Hyde Park website designers
Hello and welcome to this website designers Web Designer Hyde Park video tutorial.
I’m Owen Corso from Google.
And today, we’re going to build a rich media expandable creative with video.
Let’s start by selecting file, New File.
This opens a dialog box where we will set up our ad.
First, let’s make out high of project.
We have four options– The default is Display & Video 360so we will leave that as is.
Dynamic Exits in Studio - Google Web Designer
Sketch was made for screen-based design.
Websites, app interfaces, icons… these objects of design exist within a world of pixel measurements, RGB colors, and presentation on digital screens. Unlike many of the Adobe creative tools which include 10,000 features and the kitchen sink, Sketch is laser-focused in its purpose—and consequently works far better (and more efficiently) for what it does do.
Sketch was not made for print-based design.
Business cards, brochures, posters… these exist within a physical world of inch/centimeter/point/pica measurements, CMYK or Pantone colors, and presentation on a variety of papers and materials. Adobe Illustrator and InDesign are two of the most popular tools in this arena.
And when a print design project rolls around, you might find yourself yearning to continue using the same tool you’ve become so adept at using for web/UI design. I want you to know that it’s possible. Here’s how I do it:
(full disclosure: Adobe Illustrator is required)
The Magic Number 72
Dating back to the craft of setting lead type for a printing press, the primary units of measurement were points (72 per inch) and picas (12 per inch). Lead type (pictured here) is measured in points, and is produced in pica or half-pica increments such as 12, 18, 24, 36, and 72 points. Those numbers should sound familiar to you, as they became standard digital font sizes with the Macintosh. The first Macs used screens where every inch contained 72 pixels, resulting in 12pt text that looked practically the same size onscreen as in print. The evolution of pixels per inch (PPI) is too extensive for this article (especially since the advent of retina displays), although it’s important to know a bit about the origins of this 72:1 ratio.
This article will mostly use inch measurements, as used for print design in the US. If you are familiar with a centimeter workflow, I’d love to hear from you!
Sketch measures everything in pixel units, so we need a way to convert our design to the physical world of inches. By now you may have guessed where this is going: 72 pixels in Sketch converts to 1 inch in an exported PDF.
- An 8.5" × 11" piece of paper (US Letter) converts to a 612px × 792px artboard.
- A typical 3.5" × 2" business card converts to a 252px × 144px artboard.
- When adding a new artboard, Sketch 3 gives you a few “Paper Sizes” presets. Speed things up by adding your own custom artboard presets!
The pixel dimensions of a 72 PPI layout may be far smaller than you are used to when working on websites or user interfaces. Remember that the clarity of your print project is dictated by the print method you use—Sketch’s “Show Pixels” function is of no use here!
Tips for Designing Your Layout
- For elements in your design, try to use measurements that make sense in inches. 1px = 1pt for lines and font-sizes. I’ll often use 1/8 inch (9px) or 1/16 inch (4.5px) increments for layout elements.
- You can use Sketch’s Grid feature to make these inch-appropriate positions or measurements easier. I suggest a grid with a 9px (1/8 inch) block size and thick lines every 8 blocks (1 inch). Show/hide the grid with ⌃G on your keyboard.
- You can turn off “Pixel Fitting” in Preferences. There’s no need to be a stickler for pixel alignment as you would be for screen-based design.
Margins & Bleeds
Professional print shops often require your artwork to have extra space on all sides, extending any parts of your design that “bleed” out to the edge (see example below). This compensates for the slight, yet inevitable, variance in where the edges are cut on your final print. My printer asks for a 1/8 inch bleed, and I often add this to my Sketch layout (9px extra on all sides). If your design has elements that bleed, I suggest you do the same—if not, you can easily add these extra margins later when saving a PDF from Illustrator. Printers will also recommend that any text is at least 1/8 inch inside the trim lines (a “safe zone” or “critical print area”), as in the business card below.The “Trim Lines” indicate what the final card will look like. Because trimming is rarely 100% accurate, any parts of the design that extend to the very edge should continue out to a “Bleed”. Shown here, the bleed extends to 1/8 inch outside the artwork.
Preparing the File for Print
99% of print shops are strict about the specifications of your “artwork” files. The following process will help you give printers the files they want! If your layout relies heavily on images, gradients, or shadows, skip to the next section!
When you have finished your design in Sketch, export it as a PDF at 1x scale. Many programs, such as Preview or Adobe Illustrator will automatically interpret the file at 72 PPI. You can view the PDF’s dimensions in inches in Preview (Tools > Show Inspector, ⌘I), or in pixels using Finder’s Get Info window (under “More Info”). If you save your PDF through Illustrator, pixel and inch dimensions will be automatically included in the file.
There are 2 other things we need to change about Sketch’s exported PDF:
- Text needs to be “Converted to Outlines”.
- The colors need to be CMYK values instead of RGB.
- Any images in the design need to be embeded as CMYK images.
Converting Text to Outlines
To ensure that your design is printed exactly how you see it on your computer, it is important to convert the text objects in the PDF to actual vector shapes, or “outlines”. This makes the text look exactly the same on any program on any computer, regardless of the fonts you’ve used in the design, and regardless of whether or not those fonts are installed on the printer’s computer.
You can convert text to outlines in Sketch (more about that here), although if your design has more than a few lines of text, Sketch will slow down dramatically. If you want a guaranteed way to crash Sketch, try selecting a dozen text objects and converting them to outlines all at once! Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator excels in this department, so we’ll use that instead.
- Open the PDF in Illustrator and navigate to Select > All (⌘A), from the menu bar.
- Also in the menu bar, navigate to Type > Convert Text to Outlines (⌘⇧O). Easy as that!
Converting to CMYK Colors
After opening your PDF in Illustrator, navigate to File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color. This converts the entire document to a CMYK colorspace from RGB. That’s the easy step. Now we have to change the colors in our design to actual CMYK values.
If you’re used to screen-based design and appreciate great colors, I feel obligated to tell you that CMYK may disappoint you. Due to the nature of combining those 4 colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) in ink, many bright and saturated colors are difficult or impossible to recreate. Without diving into color theory or the pros/cons of various print methods, I will simply suggest that for any color that is important to your design you see a sample of that exact color value from a similar printer on a similar material. To do this I recommend choosing a close match on a Pantone swatchbook (a bit pricey, but a great investment), or ask your printer for a printed sample of a variety of colors printed on the paper you’ll use (they probably already have these, and can give you each color’s CMYK value).
Once you’ve chosen great CMYK values for all your colors, it’s time to replace the color value for each of the elements in your design. This sounds tedious—and to a certain extent it is—but I’ve discovered a few shortcuts to help you!
- First off, you will need to select the elements whose colors you want to change. If you aren’t familiar with Illustrator, know that a layer is only selected when you click the small circle to the right of it. Simply clicking on the layer’s name will not do anything!
- If your design has many elements with the same color (say, all green text), they can be selected all at once by first selecting one instance of the element then clicking the “Select Similar Objects” button on the right of the toolbar. If this toolbar or button isn’t available, try navigating to Select > Same in the menu bar.
- When your elements are selected, hold down the Shift key when you click on the fill color in the toolbar (fill color to the left, stroke/border color to the right). Even elements that are pure black need to be converted to CMYK black, for which there is a little swatch below the color sliders.
When all of your text has been converted to outlines and all of your colors are CMYK, it’s time to save a separate PDF (I add “-print” as a suffix to the new filename). By using File > Save As, you get a trillion options for the PDF. The single option I ever use is to add a bleed margin (my printer likes 1/8 inch) on all sides of the artwork. To do this, go to the “Marks and Bleeds” section on the left and uncheck “Use Document Bleed Settings”, as shown below.
You’re all done! Trust me, next time this process will take you half as long!
Is Your Design Image-Heavy?
If your Sketch design includes bitmap images (non-vector images), they will be automatically converted from RGB to CMYK when you change the Document Color Mode. Upon importing the PDF to Illustrator, any shadows in your design will be converted to bitmap images and any gradients will become un-editable “Non-Native Art”. Because of this, if images, shadows, or gradients are important to your design, I strongly suggest you instead save the entire Sketch layout as a PNG and convert it to a CMYK file in Photoshop using the following steps.
- Export the Sketch artboard as a PNG at 4.166x scale, which gives you the amount of pixels you’ll need for a 300 PPI print-ready file. Printers rarely accept bitmap images less than this resolution. Make sure your artboard includes the necessary bleed margins (described above) before export.
- Open the PNG in Photoshop and navigate to Image > Image Size, in the menu bar. Uncheck the “Resample” checkbox and type in either the artwork’s dimensions in inches or the “Pixels/Inch” you used when exporting from Sketch (again, this is often 300 PPI). Click “OK”.
- In the menu bar, navigate to Image > Mode > CMYK Color. This will alert you that Photoshop is converting the file to a default CMYK color profile. This step may visibly change the colors of your design. Rest assured that your computer screen is not an accurate representation of colors in print, although you should also not expect the same bright or saturated colors capable with RGB (as described above).
- Adjust the colors slightly if you desire, then Save As a .psd or .tif file. Be sure to tell the printer what bleed margins you included in the artwork!
Of course you can use this process in conjunction with the PDF + Illustrator workflow above, by embedding the Photoshopped images into your Illustrator document. But most of the time I stick to one process or the other.
Is This Workflow Right for You?
If you’re fast at designing in Sketch, feel more at ease or more creative using it, or aren’t very familiar with Illustrator/InDesign, this may be good for you. This may also be a useful workflow if you have existing designs from Sketch (an interface, icon, logo) that you want to prepare for professional printing. I can’t read the future, but with Bohemian Coding’s small team and success focusing on screen-based design, I don’t advise you to hold your breath for print features. It’s a huge can of worms!Examples of projects made with this workflow. From packaging, to letterpressed business cards, to laser-engraved signage. This work for Juice Shop recently won the Type Directors Club’s prestigious annual design competition.
I’ve written this article to share my workflow for print design projects, but also to learn of ways that I might improve this workflow in the future. If you have any suggestions, especially related to Illustrator or the print process, feel free to share them!
Be the first to know when I publish new design articles and resources.
I just released Sketch Master — online training courses for professionals learning Sketch. You’ll learn tons of tricks and practical workflows, by designing real-world UI/UX and app icon projects.
Sketch Master is a collection of video training courses for professionals learning Sketch—the popular design tool. sketchmaster.com
Hyde Park website designers
Next, we can select the type of ad.
We want to make an expandable, so we select Expandable on the left.
Next, we can set again ad’s dimensions.
We are building a 320 by 50that expands to 480 by 250.
So I will make those changes.
We then assign the Hyde Park creative a name.
I will leave my Save ToLocation as the default, and leave the talk about set to Quick.
Once I’m happy with my settings, I click OK.
Google Web Designer creates the initial pages of the ad for me with the dimensions I defined.
The collapsed page already contains a Tap Area event to expand the ad and an expanded pageHyde Park with a close tap area to collapse back down.
Material Design Components for web - Designer vs. Developer #22
When I joined Google a little more than 2 years ago, I was asked by a few people to tell the story of how I got there and what my experience was.
I promised I would but I never actually did. Maybe I was shy, maybe I didn’t have the time or maybe I simply thought, probably wrongly, that it wasn’t interesting enough.
I decided to finally honor that promise and write about it.
I hope this is not too late and that it will be useful to some people.
I will try my best to sum up my experience and stories and provide a few advices from them.
Oh, one more thing. This is not a guide on how to get a job at Google. Based on my experience, I do not think such a thing exists. It will not describe the interview process in detail (such as the questions asked) nor disclose any confidential information.
The sole purpose of this article is to talk about my pre-Google personal experiences. I hope this will be useful for you, at least a little.
Baguettes and berets
If you don’t know me, I’m a 27 years old Frenchman born in a small city in Paris suburban area called Lagny. I spent the first 6 years of my life there and then moved to the south of France where I lived and studied in various cities such as Toulon, Hyères, Arles and Marseille.
Today, I’m a visual designer for Google Chrome and Chrome OS, living in San Francisco.
I got a High school diploma in what was called “social and economics”, then I studied 2 years in a general technology school and 3 additional years in a multimedia project management school.
What these schools and courses had in common is that they taught you a general approach on various subjects. It didn’t specialize you. Thinking back, I think I was taught how to become an effective swiss army knife.
I started by learning the basics of social science and economics mixed with history and philosophy. Add a bit of math to that and you get my High school diploma.
The following two years were all about introducing you to everything you can do with a computer, a screen and a camera. From code to design to filming and photography. Very broad subjects.
The last three years that led to my masters degree were multimedia management. It was all about managing people, project, public speaking and… wearing a suit.
Looking back at it, the more I was going through these school courses, the less I was learning the skills I use in my current everyday job.I learned at school what I didn’t want to do.
School is not about teaching, not really. It’s about opening your mind. I forgot most of what I learned at school but it helped me visualize and understand the things that I wanted to do and the things that I wanted to avoid.It’s by learning a subject that you realize it’s not for you.
I had to learn math to discover that I hated it, I had to learn to code to discover that my appeal to it wasn’t as strong as my appeal to align pixels.
I had to wear a suit to realize that this is not something that I would want to wear everyday. I learned how to manage projects and people to understand that what I really wanted to do is to spend my entire day in Photoshop, listening to Hans Zimmer and Amon Tobin.
Maybe it’s not the best path to follow to learn things, but it was mine. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot of useful things in these schools but somehow, it’s the things I hated to learn that gave me the most beneficial lessons and drove me to my key skills.In any given project, I always volunteered for the design part, it was my refuge. In response to possibilities of acquiring more knowledge, I specialized in one thing.
In the 5 years following my High school diploma, I dismissed a lot of potential knowledge to obsess over details in interfaces.
Is it a good thing ? I do not know. I’m not a fast learner. I found what I was good at and instead of searching to acquire a broader range of skills, I maximized the strong ones.
Let’s summarize who I was after my studies:
An obsessed interface designer focused on web and mobile design. I was comfortable and self-confident enough to present my ideas in front of people.
I had a daily schedule made of an hour and a half of web browsing to discover, save and categorize inspiration across the web followed by 8 hours of visual design in Photoshop and Illustrator. Also, I was fluent in English, and this was key.
My work history is tightly linked to my school history. My 3 years of multimedia management were alternate. I had to spend a month at school and the other in any company nice enough to welcome and form a newbie.
I was lucky enough to work for companies who made me do some actual work besides bringing coffee and I will always be grateful for that. Here is the biggest thing I learned and that I have absolutely no doubt about whatsoever:The best way to learn is to work for real people, in real companies.
The benefit from working and learning at the same time with people who actually make a living out of what you want to do is by orders of magnitude more beneficial than school. Any internship will teach you more about real life work than any class.
Now I’m not saying that you don’t learn anything at school. You need it to give you the basics, the by-the-book approach of design and tech but being able to apply learned principles and confront them to real situations and projects is priceless. Combining school and in-situ internship is for me the best pedagogical approach to learning a subject, at least in our field.
The first Year
During the first year of alternation, I learned print, logo and identity design. From an intern perspective, I did a decent job. From a professional designer standard, I was terrible. My work was messy and full of mistakes. Thankfully, it was ok, because I was with the right people.During your life, if you’re lucky enough, you will meet people who will help you grow. People who will help you reach what you think was too far, by standing on their shoulders.
This was the kind of person my boss was during this first year. We were a two people company, he had a ton of experience and was eager to share it. He was patient and when he detected the smallest amount of talent in me, he helped me expand it.
I wasn’t expecting that, it think it’s rare to meet somebody who needs to make a living and is still available to help you grow professionally and personally. I’m trying to carry on this lesson, but I’m not there yet.
It takes a lot of selflessness.
The second and third year
I spent the second and third year of my alternation in another company. I left my first year one because I needed to make a little bit more money, he couldn’t assume an intern anymore and I was ready to move on.
The company was a small web agency created by one person who was sick of being given orders and wanted to make cool things by and for himself.
Now let’s take a break here for a quick advice to any aspiring designer who wants to land any job/internship:Smile and engage.
As simple as that. At the time I was a shy guy with a bit of confidence issues when it came to selling myself. Saying that my presentation was underwhelming is an understatement. If I wasn’t supported by an employee of this same company, I think I would still be searching an internship right now. Hurray for networking and string pulling.
Ok, back on the subject. You remember what I wrote earlier about my first boss ? Well you can re-apply this here. Two in a row can be considered lucky, and it is. Luck is an important factor in your career but I will get back to that.
These two years improved my visual design skills at an incredibly fast rate.
I was working on a large range of projects from complex web-design to phone applications. It was a balance of internal and client projects. A good way to keep some freedom in your work while making a living. I even did a few email design for mass mailing which I’m not very proud of but teach you the realities of the field. This is also important:
Following the same logic as for school, doing something you do not like builds you and defines you as a designer.
This work was thankfully secondary. A large majority was incredibly interesting projects with a lot of challenges for a young designer. I grew exponentially with every work because I had freedom and responsibility. My boss was a safety net, a knowledgable guide that was there when I needed him. But he trusted me from the start, giving me enough responsibility to feel involved in everything I was doing.Be a safety net for the person you want to see evolve. Make him feel impactful and in control of his decisions and projects.
I finished my studies and was hired full time in this company. I stayed another year before being hired by Google and I loved every second of it.
In addition to school courses and learning with pros, learning by yourself will be a great asset in your career. Some may say that it is all you need, especially in our line of work.If you have the passion about something, self teaching should come naturally. If you have fun learning stuff, you are where you’re supposed to be.
My favorite way of learning was by looking at other people’s work and learn from the .psds they were sharing, that’s why I’m still doing that to this day. A way to return the favor.There will always be more talented people than you.
Look up to them and try to catch up.
Networking and design communities
Something you need to know: I hate networking. Actually I used to. I’m getting a little bit better at it but even today, I’m awkward. I have this weird expression on my face that makes people think I’m obnoxious sometimes. I don’t know, maybe I am a little bit. But I think it’s mostly shyness.
Anyway, I learned very early that networking is important to develop your career, especially in our field. Dennis Covent will probably explain why better than me in his blog post so I will not spend too much time on it.
That’s the beauty of internet, you can network without engaging anybody in the real world. You can build yourself as a designer and build your web presence simply by participating in communities. If you are alone on an island, you have virtually the same chance of being recognized for your work as anybody else.
Of course this is not entirely true, an outgoing person living in San Francisco will probably network easier than a brown bear living in a south France cave with poor internet connection but you know what I mean.
Thankfully, I wasn’t a bear, I had a decent internet connection and a need to share things. So I started a little blog using Tumblr.
It was simply about sharing things about design and writing various notes about it. Some sort of personal Pinterest. Very few readers but that was fine. I enjoyed it. Heres an important note about that:
So I continued writing my little blog and I was eventually contacted by a bigger french site focused on web-design and various source of inspiration for designers. My audience suddenly exploded, of course. This blog had way more visibility. I started shifting from sharing inspiration to creating my own design resources, or “freebies”, after discovering the work of Orman Clark and his work on Premium pixel. I was and still am a huge fan.
It was a great way for me to improve, satisfy my compulsion for pixels and gave me things to share. I also learned a lot from reverse engineering other designers freebies, it was my way to give back. I even started writing tutorials.
And then the owner of the blog asked me this question:
“Do you need an invite to Dribbble?”
This deserves a section of his own simply to make a point. Dribbble played a huge part in my career and I think this is the case for a lot of people.
I joined it the 6th of March 2011 and published this shot:
My first shot made me rapidly get followers. At the time I was publishing a freebie per week. It took a lot of time, I was pretty much doing nothing else during the week besides working and creating photoshop goodies to share and updating my blog. Doing this created a lot more opportunities than I ever thought it would. Suddenly, people contacted me for work, outside of France.
Oh and also, it’s where Google found me.
A little bit of freelance
Remember that at the time, I was working in the web agency. That’s during my full time year that I started receiving work inquiries from companies outside of France via Dribbble. The first one I received was from a print company based in Sweden. That was a big deal for me. I was speaking enough English to understand them, but we were talking about business here. I was fresh out of school and not that confident about handling my own projects.
So I proposed to my boss to make this request a company project. He would teach me the business part of it and I would handle the rest.
This is how I started my first “sort of freelance project”.
It went smoothly, they were satisfied by the result, I delivered in time and we built a pretty good relationship. This project added to my portfolio, I was more confident because I went out of my comfort zone and did it.Going out of your comfort zone will greatly improve your confidence.
I was continuing my constant flow of freebies on Dribbble and spending half of my day in photoshop, designing mock-ups after mock-ups for sites, mail, iPhone apps and iPad apps. I was designing everything I could from video players to upload panels (why?! I’m not sure). I was getting more followers and more work inquiries.
I accepted projects from France, Denmark, and the United states. Each one opening new design horizons. From social platform to DJ-ing software.
As the inquiries got more numerous, I learned to choose the projects I wanted to work on, taking them both for the companies and starting a few projects on my own. Usually, everything went well for a simple reason: I got all my inquiries via Dribbble from clients who knew what they wanted and knew what to expect from me based on my previous work. Being able to choose your client is a luxury. I was able to do that because I had a full time job.If you have the time and if your situation allows it, taking side projects as a freelancer while you have a full time job is a good way to try it out and see if it’s something for you. Be careful though because you will not see the sunlight a lot.
Getting all these clients also helped me to do one important thing, build up a portfolio. Which brings me to this.
Working for free
Before anything else I suggest you read this article by Dann Petty.
I know this is a delicate subject. Every work deserves payment. There are a lot of people that will take this opportunity to exploit young designers and I received my share of “I need a design for a youtube-like site, $200 should be enough.” or “there is 5 other designers working on this, I will pay the one I pick”.Working for free is all about building your portfolio.
Now, you will only be able to do that if you actually manage to pay for your internet bill first of course. One benefit to it is that you will choose the project you want. You will work on what makes you happy and what you will be happy to show as a work reference. If you work with the right persons, it will open doors for you.
That’s why I accepted a lot of requests with no money involved, any student party that needed a poster, every little website design with very low budget because I knew the guy, this kind of thing.
Do it when you are a student, when you’re eager to do over hours and work on various stuff. Yes they will get something for really cheap or even nothing, but as a young designer you will get invaluable experience, you just need to be careful.
As for being able to pick your clients, working for free is a luxury, it is not for everybody. I was able to do it because I had a supporting boss, family and a full time job. If you can to, consider it but do it for the right people.
“Want to chat ?”
The year went by and I received my first recruitment email from a company in Spain. That was weird. For the first time somebody wanted me to work for him, in a big structure, out of my country. He wanted to know if I would consider “a chat”, and they would bring me to their headquarters for it.
I actually told my boss about it what he told me was: “go for it!”. Remember what I wrote earlier about the kind of people that will help you grow?
So I went for it and accepted to go there just to chat. Why not after all? I wasn’t that in love with the city I was living in, I loved my job for sure but I saw an opportunity to grow.If you see an opportunity, if you have the slightest doubt or “what if” in your mind, just go for it.
They paid for the plane ticket and the hotel just to talk to me. I know, now it sounds completely normal to some people but that was crazy for me in a world where I heard clients not willing to pay more than a few hundred bucks for a website design… when they were actually willing to pay anything.
So I did the interviews and got to know them a little better. Things were clicking and I was starting to consider the fact that I could move from France to Spain. It wasn’t that far after all and these people were pretty awesome. But a week after being back home I received another email.
I think this is spam
This email was from Google as you probably guessed. I really thought it was spam. It was completely out of the blue.
I answered… you know… just in case.
At the time it was during a US holiday so it took five days to receive an answer, reinforcing my spam theory in the meantime.
Turned out it was real and I couldn’t wait to know more.
After checking a few things like my willingness to move to the US in case this ever works, the recruiter told me that I was going to enter the process, starting with a call from a Googler.
At this moment I thanked the thousand of hours spent listening to various American TV series while working at home. Otherwise I would have struggled to understand anything during our conversation. It was still hard though, it is way different to passively learn a language than it is to have an actual human interaction, and my brief 2 weeks school trip in the US when I was fourteen didn’t really help.
I thought I did terribly on the phone but apparently not as they were willing to continue the process. The next step was a design exercise.
This part was very stimulating for me. I had the opportunity to demonstrate how I think and deliver polished visuals. It really wasn’t that different from what I experienced several times with clients, maybe the result was a bit more life changing…
So I sent the finalized exercise crossing my fingers hoping to get a positive answer and avoiding imagining them laughing at my work.
Around two weeks later, they told me they wanted to see me in person, in Mountain View.
What am I doing here ?
At the time I had a two weeks trip in New York with a friend planned 4 month earlier. Some sort of “we’re done with school” trip because we wanted to discover New York and the US.
The confirmation email came during this time. I was stopping twice a day at a Starbuck to get some Wifi and check emails. I mentioned I was in New York and that it would be a good idea to meet during these two weeks, you know, to avoid crossing the atlantic and come back again.
They agreed, set up my flight, two days later I was flying somewhere I’ve never been before, California.
I landed in San Francisco and before realizing what was happening I was driving a rental car on a highway that was going to become the one of my daily commute. The “What am I doing here” moment was when I realized I was driving for the first time on a Californian road, passing signs with cities like San Francisco, Palo Alto and Cupertino written on them. Big deal for me.
The next day were the on-site interviews. It went really fast and was over before I could realize it. One thing I do remember is that, between two interviews, I was asked when I considered joining Google. I answered that I never considered it and that I never imagined being here, it was just not a realistic possibility for me.
Retrospectively, this was a probably a weird if not bad answer but it was the simple truth. I was too tired and disoriented to start thinking about what could be a good answer.
Thinking about it, maybe it was what to do. It sounds cheesy but I think this applies to a lot of situations and to any job applications. You may talk your way into landing a job by finding the right answer at the right moment but you would be at risk of not finding the right thing in the end, something that is neither for you or your employer.
This time I didn’t forget to smile though.
And that was the end of it, I just had to wait for the final decision. I jumped in the plane back to New York, looking to San Francisco by the window, a city I would never enter until I discovered it for the first time, searching for a place to live.
If you want more information about the Google hiring process,
head this way. You will find some useful details on that.
I received the call on a Friday. I was asked if I was interested in joining Chrome. This couldn’t have been better. I didn’t hesitate a second and gave a positive answer. The web made me and now I was going to help make it better.My Dribbble announcement post.
One thing you may say if entering Google is one of your objectives is that I got really lucky. I was lucky to have the studies that helped me figure out what I wanted to do, lucky that I got two great bosses in a row, lucky that I got a Dribbble invite at the right time with a Googler looking at my work at the right moment, lucky that I was already in the US when they wanted to see me, lucky that there was still some visas available when I applied, and you would be completely right.
Luck played a huge part in this and I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for it. One addendum though:Be prepared for luck, if it ever happens, make sure you can take your chances.
Reading this article myself, it sounds like I described some sort of magical story made of rainbows and ponies and that I am a huge fanboy writing an advertisement. You may also not agree with what Google is doing, although reading this to the end would seem like a huge waste of your time. This is only my view of it.
I tried to stay true to what I felt at the time and how things worked out.
I feel grateful to be where I am surrounded by people way more clever than me. Is it awesome every day ? No. It can be frustrating and you may not agree with everything. You are part of a gigantic machine that makes things at an unimaginable scale. That’s also part of the thrill.
Will I be there forever ? I do not know, I had my ups and downs but I do love Chrome, Chrome OS, my team and Google.
For now, I’m not going anywhere.
I think it’s an extraordinary experience simply to be here, not just at Google but in the bay area. I’m trying to remind myself that when I tend to act like a spoiled kid. Deep-down, I’m still waiting for them to realize that I’m a fraud and put me on the first plane back to France.
Get in touch
I didn’t cover everything, it was a long story.
If you have any questions or just want to chat or connect, here is some shameless social network self-advertisement:
Building Expanding Creatives - Google Web Designer
1. Gestures are the new clicks
We forget how hard scrolling webpages used to be. Most users would painstakingly move their mouse to the right edge of the screen, to use something ancient called a ‘scrollbar’:
As a pro, you probably used a mouse wheel, cursor keys, or trackpad, but you were way ahead of most users.
In 2015 it’s far easier to scroll than it is to click. On mobile, you can scroll wildly with your thumb. To click on a precise target is actually more difficult — the complete opposite of what we’re used to on the desktop.
As a result, we should expect more and more websites to be built around scrolling first, and clicking second. And of course, that’s exactly what we’ve seen everywhere:
There’s every reason to expect this trend to continue as mobile takes over more of the market. Modern sites have fewer things to click, and much more scrolling. We’ll see fewer links, more buttons, bigger ‘clickable’ areas, and taller pages that expect to be scrolled.
Websites which spread their articles onto multiple pages will soon learn this lesson. Expect these to turn into longer single pages or even, like TIME magazine, into infinite scrolling pages:
It’s too early to know if the web will expand itself onto devices like watches, but if it ever does, you can bet it’ll be almost entirely driven by gestures.
2. The fold really is dead this time
Now scrolling is so cheap, and devices are so varied in size, ‘the fold’ is finally becoming irrelevant.
Designers are increasingly free to not cram everything at the top of a page. This leads to a design trend popularised by Medium — full-screen image titles, with no content visible until you start scrolling:
With tall, scrolling pages, designers have the chance to do what magazines have taken for granted for years: fill their pages with big beautiful images. In 2015 expect to see more designs that take up much more space — especially vertically — and a lot of larger imagery like this.
3. Users are quicker, websites are simplifying
Today every young adult is an expert web user. And even the amateurs are acting like pros: using multiple tabs, and swiping to go back a page.
The result is that everything is faster. And we’ve all learned to become impatient. If you want to make a mild mannered person explode with annoyance, just make their Internet really slow for a minute.
Now websites are forced not just to become faster (a technical problem), but to become faster to understand. Designs which slow the user down have the same impact on their audience as these websites which don’t load at all.
Simpler designs are easier to scan, which means they’re faster to appreciate. It’s easy to see which of these two designs is newer, and it’s because it’s the one that user’s can enjoy the fastest:
This is the biggest reason for the death of skeuomorphic design: users are more perceptive, less patient, and clutter only slows them down.
Apps put most websites to shame with super-minimal, beautiful interfaces. And they’re doing this because minimal interfaces perform better.
Flat design is just the beginning. The real trend is towards simplicity and immediacy, and we expect that to go further than ever in 2015.
4. The pixel is dead
On a desktop, a pixel was a pixel. You even had an idea of how many pixels made up an average inch: 72 dpi. Nowadays very few people know what a pixel is.
With responsive design, we’ve seen a move towards grids and percentages. But one huge area remains still unchallenged: bitmap images.
Almost all of the web is built with images that have half the resolution of a modern display, and they don’t scale. With Retina displays and modern browsers, the time is right for vector images to become more popular in 2015.
We can see this trend already happening with the font-based icons and Google’s Material design. The website loads faster and scale the icons to any size without losing quality. That makes them ideal for designers and modern web browsers.
The technology exists now, but it will take time for professionals to change their habits to create for higher quality displays. Once the average desktop display becomes Retina-grade (like the new iMac), we expect designers to follow suit.
5. Animation is back
If you want to make a website look dated, cover it with animated “Under Construction” GIFs and Flash animation. But several things are coming together to make animation a rising star in modern web design.
Flat design can end up looking too consistent, boring even. Animation helps a website to stand out and to pack more information into less space.
Mobile apps have redefined what a user expects. Mobile apps use motion to convey meaning, and websites are just starting to do the same.
New technologies like CSS animation make it easy to enhance designs without plugins, speed or compatibility issues. And Web Components (#6, below) will only accelerate this.
GIF animation is back, and surprisingly effective. You’ll notice this article makes extensive use of GIF animation (if it doesn’t, you should view this version), which has never been easier to create or share.
6. Components are the new frameworks
Web technology continues to get more complicated, and less semantic. Designers must embed messy code onto their pages for simple tasks, like including Google Analytics or a Facebook Like button. It would be a lot easier if we could just write something like this instead:
And we can with Web Components, which aren’t quite ready to be used by most designers yet. 2015 is looking like their year.
Google’s Material design is here, and it may just be what gets this movement started. Powered by Polymer, and supported by all modern browsers, it provides the rich animation and interaction components from Android apps, with simple tags like these:
If that takes hold, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more component based frameworks appear in 2015. Perhaps Bootstrap 4.0?
7. Social saturation and the rise of direct email
Social media has been a huge success for consumers, but many content producers aren’t so happy.
The problem is saturation. With billions of posts every day, Facebook learns the posts that users are most likely to enjoy and shows only those. Unfortunately that means over time, what you post is increasingly seen by a smaller percentage of your followers. (A problem you can solve, conveniently, by paying Facebook).
Social isn’t going away, but in 2014 we’ve seen a lot of prominent bloggers like Tim Ferriss move their focus away from social and into good old fashioned email lists. They’ve realised that email has one significant advantage over social: a much higher percentage of people will see what you send them.
I expect this post-social trend to continue into 2015, with the under-appreciated trend of Web Notifications (which work much like notifications in a mobile app).
Bonus non-prediction: CSS shapes
This cool technology won’t get noticed, except by designers. CSS shapes allow you to flow layout into shapes, like circles:
It’s incredibly cool, but until browser support is guaranteed, this is likely to be too risky to put time and effort into it you’d need almost two complete designs, for old and new browsers. And outside of designers, we don’t think many users would notice.
It is really cool though.
What to expect in 2015
In 2014 we saw mobile use overtake desktop, but the general public hasn’t caught up. Most organisations still commission a website to look good on their computer first and work on mobile second.
In 2015 that strategy is likely to look out of touch and unprofessional. As the mobile becomes the main device for browsing the web, “mobile-first” will become less of a buzzword and more of a requirement.
Flat design may be everywhere, but when you look beyond ghost buttons the real trend is that simpler sites are faster at gratifying users.
Simplicity is not just a fashion: it’s the future. Expect it to only continue.
It will become more and more common to embed animation into blog posts, and for motion to signify both premium quality (for those who can afford it) and to support the user experience.
Pixels and the fold will slowly be set aside making more room for scrolling and click-second experiences. Web Components will make it easier to deliver app-like experiences in our websites.
Right now you see the best of mobile app design appearing in web design. With enough time, the difference between an app and a website might almost entirely disappear.
ADRIENNE PORTERFELT: You've probably tried to buy somethingonline or had to fill out some formfor your kid's school, and it's reallyhard on your phone.
It's really hard.
MUSTAFA: There seemsto be a dark art when it comes to nativeapplications, and they're such small details thatyou're actually working on.
[MUSIC PLAYING] Quite often, developers willjust throw on input fields onto a page and not reallythink about the UX that's attributed to that.
So they'll think ofa flow of a form, but they won't necessarilyfeel that individual input, so how a user struggles.
And we know thatautocomplete really helps speed up theuser experience and makes fillingforms quite nice.
What are your feelingsand experiences on autocomplete andAutofill as a thing? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT:From the user experience, you've probably triedto buy something online or had to fill out someform for your kid's school.
And it's reallyhard on your phone.
It's really hard.
It's even hard on desktop.
You don't want to get upand get your credit card out of your purse,which is downstairs.
And these browserfeatures just really improve the userexperience of using a form.
In fact, we find that peoplefill out or submit the form 30% faster if the formworks with Autofill.
So we very much suggest thatweb developers think about this.
You want people to besubmitting your forms.
Right? So if you really want yourforms to be submitted quickly, easily, work with Autofill.
MUSTAFA: And why do you thinkdevelopers don't do that? Is it very difficult to do? I'm assuming it's just a fewattributes you add to inputs.
Right? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Yeah.
It's actually not that hard.
So you basically need to setup autocomplete attributes, and you need to makesure that you're not doing any fancy things thatreplace the normal select and input elements withother types of elements.
I think most of these developersjust don't think about it, don't realize,that you just need to put a littlebit of extra effort in to make sure that yourform works well with Autofill and to test it out.
MUSTAFA: Is that oneof the challenges, I suppose, like people makingthese custom UI things, which are not native but justlike divs or whatever and replacing that? Is that where thingsfall down with Autofill? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT:Honestly, there's a few things that can go wrong,but that's one of the big ones.
Yeah, so someone wants thisreally beautiful custom form where the dropdown isall fancy and custom.
And as a result of that,they're using all divs.
And the browser can'tfigure out, oh, this is supposed to be a form.
And then in that case,Autofill isn't going to work.
MUSTAFA: And Isuppose there's a lot of accessibilityissues connected to that as well, it looks like.
But from your pointof view, you've got designers anddevelopers, they want to do something custom,like unique experience.
But then as someone whoworks on the browser, you want to say, now letthe browser do the work.
Do you think there'sa middle point there? How can developers at leasthave a custom experience that's unique to theirproduct, but at the same time without breaking standards? Because this is one of thebiggest challenges on the web.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT:So there's a lot of things you can do tochange the look of the form on the page while stillusing the select and input elements that HTML provides.
Right? You can customizethem in many ways.
I have to admit, there is onething you can't customize, and it's the lookof the dropdown, like in a select element.
But everything else, the wayit statically looks on a page, you can customize.
And the browser will stillknow that they're fields.
What you see is thebiggest challenge then, for Autofillor implementation, from your point of view? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT:I think it's honestly that developers don't thinkabout it, that people don't think to themselves that theyreally need to be testing their forms in this way.
When you've made it yourself,you've filled it out 100 times.
You tested it yourself.
And you don't thinkabout the fact that a user is goingto be coming to it in a different state of mind.
They are tryingto fill it out as fast as they can on the phone.
So I think developersjust aren't really thinking about the factthat they need to take these extra small steps.
MUSTAFA: So in terms ofbrowser compatibility, the things you're using willbe Chrome-specific stuff? Or is that open source-- not open source, butit's cross-platform.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Yeah,that's a good question.
So specifically autocompleteattributes for Autofill, that's standardized.
All the browsers respect them.
With that being said, thereis one part, turning Autofill off-- that's the autocompleteoff attribute-- is not respected by all browsers.
But if you say,this form should be a credit card, thatwill be respected by all the major browsers.
MUSTAFA: But eachexperience, is there slight quirks per browser? Because obviously, that's goingto be a browser-specific thing.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Some are-- they have veryslightly different UIs.
For example, maybe they'llbe integrated with a keyboard widget versus a dropdown.
But I think they're prettysimilar across browsers.
MUSTAFA: You work on theactual Chrome UI itself.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Yes.
MUSTAFA: So are you actuallybuilding that design and code yourself, or are youworking with UX designers in that process? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Sowe have a design team.
And the design team helpsus figure out what those UI elements should look like.
We actually have a bigredesign coming up this year that I think is going tomake those substantially more beautiful and also help clean upthe code, which I know that it won't affect most people becauseit won't look any different.
But from our perspective-- MUSTAFA: It's much cleaner.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Man,the code's so much cleaner.
MUSTAFA: What's the actualprocess of you actually creating UI? Because for me, I do front-enddevelopment and code.
But it's like there seemsto be a dark art when it comes to native applications.
And they're such smalldetails that you're actually working on, which the user maynot notice because it works.
But if it's broken,they will see it.
What is the actualprocess that you go through with your Chromedesigners to actually making the UI or testing it? I'm asking lots ofquestions all at once.
ADRIENNE PORTERFELT: Yeah, it's OK.
So I'll talk about theprocess a little bit.
So usually at the beginning,Product, Eng, and the designer will get togetherand talk about what they hope for from the feature.
Often, the designwill then come up with some conceptualmocks of what they feel the feature could look like.
They'll get feedbackfrom Product.
They'll get feedback fromthe engineers, like can we actually build this, whatare the corner cases we need? And then we'lliteratively get closer to what we actually can ship.
So I work on across-platform team, which means that whatwe build has to ship on all of Chrome's platforms.
People think of Chromeas one platform.
But actually, it'sWindows and Mac-- which previouslyhad different UIs, but we're coming toone single standard-- Android, iOS.
And so we have to havedifferent mocks that relate to the specific platforms.
So some things may bepossible for some subset.
Anyway, the designers get allthis feedback from engineers, like, we can do thishere and not there.
And then we iterativelycome through to red lines, which isour final set of designs.
And that's what we implement.
MUSTAFA: So in termsof do the designers work with the actual W3C? Because you'redesigning something which has to beconsidered cross-platform at the same [? time.
?] So likewhen the payment request API, like I was working withsome of the team there, there seems to be thingswhere you have to really be seeing whateveryone else is doing so that the experiencethat you're creating is not so widely different.
And that can be quitechallenging for the designer and developer because youinstinctively want to make it, I don't know, "better.
" But you don't want to makeit so vastly different, because then you stick out.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: That'san interesting question.
The challenge here isthat with specs, we try not to specify whatthe UI has to look like.
We try to talk about what theuser experience should be so that we can have the appropriatecallbacks, et cetera, to build that experience.
But we don't like tostandardize the UI itself, which is a fine balance becauseyou have to have a UI in mind when you're designing the API.
But we try to make itas general as possible so that we can build differentUI experiences on top of it.
MUSTAFA: Are you workingwith the browsers as well at the sametime to do that, or is it you do things independently? Because there's the thing.
It's like if you do it[INAUDIBLE] the browsers, then you may be leddown a path that's not the best for everyone.
That it's, OK, it'slike a compromise.
But at the same time, you don'twant that complete disparity.
ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Itdepends a lot on the standard, honestly.
Some of them willbe heavily driven by Chrome or some other browser.
They really want this API.
They'll drive it, and thenget a little bit of feedback along the way fromother vendors.
Whereas others,from the beginning, there's severaldifferent browser vendors working together.
So honestly, it differsfrom standard to standard.
MUSTAFA: And we're coming to the10-year anniversary of Chrome.
What do you thinkthe future of say, Autofill, or just workingwith the other browsers? Because it seems like thingsare getting much better.
I was speaking toDarren, and it was like, the implementationof Flexbox was a nightmare becausethe standard kept changing.
But with CSS grid, it'samazing that there's so much cross-collaborationbetween the browsers, which is great for the users and thedevelopers working across this.
What do you think the futureis for Chrome as a platform and, I suppose, Autofillas well as a specific? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Sofor Autofill specifically, it's hard to saybecause I don't think the limitation there reallyis the lack of browser vendors cooperating.
I feel like actually, there'sbeen a lot of discussion, for example, aroundpayment request.
There's a lot of collaborationbetween Safari and Chrome.
I think that thereal problem we have is that Autofill dependson developer adoption.
Right? If it's hard for thebrowser to figure out what form's in thepage, we're not going to be able to Autofill it.
And so I think thething we really care about is whetherwe can get developers interested in andusing the tools that we have provided for them totry to improve the Autofill experience.
Do you ever have toremove a feature when you see there's not wide adoption? Because I can seefrom an engineer, you're working on Chrome.
You spent your heart andsoul working on this feature.
And then you know it'sgreat for user experience.
You know from theresearch that Autofill will help transactions,and it's just nicer.
But if adoption doesn'thappen, how do you [INAUDIBLE]?? It's the biggest-- ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Yeah,that's a really hard one.
I've been througha few deprecations.
They can be really challenging.
It's very hard.
So there are a few waysyou can look at it.
One is how many usersinteract with websites that are using such a feature.
And obviously, thatnumber is large, you don't want to create apain point for a lot of users.
But even if thenumber is very small, it might be that there are afew websites, a few companies, whose entire businessmodel depends on having access to this API.
And so that can make itvery difficult, where OK, even if it's thisreally a niche thing, it still can behard to deprecate.
So I think there have beenlots of ongoing discussions in general about howto make that trade-off.
Some of the onesI've been involved in relate specificallyto security and TLS, where if something is makingthe web as a whole as safe, we may have to breaksome connections in order to deprecate it.
And it can be areally painful thing when you've got old serverson the internet that aren't being upgraded.
And maybe it's only a smallpercentage of overall page loads, but it'sstill frustrating when a user is trying to getto a website and it's broken.
But ultimately, fromChrome's perspective, it's the user's experiencethat's paramount.
Right? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Yes.
MUSTAFA: And theirsafety and security.
So it's like HTTPS, you couldprobably explain it better, but there's a cutoff pointwhere if your site is not loaded on HTTPS, you're goingto get a message saying, this isn't secure.
Right? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Fora long time in Chrome, we showed HTTP as neutral, HTTPas just plain text and no TLS.
MUSTAFA: Sorry, what's TLS,just for my non-designer-- ADRIENNE PORTER FELT: Oh, TLSis the underlying protocol that makes HTTPS HTTPS.
It's why it's secure.
So there is HTTP,which doesn't have any of the end-to-endsecurity bits on it.
And HTTP websiteswere just shown as a neutral standard thing.
Right? Most websites on the web wereHTTP, but that's changed.
We went from a few yearsago, we were at 25% HTTPS.
And now, it's the opposite wherewe're at more like 75% HTTPS.
So made changes in theUI to back that up.
So now when you go to awebsite that says HTTP, it's going to also say"not secure" next to it so people reallyunderstand what that means.
MUSTAFA: That decision mustbe quite tough, though.
In some respects, you need toforce the developers to say users' security is paramount.
But at the sametime, does it feel like you're breaking the web? ADRIENNE PORTER FELT:It doesn't really feel like we'rebreaking the web.
First of all, Ithink people have seen this a long time coming.
We've been talking aboutit for a long time.
We've rolled it out in phases.
So first, we started showing"not secure" specifically for pages with passwordsand credit card form fields.
And then it was for allform fields and web pages when viewed in incognito.
And now we're rolling itout for all HTTP websites.
And as you can see, becauseHTTPS adoption has really increased, it's onlyimpacting less than a quarter of page loads at this point.
MUSTAFA: So really,we're just talking about protecting the user.
ADRIENNE PORTERFELT: Yeah, and I think users have a right to knowthat their information isn't secure when they'regoing to this website and help them make adecision about whether or not they want to keep using thatservice or go to another one.
MUSTAFA: And do youthink users are quite savvy now to see those things? Or is this part of theeducation for the user as well to say, look,there are certain things on the web which arenot secure that you have to take into consideration.
ADRIENNE PORTERFELT: I'll be honest.
We have literally billions ofactive users, so it's hard to-- MUSTAFA: Make ageneral [INAUDIBLE] ADRIENNE PORTERFELT: --say generally whether people are goingto understand it or not.
We think enoughpeople understand it that they have a reactionand that they can reach out to sites saying, hey, Ireally like this site, but I wish it were secure.
And we see people doing thatas we've been rolling out these warnings.
SPEAKER 1: The way thatcellular networks are set up is that there's alwaysthese fringe areas, and there's alwaysthese breakdowns.
And higher latencyis always there.