellence.com/2016/11/05/every-designer-should-have-a-portfolio

    Here's the TL;DR version: You might not need one to get hired, but it can't hurt. You should still expect to walk through your existing work in interviews. There are reasons beyond hiring to consider having one:

    • It helps you learn from your work.
    • It helps you share ideas you've explored and teach others.
    • It can help you shape future work you want to do.
    • It can help you get clients/work you may not be actively looking for.

    I also wrote about what makes for a great portfolio here: https://uxcellence.com/2016/11/17/craft-a-captivating-portfolio

    0 points
  • Posted to The festive holidays - how will you spend your time?, Dec 23, 2016

    I'll mostly spend it relaxing with family and friends. In my downtime, I have made a habit of a year-end digital "house cleaning": https://stegrainer.com/journal/2016/starting-the-year-fresh

    0 points
  • Posted to Good UI Developer Portfolios?, Dec 12, 2016

    I added a role filter on my portfolio index so visitors could see which projects fit which roles. I'm pretty happy with my portfolio, but there's always more I'd love to do to improve it: https://stegrainer.com/portfolio

    When it comes to evaluating design/dev hybrids, I tend to dig into the code for their portfolio itself. It's hard to know with most projects what code a specific dev contributed (unless their repo is public), but looking at the code for a personal site can reveal quite a bit more.

    • Do they self-host or are they using a common platform (Squarespace, Wordpress, etc.)? Is it static or CMS driven?
    • Did they use a template or roll their own?
    • Is their code well-formatted?
    • How does the site rate on a performance test?
    • Do they pay attention to the details? (Hover/Focus states, 404 pages, social media meta tags, etc.)

    None of the above is an immediate disqualifier, but it gives me a good starting point for their experience and attention to detail. It often gives me something to bring up in interviews with the candidate that they can definitely discuss as opposed to NDA projects.

    0 points
  • Posted to Portfolio Rogie King, in reply to Rogie King , Nov 28, 2016

    I figured this was still very early so hopefully my suggestions didn't come across as major issues. None of them are dealbreakers and your portfolio is already worlds better than most I've seen.

    As someone who is constantly tinkering with and attempting to improve my own site(s), I completely understand. There's no such thing as done with web design. ;) Feel free to poke me on twitter or my own website (stegrainer.com) for follow-up anytime.

    0 points
  • Posted to What's your go-to designing playlist?, Nov 28, 2016

    I'll second a couple of the soundtrack suggestions and add a few more of my own. I tend to prefer soundtracks or instrumental sets when I'm designing anything that may have text. Helps me to focus on the writing and flow of the text while I design. When I'm doing straight illustration or code, I'll throw in faster stuff with lyrics.

    • Tron: Legacy and Social Network are fantastic for getting in the zone.
    • The 3 discs of the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack by Yoko Kanno are all AMAZING. The eclectic mix (jazz, blues, western, electronic, rock) keeps the rotation fresh.
    • I really love well done video game soundtracks: Journey, Bastion, Ni No Kuni, World of Warcraft, Zelda, Sword and Sworcery, and more. I have all five Video Games Live albums as well.
    • I also love both Lindsey Stirling and Chris Thile's instrumental stuff.

    When it comes to lyrical music (for illustration / code time), I tend toward poppy electronic or folky acoustic with the occasional metal:

    • Sky Sailing / Owl City
    • Imogen Heap / Frou Frou
    • The Postal Service
    • Nickel Creek
    • Dragonforce
    • Babymetal

    When I'm not listening to any of those, I'm typically singing along with Disney songs or other soundtracks like Galavant, The Book of Mormon, and others.

    0 points
  • Posted to Portfolio Rogie King, Nov 28, 2016

    I love it! It's a more unique layout and style than many portfolios I've seen. Between Neon Mob and Super Team Deluxe, I've been a fan of your style for awhile now so it's awesome to see a portfolio built around your aesthetic.

    In particular, I love the following:

    • the animations: subtle rolling, nice use of animation for transitions
    • the colors: I've always been jealous of the gorgeous gradients in your work
    • your work speaks for itself

    Here are a few minor suggestions:

    • Performance! The page is almost 4mb. Some of the optimization would be easy - switching at least some (maybe all) of the images from PNG to JPG would allow you to preserve quality and compress a great deal. (You could probably also size them down a bit.)
    • The nav layer overlaps a good portion of the top of the screen (less as you scroll down). Because it's positioned absolutely, it hangs above the content making it hard to interact with some things (see the "Neonmob" link in the first part of the portfolio).
    • Having your logo scale down as you scroll and then stick is a nice touch, but (particularly in the first part of the portfolio) it overlaps a lot of the content as it's scaling down. The sticky logo is a bit more distracting with the blurred drop shadow than the "Talk to me" button is.
    • I'm not sure if it's an artifact of CSS transformations or something else, but the text for portfolio entries felt blurry compared to everywhere else. (This was in Chrome on Mac.)
    • Looking at the mobile app section on my phone, I couldn't see much of the descriptive text unless I scrolled down low enough that the sticky logo/button overlapped a good portion of the portfolio image.
    0 points
  • Posted to What is one of the first things you ever designed?, Nov 17, 2016

    This is the earliest thing I have online without digging up some archived CDs: http://desine.stegrainer.com/index.php

    0 points
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