Posted on

044: Different Inputs = Different Outputs with Joshua Oluwagbemiga

User Defenders podcast

User Defenders podcast - "Mr. Gradient" - Joshua Oluwagbemiga

Joshua Oluwagbemiga motivates us to allow different inputs to influence our visual outputs. He shows us the effective power of determination when pursuing the craft of design. He also reminds us that inspiration is all around us…if we’re looking for it.

Joshua Oluwagbemiga is a User Experience Designer currently working at Intelia in Lagos, Nigeria. Before that he was a lead designer at Amplify Digital agency. He graduated from Bowen University in Nigeria with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. When he’s not designing and typing on a keyboard, he’s likely playing keyboard..the instrument, and not entirely terribly.

  • Secret Identity/Origin Story (7:05)
  • Biggest Superhero (18:50)
  • Biggest Failure (22:26)
  • Awkward Testing Story (26:14)
  • Design Superpower (29:59)
  • Design Kryptonite (30:55)
  • UX Superhero Name (33:37)
  • Fights for Users (35:15)
  • Habit of Success (38:21)
  • Invincible Resource (40:55)
  • Recommended Book (43:29)
  • Listener Question (45:40)
  • Best Advice (51:07)

LINKS
Joshua’s Dribbble
Joshua’s Behance
Joshua’s Adobe Blog Feature
Chris Do
Gnomon School
Spotify is incapable of empathy & doesn’t care about their users [ARTICLE]
Balraj Chana
DesignBetter.co

RESOURCE
Photoshop

BOOK
The Design of Everyday Things


SUBSCRIBE
Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe on Android | Subscribe on Google Play | RSS Feed

SUPERPOWER OF SUPPORT
Here’s your chance to use your superpower of support. Don’t rely on telepathy alone! If you’re enjoying the show, would you take two minutes and leave a rating and review on iTunes? I’d also be willing to remove my cloak of invisibility from your inbox if you’d subscribe to the Bi-Weekly Bugle for my best UX/Personal Growth tips and superguest announcements.



TRANSCRIPT

Show transcript

Jason: Welcome to User Defenders Joshua, I’m super excited to have you on the show today my friend.

Joshua: Hey, how are you doing Jason?

Jason: We’re both cracking up because I just spent the last ten minutes trying to figure out how to pronounce Joshua’s last name and he helped me out a lot and I promise you that will be an outtake real with Joshua’s permission. That was so much fun. Thank you for hanging in there with me Joshua. Tell me about music, so you like to play keyboard, what kind of stuff do you play like what kind of music do you like my friend.

Joshua: I think I’m very random, so sometimes I just listen to like stuff then try to get the notation by tapping randomly. I form a harmony in my head I think sounds nice just to me a little.

Jason: Very cool. Do you ever record of these stuff like would you write songs and record them?

Joshua: No.

Jason: All right just to get a vibe and just feel that music I love to do the same thing; it’s a nice release. Very nice man well every superhero has a secret identity, an origin story and I know Josh you have a really interesting one let’s talk about yours. I like to start the show by you taken a few moments to give us a look into your personal life.

Joshua: Alright. I think mine is very diverse for- beginning in high school I started to code, so close to my final year in high school I still like. CSS playing around with the code then I got to like the blocking parts just like Php and stuff and so it’s just like enormous for me something I can do. So on moving into the university in my second year I found out I was like not really comfortable coding because it was kind of herculean in my mind and I was thinking I couldn’t handle it. So I decided to try out 3D Design. So 3D design, in my secondary school I start playing around with 3 decks Max, Maya and a bunch of other plugins for the softwares and somehow I found out that I was able to get an idea of how the whole 3D thing works. So I decided to spend more money and more time in this, I took various online classes in 3D design in animation, rigging and bunch of other stuff like lightning, shaders and stuff like that and close to my final year in university I found out that the markets in Nigeria Dosn’t really like have this thing for 3D guys. So I was saying OK if I go on with this, if I leave university with this- this in my mind- I study computer science so this was just something I was doing at the side. So it was then I now said OK since the Nigerian market Dosn’t this thing for 3D guys, I decided to move into UI design. When I started UI design I thought it was going to be like very complex but because I had like knowledge in 3D Design I found out that it was actually very easy for me to migrate from 3D design into UI design; so that’s how I found myself building user experiences.

Jason: Yeah and I was looking at your work Joshua on Dribbble and Behance and you seem to get a lot more work on Dribbble right now but I was looking at your work and you have a really coolest study man. I love how you incorporate 3D like your 3D skills into your interactive designs; it’s refreshing and especially coming from all the flat design that we’ve certainly been exposed to for quite a while especially since of course the IPhone OS3 design and Apple obviously has a lot of sway and influence on design trends and there’s also of course good reason for flat design and especially as it relates to simplicity and minimalism kind of things with web performance; so I certainly understand and I tend to probably have more of that myself but I do kind of miss seeing more texture, seeing more kind of dimensions on web pages and so that’s why I think I really loved looking at your work and being exposed to your work Joshua and so it’s very interesting to me and again the 3D thing has impacted you working in UI an interactive medium, can you speak to how it has and how it’s really influenced your aesthetic.

Joshua: OK So I think three major parts of the 3D help me in UI design was one in colors, second one in lighting and in shadows, so there’s this thing in 3D design lights in and shadows so you understand how lights bounces on objects to creates color combinations and produce shadows and stuff like that. So bringing that into UI design I was like oh OK this is a normal way UIs go; I’m like I could make my own unique actually by bringing in the past experiences I’ve gotten from 3D design incidents. So right when I was doing 3D I did a bunch of stuff like color theory, lights and shadows, shading, textures and stuff like that. Now translating that into UI I found was very easy for me so like balance colors in the UI design projects also bring in the idea of also lights and shadows and how they blend in the User Interface Design.

Jason: Yeah it’s really compelling man visually and again very refreshing. So I’m going to be sure to link to your Dribbble portfolio on the show notes so the Defenders can see what I’ve seen and kind of salivate a little bit too. I want to ask you about performance because your work is very visual and I love it but how do you manage these luscious visuals with web performance and especially being in Nigeria and I don’t know what the internet connection is like there but I would imagine it’s maybe not as fast is maybe would be in like a metropolis area like in the United States like L.A. and you know one of those large areas or whatever. I mean pretty much everywhere in U.S. you have a lot of fast internet speed now which obviously has kind of been a detriment to a lot of us in the U.S we’re designing experiences and people in other countries that maybe don’t have as fast of Internet are kind of suffering for it, so it’s been a big conversation in our design community as I’m sure you’re fully aware of; how can you speak to that like how you manage that and what is it like.

Joshua: Alright OK so concerning performance in Nigeria, yes being a country we really have like shaky network system, so it’s not everywhere you go you have network. So for UI design projects I do, first of all I look up like a target audience, where they are located, what kind of UI or what kind of Internet speed do they operate on. Now most of the 3D manipulation thing I do on the web for example we have in-house Web site here and I work very closely with the developers to make sure that access as low as possible and we arranging most of our stuff with CSS CSS has gone like very wide over the years, so CSS has like a advance capabilities on how we can actually even render these things in their prospective. So this is one trick for example I create an access in 3D, I could export the layers on- individual layers in that perspective so that we are not using codes to actually make the perspective but access rendered in the perspective and all you have to do is just use CSS to just arrange them and add maybe a loop or something or a bouncing effect.

Jason: That is awesome Joshua I think I smell a blog post a medium blog post that I would like to publish…

Joshua: I don’t really write.

Jason: Well Zeldman’s not gonna hire you. Oh man that’s a cool. Now I love that idea that, I don’t even consider that; you’re right like with CSS3 there’s so much you can do and I am just scratching the surface. I feel like I was really a master before like on CSS2 before but I’m still trying to pick up little tricks and techniques with CSS3 years later. So I love that you shine a spotlight on how you’re doing that. I’d love to hear about your design process like what’s your process like when you get a website project.

Joshua: Ok so my process depends on the kind of projects but I’m just going to give like the general starting points. So I’m more of like pencil guy, so I can sketch on paper then write down see what I could bring in new instead of projects, how to make it unique. So I like sketch down different ideas that could come into play first of all of paper, then I move into a wire framing software like sketch or Photoshop or Adobe XD then I try to like bring out these assets one by one so that I have like a UI kit before I start building. Now not to confuse the whole thing; the UI kits still develops as the project goes on but for like the beginning phase and stage I have like this UI kits that guides me through. So the design direction is kind of aligned and parallel so you don’t like go out of design scope and there’s this form of unison in the whole thing- so from paper to wire frame to UI design to prototyping.

Jason: Nice and I see that you use Adobe XD for a lot of your prototypes and that’s pretty neat because they are actually sponsoring this episode so that’s pretty cool. And actually the way that I found you Joshua was on their blog, they did a write up about you and I want to know how they find you.

Joshua: When XD released I think I joined during the second updates last year, yeah I think last year; so I decided to play around with it then I had XD would be able to run on Windows and mac at the same time. So yes is something worth checking out because here in Nigeria most of the designers and developers have this operating system issue, so most of them can’t afford a Windows P.C. and one of them can afford the Macintosh PC So the fact that XD bring the softwares to both platforms and also checking the use of voice platform and seeing a lot of features they have in the back log and how users are contributing to this then I was like convinced and I tried it out. So since last year I’ve been playing around with this software and on January this year when I was still at Amplify digital, we had this bank projects; pension projects where we would build a pension app that allows users check their pension and also do some site stuff. So the whole case study is on my b hands where we broke down old features and we used Adobe XD throughout the whole process from concepts to wire framing to prototype and design and the whole process was done in Adobe XD and I did full case study on BE hands and got featured on the Adobe experience design gallery. Yeah so I think that’s how Elizabeth found me, then she links me up with Jordan. And yeah we had like a side call and the blog post happened.

Jason: That’s very cool. Well I’m glad it happened because that’s how I discovered you Joshua. So who do you think is the biggest superhero in your work and why?

Joshua: There are many of them

Jason: Right and it’s hard to pick one. The problem that I have often with my guests is they don’t want to just pick one.

Joshua: Alright, I think one

Jason: You can pick two. I’ll make an exception for you my friend.

Joshua: Alright. OK so the first person that I think- I didn’t really mention his name in my blog posts; in the blog post that was written on Adobe but his name is Chris Do; have you heard that name before?

Jason: Chris Do?

Joshua: Chris Do, he Dos around designs and he has a YouTube channel called The Future or something like that. So what he Dos is that he Dos like webinars and explains how the business of designers on it. So most of us we do design of businesses, well he endorse the business of design. So he now goes through how we can manage charging a client, how you approach clients, how you manage clients and how to be professional. And I watched a lot of his videos and that kind of guided me through how to build my career and depend on kind of projects to take or which not to take. I think designers usually don’t pay attention to this part of the business of design but he went through all the stress to produce all those videos and which helped me a lot through my journey even up to now yes and so like the quality of what I’m worth and stuff like that.

Jason: That’s awesome. How do you spell his last name?

Joshua: Just “D” “O”; Chris Do

Jason: Chris Do. OK wow have to look into that but I love that you mention that about the business side of things and it’s something that historically has designers it’s been kind of easier for us to turn a blind eye to it but I’m glad they’re with especially with the movement of UX, the importance of actually building something that is going to bring some ROI right to the business, I think it’s certainly grated that conversation is really out in the open now and that’s been a recurring theme on this show Josh. In fact Mr. Joe is his Twitter name Joe Leech, I had him on the show recently he’s episode 39, he just went all in on that concept and just really just shine the spotlight on that as well which was awesome for us designers to really realize that we aren’t hired by the business or client we are hired to produce work that’s going to bring in our ROI and to help the business. And without that we really don’t have jobs, do we; we are like hobbyist right at that point and that’s fine but we’re more of an artist than a designer at that point right.

Joshua: Yeah true.

Jason: So that’s interesting, I love that. So another part of the show Joshua is about failure and I like this part of the show because we all have them, we’ve all failed in certain ways and certainly more than once and I think our biggest lessons are learned through failure and also I know that we can actually learn from other people’s failures as well, so failure is not a bad thing and certainly in the light of kind of how this format is I want to shine a light on that just because I think we can learn from it. So let’s talk about your life altering experiences and get into your transformation, can you tell us a story about what’s been maybe the biggest failure in your career.

Joshua: I think the biggest failure will be when I stopped 3D design. So then it was like I wasted a lot of money on because I was in school then every allowance I get from my parents I spend on tutorials and software licenses, on plugins and stuff like that you know. So after 2 years and 3 years of points and resources and everything just to come out from school and find out that all the knowledge gained can’t be put into action in my country here. So initially the plan I even had was after I finished from school I thought if I’ve made enough money to go to a school in the U.S. called Gnomon. So Gnomon is a 3D school in the U.S. but when I checked their fees, their fees are like off the chart; they are paying about 92,000 dollars for a 3D program and I didn’t even have up to that then. Yes so I think I fell down there because even if school had to like splits my time I was only focusing on class stuff and I was diverting most of my time into 3D design which I thought was the right part for like me to constantly growing up. And just close to when I was finishing from finding out that oh all these things you’ve done can’t really be used and yeah I kind of felt like bad then but I just said ok let me try out other fields like should I go back to programming, should I try something new and I started designing. So I think that from every failure I think we learnt something very valuable because if I didn’t spend those 3 years doing that I’m not sure any of my work could be as unique and different. And some people see my work and say that must be Joshua’s work. So I think without those 3 years of spending resources, time on 3D design; I think it has translated very well into the new career I got into.

Jason: Yeah I love that story Josh; just having a drive to do something and then adding the kind of the wind knocked out of you so to speak realizing that I can’t go to Gnomon and I actually didn’t know about Gnomon until I read the blog that Adobe did on you, I didn’t even know about it and it is a very premier school for motion design in film and T.V. and things like that in L.A. So that was very fascinating but I love how you didn’t let that stop you, you didn’t let the fact that you couldn’t afford to go to Gnomon I mean not a lot of us can frankly but obviously you didn’t let that stop you, you were able to turn it around and just go for it on your own and just take tutorials and learn it anyway and it’s really what has made your work so unique. So I think there’s this really cool like that’s the whole point of this story is like you thought it was a failure that you had to stop doing 3D specifically but you were able to learn it and then use it in your interactive work that’s really made you stand out, so love it man yeah kudos to you. So I’m interested do you guys do user testing over there in your office. I mean I know that you’re a big part of your process is first of all defining the target audience and then in kind of making sure that your designs work specifically for that audience, do you guys do user testing on your projects and have you done things like that have you like do you have a story of like anything crazy or super awkward that happened during that.

Joshua: Not really user testing processes; when I was back in Amplify yes so we had these projects to work on the same I co on; after we defined we had about 2 target audiences, we had young millennials from 18-20 and we had older ones we call them Generation Y. from about 40-61. So we’re like to build a platform for this 2 audiences and for young people would like techie savvy things, for the old people older ones who don’t really even understand what the user interface looks like but the younger generation understands because they’ve seen familiar interfaces like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. So as far as user testing went; crazy and awkward like that we had to use the user testing processes for the app before we handed it over to Dev guys but as far as awkward I’m not really sure they were cooperating and understanding yeah I think I’ve already experienced something super cool.

Jason: Well here you go you want to see a really awkward user test, record a non-millennial trying to use Snapchat. But I mean that would be awkward right, I mean who gets that. If you’re not a millennial you’re going to spend hours trying to figure out that UI. I was on a just on a live chat thing recently and one of the questions that the audience asked me was what inspired you to get in the UX or something like that like what made you decide to get in the UX And then my tongue and cheek answer was Spotify’s UI; it’s just a piece of crap. I’m sorry, I get to take it really personal, I use that app the most and I still hate the UI the most but anyway that was my like…

Joshua: For mobile or for PC?

Jason: Both; they both suck. And they’re both completely disparate from each other. It’s been what four years?? Come on…

Joshua: Yeah almost 4 years.

Jason: Come on OK that’s my soapbox I’m actually writing about that right now that’s why that’s so fresh but anyway thanks for indulging me Josh. What’s your design superpower my friend, we’ve already touched on some of this but what’s your design superpower would you say?

Joshua: I think because I like gradients and I’m really good with colors and gradients and if you look at most of my work and still like pulp and there’s a balance between gradients and colors, I’m really kind of gradients’ guy. So I love gradients around design like around the edges. So I think that’s my superpower.

Jason: It’s a great answer Josh and I fully agree with you, you have again I mentioned you have a just a really interesting aesthetic and I think the colors and the gradient the way you use them is a really large part of that, so I love your choices, the choices you make in your design especially visually it’s incredible; so again Defenders check out Josh’s work up at the link in the show notes. So I totally agree with you man and I’m inspired by it actually too.

What’s your design Kryptonite my friend?

Joshua: This is so crazy.

Jason: How people pronounce your last name like me.

Joshua: No. All right so my kryptonite is I can’t draw.

Jason: You can’t draw?

Joshua: I can sketch but my sketches are really ugly; I can’t draw though. My sketches are like poor so I got someone else.

Jason: I gotcha and you know what I appreciate your honesty there and it’s so funny I realize this because I used to draw a comic books and I got pretty good at it in junior high school. I used to draw Wolverine and I actually would try to get in trouble so I could get detention and stay after school so I could draw Wolverine and I actually got really good at it because I did it a lot but I realized that just like any muscle just like anything in our bodies if we don’t use it we lose it and I realize it’s the reason I’m not good at it maybe you can identify with us too; the reason I’m not good at drawing is because I just don’t practice them, I don’t exercise that muscle enough. But sketching I totally agree like it’s still a great tool and you touched on your process is that’s where you start and I love that, I think Defenders listening especially those of you who are starting out that is such a great take away because it’s so tempting to just jump right into the latest and greatest tool and let the software sort of define our design but that is not the way to do it. Our computers can’t think for us, we have to do that work first and so I really love that take away Joshua; I think that’s awesome and I love your vulnerability in saying I just can’t draw and that’s OK you’ve been doing OK without that, without that superpower right. And there’s other people who do that as well and I’m thankful that I have Eli Jorgensen that does all my superhero art and I can’t wait to see yours by the way my friend that he does but I’m thankful that I have him because there’s no way I could do that quality, that caliber of work that he does for my guest; so it’s neat.

And we all have different skills and I think that’s sort of another great takeaway is we all need each other like The Avengers right like the Justice League we’re all superheroes in our own way, we all have strengths and superpowers but we don’t all have the same one and that’s great because we can come together and join forces and really solve some important problems using our superpowers good stuff. This is a fun question Joshua and I always carry out this and I actually just kind of did we all need each other, none of us got where we are on our own but you certainly achieved some great success in your short amount of time of doing this, so I want to ask you what would your UX super hero name be? And don’t say it’s your last name; that would take me ten years my friend [laughs].

Joshua: UX superhero- this is hard.

Jason: I’m sorry to put you on the spot. You want to talk it through talk it out and I’ll try to help you

Joshua: All right yeah, kind of like inspiration.

Jason: Yeah man let’s see…3D or interactive….Multi-Dimension Man?

Joshua: Dr. Strange.

Jason: How about Dr. Gradients?

Joshua: Dr Gradient

Jason: Dr. Gradient yeah or Mr. Gradient or Gradient Man

Joshua: It has a ring to it.

Jason: Which one do you like best?

Joshua: Sure Mr. Gradient.

Jason: I like that man- I like that

Joshua: yes so my suit looks like Mr Gradient

Jason: yeah and I bet I’m going to give us some direction on that, I’m going to make sure you have some gradients in your suit for sure. I love it all right Mr gradient thank you. So one of my favorite lines from Tron was when he said I fight for the users, how do you fight for your users?

Joshua: From what point of view exactly like how do you help users build their products or…

Jason: Yeah great question so I would say like how do you make sure that what you design for your audience is the right thing, how do you make sure that it works and that they’re delighted or you know the satisfaction and stuff like that; how do you make sure of that how do you do that?

Joshua: So as I mentioned earlier projects we work on, we kind of define it targets audience so for example and we usually create like studies of users there will use the product. So we might say we have 3 people, one is from China her name is Guan and another one is from the U.S. name is Chris and we kind of write down what this people like, what their challenges are, where are they from and also keeping in mind that the target, the concepts characters we are creating in the target audience and also in our targets countries.

So my view in a product for somewhere let’s say in China and if we use a case study from the US they don’t really correlates because they have different environments, so what we do is we creates these characters, their locations and the kind of stuff they go through then bring this into our scope of work and how we can build a product…

Jason: Like user personas?

Joshua: Yeah exactly like user personas. Yes users use our personas to build like even from sketching to wire frame- I think from sketch to wire frame stage we put this really into consideration before moving into the actual design; yes that’s the idea of process for doing it.

Jason: Very nice. What do you use for your wire frames?

Joshua: Mostly sketch or XD; for like personal projects I use XD but for like in the work environments because we have other users and developers using sketch so we have to use sketch because of the environment we work in. But for like personal projects and your clients kind of like educates them on how they could use XD since it’s available on every platform and feedback is actually easier to get, prototyping is breeze; as in that path alone is like totally non hassle for me, so that’s how I build with wire frames.

Jason: I concur with the use of XD and I mean even your wire frames are sexy man that’s not balsamic.

Joshua: Oh no I don’t use balsamic.

Jason: Yeah even your wire frames are pretty awesome man good stuff. So let’s wrap up the show with imparting of superpowers. What’s one habit that you believe contributes to your success?

Joshua: Yes So let me talk about there was this designer I found on Dribbble, his name is Balraj Chana, I found him about 2 years ago yeah and I looked at his work and the way he uses colors and stuff like that is kind of very unique, so I was like hey how do you get your color inspiration and he said something to me that I really like impacted my work and stuff. So he said that usually when he walks around, he kind of like notices everything around him. So you see a lady in a fine dress, what makes the dress fine? Is it because she’s dark skin and she’s putting on a blue dress and how the colors come together. Now as you go on moving around noticing all this minor details surprisingly when you come back to your design environments all these come in to play and actually improve how you use colors. So you know that blue and dark green doesn’t go together like bright blue and dark green or some color blunders and this actually helps simplify the process and reduce the time you spend in deciding colors for a new products or using an existing colors from even existing brand guideline.

Jason: Yeah and I saw his name mentioned on that again on the XD blog that they linked to him. So yeah definitely another inspiring fella to look at, not Balrog like in Lord Of The Rings remember the Balrog was the big monster that came out from the dungeon…from the deep?

Joshua: Yeah I remember

Jason: Yeah and that’s Balrog. You like films too right I mean I’ve seen some of your stuff you’re watching Game of Thrones?

Joshua: Yeah.

Jason: Crazy man and every one of those episodes is like a cinematic like feature film, I heard they spend like a million dollars at least per episode.

Joshua: Exactly if you look at the budgets for episodes it’s insane in fact it has to be good.

Jason: I almost made up a new word it’s incrane- it’s incredible and insane [laugh]. So you’ve mentioned some resources you mentioned some tools but this next question is what’s your most invincible UX resource or tool you can recommend to our listeners?

Joshua: Invisible.

Jason: Invincible yeah like what’s the tool you couldn’t live without in your work right now?

Joshua: I think it would be Photoshop.

Jason: Do explain.

Joshua: All right so let me give a brief break down on why Photoshop is my favourite tool. So where I worked on before moving to Intelia is Amplified Digital and they’re like a digital marketing agency and even before that Photoshop is like what was trending. So in school you hear oh OK this guy knows how to use Photoshop, do you know how to use Photoshop; even on Twitter Photoshop is the like most forward software in the world. So Photoshop is like the trending app then; so I started using Photoshop then, I started using it to design; I used to design logos and flyers. Yes so I did a lot of like branding work for some time then so Photoshop was like my favourite tool then because for everything I even did some UIs in Photoshop and put them on pollution and if you notice in some of my work I do most of the processing in Photoshop; post-processing as in color correction, lighting color to give them this contrast, balance contrasting all those stuff like that. I use Photoshop most of the time for like color correction; so I might download a stock image and the color doesn’t like go with the UI then you can use Photoshop to like balance the contrast of the whole piece. So yeah Photoshop is like one of my most invincible tools.

Jason: Very cool and Photoshop is still the undisputed photo editing software which is what it has always been and still is and you can just do so much- still such a great tool. So I appreciate that answer.

Jason: I put a lot of emphasis on reading books in and things I write and I always tell the Defenders and readers are leaders and leaders are readers, so I’d like to ask you Joshua if you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why.

Joshua: The one book I’ll recommend is The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.

Jason: Oh the Design of Everyday Things .

Joshua: Yeah by Don Norman. So he talks about authentic design down to usability, why your designs have to be not only functional but also beautiful and appealing and he goes over a bunch of stuff mainly towards the user experience and it’s actually like hits the nail on the head like every UX book based on emotional design- yes the Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things.

Jason: Defenders don’t throw stones at me but I haven’t read this book yet.

Joshua: You know Don Norman right?

Jason: Oh yeah a legend.

Joshua: Exactly.

Jason: A legend absolutely and that’s why I feel embarrassed to say that I haven’t read the book yet and I’m going to, I’m going to do it because you’re not the first super guest that has recommended the book so now I know when I hear it, it’s kind of like revalidation right when you hear something more than once or when you’re testing your designs you see patterns; so this is a pattern and I’m going to have to read it and I’m sure the Defenders are seeing me and like just if they’re driving they’re just gone oh man you know you got to read that OK will. I also want to read Creative Confidence by the IDEO brothers I heard that’s an incredible book as well and that’s been recommended numerous times. But I will check out Design of Everyday Things and first for sure.

Joshua: Also there’s this new stuff Envision released (Design.co) that’s cool; have you heard of it?

Jason: Yes they envisions new yes absolutely. Aarron Walter and Eli can’t remember his last name and yeah those guys over there are heading up to the education arena; just launched something new yeah. It looks great I got to get a sneak peek at it actually it’s pretty incredible so be sure to link to that as well all right yeah.

Actually we have a listener question Joshua and this is from somebody on Twitter I think his name is Wolfgang and he wants to know and I love this question actually, I’m so glad that he asked as if he hadn’t and I I’m sure I would have at least I would hope that I would have but I also want to kind of the preface this question with something that I think I saw you tweet recently Joshua you said, you mentioned something about how UX is still very underrated in Nigeria. OK so I want to preface that question and hoping you’ll touch on that as well in response to Wolfgang’s questions- his question is he would like to know where the field of UI and UX is going in Nigeria.

Joshua: OK so first of all the normal work flow for products views in Nigeria are just like from description to developments. So if a client comes to you and is like I want the website for my show; so it doesn’t go through that design process, they believe leave that you just give it to the developer, you tell him what you want and he just develops based on your description. So but over a sense like past year or past 2 years the UI design scene has being like spreading and increasing rapidly; you can see our community on Dribbble which is also increasing by the years. So the field of UI and UX in Nigeria will surely get better over the years because now clients are now understanding that your products have to be designed before developed and they’re taken this into consideration and as the generations like go by the younger generations of like managers and CEO’s understand the importance of the design process. So that tweet about being under rated in Nigeria is if we’re looking at it from like salary angle and pay angle what designers here earn is not like half of what UI designers earn in other countries, so that is why there is this kind of subtle interest in the field but designers are like popping out of everywhere day by day. On Behance you have like more UI designers than Dribbble because Dribbble invites is kind of hard to get. So you can actually see more of Nigerian designers coming out of everywhere- I think is like a very good sign maybe five years from now we’ll have like one of the strongest design communities in the world.

Jason: That’s exciting Joshua so it sounds like it’s sort of blowing up there. This field, this work is kind of blowing up according to what you’re sharing and that’s pretty exciting and I love that we’re hearing more and more about things like that traditionally especially in the app boom, in the IPhone boom and everything was Silicon Valley; Silicon Valley and certainly there’s a lot of really great things being built there but the good news is you don’t have to move to San Francisco to be a really great experience designer and Joshua is evident of that. So I love that; that’s pretty awesome and you mentioned something about kind of the handoff process and that’s improving right- what you’re designing is kind of are you seeing particularly where you are you seeing that your designs when you hand them off to like development team are you seeing that it’s the final or the production area is it reflecting as a reflective of kind of your vision or are you seeing some challenges there. That is a tough spot to put you in because one of your team members might be listening but I’m curious how you want to answer that.

Joshua: Yeah I understand your question. For example where I work now in is most of our clients are not even in Nigeria, so majority of our projects are from the US, Australia and Canada. So we produce like quality stuff and our in-house developers are actually top class like the scouting team here is like fantastic; I don’t even know how they gather like The Avengers here; so we’re actually really good. And right now we have like software and plugins that enable us creates pixel perfect implementations like Zeplin and yeah and some of the ones. So yes you’re sure that your design is actually pixel perfect.

Jason: Very nice and still gets out the door right. Because I think as designers we can be a little too pixel perfect and sometimes our work doesn’t get out it, doesn’t ship right, so I think it’s that fine balance that…. So I love the collaborative spirit that it sounds like you have over there at Intelia right; that’s awesome.

So this is my last question for you Joshua and it’s one of my favorites; I like to ask you what’s your best advice for aspiring UX superheroes?

Joshua: Advice. All right ok so if you’re just getting into like the UX design space; it seems overwhelming because for example out of Nigeria like the rest of the world if you check the design community there are like top guys and you see UIs you think you can’t handle or produce just know that is something you’ve build on overtime. And another I like telling people asking me question like how do you do this, how do you do that; I simply tell them that they should like dip their hands into different categories not necessarily UI, it could also be graphic design, it could be for example I did 3D design even down to like sound or something else but when you gather all those experiences from different areas, from culture, from lifestyle from even dressing, fashion and you bring this into your UI design environments all this work together to make your design better and unique. So gathering all those experiences although might seem like a waste of time but if you find yourself doing something just make sure you do it good because once you get back into the UX design all of this elements work together to make sure your design is unique and different.

Jason: I love that, that is such a great advice Joshua and I would say different inputs equals different outputs and I think that some of the most interesting things that I’ve experienced like design and art and you know beyond is music it’s been from someone who has really exposed himself to a lot of different craft right, a lot of different disciplines and in expressions and again books even reading different books not just design books although there’s some really good ones. I love that advice in it kind of makes me think about when I was doing like if I’m doing a lot of graphical work like some of my biggest inspiration I’ve gotten just by strolling into the mall, just looking at some of that right, just looking at some of the graphic design you’ll see and some of the typography. And there’s inspiration everywhere Defenders if you’re looking for it right.

Joshua: And also look at design veterans like the likes of Dann Petty, and Van Schneider and see how to combine typography and colors. So I think studying other people’s design work and even sometimes try to replicate it like rebounding shots on Dribbble or trying to design what someone else has designed. All of these experiences you’ve got even though they are not in your own line of design actually helps in producing a very unique final product.

Jason: I love it well that’s a great note to close on Joshua. This is been such an incredible conversation man. I’d really appreciate you taking the time to have this conversation with me and sharing it with the Defenders listening I know that they’re inspired as well and Defenders be sure to check out Joshua’s work. This is the first conversation I’ve ever had with somebody in Nigeria, so I’m super blessed (#blessed). And just this is so neat you know that we can do this, we can have a Skype call and we’re thousands of miles away from each other but I think it’s just another testament to just all the possibilities that are out there for anyone desiring to create something that makes a difference and you are doing that my friend and you are doing inspiring work; I just want to tell you I want you to keep going and I know you will and I just want to say…fight on my friend!

Joshua: Fight on you too Sir Jason!

Jason: Yeah I love it. Fight on! Yes!

Hide transcript