In an ever growing digital environment where user interfaces have become a requirement in most business frameworks, the competitive advantage and critical importance of user-centered design can be viewed as a sort of gold rush. Those who pursue delivering positive user experiences (e.g. the rush) before or better than their competitors will enjoy stronger customer loyalty and the associated lifetime value of those customers (e.g. the gold).

Fact is, we all interact with design every day. Moreover, when these interactions are designed with the user at the center, the design enables us to achieve our desired goal with ease. Consider…

Like any other user, I prefer designs that make interaction intuitive and accomplishing a goal easy. So why are there loads of apps, websites and intranets which are anything but? One possible reason, those who developed those poor user interfaces didn’t take time to research and apply popular design patterns thereby leaving us with the arduous chore of understanding their retake on the wheel.

One sure fire way to alleviate a lot of user struggle with a UI is to leverage already understood norms (e.g. design patterns). Design patterns make understanding unfamiliar UIs easy for users and I’d argue that…

Photo by Jacob Miller on Unsplash

Count Up Percentage:

beginCount = 0;

stopCount = 40;

beginTime = 4; // start counting at time = 0

countDur = 2; // count for 4 seconds

“” + Math.round(linear(time,beginTime,beginTime + countDur,beginCount,stopCount)) + “%”

Regular Count Up:

startCount = 0;

endCount = 500000;

countDur = 200;

s = “” + Math.round(linear(time,0,countDur,startCount,endCount));

if (s.length > 3){

s.substr(0, s.length -3) + “,” + s.substr(-3);




Count Up With $:

numDecimals = 0;

commas = true;

dollarSign = false;

beginCount = 100000000000;

endCount = 1700000000000;

dur = Math.floor(thisLayer.outPoint-thisLayer.inPoint);

t = time — inPoint;

s = linear (t, 0, dur, beginCount, endCount).toFixed(numDecimals);

prefix = “$”;

if (s[0] == “-”){

prefix = “$”;

Managing growth — Unsplash’s 10 to 328,019+ Photos

Today’s high-tech ultra connected society continues to disrupt the old ways of doing things and the photography industry isn’t immune. With a goal of building the world’s largest open library of images, Unsplash has disrupted the photography market through the collection of high-quality photography which is offered free of charge. …

Congratulations! You are creative and possess the ability to be even more creative! Any existing notion you may have that creativity is limited to individuals who were born with a creative gene or an innate characteristic that made them creative is total hogwash.

Like any other skill or profession, creativity can be learned, developed and improved. Specific to creativity, one way to learn and develop involves inspiration, emulation, and/or combining existing designs.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

People like Steve Jobs understood the tremendous value in emulating good designs. When Apple set out to create their first Macintosh…

I pour over the email’s copy for the 5th time meticulously ensuring all the necessary info is provided, the grammar is on point, the written tone is appropriate for my audience and that I have all the right people in the email address bar. Only after doing this over-and-over again do I finally build the courage to click the send button!

The scenario described above is no doubt shared by many others who use email as their primary business communication. Many companies are big on email and my oh my does email have its faults.

As a communication tool, does…

Both my parents were Marines, my grandpa was a Master Chief in the Navy, and an ancestor earned the Medal of Honor fighting in the Philippines. When contemplating my future growing up, the military was the life for me! Attracted to the Army for the opportunity to become a paratrooper and receive a job skill, I enlisted for six years with the intention of doing the full twenty.

Pro Tip: Never attempt a standing landing.

The Army trained me in multimedia communications, taught me to jump out of planes without breaking my legs and a bunch of other important soldier…

Image from → great place for royalty free images :)

If you live and work in the digital industry then you’re aware that change is constant whether it’s new technology, design trends, or the marketplace. And if you’re like me and have a job that typically harnesses the skills you already posses, it can be tough to fight complacency and motivate yourself to learn the new skills needed to keep pace with our ever changing industry. Luckily, this is where self-promotion provides the biggest benefit.

By taking on the rewarding endeavor of cultivating your own brand and promoting yourself you’ll find motivation to continually experiment and learn.

Patrick Bickham

Former US Army Paratrooper navigating the world of marketing and design. Often found hiking, learning and being a dad.

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