Shane R. Allen



I think in pictures, and I’m learning to use words.

Design better, don’t code

The truth behind the greatest design-myth

Should designers know how to code? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions in the design industry, and one that’s certain to spark a feisty debate amongst peers or colleagues.

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Design & QA

The unspoken role of quality in design

One of the biggest challenges a designer will face in a product-team is to maintain and uphold design standards throughout the duration of a project. They’ll start off strong with great intentions, but as the project evolves and complexity grows, it becomes harder and harder to drive the original vision forward. Tight timelines, scope, requirements, feedback, or technical feasibility inevitably contribute to a compromised solution.

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A life by design

Moving from Melbourne to San Francisco

“Designers heaven”… I remember the moment a close friend had sold me on the idea of moving to San Francisco. James had recently landed a coveted Product Design role at Pinterest, and although I was getting ready to settle down and live the life of a Melbourne-coffee-snob, the notion that I might be able to find a home amongst the tech-elite in SF was insanely compelling .

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Designing interviews

A framework for interviewing designers

A few years ago the design industry seemingly changed over night. All of a sudden design was recognized as a key instrument of success for any company, especially in tech. Design founders rose up and paved the way for business-minded creatives to demand a seat at the table. The stage was set, and with stakes so high, a new framework for interviewing and hiring designers emerged.

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Look for signals, not unicorns

How to spot and hire a great designer

When I’m interviewing designers, I’m looking for small signals that will inevitably make up a broader picture of their personality, passions, and skills. I ask specific questions related to their interests and inspiration. I ask about a project they’ve worked on recently and get them to talk through some of the problems they were trying to solving, as apposed to focusing on the pixels or visual design. This gives me a clear signal on their design process and communication skills.

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