There has been a relatively recent explosion in the number of titles for roles in UI and UX. A number of these reflect the changing job description and additional expectations of employers, while others seem to be attempts to consolidate or revise previously accepted titles and responsibilities.

The terms ‘graphic designer’ and ‘art director’ used to suffice to cover the majority of design roles, with the addition of senior or junior (or occasionally associate for entry level) to connote experience. Now those titles have fallen out of fashion. Newer ambiguous titles such as ‘visual designer’ are now used to cover…

I’ve decided I need to substantially improve my animation skills and improve both my portfolio site and prototypes. I’ve dabbled with Anima in the past and found it far easier to utilize than other ‘straight up’ animator apps like Principle (which admittedly works in a very different way and is preferable for other issues etc.)

Anima has an impressive intro on their page; here are a few intro screens:

I’ve been looking for a (relatively) easy way to add animated GIFs to my prototypes on my portfolio site. While I’ve had the option to utilize Screenshot/Quicktime, I’ve avoided using it as I find the interface VERY clumsy and frustrating. Another case of Apple doing something very well and badly simultaneously. My primary frustration stems from the apps tendency to disappear while recording. You have the option to use Shift+Cmd+5 to start and stop recording (which is not apparent anywhere onscreen). But the record menu bar is not consistently visible.

Figma’s website has a post regarding this entire process. As…

So I finally took the opportunity to really look into Wordpress having toyed with it several times in the past. There seems to be just enough of a demand for it on the plethora of design jobs I’ve applied for. In fact I had one recruiter express annoyance when I said I wasn’t familiar enough with it to put it under my ‘skills’ on the job boards I’m listed with: “C’mon, its just Wordpress”.

So I decided I needed to dig deeper and familiarize myself with the basic toolset. It’s easy enough to get started with the usual onboarding:


I recently interviewed for a Product Design position for a client that used Sketch and InVision (as opposed to my preferred Figma). The creative director I spoke with mentioned InVision’s relatively recent addition of DSM or Design System Manager in order to better compete with Figma’s already established team oriented system. I’ve looked into it and found it quite intriguing. Of course I couldn’t actually try out it’s best feature as an individual designer, but I’ve included some of the highlights here. From their website:

“The design system platform for collaborative teams

InVision Design System Manager connects design and code so teams can work smarter, faster, and…

So after several months I’ve returned to Sketch. I hadn’t used the app much in the last few months, having concentrated almost exclusively on upgrading my portfolio site via UXfolio. I’d been using Figma exclusively for any prototyping, screens etc. for the case studies. It was actually during an interview for a UI position that I learned that Sketch had seriously upgraded their prototyping options. I’ve just checked them out, and have to say that I’m impressed so far.

First off the new prototyping tools are VERY similar to Figmas; which is to be expected to a degree, as they…

One of the best features of UXfolio is the ability to use font pairings for both the individual case studies and the home page. You can choose from a list of complimentary font pairings or generate your own custom set.

First off the preset font pairings. The app offers a number of solid choices, with alternating sans serif and serif options:

Then there’s the custom option (which I chose myself as I wanted to continue the look & feel of my previous portfolio site:

I’ve now been actively increasing my proficiency in UI/UX design for well over a year. I was recently clued into the term ‘upskilling’. I was clued into this phrase by Alice Chen, one of the career counselors at Flatiron. She passed on vital insights into how to sell my burgeoning skillset & upgrade my LinkedIn profile & portfolio sight. I did some research into the term:

up·skill (/ˈəpˌskil/)


past tense: upskilled; past participle: upskilled

  1. teach (an employee) additional skills.
  2. “this is an opportunity to upskill staff and expand their capabilities” (of an employee) learn additional skills.

ex. — “they…

So after a week or so of solid work I finally have my new UX folio site up & running. I have to say that now that I know the app relatively well that I feel foolish for putting it off for so long. It is FAR superior to Squarspace when it comes to UI/UX portfolios. The myriad of options you can use is quite impressive. Just starting a case study is impressive if I’m honest. The app gives you a full menu of options to start with (as I’ve written about previously). But where it really shines is its…

I’ve begun delving into several sites and options that offer more customization and/or superior UI showcasing than squarespace. I’ve finally settled up UX/folio for my primary site.

First off it’s far easier to jump right in— assuming you aren’t interested in customizing the font, picture placement etc. In less than five minutes I’ve already utilized a template to create this:

I’m not one for this kind of splash page to be honest — I prefer to show the work first and have the vanity shot in an About section. Still it’s straightforward and engaging. It also allows for quick access…

Daniel McArdle

I’m an art director/UI designer/creative recently resettled in Seattle after ten years in Hong Kong & Shanghai.

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