Snippets

  • One piece of advice I’ve given designers starting out is don’t put work in your portfolio that you don’t want to do again. It’s easy to feel pressure to “round out” your book, and make your skills look as broad as possible. But it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy — the work you show is the kind of work people will ask you for.

  • Dealing with burnout is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Most designers love their job (if not the job but the actual work itself), so burnout almost seems inevitable because we want to keep doing what we love. When you feel “burnt out”, this is good advice:

    You have to stay away until your energy starts to replenish itself. Until you can feel the coals begin to burn deep inside you. Until it pulls you back with the force of our sun’s gravity, recharging you with superhuman strength and energy.

    In fact, the best way to deal with burnout, is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Recently, I’ve made sure I don’t work beyond a certain number of hours. In my case, that’s the hours I’m employed to work. If I work more than that, the quality of my work suffers. Keeping a healthy balance is the key.

    I’ve tweeted a couple of interesting articles about this if you want to read more:

  • Edward Cutrell and Zhiwei Guan from Microsoft Research have conducted an eyetracking study of search engine use (warning: PDF) that found that people spend 24% of their gaze time looking at the URLs in the search results.

    We found that searchers are particularly interested in the URL when they are assessing the credibility of a destination. If the URL looks like garbage, people are less likely to click on that search hit. On the other hand, if the URL looks like the page will address the user’s question, they are more likely to click.

  • You don’t design something like Facebook Home using Photoshop.

    It’s no secret that many of us on the Facebook Design team are avid users of QuartzComposer, a visual prototyping tool that lets you create hi-fidelity demos that look and feel like exactly what you want the end product to be.

    Maybe it’s time to start looking into how QuartzComposer can help us in web design. If you know of any great tutorials on how to use it, please send links to me on Twitter, @tkenny and I’ll post them here on Inspect Element.

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