My First Month at Scaffold
So I started as Scaffold’s new UX Designer about a month ago. I wasn’t the new girl for very long though. Daniel our newest Developer started a week after me – not that I ever felt like the new girl, everyone was so welcoming and I settled in very quickly.
After what felt like a few short weeks, the dreaded COVID-19 literally took over the whole world and still is! This meant the team has been working from home, communicating through Slack and Google Hangouts video calls.
As a new team member you would think this would be a very hard adjustment after spending a short amount of time working together in the office, but everyone has continued to chat as usual and make a point of keeping everyone in the loop. It has been great!
Talking to people everyday about the work you are doing, what other people are working on and hearing updates on different projects is the best way to keep everyone motivated. With everyone working from home and having so many distractions, communication really is key in these strange times.
Things that have helped me while working in isolation
- Morning call with the team at 9.30am
- Keeping to my normal work schedule 9am – 5.30pm stopping for an hour for lunch in the back garden
- Sending GIFS and dad jokes into the Scaffold slack channel has also helped
What I have learnt this month
I have been working on some really interesting projects since starting at Scaffold. As a collective we are always trying to up our game and level up where possible. So I took some time to learn more about different prototyping tools and how to create different interactions.
For me prototyping tools are still relatively new and there is so much to learn in terms of animations, transitions, micro-interactions and all of the rest.
First of all I looked at the software applications we are already using. Sketch and Invision are our go to prototyping tools – I find Invision is very user friendly for clients and stakeholders to view the prototype but on a deeper interactive level it just doesn’t cut it anymore.
So, this is where my digging came into action. I found that the most popular prototyping tools are Invision, Adobe XD, Figma and Marvel. I am part of a Slack community called NI Design Chat, from talking to people it was quickly obvious they are using Adobe XD and Figma as their main prototyping tools. It seems most people that are using Figma are part of a design team with more than 1 or 2 people and/or sometimes worked remotely and because of its collaboration features and version control, this wasn’t something we needed. A small number of people are using Marvel so I figured that there might be less resources to help me learn, so that was ruled out which left Adobe XD.
Reasons for choosing Adobe XD
- There are so many Youtube tutorials (everyone loves a Youtube tutorial) and other guides from Adobe for reference.
- We already have the Adobe CC package so there was no extra cost or pressure for it to work.
These are some of the transitions/interactions I played about with when learning how to animate in XD.
A lot about getting transitions and interactions right is breaking them down, thinking how the user will interact and react to them when using your product. Basically will it be annoying and not serve any purpose or will it surprise and delight the user making them want to use the product more. This goes for any type of digital product whether it be an app or website, all of these things need to be taken into consideration.
All in all, I think the interactions turned out pretty well for the first try and I definitely learnt something new! I would like to look into tools that are more interaction specific and not used for prototyping an entire project. It would be good to be able to create interaction snip-its to hand over to devs so they fully understand what we are trying to achieve, the same way we do with UI design.
I wanted to leave you with a few resources that I found useful throughout this discovery process.
- Download apps from the Playstore/App Store
- UI Movement
- Muzli Weekly Interaction Blog
- Medium in general is good for research on many different topics.
I haven’t written many blog posts, meaning I have never written a blog post. I felt like I needed to do a little bit of research on how to do this. I found a really good post on Invision’s blog, 19 Blogging Tips for Designers. I found this really helpful and had some great guidelines to follow!