I’ve carefully collected and refined my tools over the years, making sure not to carry more than I absolutely have to. What do you carry around?
Another look behind the scenes at the Jam Factory. How we deal with low-quality YouTube thumbnails…
As part of our recent work around making your music look awesome, we’ve also updated how YouTube jam images look.
The challenge with making your music look great is that most of the time we’re starting with very low-quality source imagery. Similar to how apps like Instagram originally were hailed for turning crappy mobile phone pics into something with style, we’ve been trying to solve for this with music.
About two weeks ago I went to New Adventures Conference. I’m grateful that I got to go, because it sounds like it might be the last of its kind! Lately I’ve been putting away my phone and laptop at conferences and just listening and taking notes in my sketchbook instead. I’m a shit multitasker anyway, so choosing to ignore the Twitter backchannel (that I can catch up on later) makes the presentations more enjoyable; and secondly I’m a visual learner and remember things about a bazillion times better if I write/doodle them down while I listen. Not surprisingly, this method warrants notes much more thorough than anything I’d previously jotted down at conferences, and notes that I found useful after the conference too, so I wanted to share them in case you find them useful too.
On Monday I gave a workshop at Web 2.0 Expo with all-new material about something I’ve had on my mind for a while now: designing for the trails of data we’re creating, from tweets to scrobbles to checkins. I had some lovely conversations with the people who attended, and there were lots of great questions, so thank you everyone who attended, you guys rocked!
Note: to all the attendees, apologies I couldn’t get the slides up sooner — lack of stable internet en-route to Sydney for Web Directions! As Danielle suggested, I’ll put slides up before I give a workshop next time!
On Friday I had the pleasure of speaking at Web Directions @Media again. I spoke on “finding our 3/4 view” and the design tools we’ll need for the future. Influenced by my research into industrial design, architecture and animation, this was a pretty personal talk and an absolute killer to write. There are practical bits, but it’s also filled with open questions and personal experiments I agonised over how to include. You could say I was a little bit relieved to get off the stage and discover people actually liked it.
A silly number of books piled up around my desk while writing this talk, so for the extra-curious, I snapped a picture of the ‘further reading list’.
This post wouldn’t be complete without a huge thanks to my sister Monika. She got me thinking about this stuff in the first place and pointed me in the right direction when I started asking questions about industrial design.
When I moved to London in 2005 to work for Last.fm I thought my dream had come true just finding a job that combined my two loves: design and music. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
But there was all sorts of more. I count myself incredibly lucky that Felix, Martin and RJ decided to take a chance on me (I can never thank you three enough); that I got to work with a shit hot technology team (you guys are incredible, I hope you know that); that miraculously, I got to put my designs in front of millions of users (you have taught me so much); and that I had the opportunity to meet so many talented people along the way (you’ve been such an inspiration).
One acquisition, two redesigns, and eleven sketchbooks later, it’s just time for the next adventure.
My first order of work is to take some much needed time off. People talk about the power of time off, and I’m frankly, I’m terrified, but here we go. I’ll be doing a bit of travelling too: Austria; The US (Austin, and San Francisco); and Hong Kong. Lovely people of those places, I can’t wait to see you.
I’ll be back in London mid-April and looking for a new gig. This gives me butterflies too, but couldn’t have signed up for my next job without first knowing I was rested and able to give 100% again. If by then you need an interaction designer for your next adventure, I’d love to hear from you.
From now on, you can get in touch at: han @ thisdomain.com
Right then, I reckon it’s time for a drink.