Blog

October 28, 2016

The value of personas

During my first two years working at Kiva we designed and built features based primarily on how our staff used (or wanted to use) the website. Because Kiva’s staff is passionate and knowledgeable on the subjects of poverty alleviation and financial inclusion, this colored many of the choices we made when designing the user experiences. At a basic level this lead us to design overly complex interfaces or even overestimate the desire for a feature based on our internal preferences.

August 25, 2016

Ocean Beach’s long overdue need for lifeguards

The womp, womp, womp of a low flying helicopter sends chills down the spine of residents in my neighborhood, San Francisco’s Outer Sunset. The sound could very well be an emergency response to a desperate man or women being pulled out to sea by the strong rip currents of Ocean Beach. In the past four months four people have died, including two this week and in April the tragic death of two 16 year old boys who were simply wading in waist-deep water. Every year similar incidents occur at Ocean Beach. While the unique geography of Ocean Beach is primarily to blame, the City of San Francisco and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) have continued to bury their heads, refusing to take steps towards improving safety at the beach, costing multiple lives year after year.

August 2, 2016

Product Architecture

When talking about design at Kiva the first thing I show people is our product architecture, which is a high level illustration of the system. I was introduced to the concept after reading a post by Paul Adams, VP of Product at Intercom, who stresses that product design is about a mission, a vision, and an architecture.

From broad ideation to pixel level detail, designers should always be thinking about their company’s mission, vision and product architecture. Everything they do should flow through this funnel.

July 28, 2016

Found Quote: Edwin Catmull

“Negative feedback may be fun, but it is far less brave than endorsing something unproven and providing room for it to grow.”
Edwin Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios from his book Creativity Inc.

July 25, 2016

Redesigned from the ground up

I’m excited to announce 2 Out of Three has been redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. Long in need of a significant update – to implement a mobile friendly design – this project quickly expanded to include a new aesthetic, overhauls to the home page, blog and portfolio pages, and an entirely new front end architecture.