304: Interviewing the Interviewer

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This week, we keep it short and answer a few listener questions, including how to align text to a grid, how to handle an interview at a company that uses dark patterns, and how to account for suboptimal company processes when assembling portfolio work. And as always, we share a couple cool things like a pair of crazy tech gloves and some award-winning coffee paraphernalia.


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Listener Questions:

  • Q: How do you align text boxes? To the grid? Or to the baseline grid?
    • A: A holistic baseline grid is an admirable aspiration, but it's rarely realistic. Just do your best, and pay attention through implementation for quality assurance. For the most part, we'd suggest you try using atomic-unit-sized leading (multiples of 4pt) and align to the grid or other objects' bounding boxes. That is, unless you have multiple single lines of text, like a list cell with a Label and Detail (such as in Settings), in which case, a baseline alignment is preferred.
    • Check out the Text Elements section of Bryn Jackson's The 8-Point Grid article for some more solid advice
  • Q: How do you think about organizations that use dark patterns when you're interviewing to work for them?
    • A: Maybe just ask? If you're uncomfortable asking directly, you could always abstract the question like, "How much agency does the design team have in influencing legacy patterns?"
    • Back in 2010, Facebook interrupted their account deletion flow with pictures of your friends who "will miss you"
  • Q: Do you think about your portfolio while you have a job? What if your company isn't great at or doesn't have resources for a particular process, like research?
    • A: Recognizing a shortcoming is the first step toward fixing it. Provide leadership where none exists! At the very least, you can use your performance reviews as a way to regularly collect your work.
    • The Mom Test is a book that helps you learn "how to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you"

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