Travis Slate

About Travis

A little about how I think, and who I am.

My Principles of User Experience Design

Concepts I like to follow while solving experience & visual problems...

1. Design & experience trends and improvements, just as the human species and our complex cultures, are ever evolving - and thus every application should be revisited at certain points to make sure its benefits are keeping up with current trends of consumability. Keeping software current as it relates to trends should also not be over-done. Updates should be done judiciously, and with great reflection to gain insight into probable future trends.

2. Design solutions should be one millimeter beyond the complexity of the person utilizing them. This is to say that persons uninitiated with advanced and powerful processes should be exposed to them - in fact, taking one outside of their comfort zone is what helps us grow. But these processes need to be presented in a straight forward and simple manner to encourage internalization, confidence in the process at hand, and advancement of technological knowledge and know-how.

3. It's not just about stunning & consistent UI elements - it's also about inseparable cohesiveness of functions & features. We have all used software that looked incredibly attractive, with beautiful and thoughtfully designed interface elements. But when the underlying functions and features mix as well as oil & water and don't compliment one another, there's simply one feature too many.

4. Applications are more about benefits than features to an end user, and such benefits should be clearly stated - both in the application's store description and in its user experience. If a feature doesn't provide obvious benefits for the user, why will they download it?

5. Organically grown features (features that come as desires directly from the user after they have the product in hand) are many times more powerful than the ones built in through an abstract list of client desires. Encourage & educate the client that their user base is invaluable.

6. The impossible only exists within the barriers of the mind and the time & place that mind resides in. There is a way to solve every problem, although sometimes the solutions are not cost effective or beautifully executed.


Who Travis Is

I grew up in what people in my neck of the woods called, "The North Country." Truth be told, if I grew up any further North than I did, I would actually be Canadian. In my hometown, modern art is considered to be beautifully lifelike paintings of geese and other wildlife - not that there's anything wrong with that, it just wasn't for me nessesarily. Upon graduating from my local community college, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in painting - hoping to become a famous artist type, complete with a goatee and paint stains on my clothes. It was a great dream upon which failing to materialize ultimately lead me to begin designing window displays for a well-known clothing store, and becoming interested in graphic design.

After my NYC experience, I decided to attend Ringling School of Art & Design to learn about design and improve my graphic chops. While enrolled, I had the pleasure of working with several local businesses in the area, helping them achieve some great results in their design-related endevors, including helping Jonathan Parks Architect win a Florida American Institute of Architects Design Excellence Award. In addition, I was awarded an Adobe Design Achievement Award Honorable Mention, as well as a chance to become a Ringling School Trustee Scholar - only one of two persons to be nominated.

Being recruited into the advertising field in Austin, TX upon graduating with a BFA, I realized that advertising was not my passion - and that I wanted the things I designed to be useful tools for other's lives. I joined up with a local Austin news station, as I loved helping people becomed informed about their world, then began designing mobile interfaces and experiences soon after. As a self-proclaimed mobile and technological addict, I feel completely at home in this interesting and ever-evolving niche.

I currently lead the User Experience team at Rocksauce Studios, a great little mobile firm in Austin, TX.


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