UXCampAMS17 Trip Report

UXcampAMS took place this past weekend in Amsterdam – here’s what I saw and learned there.

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Why did I want to attend it?

As always, great people, great networking, interesting talks and workshops, tons of inspiration! Really helps to get perspective on my work + keep up with trends and industry standards. Plus this year I had an extra agenda to promote Red Hat and Fedora by giving a talk and distributing some swag.

City and venue

UXcampAMS took place in Amsterdam (of course) on April 22, 2017. Venue was Congrescentrum, somewhere on the upper floor. I did have a bit of a trouble getting into the building, as one has to press a very discreet button with something written in Dutch next to it 😉 But otherwise it was pretty great, 5 rooms of various sizes for talks and workshops, an area to hang out and talk with sponsor booths set up + cafeteria with coffee (very important for a Saturday morning!).

Plan of the day

As all UX Camps, this one was a BarCamp – meaning no pre-scheduled talks, just an outline of the agenda. So after registration and an introduction we had a “Madness Session” – people who wanted to present or have a workshop / discussion got up, filled in cards and pitched their proposals in 30 second time slots. Audience voted on the talks they’d like to attend by raising hands. Here’s a video to give you an idea:

In a short break afterwards organizers put together a schedule, in which I was !surprise surprise! first:

uxcampams17 schedule

My talk

I did the same talk as at ProfsoUX in Russian the week before, so this time I translated it to English.  These are the slides at SlidesShare. So, again, I talked about open source and design, including both graphic and UX stuff, tools and processes and how and why to get started, mostly focusing on work of the Fedora Design Team. The attendance was pretty good, many people knew Red Hat and Fedora, we had a lovely discussion after the talk. I really hope I inspired some people to contribute or try open source tools.

Other talks I attended

Transforming Marktplaats by Jeroen Mulder

Jeroen talked about Marktplaats and their journey through the years, beliefs to transform Marktplaats into a design-led, customer-centric organization; how they started as a desktop environment and now with the rest of the world are quickly moving towards mobile (>45% of their users).  He also talked about their ‘big hairy audacious dreams’ aka BHAG: Bought and sold in 5 minutes. What they found out: the world has changed a lot since 1999, companies now design experiences and care about their users from start to finish. Some of the principles they came up with:

  • outside – in
  • strategic design
  • cross-functional
  • outcome over output
  • discover and fail fast (go through build-measure-learn cycle as quickly as possible)

Jeroen also talked about building a UX team and how we need to ‘get out of the deliverables business’ and own the entire process: Analysis and research → Vision, strategy and concept (not optional!) → prototype and validate (and back to analysis) → build and repeat!

Involving everybody is key, as well as reminding PMs, QA, devs, designers, etc that we all have the same goal. Jeroen specifically underlined the importance of a good relationship between designers and PMs. It all starts with culture and is a journey.

UPD slides linklink

5 remote communication tips for designers by Magdalena Rydiger

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Magdalena works in a Polish agency called Polidea, and as an agency they bring in new clients every couple of months.  Being a designer, she is in constant contact with them and often has to communicate remotely, which as we know, poses some challenges on communication effectiveness. So she wanted to give some tips how to overcome communication problems and have a discussion after.

5 tips:

  1. hold kick-off workshops
  2. make the design process clear for the client
  3. express yourself with talkative examples
  4. support message with video chat and visuals
  5. teamwork makes dreams come true

Again, she pointed out the importance of involving everybody in the design process and constantly reminding them, that we are working towards the common goal. It can start at the kick-off meeting, where among other activities team can look at things that will make the project successful or will make it fail.

She also suggested having all files easily accessible for everybody – for example, a single doc on google docs + photos of sketches.

Designing a UX portfolio by Ian Fenn

Ian talked about the importance of having a portfolio and gave us an introduction to the book he’s writing for O’Reilly. One can buy early release right now, but be aware that that means the book is not yet finished, and you’ll get chapters as they are written. A couple of good pointers from Ian:

  • the purpose of a portfolio is to get a face-to-face interview
  • the recruiters have limited knowledge of UX and very little time, and will spend ~30 sec per resume
  • UX portfolios are often misunderstood: as Jared Spool states, “ A great portfolio is a collection of the stories that describe your best work” and not a collection of deliverables.
  • so one might want to include case studies (no more than 3 pages each):
    • brief
    • what you did
    • key tools and deliverables
    • the results
  • images should support and enhance the written narrative
  • aesthetic affects hiring managers, too
  • language is key, so be short and on the point, no jargon or scientific words. One of the most interesting tips, which goes for any sort of writing: read what you write out loud
  • and seek feedback from the right people

Brand in UX workshop by Flin Nortier and Ramon Schreuder

After that I attended a workshop about brand and user experience. Flin and Ramon told us about the importance of expressing brand values through interaction design, and that it will make the brand come alive. They defined brand as an intangible sum of product attributes (logo, perception, tagline, gut feeling, etc) and we tried to express brand values through interface and communication with ‘clients’.

Keynote: How to make UX count? by Barbara Koop

At the end of the day we attended a keynote about making UX count and subsequently becoming a superhero. Barbara’s main message was: data is an outcome, and we can’t drive outcomes. When we measure UX in any way, we get a lot of data, which doesn’t tell us much, so we need to get behind the data. Barbara introduced the W model of data-driven learning:

w_model.png

She also advised to define which behaviors drive soft KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and track those, as well as bundle predictors to an impact factor for each KPI, so we can see growth and success for each goal. Some of the soft KPI’a are: loyalty, brand perception, customer experience, conversion rate, etc.

Actionable and useful stuff

The main messages of the conference for me turned out to be:

  • teamwork is key, so have everyone involved from the very start
  • go through development and iteration process quickly, evaluate and repeat
  • remind people we are working towards the same goals (if necessary)
  • track things that need tracking and be smart about it

I had an amazing time at the UXcamp in Amsterdam, met some very interesting people and attended great talks. As soon as slides are online, I’ll update my post. Thank you, everybody,, who organized it and took part in it, see you all next year? 🙂

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UXCampAMS17 Trip Report

Fedora badges: how to

Fedora badges is a perfect place to start if you want to help out the Fedora Design Team. ‘I’m not a designer!’ ‘I can’t draw!’ ‘I’ve never opened Inkscape’ – you might say. And that is totally fine! Everybody can help out, and none of those reasons will stop you from designing your first badge (and getting badges for designing badges ;)).

So let’s look at how to get started! (all of these can be found in our presentation here)

  1. Badges resources

    Inkscape Download: https://inkscape.org/en/download/

    Fedora Badges: https://badges.fedoraproject.org/

    Fedora Badges Open Issues: https://pagure.io/Fedora-Badges/issues?status=Open

    Fedora Badges Design Resources: https://pagure.io/Fedora-Badges/issue/raw/66de8abf46b1a554666d4ddb3ff20253d40350afbfe8801acca300e121364a35-FedoraBadgesResources.zip

    2. Anatomy of a badge

anatomy

As you can see, badge consists of several elements, all of which will be different for different badges based on how you categorize them.  More on those as we look at Resources.

3. Resources

So now go ahead and download the Fedora Badges design resources

ATTENTION! VERY IMPORTANT! Prior to designing check out the Style Guidelines that you can find inside the zip file.  Couple of things to keep in mind here:

  • background and rings colors: it is important to keep badges consistent – please categorize your badge and based on that choose colors from the palette. If you need help categorizing, ask on IRC #fedora-design or during our bi-weekly badges meetings every other Wednesday  7-8 US Eastern on fedora-meeting-1@irc.freenode.net.
  • pallette (pp 12-13): if you need some other color, pick one from the palette. You can even download and install it on your computer to use straight from Inkscape. To import them, save the .gpl files to the ~/.config/inkscape/palettes/ directory.
  • fonts (pp 17-18): use Comfortaa and pay attention to do’s and don’ts listed there.
  • do’s and don’ts: it is very important to keep those in mind while designing, so all our badges are consistent and beautiful.

Another tip for consistency: once you’ve have picked a badge, go look at ALL the badges here: https://badges.fedoraproject.org/explore/badges. If you are just starting, it’s a great place for inspiration; you can see how similar badges have been categorized, and what imagery and patterns have been used. Download one of these badge artwork files and use it as a template or starting point for your badge design. To do that, simply click on a badge and go to its ticket. Usually .svg can be downloaded from there.

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4. Design

  • Look at similar badges on badges index.
  • Choose a concept for your badge. Look at similar elements, consider suggested concepts from the ticket, or come up with something yourself if you feel like it!
  • The easiest badges are Conference and event badges. They are all the same colors: purple ring, grey background for conferences and dark blue for presenters. Use the template or even re-use last year’s badge and put your conference logo / year on it – Congratulations! You’re done!selection_048
  • Gather inspiration & resources. This means going on the internet and researching images and concepts. For example, if you want to draw a badger on a bike, you might want to search for a photo or an illustration of a person on a bike to use as a reference. No need to reinvent. This may not be necessary for the simpler badges.
  • Categorize your badge using the Style Guide or ask one of us for help.
  • Open the corresponding template, Save as… your filename and get designing! Here’s a link to some nice Inkscape tuts: Fedora and Inkscape. Keep it simple and pay extra attention to resizing stuff. You don’t want to change background size and positioning, so don’t move it around. That way all the badges look the same. When resizing other elements always hold CTRL to maintain proportions. Also don’t worry too much, we’ll review your badge and help if necessary.
  • Feel free to reuse and remix other badges elements. Also remember to SAVE! Save all the time 🙂
  • Once you’re done with the first draft, go to Export PNG image, select a place where to export, name your file and choose Export area – Page. Check that your badge is 256×256 and there! All done! Congratulations!
  • Upload png to the ticket and ask one of us to review your design.
  • Now work with a mentor to finish it and with a developer to push it.
Fedora badges: how to

FLOCK 2016! Learn How to Get Involved in Creating Fedora Badge Designs

We’re having a workshop on Thursday, everybody is very welcome! Learn about Fedora badges and Inkscape 🙂

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Another year, another wonderful FLOCK! Thanks to everyone who put in the hard work to make this event a success. The first day and a half have been informative and fun, learning about what everyone in Fedora is up to, catching up with new and old friends and seeing some of beautiful Kraków. Just before I made my way here to Poland, I met up with the Fedora Design Team in Boston, MA, for a FAD. We tried out a new event for our team that was free to the public, an Inkscape and Fedora Badges Bootcamp, with success! So riding on the tail end of that I am excited to be here with the rest of the Fedora family and to continue working on Fedora Badges and getting people involved.

I will be holding a Fedora Badges Workshop this year at FLOCK with Mariia Leonova on Thursday…

View original post 225 more words

FLOCK 2016! Learn How to Get Involved in Creating Fedora Badge Designs

My Fedora Badges intern

For the past two weeks I was lucky to have an intern, who worked on Fedora Badges. Badges is a great way to start as a Fedora design contributor, as they have low entry level. Templates are ready, graphics is available to download, all the resources available here. All that’s left is to read through the guidelines, check out the already existing badges, install Inkscape – and create! The best thing is: you get badges for making badges 🙂
I hope Simon had a lot of fun working with us. He even created his own avatar for the badges profile – check it out!  Here are some of the badges he’s worked on:
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Couple of those are a part of a series. Backgrounds might be a little far from the guide, but as he explained – it just said ‘green’, so he naturally went with whatever green he fancied at the moment. I’m sure we can fix these little issues in no time. Simon also worked on other tasks – such as helping me out with logo concept for Fedora Development Portal, as well as some graphics for Brno Newsletter.  All in all it was amazing to have an intern and a great experience for both of us.
I wish Simon good luck in his future endeavors and hope he stays a contributor!
My Fedora Badges intern

Fedora 24 Alpha Wallpaper

First of all I want to thank everybody who voted for, read and liked my previous post about DevConf.cz 2016.  With your support I won the blog competition and got a bag of cool swag, including an xxxl sized t-shirt :p

That said, today I want to tell you and ask for feedback for Fedora 24 Alpha Release Wallpaper. Let me guide you for the process of wallpaper creation first. As you might know, before the final release, we have Alpha and Beta releases, for which we already have to package wallpapers. Between Alpha and Beta we collect feedback and make changes accordingly. You can take a look at previous versions wallpapers on their wiki pages:  f23_artwork, f22_artwork, etc, etc. There you can also take a look at banners (based on wallpapers) and supplemental wallpapers chosen by vote. By the way, everybody is welcome to submit supplemental wallpapers! If you have pics to share, read this article and contribute. The deadline is in April, so there’s still time.

Back to F24. We started the discussion maybe a bit late. I would’ve personally preferred more time to think and contemplate 😉 Also I felt that not as many people helped as I would’ve liked to. Basically, it was just 3 of us: me, gnokii and samo8.  And also I poked some people and asked them for feedback, which was generally positive, so yay! Ok, so we had our initial discussion on IRC in #fedora-design channel, where it was decided to go with the idea of space. If you’ve used Fedora for a while, you might have gotten the general impression like I did;) You can see on wiki, that “Release has no name”, so we had to improvise.

First I took a look at previous wallpapers and whatever CD sleeves I have lying around:

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And naturally thought of space and stars =) My initial design was to take a pic of starry sky and put an overlay pattern over it, like so:

The triangles and hexagons are mine, and the pattern Sam created in Blender, I think. So we looked at that and thought a couple things: triangles were a bit weird, pattern a bit outdated and just having 24 up there too straightforward. Hmm..

Then we started thinking about how to hint at 24, but not write it directly. One of the ideas was: there are 24 hours in a day -> who came up with that -> hmm, I guess ancient Babylonians did -> ok, so let’s write it using Babylonian numerals. We also decided that creating a starry sky ourselves in Gimp would give us much more freedom and independence from the restraints of the photo and make the artwork completely original and new. As you might know Gimp has quite some plugins, like Starry sky, for example, or Stars in the sky.  I actually used both with a combination of renders, such as Clouds and Plasma to give the picture depth and color. I played with layer transparency, blurs and overlays to create various effects. So we did a couple of those and I even tried gnokii’s clock:

The clock was too much for the wallpaper, you can see it on the banner, though =) All in all, this still wasn’t it!

So we thought some more and I came up with an idea of a constellation. Here you can see a first draft with the vector stars I made in Inkscape and a much improved stars made by custom-made brushes in Gimp.

We thought a bit more and got rid of the stripe there, as it was reminiscent of precious releases and added instead a cloud in the background. Gnokii also insisted on idea of light traces, so I searched for images of star trails and was absolutely inspired to make them go in circle. After some play with colors and overlays and pasting Inkscape paths into Gimp we finally agreed on this image:

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It has now been packaged and uploaded to Wiki, and we can collect feedback before the Beta release.

So please, if you have something constructive and helpful to say, please, comment.  I want to underline the word constructive here, too! and considerate! Thank you 🙂

Fedora 24 Alpha Wallpaper

DevConf.cz 2016

General event info

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Today I’m going to give you a summary and my impressions of DevConf.cz 2016. For those of you, who still don’t know, DevConf.cz is a yearly conference for Linux and JBoss Community Developers, Admins and Linux users organized by Red Hat Czech Republic, the Fedora and JBoss Community.  This was my first DevConf and I’m very happy that I got into it as a volunteer. Actually being a volunteer at a conference is the best way to experience it 😉 I got into working on it really early, shortly after joining Red Hat, in July I think. Having literally no idea who had worked on the graphic materials before, we started almost from scratch. First things first, covers for social media accounts were created: facebook, google+ and twitter. Looking at them now after all the work done, I see ways for improvement. Good thing we have started work on DevConf.cz 2017 early, and by early I mean already.

My role there and before the conference

So let me get more into what I did for this particular conference, which turned out to be quite a lot. Basically I worked on all the graphic stuff. When I tried to sum it up, here’s the list I came up with: badges, bags, brochure cover, coffee vouchers, invites, swag (t-shirts, hoodies, pens, pins, lanyards, scarfs, stickers), help with navigation, on-site posters, TV ads and presentation wallpapers, social network covers, posters for cfp and general promotion. My most favourite things of all those are bags and hoodies, as they are the most practical and also pretty. If you were not at the conference, check them out:

Also scarves were a hit, since it was (and still is) February. It was sunny, but a bit chilly outside:

Scarves were given to speakers and volunteers, and also to people asking questions after talks, which dramatically increased number of questions.

Also we had removable Red Hat and Fedora tattoos, very cool. Some people have been seen putting them on their faces even. Stayed on for a couple days, this thing =)

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Topics, venue

Frankly, I can go on forever about what was there and what wasn’t, but don’t want to risk boring you all to death =)  So here are shortly my impressions: I loved it, I’m so happy to be a part of this huge event and will do it again! Still very impressed and excited. Despite doing some graphic work on the spot there, I still got to see the talks. Check out the topics here. For me most enjoyable was the one community talk by Joe Brockmeier about building a successful open source project, Jan Wildeboer’s keynote (I saw Tim Burke a week before at QE Camp) and, of course, the whole Sunday as it was a Fedora day. Speaking about Fedora: I got to meet my manager and team mates from abroad, which was the best thing ever. It really allowed me to feel as part of the community and discuss various important and not so much things. We even in what short time we spent together have come up with ideas for future development and work. And might I say they are great people, very excited and inspired to work with them!

If you are interested in learning more about Fedora and it’s future, check out Fedora Magazine and Matthew Miller’s talk on the state and future of Fedora here.

Also I have to mention Will Foster and his Trystack talk, because you don’t see people going around giving talks about serious things wearing monkey suits and giving live presentations using people. See video link in his twitter.

Summary, statistics and plan for next year

Here are some of my photos from the event:

Also special thanks to Kofi-kofi and Pasta truck for being there, real lifesavers.

To sum up, it was once again amazing, 218 speakers, 203 workshops and presentations, over 110 involved volunteers, around 1600 attendees and according to the brewery, 1837 beers were drank during the Saturday party.  We are now gathering data and making plans for next year. Seems like my biggest tasks for now are 1. to organize all the graphics I did into a brand identity manual and 2. to work on the website. If you are willing to help with any of these, please, don’t hesitate and contact me. Also if you have any swag or graphic materials from previous years, especially before 2015, do show, please!

I believe pictures will be published on our g+ or facebook, we now have 4x more than we had from last year. I want to encourage everybody to share their photos and also give thanks and credits to Joe Brockmeier, Eliska Slobodova, Jiri Folta and Jakub Jelen. It’s the enthusiastic people who make this conference, thank you, everybody and most of all Jan Bleha, who organized it all. See you next year 😉

 

DevConf.cz 2016