Andy Merskin

Andy Merskin

Denver Senior Designer & Developer Joined over 4 years ago

  • 6 stories
  • Posted to Stop showing design options and commit, Dec 11, 2018

    100 points to this article.

    Especially: "Three design options are standard in product teams. This is typically to create the appearance of due exploration, but often it becomes a reflection of a lack of trust in a designer to solve the problem themselves."

    I see this happen way too often at my workplace, for this reason, and in a very cold, subtle way.

    0 points
  • Posted to Whimsical Sticky Notes (just launched!), Nov 16, 2018

    Love the use of spacial UI to solve common problems, it's something I'd love to see more of in other spaces, rather than jumping around between pages. You could even define regions or areas to jump to and throw it on a URL route, and BAM: fast navigation between content, organized to your liking.

    1 point
  • Posted to Welcome to InVision Studio 1.0!, in reply to Vince P. , Nov 16, 2018

    But Vince, Clark has life advice for you as a designer. Let the marketing wave pass over you...

    10 points
  • Posted to Samsung One UI, in reply to Alim Maasoglu , Nov 08, 2018

    I'm genuinely having trouble finding this untrue ;)

    2 points
  • Posted to App for fast saving anything without losing focus, in reply to Jon White , Oct 22, 2018

    Especially for a desktop app. Not really sure if this is cloud-based and your bookmarks / snippets are accessible on any system, but if it's just local, then it definitely doesn't need to be a subscription model IMO.

    I wish more apps would allow users to pay for an MVP or a base version for a flat, one-time cost, and for more features, simply offer in-app purchases or a subscription model to get updates indefinitely.

    Bug fixes after a one-time fee should be free.

    0 points
  • Posted to Designers who have become developers: how have you found the experience?, Oct 15, 2018

    Hey Josh—such good questions!

    Where I started

    Like a lot of the others here, I started designing + coding in some form when I was younger, around 6-8 yrs old, so it's always been a passion of mine to not only think through the layouts and visual polish as well as the functionality. I've always seen those things as a package. It actually surprised (and disappointed) me when I got into my career to find out these things are very much separated now.

    I started by used Clickteam's Multimedia Fusion to learn layout design and event programming. Then I got into web dev at around 10 yrs and through high school.

    I started my career in high school at around 16 doing freelance design + dev doing WordPress sites for small businesses and learned the deeper ins-and-outs of HTML, PHP, and CSS with a little JS on the side, writing contracts and making money that way.

    School and Professional use of both skillsets

    I went to an art school (RMCAD in Denver) to get my BFA in Graphic Design and joined a company called IHS Markit Digital as a UI / UX Designer doing probably a good mix of 50/50 design and dev work (mostly prototyping). I mostly used Angular 1.x and Vue.js for UI frameworks with a mix of other libraries and hand-written code.

    Starting in November, after 5 years here, I'm joining a front-end dev team there to do UI development exclusively with frameworks like Vue / Svelte and supplemental design as well, so it's still a hybrid role, but I'll be writing production code now.

    I also really like toying around with Electron. Check out Spriggan, the Celtic sprite generator.

    All this time, I've called myself a UX Engineer because I've always balanced these two skillsets and have taken a passionate interest in both fields for all of my life, but I think I enjoy development a little more—I love seeing my own designs (and especially other designers') come to life. I love taking what they think might be impossible to code and make it breathe and see the reactions I get from a job well done. :)


    Not to scare you away, but if you're a great designer and you enjoy what you do, stick with it. If you are curious about development and want to get really good at it, then you're in for some really hard work:

    • Offer to design + code landing pages for local small businesses, and charge reasonably. Sure, they could use Squarespace or Webflow, but you can offer a custom experience and offer to manage the entire process, including content / CMS stuff and add value that way.
    • Find local non-profits who need a website and contribute in that way—and don't be afraid to charge, or if you want to volunteer, even better.
    • Make your timelines flexible, and be upfront about your level of experience.

    The beginning stages of programming is 80% failure and 20% success. Once you learn how to debug properly and learn the ropes of how things work (in web development, at least), things get so insanely pleasant.

    The truth is, an experienced developer:

    • Won't know all of the syntax by heart—they still have to look things up, frequently, so make StackOverflow and other communities your best friend.
    • Has friends with other developers to review code and talk shop—geek out about new libraries, patterns, techniques, etc. Make sure you have a good local community too.
    • Still make nasty bugs and have to do the hard work to fix them. The trick is knowing how to debug and understanding the logic and inner-workings of the languages they're using. A lot of that knowledge comes from trial and error. There is no magic crash course to learn all that stuff. There are some great coding style guides out there to help you get familiar with best practices and good formatting.

    I hope this has been helpful. If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter via @andymerskin.

    3 points
  • Posted to Figma difference in color when saving? Please kill me, Oct 15, 2018

    Maybe this will help. I'm assuming the Figma desktop app is based on Electron or Chromium-based in some capacity. Chrome has had a history with using a different profile (usually pure sRGB I think) than macOS does (usually your monitor's calibrated profile).

    Superuser: Apple Preview and Chrome Color Profile Accuracy?

    It might be worth raising a bug report to the Figma team. They could probably add minimal color profile support by giving users control over Chromium's internal flags:

    Google Forums: Chrome showing pale colors

    2 points
  • Posted to Pixel 3, Oct 10, 2018

    Oof, $799 base price when the OnePlus 6T is about to come out at an expected $529 with 4GB more memory, 300MHz faster Snapdragon 845 CPU, 128 / 256GB storage options, 12 and 20MP cameras (granted, maybe not as good photos without Google's magic AI doctoring).

    Still, there's seriously no way I could justify a purchase for this phone, even if I traded in my first-gen Pixel.

    It's baffling, Google. Really.

    1 point
  • Posted to IBM's Carbon Design System, in reply to Jim Silverman , Oct 08, 2018

    I think you might be right. I've read more broadly about creating an ideal design system, and one of the major points is making them accessible to both internal and external teams, citing that requiring a login or adding any other obstacles is a huge drawback to garnering interest in using a design system.

    They're already fairly difficult for teams to adopt within companies with a less mature UX strategy, so making it easy to get to and use helps with that.

    1 point
  • Posted to IBM's Carbon Design System, Oct 08, 2018

    (Link to IBM Carbon Design System site)

    Even though Carbon (and others like it) are open-source and open to the community for contributions, I'm curious about what people think about using them for non-IBM projects in this case? Would it diminish IBM's brand and experience in any way?

    I think the same argument could be made about Google Material, but I think that's a different animal since Google has provided it as a system mainly for companies and products with Android apps to adopt a consistent visual language, which has its benefits. That was its intention.

    I'm not so sure about IBM Carbon. Thoughts, anyone?

    2 points
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