Richard Sison

Richard Sison

Sydney, Australia Interaction Designer, Dabbler in Front-end Code and Stickler for Good Microcopy. Joined over 6 years ago via an invitation from Carlos M.

  • 4 stories
  • 117 comments
  • 54 upvotes
  • Posted to Is Affinity Designer a good replacement of Sketch?, in reply to Marc Edwards , Jul 07, 2019

    ☝️ What he said.

    I've also started to use Affinity Designer explicitly for icon or logo work and for the most part it's been really good. But last week I ran into a pretty big bug where expanding the stroke resulted in inaccurate results.

    Edit: Ok… Seems as though DN doesn't like the video camera emoji. I wrote a message and it didn't publish everything below it and I can't be bothered re-typing it.

    TLDR:

    2 points
  • Posted to As a Product Designer, what are your essential tools?, in reply to Ben Grace , Jun 19, 2019

    You're welcome mate. Happy to help!

    0 points
  • Posted to As a Product Designer, what are your essential tools?, in reply to Ben Grace , Jun 18, 2019

    No worries! Here are my responses on both Maze and Framer

    Maze

    • Testers.
      • For the projects I work on, I'd prefer to recruit myself. My products are usually pretty industry-specific so leaving it to a recruitment tool that doesn't provide that level of granularity isn't ideal.
      • You're probably interested in the demographics they offer. Here's what they say: >"All test participants are English-speaking and mostly US-based. You can filter responses based on sex (all, male, female) and age (18-70) when you place an order."
    • Pricing for testers. I didn't realise they hid this. Here's a screenshot of the credit packages they offer currently.
    • Pricing. You get a lot for free honestly. I often work on one project at a time (or at the very least, the phase where I'm doing my quantitative tests rarely overlap) so the free tier is perfect as I can cycle the "active project" (by archiving and unarchiving). I haven't had to yet, but apparently that's possible.

    Framer

    • I'm learning Framer now actually. Meng To (designcode.io) always puts together great tutorials. He's got a few for Framer (I'm doing this one at the moment and it's really good so far and it's free).
    • As I'm only learning it now, I'm still forming my opinion around it. On paper it is a monster tool that is targetted at a huge gap in the design tooling. The ability to produce very realistic prototypes using code (and leveraging off existing code from design system), is a game-changer.
    • The approach Framer takes is completely different to Sketch and Figma (in my opinion) and complements either tool really well. Where I'm hoping to bring Framer into my workflow is after the fundamental design decisions are made and we need to get the design into the next phase. I'll probably still reach for Sketch for wireframes, quick prototypes and starting off the visual design. I see Framer carrying things on when things like interactions, microinteractions, transitions, animations, states need to be worked out.
    • Barrier to entry. Yep. Currently the barrier to entry is huge. I'm fairly comfortable with HTML and CSS but not with JS (and definitely not with React). So understanding how to use Framer (specifically the code aspects which is where Framer's power comes from) is a huge learning curve for me.
    • I think the barriers are definitely more in the learning curve for designers. While developers will need to be aware of the tool, and as a team you'll need to work out your workflow, the promise Framer has for product teams is a pretty big deal in my opinion. As far as handover is concerned, it bridges a huge gap that's otherwise left open to interpretation or potentially lots of conversations (which isn't necessarily a bad workflow by the way).

    Hope that helps!

    3 points
  • Posted to As a Product Designer, what are your essential tools?, Jun 17, 2019

    Design

    • Sketch. There could be a separate list of the plugins, but the two essential ones are Runner Pro and Automate Sketch.
    • Abstract. If you're using Sketch (even if you're the only designer), you should be using this.
    • Marvel. Or Invision. I've been trialling Marvel as a replacement though. I just feel you get more out of Marvel than you do with Invision. Seems to work better with Sketch too. Though the features and experience in the Invision web tool still edges out Marvel.
    • Maze.design. This is crazy good service for user research (especially with the "multiple paths" feature they just released a few weeks ago).

    Research

    • Userbit. It's a bit rough around the edges, but this is a fantastic user research tool for designers. The price-point is very attractive for smaller teams. Tools like Dovetail or Aurelius are more polished and fully-featured, but they're expensive and more suited towards dedicated research teams. Userbit gives you a lot for what you pay for and is part of my standard tools now.
    • Whimsical. Another workhorse of a tool which is well worth the pricetag. I really only use the flowchart tool and the sticky notes tool. The product works really well and is very intuitive — the best thing about it is that it's a tool that lives online so you don't need to send constant revisions as PDFs etc.

    Writing

    • Bear. A great alternative to Evernote. Evernote still wins here but can't justify the cost.
    • Agenda (trialling this for quick notes instead of something like Bear)
    • iA Writer. My long-form writing tool of choice.

    Productivity Tools (which I use for work)

    • Pastebot. A clipboard manager is freaking awesome once you've started using one… Pastebot in particular has this feature called Sequential Paste which sets it apart (even though the app "Paste" I feel is better at everything else).
    • Things. Long time Things user. It's expensive but worth every penny.
    • Dropmark (or Raindrop). Saving inspiration is something I do constantly (and have been for years). I've been burned far too many times with Mac tools like Ember (discontinued) and Pixave (even though I've paid for it). It's likely due to issues with iCloud not the product itself, but I've given up on a native tool for this now. I much prefer to use a service like Dropmark or Raindrop to push my inspiration into an online service. I spent $5 a month and it's a no-brainer for me.
    13 points
  • Posted to Myscout | All in one Design Assets Management tool, Apr 08, 2019

    Any indication on pricing post-beta? I understand it's free now but curious on what it'd cost after that. Even just a range… Like if it'll be in the range of $5/10/15/More USD per month.

    With all of my subscriptions at the moment it's my biggest consideration for a tool like this.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Usertesting.com alternatives?, in reply to Blake Simkins , Mar 29, 2019

    Yep, I used it for a website prototype and it's fine. It's just the InVision prototype in a wrapper so whatever device you're designing for should be fine (…except for watch UIs I guess)

    But one annoying thing is that you can't set multiple paths for the same task. The links still work, but as far as I know, you can't define multiple paths for when the sequence/goal is slightly different.

    0 points
  • Posted to Do you all agree that studio's or agencies should have pricing upfront?, Mar 26, 2019

    This is such a tricky one and honestly, I do understand the intention. But generally speaking, I disagree with showing pricing.

    That said, it would be valuable for clients to have an idea of some sort of price range just to know what to expect (and if it's even in the ballpark of asking further questions). Because they'll see your portfolio and may be interested in pursuing further discussion, and they'll want to know (ideally without a phone call) whether it's in the range for them to even consider (like are you in the 5k, 10k, 50k, 100k or higher range).

    Obviously I get the industry's apprehension (for all of the reasons in the comments and more), but I do see it from the prospective clients' perspective — and it's tricky.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: Usertesting.com alternatives?, Mar 25, 2019

    Maze.design is pretty good if you use Sketch.

    But for your information:

    All test participants are English-speaking and mostly US-based. You can filter responses based on sex (all, male, female) and age (18-70) when you place an order.

    Hope that helps!

    6 points
  • Posted to Best tool for creating digital service blueprints?, Mar 14, 2019

    I actually think Whimsical does the best job. Their most recent feature release was the Sticky Notes and it's perfect for creating Service Blueprints (provided you're doing the Practical Service Design method actually…)

    Between Mural and Realtimeboard (now Miro), it's just the most intuitive for me. It feels like Trello, but with an infinite canvas.

    2 points
  • Posted to What tools do you use for Sitemaps/information architecture?, Jan 30, 2019

    I'd highly recommend checking out Whimsical. It's a really intuitive tool for creating flowcharts and sitemaps. There are other awesome features about it (i.e. awesome at wireframes and sticky notes for remote workshops or collating the outcomes of an in-person workshop) but even if you're just interested in a tool to create diagrams, it's the best out there for me. I've tried Omnigraffle, MindNode and Sketch but they pale in comparison to Whimsical for this task overall.

    Also, depending on what stage you're at for the IA, I suppose you could use the Sticky Notes feature too. If you plan to be moving things around a lot, it might be more appropriate. Basically the Sticky Notes feature feels like moving Trello cards around, but you're not confined to columns like in Trello; you can have "buckets" anywhere on the infinite canvas.

    …And no, I don't work for Whimsical lol

    Oh and Lucidchartseems to be pretty popular among content folks too.

    Hope that helps!

    1 point
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