Ships or It Didn’t Happen (feat. Bradee Evans & Seth Shaw from Photoshop)

with Bradee & Seth from Photoshop

Cool design work on Dribbble or Behance that was unsolicited or never saw the light of day... Is it really respectable design? Is it praiseworthy? We discuss with Bradee Evans and Seth Shaw, product designers at photoshop.

46 Minutes

Ships or It Didn’t Happen (feat. Bradee Evans & Seth Shaw from Photoshop)

It's SXSW '15 and we had the awesome opportunity to hang out with Photoshop product designers before our epic high-five hour party. Anthony and Danielle set out to tackle a controversial topic.

The dilemma is that there is a lot of great-looking design on the web at sites like Behance and Dribbble and also in a great many designers portfolios. Sometimes you see something that looks incredible aesthetically on the screen but then you find out that it was either unsolicited by the “client” (example: how many times have see someone redesign Instagram on Behance?) or that carries the footnote something like “rejected concept.” It might look amazing, but why didn’t it ship?

Show Notes

  • 00:00 Introductions
  • 05:30 It’s important to play, but there’s serious constraints with a 25 year old project
  • 07:45 It’s fun to be wrong
  • 09:18 It discounts the hard work a product team has put in
  • 11:05 Let’s you think big and you need that to live!
  • 10:20 A benefit is the “What if” which pushes the design
  • 12:00 Project Recess, a new photoshop experience.
  • 14:00 Scenario: 100% honesty, which designer would you hire?
  • 29:00 Hire strong opinions, loosely held
  • 30:00 Teams need both types to even each other out
  • 32:44“lovingly curating” keeping teams on a rotation to keep roles complimentary
  • 35:08 Experimental projects in a product that don’t ship are still worth the lesson you learn
  • 37:00 The best work may be conceptual stuff you can’t show
  • 39:50 Understanding how a design vision can be rolled out over time
  • 43:00 Some quick descriptions of Photoshop’s team structure

Our Show Notes

  1. 0:01


  2. 3:45

    The most important question: you all or y'all?

  3. 5:02

    Dogmatism, playing with pixels, and designing to be wrong

  4. 10:21

    It's okay to think big. Sometimes.

  5. 11:39

    The birth of Project Recess

  6. 14:12

    Who would you hire; what does a portfolio actually say about a designer?

  7. 17:44

    The pros and cons of giving designers a test

  8. 21:35
    If you don't know how to talk to users, you have no business designing interfaces.
  9. 22:48

    Designers can't be expected to excel at everything in this modern world

  10. 25:07

    The T-shape model at Funsize

  11. 27:05

    Ask questions and have humility

  12. 29:06
    "Strong opinions loosely held"
  13. 30:31

    Curating a unique team dynamic

  14. 33:50

    Experimental projects in a product that don't ship are still worth the lesson you learn; The glory of playground

  15. 34:10

    What happens to ideas and designs that never see the light of day or get mothballed?

  16. 39:50

    Understand how a design vision can be rolled out over time; Breaking down big ideas into product releases

  17. 41:21

    2 Designers and 67 Engineers

  18. 43:56

    #HighFiveHour time!

  19. Links

    Seth Shaw on Twitter, @sethshaw
    Bradee Evans on Twitter, @bradee