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January 2018

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If you follow me on Instagram,  you might have caught my recent announcement that I had some big personal news!

To recap: after three and a bit years working at the wonderful BBC, I’m stepping down as Creative Director for BBC Weather to embrace a new exciting opportunity to join the team at Facebook.

I have a huge swirl of emotions as I write this. Leaving the BBC, where I’ve been working for over 3 years, is definitely bittersweet. I’ve absolutely loved my time working at the BBC, thanks to the incredible team of people that Colin Burns, Chief Design Officer, has built out.

That’s just not some words. The quality and calibre of UX + design talent that you’ll find at the BBC is absolutely immense, and is paired with a design team culture thats friendly, open, collaborative and always looking to improve. Working with such smart, dedicated and passionate people day in day out has made me a better designer, manager and person.

I’d like to specifically call out Tamar Gur and Steve Gibbons (Heads of UX and Design) for being incredible mentors and role models for me, and the entire Weather team for being a fantastic group of people to work with. You’ve made the last few years a real joy.

The other thing I will really miss about the BBC is the types of projects and challenges that I’ve been privileged to work on. It’s a huge honour to be able to work on such an iconic British institution like BBC Weather. It’s been so exciting to be working in a product space that is so sewn into the fabric of our national identity and that very much affects the lives of millions of people in the UK (and abroad).

Yael Levey as a weather girl
Having my very brief stint as a weather girl crashed by the team!

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. I’m keen to never get too comfortable in a job role and to continually explore and grow in my skills. And in this case, that meant a complete change.

Beginning this new chapter in my life with Facebook is something I’m very much looking forward to. I know that I’ll be learning and growing exponentially again, and that I’ll be exposed to new situations, people and challenges that I’ll have to get to grips with quickly.

Facebook welcome pack

And not only is this any old change, I’ll be joining a hugely exciting team and set of big challenges at Facebook. I was seriously impressed with the depth of ambition, scope of challenge and team culture that I was exposed to during my recruitment process at Facebook and I really can’t wait to get started!

So what does this all mean for I Am Not My Pixels?

A couple of people have asked whether I’ll still be continuing with this blog and updating my social media with behind the scenes looks into the life and practises of a design team. The answer to this is yes of course! In fact, I’m really excited to bring you guys along with me as my design processes and toolkits expand with exposure to a brand new team. So there is lots to look forward to!

Here’s to an exciting 2018! Let the wild ride commence!

Yael

This is a guest post from Zoe Coultan, an alumna of the second batch of I Am Not My Pixels interns! Each intern writes a blog post as part of their internship, on a UX and Design subject that particularly interests them. Thanks Zoe!

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been with a client or colleague looking at a site with low colour contrast, and they say “Well I can read that text perfectly!”. When I ask them whether they have visual impairments, they usually reply, “Well no, I have good vision”.

Even after I explain that we should ensure that everyone can use our site because some people  have visual impairments or other conditions that impact their ability to use our services, I’ve heard responses like:

  • Is it really worth the time and money for only 5% of our audience!?
  • Don’t they have screen readers for that sort of stuff, or people to do it for them?
  • Surely they could just call up to place an order instead of using the website!

No matter the argument, the answer is never to forget about accessibility. Good designers and developers don’t isolate their audience, any of them. You wouldn’t make it difficult for someone with a disability to get around the physical world so why should the virtual world be any different?.

The good news is, it’s pretty easy to make a website more accessible. Whether you’re a designer or developer, there are a few quick checks that you can do to design and develop more inclusively.

Here are my top seven tips for quickly and simply making your website more accessible for every reader:

NB: I was provided with access to this course so that I could review it but I’m under no obligation to say anything nice about it! The below is my honest thoughts.

2018 has now well and truly begun, and like me, you might’ve started to think about your career development goals for the coming year. One of my goals for 2018 was to understand which complementary skills I should learn more about that can enhance my core design toolkit.

CareerFoundry, a leading online course provider for UX, has recently launched a set of courses aimed at upskilling complementary skills for UX designers, rather than focusing specifically on teaching core UX skills. I was very excited about this as it can be really difficult to find learning materials that are written for designers who want to get a working knowledge on a subject but don’t necessarily want to become completely proficient.

Frontend development for designers is one of the first of these courses that CF has launched, for good reason. An understanding and working knowledge of frontend development is incredibly important for a designer to have, but is often only something that we pick up on the job or by reading things specifically targeted towards people learning to become frontend developers.

So after spending a few weeks test-driving the content and exercises, in this post I’ll be reviewing the course so that if you’re looking to upskill your frontend development knowledge in 2018, you’ll know if this course might be helpful for you! Lets dive in.