August 20, 2016 - 2 comments

Working in the heart of the San Francisco startup scene

So I'm working in San Francisco temporarily, for a tech startup (what else?), who operate out of the WeWork building in Civic Center SF. I'm pretty impressed with the WeWork CoWorking Space, I really think it contributes to generating the vibe and success of its startups. In order to inform and inspire other cities, and particularly Barcelona (my adopted city) I write this post with some details about what it is like working in an SF startup environment.

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March 18, 2016 - No Comments!

UX Talk: Psychology in Experience Design

UX is focussed on user needs. And to discover user needs, we run through a “discovery” phase. But, what if people don’t know their needs? Or the needs discovered are distracted, irrelevant or not deep enough to really satisfy the designer.

A good experience designer wants to seek out deep motivations: Motivations that oftentimes the users themselves do not acknowledge. This is where experience design, for me, encroaches the territory of psychology.

My ultimate goal as an experience designer is to design experiences that enable the user to grow, to realise themselves: This requires that I know what the user desires, what their dreams are — what they want to become.

As psychologists know, desires are often buried in the subconscious, actively blocked by the conscious mind. So how can an experience designer uncover people’s deepest desires and make them a reality? Will experience designers need a degree in psychology?

Steve Jobs famously stated: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them”.

Do good filmmakers “get out of the building” and ask their audience what they want to watch? Sure, there are industries that create products according to market research. But are these the really great products? Are films designed by committee the really great movies of all time?

I’ll research this and make another post.

originally posted on my Medium account

February 11, 2016 - No Comments!

How to do good without an effort

A friend of mine recently sent an email round with a list of links and plugins that allow us to "do good" via charitable plugins and tools, without any effort. Plugins like AdBlock for Good, and Tabs for a Cause which show ads that donate to charities.  Here in this post I dutifully repost this veritable goldmine of goodness. Please partake, and share with your friends.

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January 20, 2016 - No Comments!

Why I learned to code

Imagine walking into a library and not being able to read. That is how I felt to be living in this age of information and data without being able to code. Data is everywhere, hence information is everywhere.

I work in tech, and as such I am privy to common knowledge (in the tech world) that many people are not aware of. Do you know I could reach out (into the internet) and pull together a very decent profile of everyone who is/has been in my vicinity with relative ease? People who “check-in”, or post messages using Geo-location on their phone, for example, are fair game online. A cross reference here and there and I have a decent file on you. Especially if you have a unique identifier (like a telephone number).

Snooping is of very little interest to me. But I do like the idea of being able to use code to gather information and empower me to make decisions. Small scripts (of code) — which can even be considered simple robots — are not difficult to create and can run a whole slew of boring tasks for you: searching for an apartment, ordering regular deliveries and so on. And once the Fridge starts to join the conversation, being able to “boss” my appliances around makes code even more appealing. (Right now, my Fridge is deaf and mute, but soon, oh so soon…)

I decided that code is important and learned to code. Except, like any language, it’s difficult to become “fluent”. It requires constant practice. So, I continue to study, and write minimal scripts, and sharpen my fluency, as I wait for the day when I find writing code as easy as writing these sentences, and I watch the world turn around me, and I say “wow, did I really make that happen?”.

First published on my Medium account.

November 29, 2015 - 2 comments

A quick job board with React, Meteor and Material UI

I recently wrote a mini-tutorial "How to write a job app in 48 lines of code" - and here it is again, but using React JS: Facebook's javascript love-child. This is slightly longer than 48 lines of code, but mainly because I also integrated a Material UI interface. I actually learned React to be able to use this UI library. React is not strictly necessary with the Meteor framework, as Meteor is reactive out-of-the-box - but I like Google's Material UI style, and it required React, so here we are.

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September 9, 2015 - No Comments!

State of Workflow

What is my current workflow? I'm still working on it, but my target is for a neat I/O process - input - process - output. Currently, I'm following the GTD methodology of New, Next and Someday. I try to apply it to most things at varying levels of abstraction. i.e. My research, idea processing, planning and development all follow the same method.

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