Hey Everyone! I'm a UI and UX designer that works primarily in the mobile app and web space. I've been designing apps since around the time Apple allowed 3rd party developers to make apps for iPhone, so I have a lot of knowledge and experience and would love to help anyone interested in the field. I've worked on designs for companies like EA, TouchTunes, Appcelerator, Ruckus Wireless, Xerox, Humana, Pampered Chef, ULTA Beauty and more.

Ask away!

My Proof: http://www.scottdaviscreative.com

More Proof: https://twitter.com/scottdcreative/status/551864003383672832

Edit 1: Thanks for all of the questions! These are great. I have about an hour left to answer questions. Just to clarify, I work for an agency in Chicago called Lextech, I also freelance on my off-hours. I've also worked on contract for various companies as well, but I've primarily worked for my self freelance because I travel a lot.

Be back around 10:30PST: I have to step out for a while, but I will be back on to answer more questions around 10:30PST. Please keep the questions coming and I will do my best to answer every single one. Thanks!!

Done for the night! Thanks for all of the great questions! I will be back on tomorrow around 8am PST to wrap up any additional questions that come in while I'm away, otherwise that's it for now. Thanks for having me!

IamA Concluded! Thanks for having me guys, this was fun! I hope I was able to help those out interested in this field. If I missed your question, feel free to ask on Twitter and keep in touch: @scottdcreative



Comments: 129 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

iAdvertise7 karma

For someone that has moderate knowledge of front end development, what would you recommend they learn to grasp back end? Something that would prepare them for the next 3-5 years of web and mobile.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop6 karma


Let me preface this by saying I don't do back-end dev work, mostly light front-end and primarily design, but I know there are some good resources on Lynda.com, teamtreehouse.com or generalassemb.ly. Some of these options you have to pay for, but it's cheaper than going to a college. You can always go the youtube route which has a good amount of content to learn from.

Hope that helps!


iAdvertise2 karma

Considering you do light front-end and primarily design, how would you define a UI/UX designer? Is it the person that can visualize and prototype an app/site, or the person that actually builds it? Is both more valuable in the workforce?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Great question! It varies from agency to agency. The company I currently work for now I am defined as a UI and UX designer, but I don't do any development. We have a great dev team so there's no need for it, so I get to focus on what I'm stronger at: design.

Most agencies like UX designers to case the user base, figure out the flow of the app from screen to screen, mock up the layouts for what they feel would be the best user experience (I use Balsamiq to do this, some people use other tools like Axure or Omnigraffle), then maybe create an interactive prototype before design starts.

triguy3574 karma

As an app developer, do you think there is less inclination to create apps that are suitable for the Windows phone market because Android and Apple are discussed more?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Hi Triguy357!

Great question man!

I definitely have seen less of inclination for companies to create apps for Windows Phone because of market share, which Windows Phone doesn't hold much. Personally, I love Windows Phone. I've always said if I wasn't on iPhone I would use a Windows Phone because I think the UI is pretty cool and I'm an Xbox player and the two devices sync up together.

Thanks for asking!


MacDegger0 karma

Because the windows phone market is nonexistant and also because the form of the OS is very restrictive.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Yeah, it's unfortunate that Windows Phone hasn't done better.

lwiiii4 karma

Hey! Thanks for doing this AMA My question is: What is the best way to get into UI/UX design and to start building some sort of portfolio? Are there some solid tutorials or screencasts out there you'd recommend? I am really looking forward to graduate studies in ui/interaction design once I finish my CS degree.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop9 karma

Hey lwiiii!

Thanks for stopping by and the question!

If look above or below I posted some really great places to learn. Here they are again...

free resources:

smashingmagazine.com (great articles) awwwards.com (award-winning websites to help with inspiration) design.tutsplus.com (really great for learning Photoshop design techniques) design.tutsplus.com/categories/adobe-illustrator (really great for learning Illustrator design techniques) dribbble.com (fantastic designers) behance.com (more fantastic designers) code.tutsplus.com (for coding)

paid options:

lynda.com generalassemb.ly teamtreehouse.com

ImTakmo3 karma

How do you account for the varying sizes, aspect ratios, and orientations of mobile phone screens?

Also, have you ever read "The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald Norman?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hi ImTakmo!

Great questions!

For screen aspect ratios, it's different between iPhone and Android. For iPhone, when you prepare assets you have to create them @3x size, @2x and normal size, or non-retina display size. I like to create my iOS apps at the smallest size so I can make sure I can fit everything that needs to be in there on the smaller devices, then I usually create a few of the comps on the 6 plus. For Android, assets are sliced mdpi which is your baseline size, hdpi, xhdpi, xxhdpi, and xxxhdpi. Slicing icons and graphics and going from the larger size down (xxxhdpi to mdpi) accounts for all the different screen sizes on Android. If this sounds like a foreign language, visit Android's developer page on devices and displays here:


Or Apple's guidelines here:


I haven't read that book, is it a good read? I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for the questions!


LarcusMywood3 karma

How much do you earn, if you don't mind me asking?

Feel free to ignore if you like!

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma


I love that you asked this...

I won't say how much I make, but here's some stats on what people in my field in my area make on average: http://www.indeed.com/salary/q-Ui-Ux-Designer-l-San-Francisco,-CA.html

Thanks for asking, kind of! ;)


SarcasmEludesYou1 karma

I like how you linked SF but said you're from CHI.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

I think you may have mis-read it. I work for a company in Chicago, I live in Northern California, in Sacramento, not SF.

SarcasmEludesYou0 karma

There's actually no mention of that in your original post. You just said you work for an agency in Chicago without mentioning where you actually live. But anyway, people that work in tech in the bay area know our wages are inflated compared to the rest of the country (because cost of living is also much higher). So linking salary info for this specific job market is misleading. Cmon man.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Ah, you're right, I didn't mention that in my original post, I mentioned it elsewhere in the thread that I live in California. It was an oversight on my part. If you didn't notice I had about 90 questions and response questions, it's a lot to keep track of every little detail, I tried my best. I didn't do it intentionally.

du5t2 karma

Can you list some of your favourite resources? Websites / books / magazines etc. Thanks!

ChickenMcVeggieSlop5 karma

Hi du5t!

Certainly, here's a list of some free resources:

smashingmagazine.com (great articles)

awwwards.com (award-winning websites to help with inspiration)

design.tutsplus.com (really great for learning Photoshop design techniques)

design.tutsplus.com/categories/adobe-illustrator (really great for learning Illustrator design techniques)

dribbble.com (fantastic designers)

behance.com (more fantastic designers)

code.tutsplus.com (for coding)

paid options:




Thanks for asking!


Mackinstyle1 karma

I'm getting into UI/UX for desktop apps. What books do you recommend that discuss the theory behind good UI/UX design?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hi Mackinstyle!

I actually haven't read a ton of paperback books on this topic except for the books I used at the Art Institute when I was in college. I primarily visit sites like smashingmagazine.com... they have great articles on UI/UX. Also, from being in the field so long, I've learned through trial and error, and others that have gone before me.

Thanks for the question!


dufu1 karma

How much money do you make?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma


That's not something I will disclose, but I will say that my family isn't starving. I posted this below to a similar question:

here's some stats on what people in my field in my area make on average: http://www.indeed.com/salary/q-Ui-Ux-Designer-l-San-Francisco,-CA.html

Thanks for stopping by and your bold question! :)


pelks_ikslop1 karma

What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes new UI/UX designers make?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Hi Pelks_ikslop!

This is a good question because I made lots of mistakes when I first started. The biggest mistake I think I made as a freelancer starting out was taking on clients that didn't value me, my work or my time. They wanted to pinch pennies, try and get extra work out of me for free outside of what we agreed on (a term that's referred to as "scope creep"), and always promised of sending me more work and referrals but never lived up to their promises. If you value your time and the craft that you've put hours in to learning, then avoid clients like this if you can...even if times are tight and you need the money. In the end, you end up losing more than you gain. Oh, and don't give out layered files or source code before you've been paid IN FULL!! If they want to see comps, send them jpgs, pdfs or use an online product like InvisionApp.com like I do, but don't give up your bread and butter before they've paid for it. I made this mistake once with a dishonest client.

Thanks for asking!


morbioso1 karma

What's a good intro to UX? I know virtually nothing about it and it would help me understand what the UX team at work do - I recently started a new job and haven't come across it before.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi Morbioso!

Great question.

I'm not sure if there's any great intro to UX that I can point you toward except this analogy: If you think of a roller coaster being built at a theme park, there are the engineers that figure out how the roller coast will function, how many cars/seats it will have and what types of twists, turns, flips and dips the coaster will have. They decide how fun, how scary and how engaging the coaster will be, and researching what demographic of attendees the theme park generally has on a daily basis, they know what type of coaster to build and who they are building it for. That's essentially what UX people do, except for in the web and mobile space. They decide the best way for an app or website to function, how it's to be laid out, and they study the user base to know how to tailor to their needs.

Hope that helps!


InfiniteStudyBreak1 karma

Another aspiring graphic communications/ui/ux high schooler here, thanks for doing this AmA. Most of my questions have already been answered, but one still stands:

What college major would fit this field best?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi InfiniteStudyBreak!

Really good question.

I have a degree through the Art Institute in Web Design. At the time, mobile app design was in it's infancy or basically non-existent, so I didn't have the option for a degree in app design (I'm not sure if that's an option now). Web design and UI/UX obviously go hand in hand, so we covered UI and UX in almost every course. If I were to go back now and knowing that I would primarily work in the mobile space, I would probably still go with a degree in web design because of how web design has evolved to be very mobile-friendly. You can learn a lot about app design just through working on a responsive website.

Hope this helps!


themancp1 karma

I am about 3 years into my career (1/2 year internship + a little over 2 years at my current job) and I am currently on the job hunt. I have had a few interviews, but I haven't landed anything yet. I interview really well, I have a decent amount of really nice work samples, and I constantly learn and improve myself outside of work. Do you have any advice on how to keep improving and how to get the jobs that will lead to the next step in my career? I would live to work with bigger brands, like some of the ones you listed. Cheers.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hey themancp!

Really good question, thanks for asking.

If you really want to work with larger brands the key is being persistent. If I were to guess, I've probably applied to well over 500 companies over a 7 year period for freelance gigs or full-time gigs and maybe heard back from 10% of them. It's a very competitive space, but don't give up or get discouraged. You're going to be rejected...A LOT. That's okay, just keep moving forward and don't worry about it, eventually there will be someone that will see your potential and hire you. Once that happens, it's like the analogy of the snowball rolling down the hill, the snowball gains momentum and gets bigger and bigger, and just like that before you know it you have too many clients and you're having to turn down work!

Just keep putting your self out there...use Linkedin, Behance, Dribbble, get a portfolio site and keep your self busy making designs whether for your self or for clients when you have them. Just keep creating.

Hope this helps buddy!


themancp2 karma

Thanks so much for the advice! I am trying not to be discouraged, but it gets difficult some times. It is definitely reassuring to hear stuff like this from people in the field though. Thanks!

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Trust me, I totally understand discouragement. I've been rejected so many times when I've applied to jobs or freelance gigs, but I just never gave up or gave in to feeling bummed. Things will eventually turn for you, I promise! Just keep pushing.

Take care!


FalconsFan711 karma

First of all, great AMA! Very interesting information here. I'm approaching this from a different side. I'm a 43 year old professional photographer with 22 years of portrait experience. My profession used to be very lucrative, but the industry is changing quickly with an enormous number of people entering the market.

I'd love to transition to some type of career that utilizes my love and knowledge of PhotoShop and design. I'm strong in PS, proficient in InDesign and know nothing about Illustrator. Is there hope for me to make a move towards some type of web design career and what might you suggest as a good first step?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi FalconsFan71!

That's awesome that you're a proficient photographer, I'm an amateur Instagram photographer which means I'm not very good. Ha!

A good place to start if you're just starting to get in to web design is finding some tutorials like you can find on here: http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/

Also, visiting sites like smashingmagazine.com and finding articles about best practices in web design can help. If you know of someone that is close to you that may need help with a site, that's always a good place to start, or creating your own. There's really no magic way to go about it except just jumping in doing it. Try making something basic in photoshop like a portfolio site for your photography business, look around google and type "web design inspiration 2014" and you can find some great sites to look at.

I hope this helps and best of luck!


lim2me1 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

I've been building websites for nearly 2 decades (self-taught). I've always been interested in UX and would like to incorporate more of it into my client's websites. The thing is most of the work I do is creating a typical organisation website (Who we are, what we do etc...) with a contact form.

What would be some quick, simple UX techniques that would really add to the website experience?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi lim2me!

No problem, my pleasure to help. It sounds like I've should be learning from you, you're a veteran! :)

As far as UX design, you really have been doing some UX without being aware. When you're designing and developing a website, you're figuring out where things will go, how the site will function and who the user will be – that's all User Experience. Now, as far as tools, I use a wireframing software called Balsamiq, I recommend it. You can also try Axure or Omnigraffle which are also popular.

A few techniques or guidelines I go by that will help with UX I actually listed in a previous comment, but I'll repost them here:

• Know your user: It's important that you know/study the user demographic that will use the app or website you're developing. If you don't know who the primary user base is, you're more likely to frustrate those using the product.

• Leave no dead ends: Make sure the website or app has navigation that won't leave a user stranded on a page or screen with no way to get out.

• Avoid too much text: Most of us check out when we're having a conversation with someone and all they do is talk, talk, talk. The same goes with a website or app, if there's a ton of content text with miles and miles or text, you're more likely to lose users. I like to tie imagery like icons, photos or infographics with shorter blurbs of text.

• Don't sacrifice function for form: I love pretty graphics just as much as the next guy/gal, but making a website flashy with tons of parallax or animations that detract from the content can make for a poor user experience. Also, parallax and crazy amounts of animations on websites don't work as well on mobile devices.

I hope this helps!


EternalNewGuy1 karma

As someone recently tasked with porting a desktop app to mobile, I have to preface this by saying I want to stab my UI/UX team. All they keep saying is 'the header (or some other part) is too complex, make it simpler'.

The header is three damn buttons across the top that say exactly what they do, to match the functions from the desktop app. It's as damn simple as it can get.

Is there anything I can show them or say to them to explain that at a certain point, we go from actual useful functionality to Fisher-Price 'my-first-app' land, and it's a matter of user education on how to use the app rather than constantly 'making it simpler'?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hi EternalNewGuy!

Thanks for popping in! I understand your frustrations. First off, is this app for iOS, Android or both? Or Windows Phone? There's a number of ways you can go about it to appease your UI/UX team. If I'm understanding correctly (with out seeing the app my self), it sounds like maybe the buttons are in the same spot on the mobile app version as they are on the desktop, right? So, maybe the desktop version has 3 global navigation links in the header of the site, and you've placed them on the navigation bar of the iPhone app (if it's for iOS)? One way to go about it is nesting those three buttons under a hamburger menu (the 3 stacked lines), place that menu button on the left side of the navigation bar (which is what it's called on iPhone), and then the user can have a slide-out menu with those buttons, this will clean up the header (nav bar) and leave the header page titles, back buttons and the hamburger menu.

Without seeing the app my self it's hard to give you a solid answer though. I hope this helps!


cnevz1 karma

Do you have any good rules of thumb/important general rules for mobile developers who have to do their own UI/UX without any real training on it?

Edit: appreciate the AMA man.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi cnevz!

No problem, happy to help. Thanks for asking your question!

If you're having to design the UX and you're a developer that generally doesn't do that sort of thing, I would go off of what guidelines that platform you're designing for recommends, like Apple's Human Interface guidelines. They have some really good pointers and things not to do when building an app. Also, Google "Mobile App design inspiration", this will help you with ideas as well.

A couple of other things to consider:

• Make there are no dead-ends in the app with the navigation. Users need to be able to freely move from section to section without any stops.

• Do your best to learn about the user – what they will want in the app, how they will use it, and what may detract them keeping the app on their phone.

• Use platform parity, meaning, make sure when you design for iOS that the app functions and navigates like an iOS app, even though maybe you work on Android primarily and where you may be used to how an Android app operates. A good example of this is the back button... Android phones have a built in back button but iOS devices do not, which means you need to place a back button on the navigation bar in an iOS app or the user maybe not be able to get back to where they were whereas Android users can tap the built-in back on their phone to get back to where they were.

I hope this helps a little!


ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hey guys! I'm back online and I'm going to get to all of your questions now. Give me a little bit to respond.


charleszink1 karma


ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Charles! What is up man? Hope you're well. I'm not sure I can answer your questions, you're a pro! :)

  1. Yeah, you know David Ray, I use him a lot for my sites. I love developing chemistry with a developer and he and I have worked together more than 5 years. I've also used other guys from agencies I worked with that I felt good about using. As far as getting the sites ready for development, it depends. Some clients don't have the budget to have me do a lot of post-design work, or they have a developer that prefers to prepare the photoshop files themselves. I try to be flexible with that from client to client, so it can vary.

  2. Love it! I feel like I have a great relationship with developers because I used to code my self and understand their pains. I think the biggest thing is mutual respect and giving them as much support as they need. Be available to answer questions and support your developer. You're teammates, not adversaries. Also, it's easy to get lazy once your designs are done, but part of the design phase is getting the devs what they need whether it's sliced assets, a style guide and so on. All of this is pending budget on the project, of course.

Thanks for coming over, Charles! Tell Jared & Travis hello for me.

YepiXX1 karma

How long does it take you to do a complete Ui for an app?

How much do you get played in general for freelancing?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi YepiXX!

Thanks for the questions and for stopping by!

  1. It depends on the size/scope of the project. But generally, if there isn't a ton of illustration involved I can knock out a screen in 4-6 hours. So, if the app is 10 screens that's roughly 40 to 60 hours of work. Then there's the post-design work like preparing assets for developers, annotations on the design screens and so forth.

  2. It really depends on what you charge hourly or how you bill. It also depends on the project and your level of experience. Generally people in my field from junior level on up to a senior level can make between 60k - 150k USD a year, some times more, and some times less depending on where you live in the US (or Europe).

Thanks for stopping by!


MRasey221 karma

Howd did you get into app designing?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Hi MRasey22!

Honestly, I kind of got in to it by accident. I went to school for web design, and was a web designer by trade, but I had a friend of a friend that had been doing apps for a little bit and he had an app idea and asked me if I wanted help him with the design. Not knowing ANYTHING about app design, I said yes! Ha. He kind of coached me along the way, and after I did that app I just fell in love with app design.

Thanks for asking!


ffmcardoso1 karma

Hi there and thanks for sharing your knowledge. How do you perceive the future of mobile responsive websites? Would we start to see the companies more interested to design good apps instead of investing on their websites, or this will be something to put money and effort on?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop5 karma


Great question...this is something I come across all the time. To app, or not to app? The truth is, a lot of companies (in my opinion) create apps when it's not necessary. If they had a great responsive site that does the same thing as the app, the app isn't necessary. As far as apps replacing websites, I don't really see that happening. What I feel like I actually see happening is websites are becoming "app-like" in the way they function because of how many people are using their phones to view websites. I believe that both apps and responsive sites will continue to coexist for a long time.

Yonkor2 karma

I completely agree with this answer. Whenever a responsive mobile does the job, why would you create an app? Therefor I would say the future will bring a lot more responsive mobile websites and a lot less apps. Apps are necessery whenever the browser on your phone cant use certain functionalities that are installed on said phone.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Word up!


Aelon511 karma

I'm going to partially disagree with you for a petty reason. It's just more simple to be able to open an app and have exactly what you want immediately instead of getting on a browser and then going to it.

I know, it's petty. And I will say that if you're going to make an app worse than the website then that's of course a terrible idea.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

This is a total valid point that I failed to present in my response. It is easier than going to a browser for sure, mostly what I meant was when certain companies like for instance a local realtor make an app when all they really need is a site because of how small of a business the realtor may be. An app may not be necessary in that case. Does that make a little more sense?

zacharybab1 karma

I'm in my last semester of college graduating in May and UI/UX is definitely something I'm interested in. What is your advice for setting myself apart from all the other applicants for positions like yours? What is essential to have in my portfolio?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

Hi Zacharybab!

Congrats on graduating soon and entering this great field!

  1. If you want to separate your self, have a portfolio site. This may be surprising, but there are a lot of designers that don't have a website. Also, make sure your website looks great! Your website should be one of the best websites you've ever done, it's basically the tuxedo you're wearing to the party if you get what I'm saying. I've also learned that having a degree doesn't mean as much to people hiring as it does to have experience in field and projects on your portfolio. Even if the projects you put up are concepts or designs that aren't on the app store or on an active site. It's good to have projects for potential suitors to look at.

  2. As far as having the essentials on your portfolio, there's a great article on this on smashingmagazine.com I believe. For me, I've gone through 4 iterations of my site and really trimmed the fat over the years. Here's what I have:

• What I do and what I do best on the forefront. I get odd jobs like logo work and print design, but I know I'm best at UI UX for Mobile and Web so I only put that I do that type of work.

• About me: Keep it short and sweet, with just enough about you and your experience to wet their appetite.

• My resume: Have an udpated resume on your site so potential suitors can download it.

• Projects: Make sure you put your best projects up. Remember, not every project you do is going to be your best work. Some clients like a lot of control over the design which can make your design subpar to what you can normally do. It's about quality, not quantity.

• A quick way to contact you: Make it easy for people to get ahold you quickly, email links, and a text submission form. Save the captcha code so they don't have to pass through security to send you an email. Make it easy, don't lose them (you may get some spam mail because of this occasionally). Social networking links are good too...but make sure your social networking posts are things you would want potential jobs to see. Lol.

Thanks for the questions, best of luck buddy!


foodporncess1 karma

Director of UX here. Basically everything u/chickenmcveggieslop has said but also add this. I need to see your process. Show me how you got from point a to point b. Tell me about your process as well: discover, design, develop? What does that look like to you? I need to know you understand how to apply design thinking to a problem. This means show me your sketches, wires, storyboards etc. Even better, give me a couple of case studies: a problem you had to solve, how you did it, and what the results were.

If you do research, show me how you record your data, how you design an a/b test, how you recruit users for research, how you synthesize that and present that to your client.

I know you're straight out of school so I'm not going to expect you to have worked in the full software development life cycle yet but show me that you can think in your portfolio and you're going to have a huge advantage over others.

Google UX or Interaction Designer portfolios and you'll find some good examples of this.

Also,I won't even consider an applicant without a portfolio.

Edit: autocorrect jibberish

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

This is a great point, thanks for the input.

wgc1231 karma

Is there anything you can recommend for "What NOT to do?", whether it is a top list of your gripes or a web site. While I don't know much about UI design, I certainly know when I run into something horrible and frustrating, and it happens way too often. I assume this tends to be something driven by marketing or something a developer hacks together following the latest fad without paying attention to usability. So, for all the developers and marketdroids out there, what should they avoid?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi wgc123!

This is a really good question. What not to do is really dependent on the type of media you're designing, but I have a few guidelines I stick to that translate well on to most types of interactive media.

• Know your user: It's important that you know/study the user demographic that will use the app or website you're developing. If you don't know who the primary user base is, you're more likely to frustrate those using the product.

• Leave no dead ends: Make sure the website or app has navigation that won't leave a user stranded on a page or screen with no way to get out.

• Avoid too much text: Most of us check out when we're having a conversation with someone and all they do is talk, talk, talk. The same goes with a website or app, if there's a ton of content text with miles and miles or text, you're more likely to lose users. I like to tie imagery like icons, photos or infographics with shorter blurbs of text.

• Don't sacrifice function for form: I love pretty graphics just as much as the next guy/gal, but making a website flashy with tons of parallax or animations that detract from the content can make for a poor user experience. Also, parallax and crazy amounts of animations on websites don't work as well on mobile devices.

Thanks for the question wgc123!


FoopNugget1 karma

First of all, thanks a ton for doing this AmA. Here is my question: I am a junior in high school and I am interested in learning how to do programming. What resources should I be taking advantage of to learn how to code on my own? I am mostly interested in learning about MySQL, PHP, and Java. Thank you!

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hey FoopNugget (great name)!

Thanks for the question and joining the AMA!

There are tons of free resources online and on Youtube, but some really great places are teamtreehouse.com, lynda.com and generalassemb.ly. Those are all reputable places and pretty reasonable cost-wise. If you can't swing the cash, go on Youtube, there are so many great videos on there.

Thanks for asking! Best of luck to you!


FishNuggets1 karma

Hey there! As a back end developer now doing mobile development, I'm still trying to understand the difference between UI and UX. I define UI as what the users see and UX as what users feel when they use an app. How do you explain UI and UX?

Also, when designing apps for both iOS and Android, do you strive in making the UI / UX same for both platforms?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi FishNuggets!

Thanks for joining and the questions!

  1. I think you answered your first question. UI is the pretty stuff you see and UX is what the user experiences as they use the app. If you look below, I answered the " difference between UI and UX" question in a little more depth.

  2. Love this question! When I design UI/UX for an app that will be on both iOS and Android I don't like to make them the same, specifically with the way the app navigates. This is something that drives me nuts that I see frequently – apps being ported from iPhone to Android and the app functioning like an iPhone app on Android, or vice versa. If the user wanted to use an iPhone app they would have bought an iPhone.

Thanks again for the questions!


rolasonian1 karma

I'm interested in UI/UX design, but I haven't done much with my interest. What should I know about a career in design, and how should I get started? (I am a high school senior with some experience programming, and designing a website.)

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hi Rolasonian!

This is a great time to start! You're starting young which is awesome.

I think one of the best ways to get started is by putting your self out there. Facebook is a great way to do it, you can create a like page with some of your work. Also, Instagram is another way to display some of your work. Start small, if you know of a family member that needs help with a site or a friend that needs graphics, that's always a way to start. When you do well with the small projects that are given to you, word travels fast, and then before you know it you'll get better and better projects. I would also suggest getting a portfolio site up. If you don't feel comfortable creating your own from scratch, you can always start with a template and put your work on that.

Best of luck to you buddy!


WhiteNational1 karma

Hey Scott, thanks for this ama!

Anyways, in your opinion, what are the best FREE tools for UI design?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hi WhiteNational!

To be honest, I haven't really used many free tools for UI design, most of what I used has been purchased (i.e. Adobe products, Balsamiq etc.). I know there's moqups.com, but I believe after certain point you have to pay. Sorry I couldn't be more help!


thanksforcode1 karma

Hey, I recently have been hired full time for a big company after having worked as an intern for them since May last year.

My official hired position is for UI design, but my role in their team thus far has been a mash of UI and UX, mostly UX since we are in early stages for all the projects I worked on. I am the only designer on the team (it's pretty new), so they all turn to me when they need any sort of design help.

My manager says I can also choose to go into back-end coding since I have some practice there as well. I think I might prefer sticking mainly with UX or UI, but I could also enjoy coding and actually realizing the sketches I make...I'm wondering if you have any thoughts about where I find myself now. I enjoy all these different skills and I'd love to work on improving all of them, but not if it means I can't get REALLY good at any of them. I'll graduate in May and start working straight after; do you think there'd be any down sides career-wise if I take my manager up on her offer to do more than just UI and UX?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi thanksforcode!

Great question.

I found my self in a similar position for a company I worked for for a while. I was basically a UI designer, but times were tough and financially they wanted to get the most bang for their buck out of me, so they started asking me to do some coding. Being that I did not feel coding was my biggest strength I declined to move in to a coding role and we eventually parted ways. I think it's really good to do what is asked of you, but I also feel like if it's something you really don't feel comfortable doing where it may hurt your performance, or you may end up not enjoying your job, then you may want to reconsider. In your case, it sounds like you are very proficient with coding and enjoy it, so it may not be a bad thing to wear multiple hats, especially in a start-up environment where often times that is required. For me, I chose to stick with what I was strongest at – UI and UX design. I've had pretty good job offers since where they've wanted me to do some coding and I've stuck to my guns and declined the position because I'm trying to keep my career very focused in design. The only coding I do at this point is for my own projects.

Weigh the pros and cons and see where you land. Do you want to do mainly design? Do you enjoy coding and seeing your designs come to life? Or is coding like pulling teeth?

One last thing, many larger agencies and companies are separating roles more and more, so you could find your self somewhere where you are only required to design. Years and years back if you were a web designer, that meant you did the design and development. That's not so much the case anymore, for the most part.

Good luck!


manskies1 karma

What is your favorite UX/UI application to work in? What do you think is the easiest for someone just starting out in UX/UI?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi manskies!

Here are my favorite programs to work in:

  1. For User Experience (wireframing & prototyping) I use Balsamiq. For User Interface design (web & mobile stuff) I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and some times Fireworks (but very rarely). I used to also work in Adobe Flash, but not so much anymore. Adobe software is common to most designers.

  2. I think the easiest way to get started would be reading articles on websites like creativebloq.com or smashingmagazine.com, they have a lot of great articles that will help you get up to speed. Also, find some design tutorials on line where you can get proficient learning the design software. Also, Adobe has the books that come with lessons called "Classroom in a Book", these can really help you learn the in's and out's of Photoshop and Illustrator.

Good luck!


avtarsehra1 karma

As a UI and UX designer do you focus more on the form and function wire-framing process or both the wire-framing and the development parts? And if it is mainly from the wire-framing side how much technical insight do you normally need?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

HI avtarsehra!

I saw you posted this question after I concluded, but I thought I would answer anyway.

If given a choice, for instance, where I currently work, I love doing the UI design more than user experience. I like working with the pretty stuff and when we have people that do user experience then I leave it to them. In my freelance business, I do both equally because I'm a one man show. I don't do a ton of development on my projects, I have a few guys I work with or at my full-time job we have really great developers that do all the heavy lifting.

Thanks for asking!


protomor1 karma

2 questions:

What's the difference between UI and UX?

What are the most important things to keep in mind for complex UIs in a web environment? For instance something that requires lots of user input/text.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Great questions!

UI design or User Interface design. UI design is usually putting the pretty on a black and what wireframe provided by a UX designer. Generally most UI designers don't do any coding, but in some agencies the UI designer will do the graphic design of the app and some front-end development.

UX design or User Experience design. Great UX design supersedes great UI design. UX Designers research the user base of the app, figure out how the apps should flow from screen to screen, they decide how the app should be laid out, they storyboard the animations and sometimes they do generic interactive prototypes. UX designers can vary in responsibilities from agency to agency, but that's a general overview of a UX designer.

When working on complex UI's for web, it's really important to ask who the user base is and what are they looking for on the website. You are there to design for the user, not to make something you like...although making something you're proud of is important. Also, it's important to design a site that can translate in to mobile, although working on certain types of UI's like long lists and input field don't always work well to be responsive, especially if they are being used primarily in an office setting on a desktop.

Thanks for the questions!


TurnToDust1 karma

How do you find inspiration and how do you keep motivated? I just see so many people doing the old copy pasta from websites like dribbble and bechance. People just seem to follow trends instead of taking a risk once a while.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Great question!

I do like Dribbble and Behance, but like you said, it's important to take risk and create something that comes from your own mind. With respect to your beliefs and others here, I like to pray and ask God for inspiration without looking at anyone else's designs. That's how I've gotten some of my most favorite work. I also enjoy sites like smashingmagazine.com, pinterest.com awwwards.com for influence.

Thanks for asking!


dufu0 karma

I like to pray and ask God for inspiration without looking at anyone else's designs


ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Lol! I know. Not totally the normal answer, was just being honest though. Ha ha

Kindag33ky1 karma

What do you think is the most effective way to measure usability? Dies this translate to an approximation of Customer satisfaction with the design?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma


Great question...I think of the best ways to measure usability on a website, for instance is using tools like Google Analytics. Using GA, you can see how long users were on your site, and if users enter and leave your site quickly, you may have some dead ends or some frustrating navigation quirks that are causing them to bail quickly. Also, doing case studies help with figuring out what the user base will want/need on your app or website. Being open and transparent with users so they can provide feedback will help make your site or app better. The app store or google play reviews are always good for this.

zartz1 karma

Sorry, I will have to disagree here...if you really want to find insights on usability, there is no way around a good old usability test. There are some subjective benchmarking tools too, like system usability scale. GA and reviews won't get you very far in terms of identifying usability issues.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

I agree, usability testing is great is you have an internal team for that. The company I work for now has an internal team that does that, I'm mostly speaking on the basis if you are a one man show doing it yourself or you work on a smaller team. No need to apologize for disagreeing. :)


zartz1 karma

you dont need a dedicated team to do usability! If you dont do user centered design, then its not UX in my view.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

I think you may be missing my point. All of the design you do should be user-centered, you should research the user base, put your self in their shoes, and craft something that will appeal to the audience you're trying to reach. I work for a large company that has a team for UX & Usability, so I often times I will craft what they've already researched and created based off of the user base. Do you understand now?

EVERYTHING I design has the user in mind, it's not just a design for sake of designing something, that would totally defeat the purpose.

Also, this iamA was simply meant to help those trying to get in to the field, didn't really come here to have a debate. There's a UX sub-reddit for that.

Yonkor1 karma

Hi there. I have two questions in how you work as an interaction designer:

  1. Do you work on a freelance basis? Where/how do you get your projects/jobs?

  2. What sort of a "product" do you hand off to the developers? Are we talking sitemaps, flowcharts and wireframes?

Thanks for the ama

ChickenMcVeggieSlop2 karma

Hi Yonkor!

Great questions!

  1. I have primarily worked freelance my entire career because I toured a lot drumming (my other job). I currently work full-time for an agency in Chicago (remotely, I live in Sacramento, CA) and freelance in my off hours.

  2. It depends on the project and budget if it's a freelance project. Generally speaking though, I would give developers sliced assets (all of the necessary graphics prepared individually), the fonts, a style guide with the fonts, colors, button states, form fields etc., story boards of the animations I want and annotations on the designs. After that I like to help alpha and beta test the app before we send it off for submission to the App Store or Google Play.

Thanks for asking!


Yonkor2 karma

Do you sometimes miss being in a room with the other creators during the design process and more importantly during the testing?

Edit: thanks for the answers!

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

I do at times miss collaboration, but I've been doing this so long remotely that I'm kind of used to it. My wife is actually a really talented artist and illustrator and she gives me good feedback a lot. Otherwise, I send off comps to other designs that I know or that I work with and they will give me feedback.

Thanks for asking and no problem!


jacktwo370 karma

Are you looking for a job? Or do you know anybody else that is looking?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi jacktwo37!

Thanks for stopping in. I'm always interested in hearing about new opportunities, feel free to shoot me a PM and we can go from there.


jacoman740 karma

What is a UX exactly?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma

Hi Jacoman74!

Thanks for the question. I answered this one below so I'm going to copy and paste for ya:

UX design or User Experience design. Great UX design supersedes great UI design. UX Designers research the user base of the app, figure out how the apps should flow from screen to screen, they decide how the app should be laid out, they storyboard the animations and sometimes they do generic interactive prototypes. UX designers can vary in responsibilities from agency to agency, but that's a general overview of a UX designer.

dgmurdockiii0 karma

What app have you worked on and would do u like the design of android or iPhone better?

ChickenMcVeggieSlop1 karma


I've worked on all types of apps, more than I can count at this point. The one I'm most proud of that I've worked on (rather than listing all of them) is probably an app called "Melon Meter". It ended hitting number 1 overall in a few different countries when it launched in 2009, and it received a lot of great reviews from Huffington Post and so on.

I prefer to work on iPhone/iPad mostly because their are fewer screen sizes to account for, which is easier to make sure your app looks great from iPhone 4S to iPhone 6 Plus. Apple devices are also easier for when you're preparing assets.

Thanks for the question!

fifth_dimension-2 karma

There's nothing on the referenced website mentioning reddit. You should provide actual proof.

ChickenMcVeggieSlop3 karma

This is my first time, I'll send out a tweet here: https://twitter.com/scottdcreative/status/551864003383672832

My twitter is linked on my website. Thanks for the heads-up.