Didier Hilhorst, Flipboard, Warm Gun 2012


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Didier Hilhorst, Product Design, Flipboard at Warm Gun, Nov 30th, 2012

Published in: Design

Didier Hilhorst, Flipboard, Warm Gun 2012

  1. Thursday, November 29, 12
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  5. My best work—by far—has been in close collaboration with engineers many times smarter than I am. I’ve been pushed. I’ve been challenged. I’ve done things I thought I wasn’t capable of doing.Thursday, November 29, 12
  6. From the Valve Handbook: “Inside the company, though, we all take on the role that suits the work in front of us. Everyone is a designer. Everyone can question each other’s work.”Thursday, November 29, 12
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  8. Engineers can and should be designers too. You don’t need advanced sketching skills to explain your idea on paper. Products are for people.Thursday, November 29, 12
  9. From Don Norman: “[...] designers are mostly unschooled in the content areas in which they work. It is this combination of great insight and ignorance that produces my simultaneous delight and dismay.”Thursday, November 29, 12
  10. To minimize dismay, or ignorance, I started to code—for better or worse. HTML, CSS, Javascript, Xcode... It helps to know and understand the tools. Let designers break stuff, but in a safe environment (yes, that excludes production!)Thursday, November 29, 12
  11. Design for engineering and engineering for design—or how to balance workflow in a startup.Thursday, November 29, 12
  12. The Sofa The Kitchen Table The OfficeThursday, November 29, 12
  13. The SofaThursday, November 29, 12
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  15. It’s messy. It’s chaos. It’s a messy chaos. Your biggest challenge isn’t process, it’s getting a product out the door for the world to see. You can fix that Gantt chart later.Thursday, November 29, 12
  16. Sketch things—a lot of things. Try things out. Move quickly in order to find what works and what doesn’t. Oh, and since you’re so small, you don’t need massive documentation of decisions—it fits (mostly) in your brains.Thursday, November 29, 12
  17. At this stage, for a consumer product, design and engineering are equally important. You need both. Do it from the start, not as an afterthought. It’s amazing how much one designer and one engineer can get gone.Thursday, November 29, 12
  18. The Kitchen TableThursday, November 29, 12
  19. You shipped—congratulations! Or you didn’t... But still, the team has grown. Sitting on the sofa gets to be awkward. You have now graduated to the kitchen table. Yay!Thursday, November 29, 12
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  21. The kitchen table is larger. It fits more people. It fits more opinions too. More designers, more engineers. Process starts to matter. It’s likely that you will have to explain ideas more than once.Thursday, November 29, 12
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  23. Email is great for communication, but it’s terrible for trying to design a product. Avoid making any decisions over email —unless you find flame wars in your inbox entertaining. That’s why you have a kitchen table; use it.Thursday, November 29, 12
  24. Prototyping is an amazing tool. Static designs hardly convey the interactivity that are common in applications of any type. But over time I found deminishing returns. Prototype responsibly...Thursday, November 29, 12
  25. Bell curve of prototyping Also known as engineer happiness Effectiveness Completeness of prototyping Also known as design world dominationThursday, November 29, 12
  26. Everyone wants to build something that matters. Debate respectfully with each other. Question design. Question code. A kitchen table is the best thing for great product conversations, it’s where art meets science.Thursday, November 29, 12
  27. The OfficeThursday, November 29, 12
  28. Your product is successful. You’re growing more. Actually, you’ve outgrown your kitchen table. People not sitting at the table get pissed off. Decisions take time. Inefficiencies creep in. Welcome, you are now a legit company! Sort of...Thursday, November 29, 12
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  30. As teams grow the key is to try to maintain some of that magic of early days within a startup. Of course it’s not the same, but the way engineers and designers work together shouldn’t change dramatically—avoid isolation!Thursday, November 29, 12
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  34. In conclusion: this talk should really have been entitled “Designers Are Wankers And Engineers Are Lazy.” Just kidding of course... Thank you, and say hi on Twitter @didierhThursday, November 29, 12