Bigger Changes

Bigger Changes During the hiring process at Google there are questions about where you would like to work and if you are open to working internationally. My wife and I even looked at a map of all the Google Offices around the world and needless to say, we were excited about the possibility of moving from Southern California. Even if it wasn't going to happen right away we had every intention to make a big change like moving to another state or country.

The timing was ideal last November. So, I decided to indicate interest in a role on a team located in Zurich. Following a very arduous process of communication with the relocation team and logistics planning, we moved to Zurich on March 3. Looking for homes for the last couple months we have finally found one and we move into our new home in less than two weeks. It has been a crazy these last few months so far and I don't expect the adventure to become mundane in the slightest.

Changes

It's been a little over 3 years since I finished school. It's really difficult for me to believe that statement. So much has happened in the journey of these last 3 years. I have served in 6 different roles for different companies, from Downtown LA, to the Westside and Orange County. From a Suit n' tie to shorts & t-shirt. The changes aren't limited to my career either. In these past three years my family has moved three times. In the last year, my wife had abdominal surgery, we added a 130 lb. Newfoundland named Moses to our family and I also had major back surgery in which the lowest disc in my back was replaced with an artificial one. 

Perhaps the most recent and significant change has been that I started a new role as an Interaction Designer at Google on February 23rd. It was an arduous journey as I started the interviewing in late October. I had heard from various sources that the hiring process would take a considerable amount of time and I thought I was prepared. However, I didn't think it would take almost 4 months. There is much to appreciate about the thorough hiring methodology (more so if one get's hired as a result).

I joined a team where I am working on a redesign of an internal customer support tool. Perhaps not the most glamorous product but an amazing opportunity to work on a highly complex tool with a diverse set of global users. Google has many opportunities in many areas that a designer can have significant impact. Working at Google has me looking at things with a long term mindset.

A Professional Love Letter

The following is a letter I wrote to an amazing company that I had a great desire to work for. They are far away and I don't know if I was/am even qualified for the role but I felt I had to write them something in response to an open position they had mentioned. 

In 1966, Otl Aicher from Ulm School of Design was asked to be Lead Designer for the 1972 Munich Olympics. This would be an extraordinary opportunity to present a new Germany to the rest of the world. Aicher and his team approached designing for the Olympics holistically. They thoroughly considered all aspects of the games and developed a system of design that expressed intention and communicated with clarity. Designing such a system doesn’t have to be difficult, just very deliberate. If a designer or team of designers has the opportunity to solve problems holistically and deliberately they can create something that is beautifully simple, sustainable and most importantly, delightful.

(company name) success is undeniable and you have developed numerous innovative products. The holistic approach of being intimately involved with the hardware, software and services for your products gives (name of company) an advantage that few companies have. However, I think (name of company) greatest success is the creation of an opportunity. That magic moment when (hardware name) meets (software name) or (other product experience). This is made possible by thoughtfully crafting (hardware name & software name) that doesn't get in the way of the craftsman. A tool that is as great as the craft itself.

I don’t have an extensive background with a long list of amazing products, but I believe my work demonstrates a diligence to think through design problems holistically. I strive to build things that are sustainable, deliberate and delightful.

My goal is to make things that will help people enjoy doing THEIR thing. 

A very difficult problem...or fascinating challenge

Need to identify pattern(s) and create a UI for adding one or all of the following elements

  • Rule Number One (This must be unique?)
    • [if] Condition 1 (DO ALL of following))
      • Do Feature/Action 1a
      • Do Feature/Action 1b
      • [else if] Condition 2 (DO ONE of following)
        • Do Feature/Action 2a
        • Do Feature/Action 2b
    • [and if] Condition 3
      • Do Feature/Action 3a
    • [and if] Condition 4
    • [and if] Condition 5
    • [and if] Condition 6
      • Do Feature/Action 4/5/6a

*The highlighted [else if] could be added later in screen flows to show new [else if] functionality 

Rebeginning

An annoying neccessity. When it comes to writing in a journal or posting to a blog, there is something that seems to always happen. If there has been a hiatus since the last entry or post, I always feel compelled to state something like, "Wow, it's been a long time since my last entry..." and "I really need to write more often...blah...blah...blah"  This time I'm not going to do that. I realize of course that writing about what I normally might do but I'm not going to do it now, is basically the same thing as just doing thing that I said I'm not going to do. 

Occasionally I get inspired to keep a blog. The inspiration sometimes comes from reading great posts on other blogs or because I feel that I want to dump some of the stuff that is in my brain but not forget it all together. This "re-beginning" is no different. I would really like to be a better writer. I think it is really important to not just be someone who has some really great ingredients or components but be someone who can synthesize these smaller thoughts or considerations into a larger and cohesive whole. It's one thing to feel one way or another about some form of design, but it's entirely something different to be able to fully describe a feeling and concisely illustrate where this feeling or thought belongs in the bigger perspective. A great designer doesn't just stop at describing what something looks like or how something is but pursues the why and seeks to share the why with others.  

For the most part I seriously stink at writing. This is my re-beginning of the endeavor to become a better designer.