How we put RapCaviar on autopilot

Genre Weekly is a weekly feed of the latest releases in each genre, playable on Spotify. It updates automatically every week and the cover art changes when new tracks are added.

I need a fresh rap song every so often to help me forget my problems, which is why I built Genre Weekly with my friend Tofe. RapCaviar isn’t great for this because it’s a radio station that plays whatever’s ‘in’. I wanted a feed with the latest, and I wanted it to update by itself.

How it works

Every week, our app goes through Spotify’s New Releases page and adds each song…


A visual language for clear, actionable indicators

Procurement is the process of buying goods or services for company use. Whether you’re an employee getting hoodies for your team or a professional buyer purchasing data center hardware, your request must be approved.

The approval flow is complex. It’s not always a straight path, and a number of issues can come up along the way.


How to set goals you can actually achieve

Me sliding into the new year

New Year’s resolutions don’t work. I could cite some random statistic, but you probably know from experience.

What happened to your 2017 resolutions? (highlight below)😎 I achieved all of them 😊 I achieved some of them😇 I made a valiant effort

If you’re like me, you’re in the last group: new year, new me turns into lol in a matter of weeks. Why does this happen every year? NBC investigates.

1. You make too many resolutions

The appeal of New Year’s is that nothing’s happened yet. So hypothetically, anything could happen. I could double my savings. I could read fifty books. I could finally…


“Aren’t you supposed to be a designer?”

For designers, portfolios are a point of pride. You spend your entire career designing in someone’s else style; your portfolio is the one place to you’re allowed be you, a labor of love to toil over, anguish over, and celebrate when it’s finally done. I should know: my senior year of college, I spent the entire fall semester creating my portfolio from scratch.

In retrospect, it was a wildly inefficient use of time. All the effort put into web development would’ve been better spent writing case studies, and I could’ve started recruiting months earlier. What’s more, my portfolio had to…


Accelerating legal discovery with AI

Everlaw is a cloud-based ediscovery platform. When I joined, the company had been around for a while and was starting to expand rapidly. With the recent switch to a monthly release cycle and design requests pouring in from other departments, our two-person design team had more than enough to do.

What’s ediscovery?

Before a trial, both sides are required to exchange information. This process is called discovery, and involves turning over documents related to the case. When the documents are digital, it’s called ediscovery.

There’s a lot to go through; these days, our digital trail dwarfs our paper one. Legal teams use…


Guiding document reviewers through a digital labyrinth

Reviewers need a way to find related documents.

Reviewers want to identify relevant documents as quickly as possible. If a certain document is relevant, adjacent documents are likely to be relevant.

For example, if a scandalous spreadsheet is attached to an email, we’d want to look at the other attachments to that email. If it was found in a folder, we’d want to look at the rest of the folder and other documents nearby.

I designed a file explorer that made document review faster. Reviewers can navigate complex file directories to discover and take action on relevant documents immediately.

Involvement

As the sole designer, I led the entire design…


A simple system for a complicated use case

Lawyers need to reference documents, but only the important parts.

Documents are key to trial preparation, in things like building arguments and deposing witnesses. Everlaw has its own version of Google Docs called Outlines for lawyers to collaborate on materials leading up to a trial.

You can embed documents directly into an Outline and view them on the spot, an upgrade from traditional citations. But people only care about the important parts. Navigating to the right page every time you opened a document was time-consuming and tedious, especially for longer documents with hundreds of pages.


Scanning documents on the go

Evernote Scannable is a scanner app for iOS. I joined the team shortly after its initial release, and there was plenty to do. Early feedback showed that some of Scannable’s core assumptions were flawed; the original designers had moved to other teams, so it was my job to come in with fresh eyes and find solutions.

Team

I was part of a small team comprised of a product manager, one other designer (Keith Lang), and several engineers. Keith was my mentor and an essential source of feedback, but I led my own projects.

Projects

Challenges

I’d always been a designer, but my first…


A faster, simpler scanning experience

Exporting your scans took longer than it should.

The export screen was a mess. Different UI elements competed for your attention, from the many export options — and their frustratingly small touch targets — to the virtually-unused tab navigation on the bottom. And to even get here you had to go through the edit screen, even if you didn’t need it.


Protecting users from worst-case scenarios

People expected Scannable to backup their scans. They weren’t happy when they found out it didn’t.

Scannable was designed to be lightweight: scan your document, send it somewhere, never look back. It never stored your scans, because presumably, it didn’t need to. The original team figured you wouldn’t need the scans once a digital copy existed somewhere, and wanted to avoid the feature bloat common in other scanning apps.

Bryant Peng

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