August 29, 2011No Comments

Wikia Editor Redesign

Identifying a user’s primary interaction with your website is essential to understanding where to focus a development team’s limited resources. At Google, the search box and corresponding results are so important that the company tests every interaction no matter how minor. During my time at Wikia I continually advocated for the company to focus similar attention on the Rich Text Editor (and source mode) which is used to write, edit, and add images to every article in every wiki. So I’m excited to see that my redesign of the editor has finally made it’s way out of development and onto the site. While this was the last project I worked on at Wikia I always felt it would make the largest impact on the user base.

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August 2, 2011No Comments

Recent Design Work – Kiva Free Trials

It's been a little over two months since I started working at Kiva. In that time I've polished a number of small elements around the site but nothing felt substantial enough to brag about. Yesterday, that changed with the launch of Kiva's invite challenge - a major portion of which was designed by yours truly. The promotion allows Kiva users to invite friends to make a free $25 loan on the site. Response to the free trials have been huge - with over 8,000 invites handed out in under 30 hours (demand was so great that Kiva doubled the initial allocation of 4,000 trials).

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May 17, 20111 Comment

Designing for Good, My New Job at Kiva

Last week I began a daily commute to the Mission to work as Senior Visual and Interaction Designer at Kiva.org. A little over five years ago I learned about Kiva, a micro lending website, and have been using the site ever since. The website allows a person - usually based in the developed world - to lend money to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Kiva’s mission always struck me as the embodiment of the egalitarian promise the Internet’s creators always envisioned. So when an opportunity to join the company as their first full time designer came up, I jumped at the chance.

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March 14, 2011No Comments

Recent Design Work – Wikia Labs

Wikia Labs, a new feature introduced by Wikia last week, was one of the most exciting features I designed during my time with the company. If you’re familiar with Gmail Labs you’ll understand how it works. Users (specifically admins) on Wikia can turn features on and off - the set consists of Top Ten Lists, Gallery Exhibitions, and Article Comments. This new ability gives administrators a greater level of control over their own wiki. Additional it provides a limited environment for Wikia to launch new features and gather feedback from users. For Wikia’s devoted user base, change can often be scary and invoke a backlash from the most passionate users comfortable with infrastructure currently in place. Wikia Labs serves as a bridge to acclimate users to new tools and gather feedback to ensure the the company is delivering features that are needed and wanted by the community.

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December 31, 2010No Comments

Mule Design On Giving Feedback

Well worth the read whether your a designer or in a position where your providing the feedback. It just might save your next project from looking like a mullet.

“John in marketing wants to be able to log in directly on the home page, but Tim in Engineering would prefer it on its own page. Can we compromise?”

No. We cannot compromise.

If you tell your barber that you like it short, but your significant other likes it long, you’re gonna get a mullet.

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November 13, 2010No Comments

Wikia Redesign

Earlier this year the team at Wikia started down the path to redesign their product - a popular wiki hosting platform. Over the summer they brought me on the project as an interaction and visual designer. And just last month we let the redesign loose to a passionate community of select users. Our redesign effort concentrated on making the experience of using a wiki, where a community of users contribute the content, easier. It’s still too early to judge if we accomplished our goal of attracting a larger audience, helping them discover content, and engaging them as editors. However, after a couple weeks, the reactions that we are getting from users are encouraging and we’re excited to continue improving the site.

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October 12, 2010No Comments

Food & Tech: Designs In The Wild

This bit of work began as a postcard and made its way into a banner hanging from the San Francisco Ferry Building on the occasion of Wikia’s Food & Tech event. The logo was a piece of work we put together for the Healthy Recipes team at Wikia a few weeks ago. The event, which took place on Sunday October 10th, saw a handful of local chefs serving up their culinary delights and an esteemed panel discussing technology’s role in shaping the food we eat. It always puts a smile on my face to see my work placed in the context of tangible moments like these.

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