Archive for October, 2016


Hi, my name is…

While I was waiting at the traffic light yesterday, I saw a man handing out little pieces of paper. They were thin strips of paper, almost looking like Bible verses from a distance.

Flyers of many colors and sizes have been handed out to me before, but I haven’t really received this size paper before. So I waited in anticipation as he made his way through the cars towards me.

When it was my turn, I rolled my window down and the man handed me one. I turned the paper around:

LOOKING FOR JOB
MY NAME IS NICKSON, I AM 30 YEARS OLD MALAWIAN MAN, I AM LOOKING FOR A JOB AS A GARDENER, PAINTER AND DOMESTIC OR AVAILABLE JOB, I HAVE 3 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE
YOU CAN CONTACT ME ON: 084 7177 402

It was interesting to me how he introduced himself as a Malawian man. It seemed like it was something quite important to him. Something that would anchor the request and establish a sense of identity, credibility, and trust.

It made me think.

We all do that. Regardless of where we come from, who we are and what we do in life. We want to establish identity and appear trustworthy towards other people. So we anchor ourselves with the thing that gives us the most identity.

I am Dr. Livingstone.
I am a creative director.
I am the founder.
Proud problem solver.
Viking from Manhattan.
Father.
Wife.
Giant cupcake.
Nerd fighter.

And so it goes on…

The first few words of an introduction are easily swallowed up by the many words that follow. But if you linger on them for a little while more, it might tell its own story.

What make these seemingly simple words more interesting is how they change as we move through contexts and as we move through life.

So with that said, I will suffice with a simple, hi, my name is Steyn and I’m a husband to a beautiful wife. 😉


Pair Designing Roundup

I’ve read Pair Programming Illuminated when I was still the only designer at Afrolabs, purely because I’ve seen the value of pairing together and the quality of work that results from it. But when Jess joined the team in Feb, I started to do a lot of reading on pair designing and how we can improve our work by pairing together. At first I thought there wasn’t a lot of practical, hands-on information on the topic, but I soon realised the opposite.

For anyone interested in pair designing, below is a list of all the articles I’ve found so far on the topic:

Articles
Cooper: https://www.cooper.com/topics/pair-design/
Pivotal Labs: https://blog.pivotal.io/labs/labs/pair-designing
UX Mag: https://uxmag.com/articles/pair-design-pays-dividends
Ian Schoen: https://medium.com/goodux-badux/turning-to-pair-design-dafa4c95ef91#.ij26cumxt
Adam Morris: https://medium.com/the-many/pair-designing-d10668c4318d#.o2w9df3n7
Creative Bloq: http://www.creativebloq.com/why-pairing-can-improve-your-design-work-8134179
Mariya Yao: https://uxdesign.cc/three-models-of-pair-design-f75e3b29a51a#.hecfsafob
Anders Ramsay: http://www.andersramsay.com/2009/05/01/less-wireframes-more-collaboration-with-pair-design/
Invoke: https://www.invokemedia.com/unicorns-exist-using-pair-design/
AppNexus: http://blog.appnexus.com/2015/pair-designing-at-appnexus/
Jess Klein: https://bocoup.com/weblog/adventures-in-pair-designing-pomming
Dsign at Slack: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3060607/inside-the-organic-ux-design-process-at-slack

 

Videos & Slideshares
Interaction Design Association: https://vimeo.com/86688345
Air Mozilla: https://air.mozilla.org/pair-design/
Karl Dotter: http://www.slideshare.net/k4rl/the-psychology-behind-pair-designing


A Bizarre Accidental Scene

Yesterday I had coffee with Steve. As we made our way down the street towards Cafe Frank, we came across a car which appeared to have been in an accident. It was right in the middle of the road, a few meters away from the pedestrian crossing we were about to cross. The whole front grill was smashed away with liquids streaming out of the car, down the street.

There were a couple of random people at the crossing, just standing or waiting or watching the scene as 3 men were pushing the car out of the road. The accident seemed fresh so I think some of them might even have seen it happen.

We were standing there as well, waiting for the cars to stop at the crossing. But maybe more so trying to make sense of this bizarre scene. There was only one car (the one who crashed). No objects in which it crashed into. And 3 men pushing it out of the road.

I wanted to ask the people waiting at the crossing what happened but I was a bit too shy or maybe too keen for a coffee.

The cars didn’t stop at the crossing so we did what a good pedestrian would do and quickly ran to the other side of the road — off to Cafe Frank.

– – –

After an hour and a good coffee (Steve had juice), we were back at the crossing with the scene still playing out. Our fellow pedestrians were obviously gone by now and replaced with a police car and 2 cops. They were talking to the 3 guys and taking notes. They weren’t shy like me so they were probably trying to figure out how they crashed their car without any obstructions.

Perhaps there was a big elephant in the road. But then what happened to the elephant? I don’t know, but I guess anything could have happened. This is Africa after all…