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By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

2014 in review


Year three of consulting as a user experience designer and front-end developer has been really great, and also very busy. Here's a quick list of projects I was part of: * A conceptual iPad app for ordering food and drinks in restaurants * An iPad app used in schools by both teachers and students * A quoting tool for insurance agents * A conference website for an insurance company * An in-store touchscreen display for browsing beauty products * A social media display for the website of a fashion brand * Redesign of a utility ticketing system * Redesign of an online photo printing service * An iOS app for Cornify * Two real-time social media displays for events

I can only mention a few of the clients I've worked with, such as Pearson, ASOS, Nestle and NARS, but I can mention all the great agencies and friends I've worked with. I've now been working with Chad and Chris at Dive Creative for 3 years, and we've found a really good rhythm. Through them, I've had the chance to support Fino Consulting in New York with user experience design work. Also in New York, it's been great to reconnect and collaborate with the Made for Humans crew, old friends from agency times at Fi. There are several people I've talked to about projects that didn't pan out, but I'm hoping we can correct that in 2015.

Much of my time this year was eaten up by client work, so my own initiatives unfortunately suffered a little. The biggest things I got done were a redesign of Wookmark, updates to Capcam, the Cornify app and a redesign of GBKS. There's more in the works for each project.

The biggest challenge through the year has been to not just create functional interfaces, but to create interfaces that simply make sense to people and feel natural. Organizing information and figuring out how people should interact with it is at the core of user experience design. It is also an abstract task and will therefore remain difficult to perform at a high level. A lot of companies are realizing they have to become good at software, and they will need all the help they can. So both user experience design and front-end development are in high demand (which is amazing). A lot of great work is already being done, and with things like the Apple Watch and connected cars and homes on the horizon, I'm very excited about what will happen in 2015.