Gary Bacon
Design Workflow

Over the last year, I have made it a goal to continue to refine my design process. Iterating on design includes the process and tools as well as the art that you are creating. As a user experience and user interface designer, I have be able to work efficiently. These are the tools that I use on a day-to-day basis:

Sketch

I’ve used many programs over the years: Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, etc. None really hit a sweet spot for me in terms of creating mockups, prototypes, and user interface elements. Once Adobe announced the decision to kill off Fireworks, I made the switch to Sketch. I have loved every moment of it.

The app is completely vector and Mac native. Thoughtful features include: multiple art boards, infinite canvas, retina support ( @2x, @3x ), SVG generation, OSX Versions support, etc. Highly recommended.

15 Jan 2015 • Filed under Design
Top Apps of 2014 My Top Apps of 2014

Inspired by this post from M.G. Siegler, I’m taking a look at the apps that I used the most in 2014. I’ll also make note of the apps that have been replaced by another app in the same category.

Apps that I use the most

2 Jan 2015 • Filed under Apps, Reviews

Really, the goals we set for New Years shouldn’t be something new altogether. They should be an incremental progression of existing goals.

I categorize my goals: career, financial, and health. This year, I’m adding a new category: relationships. Each of these categories, by nature, overlap with each other. By creating the “buckets” to hold our goals it spawns new goal ideas that we may have not thought of before.

Once measurable goals are set then we can continue to refine them through the year; not just at the first of January. Setting regular personal check-ins on the calendar is a great way to keep the ball rolling. Personally, I do this at the start of every month. In my bedroom, I have a whiteboard set up with each category as a daily reminder. Each corner of the board has a bulleted list of goals and any related metric beside it.

Dream big. Quantify. Maintain. Repeat. Day after day, week after week, month after month, it all adds up.

31 Dec 2014 • Filed under Inspire

This morning as I meditated in the shower, I kept thinking, “Self-love isn’t selfish.” What is selfishness? When we expect others to give themselves up for us, we are being selfish. When we insist that others prove their love by doing what we want them to do for us: selfishness.

Putting your needs first allows you to give to others fully. Taking care of yourself, allows you to focus on your goals. Focusing on and achieving your goals with fearlessness allows you to be generous with no expectations of anything in return. You aren’t giving out of a depleted, tired, soul but sharing as a whole complete individual.

29 Dec 2014 • Filed under Inspire

In Non-profits have a charter to be innovators, Seth Godin wrote,

“Go fail. And then fail again. […] Innovators understand that their job is to fail, repeatedly, until they don’t.”

It’s interesting, I’ve had an off and on relationship with dieting and going to the gym yet I keep pursuing the goal overall. However, one misconception with working out that I used to have resulted in me being discouraged at the gym. Why discouraged?

When training, one does sets and reps. For example, bicep curls: 6 reps for 2 sets. Or 12 reps total with a rest in between. I thought that if I could not finish a set then I was not properly exercising. I had failed.

Now I realize that failing is the goal. You do one completed set. Great. Then try the second. Only get 3 reps out of the 6 and your arms give out? That’s a good thing! Muscle fatigue. Only then will you build stronger muscle. Two weeks later, complete both sets perfectly? Up the weight until you fail again.

That’s how you grow.

Is dissatisfaction in life the result of failing or from the lack of growth? Are you uncomfortable because “it’s too easy” or because “the struggle is real”?

1 Dec 2014 • Filed under Inspire
Keynote Tips A Better Presentation: UX Edition

Wrapped up attending the ModevUX Conference today. One thing I always notice during keynotes is that presentations could be improved. No matter what the conference, these principles can be applied and are usually warranted.

Bad Presentation

One of the biggest points, that I can’t stress enough is put all key information towards the top of the slide. This includes: links, twitter handles, key concepts etc.

20 May 2014 • Filed under Design

I feel compelled to share this since it has been a topic at home, work, and with friends.


Be sure to have your headphones or speakers turned down.

4 May 2014 • Filed under Radar
OSX Menu Bar Favorite Apps in my OSX Menu Bar

Inspired by Brett Terpstra (@ttscoff) and Mark Frauenfelder (@Frauenfelder), I decided to dive in share what handy apps that I keep in the menu above.

OSX Menu Bar

Main menubar

From left to right are…

1 May 2014 • Filed under Apps

BGR has released a photo of what they believe will be the new Amazon smartphone. Rumor has it the phone will have a 3D interface, gesture-based controls, and come with “Prime Data” powered by AT&T.

Amazon Smartphone

1 May 2014 • Filed under Radar

Foursquare is splitting their app into two parts. One for check-ins and the other for finding what your friends are up to.

The concept is that check-in experience will become passive. Foursquare will be about search, discovery, and more on the interaction with the apps ( and your friends ) as opposed to get in and get out app experience that they have had thus far.

Swarm

1 May 2014 • Filed under Radar