Daily UI Design Challenges: Challenge 006

Today’s challenge was a “User Profile“.

The hint was

Hint: Design a user profile and be mindful of the most important data, names, imagery, placement, etc. Is it for a serious profile? A social profile? (It’s up to you!)

I chose to go the serious route and made a user profile for a fictional keynote speaker booking site. I used Adobe XD today, and PlaceIt, to make my mockup images.

Daily UI Design Challenges: Challenge 005

Today’s chaallenge was “App Icon“.

The hint was:

Design an app icon. What best represents the brand or product? Or is it incredibly unique? Does it look great at a distance and does it stand out when put on your home screen alongside other apps?  

I found this incredibly hard. The limited space and aspect ratio, and trying to think of something and make something that would communicate the purpose and still stand out on the home screen. I definitely didn’t succeed but it was a learning experience for sure.

Daily UI Design Challenges: Challenge 004

Today’s challenge was “Calculator“.

The hint was:

Hint: Design a calculator. Standard, scientific, or specialty calculator for something such as a mortgage? Is it for a phone, a tablet, a web app?

I started with a basic, standard, JavaScript calculator, and styled it to look modern with dark blues.

DailyUI Design Challenges: Challenge 003

Today’s challenge was: Landing Page (above the fold).

The hint was:

Hint: What’s the main focus? Is it for a book, an album, a mobile app, a product? Consider important landing page elements (call-to-actions, clarity, etc.)

I thought I’d try something new so I signed up for a trial of Lander and built my design there. Here’s how it turned out:

If you want to see more, keep watching here, on Twitter, or on LinkedIn!

DailyUI Design Challenges: Challenge 002

Today’s challenge was “Credit Card Checkout“.

Here was the hint:

Hint: Design a credit card checkout form or page. Don’t forget the important elements such as the numbers, dates, security numbers, etc. (It’s up to you!) Don’t forget to share on Dribbble and/or Twitter when you’re done.

I used MockPlus again, and quickly made up this design:

Looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge!

DailyUI Design Challenges: Challenge 001

Prompted by Mel Milloway, I decided to sign up for the 100 day Daily UI challenge. I got my first emails today and have started off!

Each challenge is decidedly open-ended. It’s interesting to see how different people interpret!  Challenge #001 was simply: “Sign Up“. An additional hint was provided:

Hint: Design a sign up page, modal, form, app screen, etc. (It’s up to you!) Don’t forget to share on Dribbble and/or Twitter when you’re done.

So I decided to just jump in and go!  I made this design using MockPlus. My interpretation is that people mostly hate signing up for more things, so I’ve provided a number of ways of authenticating rather than signing up directly. This form would also serve as a sign in form. Below is the tweet where I shared my mockup!


Mentoring is an extremely valuable way to speed up learning. Getting the opportunity to get feedback and glean knowledge from more experienced people who have been through what you’re going through is an incredible opportunity.

I think that sometimes we over-formalize it, though. I’ve experienced many of what I call “mentoring moments”– short, casual interactions where someone helped me learn something new or gain perspective.  Likewise, I’ve been on the mentor side of these experiences as well, sharing knowledge and perspective with others who could immediately benefit.

I don’t think we pay enough attention to these great opportunities. I remember about 15 years ago, when I first learned about all the different selection tools in Photoshop.  I wanted to make someone a new userpic for their LiveJournal (shut up, it was 2002) and I was painstakingly erasing a background, zoomed in, pixel by pixel. A designer I knew jumped in and said “Oh geeeez, you can do that so much faster, let me help you.” and he showed me how to easily select and delete just what I wanted.

Definitely a mentoring moment!  Coming away from that, I knew to always check for an easier way if I found myself hip-deep in something detailed and tedious in Photoshop. And I watch for those opportunities now, much more closely.

I’ve also participated in formalized mentoring programs. While I get huge benefits from these (shoutout to my mentor Heather from 4 years ago!) I think they’re just part of how people can really strap their advancement to a jetpack.

Over the next couple weeks, keep an eye out for these mentoring moments. Can you show someone how to set the speed on the treadmill faster? Did someone help you get your WebEx session set up properly on the first try?  All these go into making you and others smarter, more capable, and more awesome.

Learning new things

Learning something new can be incredibly frustrating. There’s a period at the beginning of learning a new skill where you just suck and it can be really hard to get past that. Indeed, it’s a really easy place to decide you don’t want to learn that new thing after all.

But if you can structure your learning in such a way that you’re picking up enough useful bits to progress early on, suddenly you can make it over that initial hump and start to really become proficient, even highly skilled.

While it feels like it can take forever to get past that initial barrier, it’s not really that much time that you have to invest to get there.  In fact, some research suggests it takes only about 20 hours.

Reassuring!  Here’s a TED talk video to get you thinking about this:

Developing digital learning

I often say I came into the learning and development field backwards. Many instructional designers were trainers or facilitators or subject matter experts first, then started creating training. I was a web developer first then started specializing in learning content/assets.

I think this background has been a huge benefit to me in terms of keeping on top of technology, and it’s something I frequently see others struggle with- they want to develop more customized digital assets, but they find themselves artificially limited by authoring tools and LMSs.

This is part of why I think eveyone who creates anything for web use (particularly learning materials!) should learn to code. It doesn’t have to be overly complex to start with, but some basic skills in front-end web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are a huge boon when you’re trying to build online learning experiences.

If you’re inspired, there’s an awesome free weekend coming up on CodeSchool. There’s a ton of great courses on HTML/CSS and JavaScript, great for getting started with building up your coding skills! Check it out.

Public library awesomeness

I had a bit of time to kill this morning and decided to hit up a local public library for a while. What a great idea!

Aside from having lots of books and magazines to get lost in, I’ve also got a comfy chair, WiFi, and power to charge my phone (on which I’m writing this post!)

A great place to spend a few hours for sure. Since the library was renovated, it’s better than ever for accessing great programs, music, and more. I also love that cardholders get access to Lynda.com, Ancestry, and a bunch of other cool things, all for free.

Gonna hunt down a book or two! Happy Tuesday!