My favorite interview question

I recently interviewed a designer, after a year without many of these conversations. Interviewing and hiring used to be day-to-day routine, but after my move to San Francisco it became less a part of my life, and I didn’t realize I missed it.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be trained in some interview techniques, and the ways to get behind the rehearsed answer. It’s interesting, thinking about the psychology of interviewing, and the tricks one employs to try and get the truth, but leaves the conversation feeling a bit like a battlefield. For designers though, I’ve found there is one question that will always open up the floodgates.

Try asking, “Tell me about a project that you enjoyed working on, that is also something you want to continue working on.”

It’s not a trick, it’s more of an icebreaker. It’s asking someone about their interests, applied to real life. It spills out of them, the challenges, the opportunities, problems and solutions and what kept them up at night. Rather than looking for the negative, the places they aren’t skilled, or where they may fall down, this tells you what will help them stand up. They self-identify their weaknesses, and how they deal with adversity.

More importantly, it will open the door to a bigger conversation about what people want to do, rather than what might just get someone in a seat.


Since everyone is talking about the oddity that is the iOS shift button, I thought I’d think about it as well. There have been complaints that the shift button isn’t clear when it’s on or off, because the only change is the color of the arrow.

I just looked at my keyboard, and taking direction from that I used a light to show that caps lock was on, and a subtle indent to show shift was on. I think it’s much more clear now.




My qualified self.

Apps that are measuring some sort of data in my life.

Automatic – Measures and scores my driving.
Pedometer – Measures my steps.
Reporter – Tracks what I’m doing, where I am, who I’m with.
Untappd – Tracks the beer I drink, and how I like it.
Delectable – Tracks the wine I drink, and how I like it.
Nike+ Move – Measures my Fuel, whatever that is.
Nest – Tracks and manages my home’s energy use.
Mint – Tracks my spending against my budget (uhoh).
Timehop – Tracks my social posts year-over-year, playing them back to me.

Waves #1