Sharing Career Thoughts

Something I’ve been reflecting on recently is what I know now compared to when I started my career. It’s easy to lose sight of how little I knew then (not to mention how far I have yet to go). When I first started working, I really wish that I had known what to look for and what to expect.

I’ve been fortunate in life to have had the opportunity to work with many kinds of people in a variety of occupations. My first job at 15 was working as a busser in a local restaurant. A month out of high school and I was in the Air Force, where I learned tactical satellite communications. Since then, I’ve done a teaching internship at a public school, I’ve worked at a poorly funded startup and a well funded one, I’ve experimented in an innovation labs-type environment, and I am now working at a tech company that has an Android team larger than the entire first startup I worked at.

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Building Another New Computer

In September, I built a new computer to replace the computer I had built at the beginning of 2010. The previous computer served me well and, over the course of those six-plus years, I upgraded the hard drive to an SSD, swapped the video card out for a GeForce GTX 670, and replaced a few other minor parts. Despite that the computer was holding up well, I had started to feel its age due to the increased amount of video editing I was doing. I finally decided it was time to build a new machine.

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The Magic Mouse

When I started my new job about two months ago, a MacBook Pro was waiting for me along with an extra monitor, mouse, and keyboard. The mouse was an Apple Magic Mouse 2, which I was curious to try. Apple has had a different mouse every few years and they’ve largely been terrible, feeling little improved since the Apple Lisa mouse. They went from one button to no buttons with the Magic Mouse, and I was interested to see how it worked in practice.

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User Experience With OS X

As someone who focuses a great deal on user experience, people are often surprised that I don’t use OS X as my primary desktop operating system. Most people tend to associate the extra effort Apple put into the design of OS X with a better user experience, but graphic design and user experience are not synonymous. The truth is, I find that all desktop OSes are rather lacking, and believe the primary reason people think OS X is so good is because Windows is so bad (and Linux is scary).

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Bottom Tabs On Android

Note (added 2016-03-21): The original post has been updated with clarifications in the intro and a link about accidental touches.

A little while back, Google updated their design guidelines to include tabs as an option at the bottom of an app on a mobile device. They refer to this as bottom navigation, citing a few times when you might consider this pattern. Given that Android already has a pattern of displaying tabs at the top of the app, two obvious reasons to shift those to the bottom stand out:

  • The bottom of the screen is often easier to reach on a large phone.
  • Putting tabs at the bottom gives the design visual balance.

Google seems to consider this a supplement to the navigation drawer as opposed to a change to traditional tabs, which is probably the reason they’re calling this bottom navigation. Of course, the average user will see this as tabs.

A lot of the cries against bottom tabs come from people who have associated that navigation pattern with iOS, but we shouldn’t disregard a pattern just because it comes from iOS. In fact, being able to create consistency across operating systems when it makes sense is a good thing; however, analyzing this pattern reveals several problems.

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