Our industry advances at a dizzying pace. Trends and technologies come and go. And even technological giants can become a faint memory of the past, like Nokias domination on the phone market and when Myspace was the king of social media. So it is this ever changing pace that can make our industry feel overwhelming at times, and at the same time it's this continual shift that keps it interesting. Because of that we need to continually adapt and expand our skill sets in order to thrive. I do believe however there are innate skills that do not buckle with trends or with the tides of technology. Skills that still translate exceptionally well over time.
For example good developers have a strong understanding of structure and logic not just a programming languages syntax. Sure it may take a little bit of time to learn new languages and learn the ins and outs of a programs language but at the root of it all, the same logic and problem solving skills apply. This is also true for design. Observing human problems and applying solutions to them are at the core of what we do.
If you know the way broadly you will see it in all things
While flash today is a
dying dead technology it taught me many foundational skills that have translated well over time. Working in flash in the early years helped me understand transitional interfaces and user flows better. Particularly for prototyping and exploring new design patterns with users.
My goal is continuous learning and re-invention as a designer. To tinker and concept new ideas is always my favourite part of a project. I've been using many prototyping tools over the years - Axure for wireframing and prototyping user flows. Flinto and Invision for testing mobile interactions. I just started using principle and I am really loving how quickly I can realise ideas. I like how you can live preview and test your interactions on your phone as you are designing.
You can download a trial of Principal here.
Here's the first test interaction that I did. These animation concepts are things I used back in the days of flash. During the early stages of my career my mentors taught me about using tween classes. And they taught me the importance of having the right easing equations to make things feel just right. How just the right timing can mean the difference between a smooth experience or a clunky one. I wanted to test prinicples ability to delay and trigger animations. If I were to actually build this product I would definitely not want to make the animations this superfluous, it might be cool the first time round but making the user wait like this over and over would be annoying. Which was a pitfall of sites in the year 2000's – no I don't want to see your 30 sec splash screen animation! But for the purpose of practice and this exercise it was great to see what principle could do. I'm sure it's not perfect but you can download the source files here.