Prototyping is the best thing invented, like, ever!

Week 4! Survived it! Yeah! Currently looking for T-Shirts online that can describe how satisfying this week has been, will update on that later on, when I actually find one.

We did some Photoshop training, I’ve been using Adobe products for 15 years, so, this was kind of a breeze for me, which is great because I was able to focus on other things I needed a little polishing in {like CSS Codepens which I had a lot of fun making small landing pages in}.

For the bulk of the week though, remember the wireframe we created last week? Well, we used that to make an app design prototype. This was both incredibly fun, but I think I also drove myself a little crazy. I’m a color-lover, a funky, whimsy type of designer, and our app was for a bank, gah! If you knew me well, you’d find the humor in this, but let’s just say I’m not super awesome when it comes to grown up stuff like banks and whatnots. That aside, making sketches, wireframes, and then prototypes is something that’s not only super important, but a MUST for a UI designer. It’s a little time-consuming, but I learned very quickly the value of investing the extra time in the process when you start, so that the rest of the project goes smoother.

When we started this project, all we knew was that this fake bank was founded by a person who had no time to bank, so the name of “branchless bank” was invented, the idea was that it was all online-based. If you’re interested in viewing the research we did to create our projects, here’s mine. In sum, I wanted to create a banking app that would be easy to use to all people, keeping in mind all of the very busy customers out there, customers who travel a lot, customers that work from home, with kids, many meetings, or anyone who just plain-ole does not want to go to the bank! {me?}. I looked at some “competition” where Paypal, USAA and Simple were the biggest contenders.


I researched colors, which is a very wide topic, blue is very prevalent, but I also wanted to use grays and oranges, they just communicated “new”, “modern”, “different” to me, and, I really appreciated that, this is the color scheme I went with to start off, some slight variations on tones came after:



I made my first mock up using the old wireframe, then a second one, then a third one



Here’s when things got a little interesting, I was just not.happy with this design, there was “something” missing, I could not pinpoint what this was. Friday was here, and I only had the weekend to figure this out, as my project was due on Monday. On Friday, I created my first prototype, and, gave myself a pep-talk:  I have other homework, piles of laundry to do at home, 2 kids, 7 dogs, bunnies, hens … do I really need to beat this dead horse? Of course not!

However, I did beat the horse, I beat that poor horse so much, it felt like a scene of The Revenant {which, if you haven’t seen, just know it’s not really a “feel good” movie}. I asked a couple of my fellow students to take a look and let me know their thoughts, they did, and gave me great feedback, so I made a few changes; then, I showed my next prototype to another student, a couple of other changes, finally to a friend, she was underwhelmed with the design, this sent me on a spiral … she said, in her words, and I love her for it “it’s not the flashiest app I’ve seen, but you did a good job”.

Wait, what? No “wow” or “It’s so great”?! I love my friends, I love my friends, I love my friends.

Saturday came, and after a few hours of rest, I woke up to do a little more research, found the great work that the Capital One app team made in their banking app, you can read all about it here. And got just so inspired that I revamped the prototype, and, yes, I am happy with it now.

From this project I learned a ton of really cool things, Invision app is just beyond awesome and I’m sure I will be using it all the time. But the most valuable lesson I learned was patience. Patience to take my time to do comprehensive research, to plan designs with both the user and the developer in mind, patience to make changes to my initial plan as the process moves forward, and not whine about it {which I didn’t, I promise I didn’t, just ask anyone, I’ll give you names}. So, without further ado, here’s my final prototype. I hope you enjoy it, but if you don’t, that’s ok too, please let me know what you liked and didn’t like about it, I’m supposed to be OK with this feedback 🙂

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Full Github repository can be found here.

Overnight, my 7th grader helped me to get crafty and make a little sketch work:




Designing all of the things…

Ah, week three, I love you!

This week we dove into design, which is my favorite subject, there is something so special about artwork, capturing ideas, creating emotions … just awesomeness.

The week started off with Illustrator, creating new logos for consideration on a real-life pet shop, I created three, but this one was my favorite:



We were also introduced to a little bit of company identity planning and creating wireframes:



The funnest part for me was following Dribble’s UI Design Challenge, you have to be “invited” to be a designer on Dribble, so, as a class we joined to submit our work, and I’ve been so excited about the welcoming comments and messages from the community at Behance, I think I will continue uploading designs there regardless because they are a really cool bunch of friendly people!

I designed a ton of fun things and uploaded them on there, I think my favorite one was the 404 page:


Lastly, we also met Jason Draper from Thoughtbot, and discussed the infamous “Imposter Syndrome”, it was so cool to be able to discuss this subject, it seems like it’s a very important thing to keep in mind as we grow into our careers, I also think that everyone, in most careers, have a level of this syndrome, but I think that unfortunately they translate into lots of negativity, poor leadership and just terrible workplace because nobody has named this issue as such in other industries. Very interesting.

I’m excited about what next week has for us, we will be starting Photoshop!