Just a few thoughts about writing…

5 Oct

There’s something so beckoning about a blank slate; whether it’s a canvas, a white board, a piece of paper or a digital notebook. Somehow, I take comfort in opening my document and spilling whatever is in my head onto the page. My fingertips fly over the keys, tapping the keys so fast that I hardly even notice it anymore. Sometimes I’ll take a moment, and pause; reflecting in thought and concentration. Typically I’ll have music on, as there’s something about the rhythm of a song that entices me to continue and inspires me with the lyrics. Sometimes I’ll stop writing to sing out loud, when a moment strikes or a certain emotion hits. I love it. Somehow, I almost live for it. Hundreds of thousands of words falling together on a page to tell a story; to speak an emotion to the reader that potentially will never be forgotten.

I also find it interesting that I’ll sit down to write about a topic, and find the words fall out of my head on something else entirely. As if they are so eager to be read that they shove the other words who were waiting patiently out of the way. Sometimes to be briefly forgotten about entirely.

Etiquette for the interviewer

10 Jul

There are plenty of articles and writings about what etiquette you should follow when you are interviewing for a job, so I am not going to touch that.  This particular post is going to cover the other side to the spectrum.  The etiquette for the business who is interviewing.  I’ve had a few interviews lately, some overseas and some here in town, and a few of my friends have been interviewing with a few local companies as well, so I feel justified in sharing my experiences. 

If you’re interviewing a candidate for a high caliber position, please remember that they are interviewing YOU as well.  The interview process can be stressful enough as it is, there is no need to make things worse by either dragging the process out to be 8-11 weeks or dropping the ball on communicating with the candidate.  Doing that is the best way to lose the interest of that candidate.  You end up coming across as a business who doesn’t care about it’s employees, which ultimately, isn’t going to bring you the best top caliber candidates.  Not to mention, all their friends who listen to them unload their stress will also get a look at how you practice business and you’ll find your reputation gets tainted very quickly.  A friend of mine did 8 rounds of an interview recently with a smaller agency.  8 rounds!  Finally, my friend had enough and ended the stress – but now another friend is asking me for a referral for that same company, and I’m leery of letting her go into the interview process without knowing what she’s getting into. 

I’ve been doing multiple rounds with an overseas company.  The stakes get a little higher when you’re trying to go international.  And after multiple rounds and a verbal promise to receive an offer – communication came to a halt and I’ve heard nothing but crickets chirping.  I’ve reached out, to hear even more silence.  Now it’s only been a week – so I won’t jump to too many conclusions just yet, but folks? if it’s going to take some time, let your candidate KNOW!  If they really want to work there – they’ll wait.  They’ll figure out something to do with their time for a little bit longer.  At least then they won’t think that you’ve gone cold or changed your mind or just disappeared off the face of the planet. 

In for some exciting things… i hope.

26 Jun

Innovation definition with magnifying glass

What is it about the design career that has people job hopping as much as we do?  Is it the volatile and risky side of working in a field like innovation?

In January, I had an amazing opportunity to go and work with IDEO.  For those of you who don’t know who they are – they are one of the top dogs in the design and innovation industry.  And let me tell you – was VERY eye opening for a LOT of reasons. Continue reading

Well – I got it…

30 Aug

Now I’m just waiting for the actual offer to come through.  Guess I didn’t bomb the interview like I thought I did.  Mind you – there were 7 interviews plus a group portfolio review, so maybe, even though I forgot to say those things (look at previous post), it still must have shined through.  Now fingers crossed that the offer comes swiftly and is a good one.  🙂

So what have you all been up to lately?  Any cool projects you’re working on (either professionally or on the side)?

I had a neat opportunity yesterday to be a guest speaker/guest teacher for a design college here in Seattle.  Had a blast, as I typically do when I get the opportunity to work with students.  But it led me to think about a few things.  Continue reading

The things I wish I’d said…

9 Aug

To the exec who will never read this…The things I wish I’d said…

I am passionate about design.  To the point of obsession.  It’s not a job, it’s a way of life.  Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but I can’t look at anything and NOT think about it’s design.  How it functions, how it’s made, how it’s used.  I specialize in analyzing the complex and breaking it down to make it simple (ok – maybe not always simple – but MANAGEABLE at the very minimum).  I like to watch a good design experience change and morph as ideas are contributed and erroneous functions stripped, and then to pick the design apart and test to see if/when and where it breaks.

I LOVE working with a team.  I love pushing a team to be inspired, motivated, driven to explore new ways to improve upon everyday things.  I like to work with the group and  I love the challenges that come into play when you interact with larger teams.  There’s something compelling about the mix of creativity, humor (sick and twisted jokes tend to be in abundance), stubborn-ness (what is it about creatives that makes them this way??), add in a few egos, a pinch of politics, sprinkled with a healthy dose of project deadlines and non-creatives who like to add things to the frying pan.  🙂 For whatever reason, this is the environment in which I thrive. 

I have so many new ideas of ways to improve the overall efficiency of the team, Ways to show the rest of the company that the design team is an asset, that if utilized, could change the way people perceive the company at large, as well as improve the experience people have with every public facing interaction that we deploy. 

….

Would have been great if I’d said all of that.  BUT… I didn’t.  Totally bombed it.  Ugh.  Ok maybe BOMB isn’t the right word for it – but I have this horrible nagging feeling that I screwed up.  Sometimes, interviews just suck. 

Happy Friday everyone!

20 Jul

It’s been a busy month.  Launched some new apps this month, and saw the release of a few of the apps I worked on at Microsoft.  I feel very accomplished.  🙂  Have quite a few other apps (both mobile and tablet) in the works as well.  Some very exciting stuff!

Apps I’ve designed/developed and/or contributed to in the last 3 years:

1. Microsoft Tag for iPhone

2. Microsoft Tag for Android

3. Microsoft Tag for Windows Phone

4. Fresh Paint for windows 8 Tablet

5.  Bonus Apps for WinPhone

6.  Wi-Fi Calling App for WinPhone

7.  An IP Communications app soon to be released for iPhone

8.  An IP Communications app soon to be released for Android

9.  Same app but for WinPhone

Love designing for the tablets – you can do much richer interactions and really push innovation in new ways.  Metro and the new Windows design paradigms are a blast to create for as well.

Well – would love to hear what you all are working on these days.  What have you accomplished in the last month?

Fresh Paint for Windows 8 review

19 Jul

Fresh Paint for Windows 8 review.

Yay it’s released!  Reviews seem to be going well as well!

Update:

So to those who don’t know what I’ve linked to here.  It’s a tablet application for the new windows 8 tablet that has just hit the marketplace.  This is an app I worked on and helped consult on when I worked at Microsoft.

Its an art application that tries to be realistic about paint textures and blending and what not.  If you have a nice touch screen – you can paint using a dry paint brush and it will pick up the individual bristles of the brush – building paint on those bristles and then painting a stroke with each bristle’s touch point.  VERY fun to play with.