Week Notes, May 3

A written accounting of the week’s activities. (Or in my case, about a month.) These are my week notes for the final week in April, plus May 1.

Work

  • Work on new features related to product detail pages (PDP) and finishing work from profile pages, specifically the profile landing page and navigation
  • Held a retro with team members
  • Had check-in with clients on new work for PDP
  • Welcomed a new member to the team; I will be rolling off soon 🙁
  • Large amount of work scheduled, so team coordinated who would do what (I took on product reviews, profile landing page and navigation)
  • Presented my profile navigation and dashboard wireframes to client – we have been working on these concepts since the beginning of the sprints
  • Discussed review wireframes with client in the same meeting
  • We discussed a tricky problem, requested on the product pages with new members of the client team — this issue I had prototyped back in la
  • Provided feedback to supervisor/team members on work to be presented at a client meeting
  • Joined a call about Buy Online/Pick-up In Store (or BOPUS)
  • Cleaned up some files on computer, using an Automator workflow

 

Personal


Image credit: The Letter Writer, Frans van Mieris (I), 1680, oil on panel, h 25cm × w 20cm – View original at Rijksmuseum.nl

Week Notes: April 2020

I wrote last month about Week Notes, and in the following weeks I forgot to share what I’d been noting. So here are some week notes, work and personal, from the past few weeks: April 5, April 12, April 19, and April 24.

 

Week ending April 24

Work

  • Another client meeting that reviewed work and ended on-time with no outstanding feedback
  • Redesigned mobile wireframes for a section of account preferences, presented updates, and created desktop versions after receiving feedback
  • Presented desktop wireframes for mobile wireframes from previous sprints
  • Incorporated client feedback into wires and sent updates
  • Included a table within the wireframes to map processes between systems, for better messaging for the customer
  • Added arrows between wireframes that are part of workflows
  • Miss – forgot to include a set of wireframes; partially due to vague requirements. (To be honest, seemed like everyone forgot….)
  • Miss – miscommunication between document versions/version control issues
  • Took notes from a final client meeting to document decisions and status

 

Personal


Week ending April 19

Work

  • Had a very successful client presentation of overflow work from a previous sprint – (4/13)
  • Reflections on why the meeting had such a good outcome
    • My thoughts: We had at least 3 requirements meetings for our sprint, and we really got into the detail of the features. We also reviewed workflows and made adjustments in real-time. I think all of that helped create accurate designs, which led to few/no questions
    • Another team member: Everyone was on the same page because the client team finished up their requirements and walked everyone through them. The client team knew exactly what they were looking for from the creative team.
  • Virtually met new team members located in Minneapolis and Dallas, (4/14)
  • Called out potential lack of requirements from client on requested features
  • Presented additional wireframes and workflows to client but wasn’t able to present all work during the meeting
  • Took screenshots from GAP account pages to explore messaging, and noticed extra options

Personal


Week ending April 12

Work

  • Updated wireframes for massive review session
  • Created new walk-through flow for different stages a workflow
  • Attended a meeting to walk-through new product requirements (4/6)
  • Presented wireframes reflecting new requirements (4/8)
  • Attended an internal presentation, where other team members presented their work on the discussion of development of a design system
  • Created new reference material of newsletter sign-up by taking screenshots of competitor websites (see below)
  • Reviewed new product requirements against existing designs
  • Worked one-on-one with manager on a client presentation to help her get caught up with work new and existing work needed for an upcoming sprint
  • Found new list of competitor websites, including Dune London , Clarks, Reebok, Timberland, Country Attire, Adidas
Screenshot from Dune London account sign up
Dune London account sign up

Clark’s Newsletter modal

Personal

 


Week ending April 5

Work

  • Reviewed requirements for payment method sections of account profile, for in-scope and out of scope functionality
  • Updated workflows for payment method sections of account profile, to accommodate removal of out of scope functionality
  • Collaborated with internal project team on which updates and recommendations to share with client
  • Held a design share with client and presented workflows on order tracking
  • Presented workflows on how to reset password, for different user flows
  • Updated shared notes regarding changes to previously approved designs
  • Uploaded screenshots taken with Simulator to inform discussion of designs using 3rd-party, plug-in, for address completion.

Personal

  • Wrote a blog post on last month
  • In-between books…started one, but didn’t finish
  • Created a spreadsheet to help track my deliveries and shopping lists

Personal (undated)

I can’t remember when it was, but I rearranged my furniture in April. My desk is now in the living room, behind the couch. The TV is back in the living room. The sofa is angled to face the living room and divide the desk area from the TV area. And the bedroom now has a little reading nook. Although, most of the books I read are audiobooks and I listen them all over my apartment.


Image credit: Schrijvende vrouw, Willem Wenckebach, 1870 – 1937, brush, h 321mm × w 248mm – View at rijksmuseum.nl

“Month” notes: March 2020

Written documentation of a week’s activities.

Just finished reading about “week notes”, here and here. It looks like a really helpful productivity and project retrospective tool, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The examples I’ve seen are based on weeks, but this is my first time and March recently ended so I’m going to write my first “week” note for an entire month. Please forgive if there are any inaccuracies, or if it’s super long. 🙂

A note: If for some reason you’re not aware of current events, March 2020 has been one of the most volatile periods of time since WWII, or the civil movements of the 1960s. For most people, anywhere in the world, there’s been a lot going on. These are my small notes, on the work I’ve been doing, in my own little corner of the world.

Context

I am currently engaged on an e-commerce redesign and platforming project for a retail client. The client and internal teams are based in NYC and NJ, with a tech team in India. I work closely with an experience associate manager, a visual design lead, two visual designers, and project manager. I work semi-closely with the client (product) team. And the executive director of experience remains involved, here and there.

Work

  • Created wireframe desktop layout options for account profile dashboards in Sketch
  • Followed e-commerce project’s shift from wireframes to workflows – due to the UX team getting ahead of the requirements
  • Created workflows to map potential e-commerce interactions for  requirements for track order and favorites lists
  • Created workflows that mapped product requirements, written in Confluence, for reset password as a guest/non-credentialed user and from account profile
  • Created workflows to map proposed account profile functionality, including update address from account profile and checkout, communication preferences, and expired cards/payment methods
  • Attended a product requirements meeting, to review proposed requirements from the product team (client)
  • Attended at least 2 product meetings to discuss requirements for account profile pages
  • Discussed workflows on track order and favorites/wishlist with a tech lead, before presenting to the client
  • Presented workflows on track order and favorites/wishlist to client
  • Attended an informal session with the visual design team on their progress on a design system
  • Worked with the visual design lead and UX associate director to prep for a client presentation on wireframes and visual design of requirements
  • Revisited the requirements for account profile requirements, to make sure they were reflected in the wireframes
  • Uploaded screenshot examples of account profile pages for e-commerce sites for desktop and mobile, to help the “CRUX” design teams make decisions on the UI
  • Attended a global experience townhall (on Zoom)
  • Had a virtual check-in with the larger experience teams
  • Attended daily morning check-ins with the internal project team
  • Finally got Acrobat Pro installed on my work computer
  • Had several collaborative sessions with colleagues using InVision’s Freehand
  • Attended an online presentation of an internal collaborative tool
  • Checked out a website on design system repositories

 

Personal

I think this is a good practice. Let’s see where it goes.


Image credit: Old, Bearded Man Writing, Rembrandt van Rijn (school of), c. 1640 – c. 1650, pen and brown ink; framing line in brown ink, h 88mm × w 80mm – View on Rijksmuseum.nl

Black Hair Tutorials — In the Style of Famous Movie Directors and Their Films

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The famous statue of Dinard in tribute to Alfred Hitchcock and his movie “The Birds”, erected on the occasion of the “Festival du Film Britannique”. Photo by Thibaut DĂ©mare.

Like so many other people, I too watch hair and makeup tutorials on YouTube. I’ve found that the majority of videographers film their hair tutorials from the front. Or from the back, like from the perspective of a hair stylist. Well, I came across some pretty unique hair tutorials sometime in 2019. The videographers/hair stylists filmed their tutorials completely different. They chose to film their tutorials in the style of famous movie directors and their movies.

My series of tiny home posts shows that many YouTubers create high-quality videos. The videos below are no different. The videos below, are extra special: they were filmed on a sound stage, with props and special effects. Both entertaining and educational!

Overview

What you’ll see below, where possible, is a short background on the movie and/or director, a preview of the original film or an excerpt, and then the tutorial. Thankfully, IMBD has some nice overview videos of famous directors. (Thanks, IMDB!)

The directors/movies are:

  • Stanley Kubrick/The Shining
  • Spike Lee/Do The Right Thing
  • Wes Anderson/Moonrise Kingdom
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Stan Lee & Brian Cooglar / Black Panther

I am very excited to share this post. I wrote it way back in 2019, and have been saving and adding to it, while sharing other posts. Now it’s finally time to share. So with probably my longest blog post title yet, enjoy!


1. Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining”

The Shining is a movie adaptation of the book of the same name, written by mystery/thriller writer extraordinaire, Stephen King. The book was published in 1977. The movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1980.

Stanley Kubrick didn’t just make thrillers, but his movies did have a psychologically subversive twist to them. Kubrick was pretty influential in film making. Here’s a summary of his style, by IMDB.

The Shining

The Shining is about a man who takes his family to live in an isolated mountain retreat as the winter caretakers. He…succumbs to the isolation.

Twist Out Tutorial In The Style Of “The Shining”


2. Spike Lee, “Do the Right Thing”

Do The Right Thing was released in 1989 and directed by Spike Lee. Many of his films, or joints, are set in New York City, and especially the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights or Bed Stuy. Many of his films’ themes center around race and society. He has some distinctive film making cues that this IMDB video showcases.

Do The Right Thing is about the day to day life for residents in a predominately black Brooklyn neighborhood during a hot summer. The tutorial picks up style and scene elements from this movie, some of which are seen in this trailer.

Wash and Go, in the style of Spike Lee (with Do The Right Thing references)


3. Wes Anderson, “Moonrise Kingdom”

Hair Puff Tutorial, in the style of Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

 


4. Alfred Hitchcock

Another dominating name in film making. Unlike Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock specialized in thrillers and psychological thrillers, only. Pretty much all of his movies and Alfred Hitchcock Presents shorts have a very similar style. Check out the guide below and the tutorial following.


5. Stan Lee/Ryan Cooglar, “Black Panther”

Black Panther is based on a comic by Marvel, heavily influenced by legendary comic book artist Stan Lee. The movie, released in 2018, immediately became a cultural phenomenon. This scene below is when the main character, T’chala, goes into the underground science lair to check out some new tools and suit. The director, Ryan Cooglar, has completed other movies, but not really enough to have a distinctive style.

Scene from Black Panther

Bantu knots tutorial, in the style of Black Panther

Greatly mimics the scene above.

 


Learn More

What I liked about these tutorials were was not just the reference to pop culture — they also reflected the booming business of Black hair and the natural hair movement and acceptance within the African American community.

The business of Black hair is a big business and natural hair video tutorials are a popular sub-genre of beauty “vlogs” which are themselves very popular on YouTube. CNBC did a good job of summarizing the business of Black hair, in their video below, if you’re curious to learn more.

 


Image credit: Ceremonie van volwassen worden, Totoya Hokkei, c. 1822, colour woodcut, h 204mm × w 178mm – View original at Rijksmuseum.nl