Tag Archives: software design

Design Secrets from the Android Team @ SXSW

Helena Roeber (@helenaroeber) and Rachel Garb (@rachelgarb), who have both contributed to the design principles of google’s android, share the thought process behind their design success.

  1. “Enchant me. Simplify my life. Make me amazing.” Love the girl power/female speakers at Android Design Principles #androidux #sxsw
  2. Make me amazing – isn’t that exactly what we want from our devices?  They extend ourselves beyond what we can do without them, and what a huge win if they can make us amazing too.
  3. For every interaction that might trigger a negative emotion, always offer 3 that offer a positive one. #androidux #swsx
  4. .@helenaroeber Android UX team: We wanted to speak more to people’s hearts [with our designs]. #androidux http://pic.twitter.com/vqLw98PZkc
  5. Bring a ray of sunshine into the life of users. Simplify their lives and focus attn in what matters to make exp amazing #androidux #sxsw
  6. Use beautiful images to create positive experiences for the user.
  7. The most luxurious principle of this presentation! RT @charohenriquez: Delight me in surprising ways! #androidux #SXSW
  8. Paradox: technology has the power to bring us closer except that the interface & hardware keep getting in the way. #androidux #SXSW
  9. Customer complaints are really just #innovation opportunities in disguise. #androidux #SXSW2013
  10. I love the idea renaming a list of things to fix into something approachable and positive. #androidux #sxsw
  11. RT Excellent explanation of design principles behind android UX. “decide for me but let me have final say” is my favourite. #sxsw #androidux
  12. Create defaults for users so they have fewer choices, but let them override those defaults if they choose.
  13. Users are overwhelmed by options and limitless flexibility. #androidux #SXSW
  14. Only show users what they need, when they need it.
  15. The Android UX team refuses to use the phrase “are you sure?” in their UIs #androidux #sxsw
  16. Keep it brief. Use fewer words. The world needs this advice! #androidux
  17. #androidux words are powerful. Encouragement is powerful. I first learned that in Sunday school #SXSW
  18. Little annoyances have the power to erase all the magic in your world #androidux #whyIdoUX

Advice to Newly Graduated Programmers


Image from Datamation magazine, 1965.  Courtesty of The Computer Boys

At myStaffingPro, we are fortunate to work with IT students during their college years.  As we send them off into the “real wold,” and hopefully into a full-time IT job, there’s some things I want them to know.

Put yourself in the user’s shoes
Listen to what the software user is saying with his heart, not just with his mouth.  Many users can’t verbalize exactly what they want.  Good developers will dig deeper to find the felt need and create software that meets that need.

Think like a hacker
Expect to spend more time on security than you want.  It’s a reality of the world that people will try to take advantage of you, your software, and your customers.

Delve deeper
Don’t stop at the first solution – keep digging for the best solution, while staying within time and budget constraints, of course.  Usually the best solution isn’t the something you’ll learn in a classroom.

P & I
Leverage the work of those before you by utilizing free online resources, attending conferences, and sharing code with other developers.  Study successful applications.  Share freely of your resources as well.

Mock up everything
Even if it’s just a drawing on a napkin, a mock-up will give you better focus.

Test it to death
Don’t hand anything in as complete until you’ve tested it at least 10 times more than you thought you needed.  Again, test it yourself, BEFORE handing it off to QA or your supervisor.

Communicate, communicate, communicate
By nature, most programmers focus so much on their skill that their communication skills don’t get used much.  Force yourself to communicate with your co-workers about what you’re doing.  Then listen, listen, listen.

Ask questions…
…but only after you’ve made an honest attempt to find the answers yourself.

Get to work on time and be nice to others
This applies to any career choice – hopefully the why is obvious.

You’ve chosen an exciting career that will allow you to create art in the form of software.  Keep your focus on the end goal of what you’re creating, and you’ll keep your inspiration.  Carpe diem!

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” – Steve Jobs in Fortune