A little more than ten years ago, I graduated from Gobelins as what was then called a graphic designer —say, "a practitioner", which to some extent I still am today.
This was a landrush time for the selling of digital goods: we only heard about iTunes; Digital Rights Managements were still a thing, (almost) everybody wanted to use Adobe's Flash and the same "everybody" were recovering from the Dot-com Crash. We were still a couple years away from Facebook and Youtube.
This is for the context. I was a junior designer working alongside music/movie lovers, creating and tweaking visuals for e-commerce businesses: almost a decade of B2C concerns, from how distributing lossless music formats to "if" it was even possible to plan video-on-demand plus theater releases. Some issues stayed unresolved for a while.
… And yet I wasn't quite satisfied: I had senseis, mentors and colleagues, for whom I remain most grateful, but the industry… It wasn't there.
Product culture was not yet the notion it is now on this side of the Atlantic and few companies were embracing it; the most sensible way was to seek one the rare ones —One that I joined in 2011 as a UX designer.
It was a B2B software-as-a-service company, dedicated to marketing automation and, soon enough, predictive behaviour, contextual targetting, etc.
You will find a fair amount of articles online regarding what is and what is not a UX designer.
My view is: it is the best fit for people reaching for the sweet spot between practice and theory, who could handle both technical issues and on-the-field research. I try to get the best of both worlds.
Design should not be confused with fancy visuals, "over-dribbled UI". A proper —and either enjoyable or productive user experience can only be produced by clear journeys. That being said, we shouldn't blame UI designers but a workflow that keep them in silos, cancelling any attempt to work organically with product managers, engineers and QAs.
Colors, icons and layout should be first and foremost used as a way to display a (sub)set of informations with the best possible signal-to-noise ratio. Labels tell a story on their own; views build up to create and satisfy expectations.
Aesthetics are an essential part of the design but it should stay as is: a way to improve readability, a way to help any given user to build up quickly an accurate mental model; a way to build and sustain trust between two parties. A subset of a broader design-thinking, capable of both leveraging available skills and creating value for the end-user.
Let's get this straight: there is no definitive tool. A prototype has the sole purpose of answering a question. Is the customer journey efficient? Will users understand this interaction? Is the visualisation legible? Does this tool enables the targetted typology? Sometimes, you can even frame and solve a problem with only a couple sheets of paper.
This is a brand new, small and time-boxed project I started in may 2015 out of a frustration regarding reading and the publishing industry.
Discuss with any publisher: they will swear that they receive feedback and, when you ask from which sources, how do they gather this so-called feedback and how their authors can receive it, you'll realize that they only receive small chunks of commentary, only words from insiders or very rare meetups with people that will definitely like the discussed book.
In fact, books, as is, is not the best medium to ferry back-and-forth discussions between authors and readers —yet the publisher will still stand in the way, for obvious reasons.
Publisher-side, the problem is also that less and less publishers are conducting the craft of editing, removing another layer of quality control and feedback.
I had the very same issue, struggling to get feedback: you cannot rate your own work as positive or negative since the tools are lacking.
Poscat relies on a very simple set of principles/hypotheses:
Poscat tries to solve these issues by fragmenting a story into very small chunks that will be send, one day after another, by transactionnal emails. Now, they can read while they wait in line, between trains, between doors; they can rate every tidbit as a good, neutral, bad or, if they feel like so, writing directly their feedback to the author.
This is a still an early beta and is, for now, online for a handful of people. URL pending.
This is, for time being, a work-in-progress. This page has been quickly set up to provide a fresh coat of paint with a properly optimised website. This is a first step to distance myself with CMS, which are, for a site like the one you're reading right now, a bit of overkill.
This portfolio has been created with Markdown, Gulp scripts, a couple of homemade Less files and, obviously, love.