Portfolio Blog Resume

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  • Goals

    January 10, 2020

    2019—my first full year at Brokaw—was marked by tremendous professional growth. I learned a lot about teamwork and communication from being immersed in a collaborative agency environment. And by working hard on web projects big and small, I improved my skills in many areas, from design and coding chops to broader knowledge in advertising as a whole.

    I’m excited about where I pushed myself beyond day-to-day expectations, too:

    • Introduced Notion to the agency to help keep us organized on web projects
    • Completed assignments, such as HTML emails, with minimal oversight (relying on my abilities and resourcefulness)
    • Developed new skills and training (PHP and WordPress)

    In 2020, I’ll be working toward a creative goal and a handful of technical objectives. My manager and I developed these goals to leverage my strengths in places where there are opportunities to grow. Goal-setting for professional development is new to me, but I’m looking forward to all the ways I’ll be helping our company while learning new things in the process. Check out the full goals/descriptions below:

    Creative

    My creative goal is to improve my abilities in web design by leveraging my existing branding skills. Applying a brand’s look & feel to a website and focusing solely on visual design (not code or interactivity) is a valuable skill. By understanding the clients we work with more deeply—their values, products, and goals—I can deliver more nuanced, effective designs.

    Some actionable ideas I might use to make progress toward my goal this year are:

    • Immersing myself in learning more about a client or brand to gain greater knowledge
    • Designing mock websites/redesigns for dream clients or current clients to practice my end-to-end design skills
    • Creating or following simple design briefs and assignments to exercise my web/UI design abilities

    SCSS

    This first technical area includes many sub-goals that will directly improve the websites our team builds. SCSS/Sass is something I learned on the job, but it has proved to be an immensely useful and time-saving language for coding stylesheets. This year, I’ll be:

    • Auditing our existing SCSS system to find what’s working and not working well
    • Researching CSS/SCSS systems
    • Researching coding standards/guidelines
    • Optimizing our base WordPress theme to improve areas of code (in tandem with documenting this)
    • Learning about an emerging front-end technique (i.e., CSS Grid, CSS custom properties, or text animations)

    Efficiencies

    Notion was just the beginning of becoming more organized and efficient in our projects and workflows. This second technical area focuses on ways to streamline everyday tasks. I’ll be working on the following for our team:

    • Creating and using Notion templates for projects in a consistent manner
    • Creating an Adobe XD template for sitemaps and wireframes
    • Creating a blank page template for designs with preset grids for Bootstrap

    Knowledge Base

    In our team, there’s an abundance of information that gets passed around and learned in a given year. The idea behind this third technical area is to centralize and document what we know and where we’re going—our systems, processes, resources, and inspiration. For our knowledge base, I’ll be:

    • Documenting our optimized SCSS system and guidelines
    • Creating and maintaining a roadmap for what to focus on next for our system
    • Documenting helpful resources for design/coding
    • Documenting processes for other types of projects within our team

    As I work on these goals, I’ll also be sharing my learnings and progress right here on this blog. So for more insights, follow my latest posts by bookmarking this page!

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    UI/UX Design Trends for 2020

    December 28, 2019

    From the agency Shakuro, twenty design trends for everyone in the world of user interface and experience to watch (out) for in 2020.

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    Heinz Pour-Perfect

    September 13, 2019

    A Heinz limited edition glass bottle with an updated label to guide you to the perfect pouring angle.



    Brand Guides

    September 13, 2019

    Two incredible new digital brand style guides I’ve discovered recently:

    Starbucks uses unconventional navigation elements, sleek UX, and clean design in their creative expression site. The result is a beautiful and useful guide for their brand.

    The Guardian has an awesome, comprehensive digital design system guide, bringing order and rules to a complex website that could quickly get messy.

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    The Data We Don’t See

    August 28, 2019

    Giorgia Lupi is an award-winning information designer and partner at Pentagram. She is an advocate for data humanism, an innovative approach to data visualization that goes beyond the trend of cool, surface-level infographics. I think this quote from a recent interview with her sums up the idea nicely:

    I feel that data visualization shouldn’t be a simplification of reality; the visualization should make reality more accessible.

    Giorgia Lupi’s work is fascinating and intimate in that it embraces the complexities of humanity. For a wonderful example, I recommend checking out her process on a recent project, Bruises.

    I deeply believe in Giorgia Lupi’s goal to make data faithfully representative of human nature. In our increasingly complex and divided world, this kind of information design feels so necessary.



    Faux Crocs Redesign

    August 12, 2019

    Genius, unofficial logo redesign for Crocs by designer Stephen Kelleher:

    This rebrand concept was inspired by the iconic Croc silhouette as a basis for their crocodile mascot. By streamlining and unifying both into one simple mark the new logo allows for more versatility at scale whilst continuing to embody the friendly spirit of the brand for a new generation.

    View the full identity buildout here.

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    The Necessity of Tomorrow(s)

    May 3, 2019

    Love this visual identity for a lecture series at the Baltimore Museum of Art, done by Post Typography. The concept behind the campaign is that only by envisioning alternative futures can we create a better tomorrow. This concept is carried throughout the branding through the use of striking design elements and bold typography. My favorite parts of this branding are the series of ‘interrupted’ objects where hopeful expressions disrupt everyday advertising and signage, helping “carry the conversation’s themes beyond the walls of the lecture hall and into the city landscape.” See for yourself at the link above.



    Simplicity in product design

    April 29, 2019

    Lots of great tips in this article—including generous illustrations—on how to apply simplicity to product design.



    Better Cookie Consent Experiences

    April 10, 2019

    Smart and timely deep dive on how to deal with cookie consent prompts from a privacy and UX perspective:

    With the advent of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, the web has turned into a vast exhibition of consent pop-ups, notifications, toolbars, and modals. While the intent of most cookie-related prompts is the same — to get a user’s consent to keep collecting and evaluating their behavior the same ol’ way they’ve been doing for years — implementations differ significantly, often making it ridiculously difficult or simply impossible for customers to opt out from tracking.

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    The importance of art direction for the web

    April 10, 2019

    Great article outlining techniques to infuse soul and personality into your web design projects.

    See also: Andy Clarke’s Art Direction for the Web, which was recently published by Smashing Magazine. Definitely adding this to my wish list!



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