Chad Thornton

San Francisco Director of Design at Dropbox Joined over 5 years ago

  • 1 story
  • 6 comments
  • 2 upvotes
  • Posted to BlacksWhoDesign, in reply to Joey Prijs , Feb 05, 2019

    Curious why you would think embracing consistency = laziness. If a designer establishes useful patterns, why not re-use those?

    2 points
  • Posted to How to write case studies for your design work?, Jan 18, 2016

    I'm a hiring manager at Uber and see a lot of portfolios. Here's a few key considerations:

    • Make it self-presentable. At the risk of stating the obvious, you should be writing about your work. A PDF with minimal context and a lot of pretty final comps won't get you far unless you're just banking on your visual chops.

    • Make it scannable. Don't expect someone to read it from top-to-bottom right away. Put some good typographic hierarchy to use and let that initial scan draw them in to read more.

    • Front-load your most exceptional work, and call out why it's notable (ideally that's something that involves business impact).

    • Include "what we can talk about..." teasers. You don't have to be exhaustively comprehensive. Call out the things that are best talked about in person: key decisions, some canonical deliverable type you improved upon, etc.

    • Feel free to mix up how long each "case study" goes. A couple longer ones with the rest using an abbreviated style could be fine.

    Last tip: when you do get the portfolio review, don't just walk through your website or the PDF you sent over. The hiring manager has already seen that and the slightly upgraded formality of a Keynote deck really is more appropriate.

    2 points
  • Posted to Tip - Drag and Drop websites directly into Sketch with Paparazzi app, in reply to Keira Bui , Aug 26, 2014

    Turns out it double-posts, at least on this site. Less meta.

    0 points
  • Posted to Tip - Drag and Drop websites directly into Sketch with Paparazzi app, in reply to Keira Bui , Aug 26, 2014

    In the lower left corner you’ll see a pointer icon that switches Paparazzi into an interactive mode. In fact, I’m posting from that mode right now. How meta.

    0 points
  • Posted to What does a portfolio look like in 2014?, Aug 12, 2014

    I've been interviewing and reviewing portfolios since '04 and usually look at a dozen or more every week.

    Agreed that case studies online are preferred, especially if you're applying for something more UX focused. It's important to demonstrate your understanding of the problem you were given (or maybe that you reframed), and how you went about solving that problem.

    Also, please don't just re-present your website in an interview. The hiring manager has already read it — it's too easy for it to feel like a rehash.

    Consider showing less online with teasers about what you can follow up on in person. Or only show one in-depth case study online, saving the others for the meeting. If the interview is more than a 1-on-1, you're probably better off preparing a presentation to introduce yourself, talk about what matters to you as a designer, who inspires you, etc. as well as show your work.

    Also, prototypes — even basic ones in Keynote / Invision / Flinto / Marvel — often go over well in an interview. Or record screencasts as a fallback.

    More advice I wrote elsewhere: How context matters when presenting your work (Quora)Hiring a Designer: How to Review Portfolios (Google Ventures)

    2 points
  • Posted to How are you guys organizing states in Sketch?, Apr 24, 2014

    I'm doing a lot of vertical stacking within an artboard, though still evolving my overall approach.

    I've had some success creating a 'global' artboard that sits below / around a number of smaller artboards — the first is exportable for reviews/printouts, the second for easy export into prototyping apps.

    I like to think of these categories whenever I'm looking at a subset of mockups: • Sequences - representing a flow, generally for most common uses ("Sign Up"). • States - often 'edge cases' or variations that need documenting but don't require a flow surrounding it ("Password denied"). • Responsive sizes - re-presenting the same content across different canvases. • Alternatives - exploring one of several solutions (might be a singleton or its own set) ("Sign Up - modal" and "Sign Up - inline"). • Versions - a specific improvement to one of the above, or to mark a milestone across the entire document ("v3 - post-user testing").

    As a old-school Fireworks user, I used Pages for high-level version control and States for everything else, though using less of the multiple onscreen artboards paradigm of Sketch, which seems to work best for mobile app/site design, and less so for desktop.

    3 points
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