08-29-2012 09:28 AM - last edited on 09-06-2012 02:01 PM by KatieBall
Matte is responsible for setting the product vision, strategy and direction for YouSendIt, he is the new Head of Products. One of the most highly sought thought leaders and product visionaries in the industry; Matte was vice president of consumer experience and commerce at AOL. Prior to joining AOL, Matte spent eight years at Yahoo! where he held a variety of roles including the oversight of the user experience teams responsible for Yahoo!’s communication and community products which included Mail, Messenger, Voice, Profiles, Groups, Bix, and Flickr.
We wanted to focus this Expert Day on topics about design. Because Matte is new to YouSendIt he will not have all the answers just yet about the future of YouSendIt, but he does have some good ideas on what he hopes it will be. Matte will be asking his own questions about his thoughts on the design industry, so make sure to join in to the discussion on September 6th from 11 am – 2pm PST.
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09-06-2012 11:09 AM
Hey Matte! First off, thanks for participating in our Expert Day - we really appreciate it.
I was wondering if you could describe what your role and responsibilities are in layman's terms. Maybe also briefly detail what you might do in a regular work day.
09-06-2012 11:53 AM - edited 09-06-2012 11:59 AM
In reply to designing for mobile first...
Design for mobile first.
More and more in the industry today we are seeing value in designing for mobile first this is for a few reasons. Mobile is continuing to grow not only in the number of people who are buying mobile devices but also increased growth in people using mobile devices to access the network more than their computers. We have also seen that designing for mobile first leads to better full web designs, mostly because they have many constraints and need to be portable. Because of the small screen size and people always on the go with limited ability to focus, the overall mobile experience needs to be simplified. The experience needs to highlight the important things that matter for the user to complete a task and meet their needs. Designing for these challenges makes the transition to web much easier in the long run.
09-06-2012 11:57 AM
It's great to be here. My job is to set the vision and strategy for our wonderful product management (PM) and design teams. A typical day involves meeting with our customers and partners to understand how we can make their lives a little bit better; working with our PMs as they are defining our next product releases; reviewing our designs to make sure they are easy to use, solve a real need, and add a some delight to our customer's days. Luckily, I stand on the shoulders of giants in our aforementioned PM and design teams led by Mihir Nanavati and David Robinson respectively. Simply put (the way I explain it to my father) is I make sure we're building solutions to help real people.
09-06-2012 12:25 PM
Responsive design is a reaction to the myriad screen sizes available to users. When I first started as a designer we began the product development process by defining the screen sizes that the product would be used on. Now the users define the screen size as they switch devices throughout the day. In the morning, a user may read the news on her phone, then switch to a massive screen in the office, then to a tablet in the evening while watching television. Responsive design is a recognition that the page design needs to respond to the user's current context.
09-06-2012 12:34 PM
Responsive design is an implementation technique and shouldn't by itself be a default solution. If you have a site that has a lot of large media files (big photos for example) responsive design may not be the right solution since it's really just a single website that 'responds' to the size of the screen. Which means that while the 25mb photo looks smaller on smartphone it's really the same 25mb photo from the desktop site and when you're on a mobile device you want to pay attention to that. Your site will feel slow to load and you'll be using a lot of your users data. There are other ways to do file size sampling of course. As a design technique I really like responsive design since it trains designers to think about cross-device design at the same time.
09-06-2012 12:49 PM - edited 09-06-2012 12:50 PM
More on Responsive design.
Just a quick note to the topic of responsive design. Building separate designs for every screen size can be very time consuming and costly. Approaching your designs with a responsive design philiosophy adds complexity but makes for an exciting new challenge. Designing with responsiveness in mind helps give the designer a overall sense of how their design will scale cross-platform, potentially leading to creating a more unified cross-platform experience.
09-06-2012 01:04 PM - edited 09-06-2012 01:09 PM
Long-time listener, first-time caller.
Do you recommend taking breaks in your career to pause and reflect? Is a year long enough? If so what would you call such a year? I'll take my answer off the air.
09-06-2012 01:20 PM
Are you trying to trick me into giving away our top secret plans? All I will say is that we have some amazing secret sauce launching in the next few months. And yes, there is sufficient wizbang involved (and even more importantly, we'll continue to focus on building products that make your life a little bit better).
09-06-2012 01:28 PM
How are your math skills?
A and B ran a race of 480 m. In the first heat, A gives B a head start of 48 m and beats him by 1/10th of a minute. In the second heat, A gives B a head start of 144 m and is beaten by 1/30th of a minute. What is B's speed in m/s?
09-06-2012 01:43 PM
This is a somewhat controversial subject with most people siding with their own personal abilities. Many designers who code assert that you can't design something truly great without first understanding the tools used to build it. Those who choose not to learn to code claim that it narrows your creativity to what is convenient to implement. I agree with both sides. I want my design teams to keep current with technology, but I also want to create environments where they're rewarded for coming up with solutions that make our user's lives easier even if they make our live's harder during the implementation phase.
09-06-2012 01:47 PM
I've noticed that you refer to "making users lives easier" in almost every one of your posts. I don't have a question about this, but I find it interesting.
09-06-2012 01:48 PM
Why yes, I do recommend it and did just that a few years ago. Most people who follow my exploits referred to it as a Year of Matte. Perhaps you should take a Year of Shellen (if that is indeed your name).
09-06-2012 01:49 PM
I'd call it "my Year" and I think you should. You should yardsale and find yourself a tapedeck and digitize all of your old mixtapes so you can share them with your friends. Sounds like a lot fo work though now that I read that back. Come to think of it, don't take a year off, start a company!
09-06-2012 01:57 PM
Arrived as a guest and there were two blue links suggesting I register, one of which did nothing, nothing I tell you!
tried to sign in started typing an email address, forever obscuring one of the quick login connectificator choices:
what was option!?
also, who put the slash in U/X?
09-06-2012 02:02 PM - last edited on 09-06-2012 02:22 PM by Ofunne
Xian, great catch of not so stellar design
We'll get this fixed
09-10-2012 08:09 AM
Thanks for taking the time to be our Expert for a day, Matte!
For more information on Matte, which may or may not be limited to the pronunciation of Matte's name, please visit www.matte.org.