An Intellectual Choice

For those of you who have limited time, here is the twenty-second version of what I am going to say (a.k.a TL;DR):

“It’s time to give back to my design community what I borrowed from them years ago: Knowledge. I am going to allocate my time to share my design knowledge, and starting free mentorship program.”

It took me ten years to get here. Ten years ago, I realized that I was not the best fit for finance industry. I was working successfully but unhappy on the top of the plaza building. Every morning, I was looking at the world from a different people’s perspectives. I was looking at the people how they get into bus, what they are reading, how they sip their coffee, how they push the elevator button, how they decide, how they interact with the world. I was definitely curious about human behavior.

The awareness of what I don’t like helped me to find who I am. I am a people person. 

Even though studying economics at the college, I was spending my days at Modern Art Museums, discovering the collections, spending my summers at space camps to understand the universe deeper. I was attending lectures without being enrolled at fine art university, learning more. This enthusiasm gave me zero credit for graduation, but my future self. 

I decided to go down the career ladder that I climbed. I said good-bye to my formal education that I have degree in. I start from the scratch to pursue my dream. 

My dream was to invent, to produce, to explore, to make good, to demonstrate, to learn more day by day.

I am writing this to prove that anybody who wants a career change that’s possible. If I could do it in Silicon Valley, as a woman Muslim first generation immigrant, you could do it too. 

I appreciate the design community in San Francisco. They helped me a lot through my journey and now it is time to give back to my community.

Starting from December 10th, I am starting a free mentorship program. Enrollment is open but limited to three people. I am looking for the most enthusiastic career changers, who couldn’t lend their first design job. This is my only criterion. Because I know how painful is landing the first job. 

This is not a program for you to find a job, but learning the path how to search. I will connect 1:1, possibly group one-time a week. Our connection duration will be six months. I will share the details.

Demographics and User Experience Design

It is hard to believe that smartphones have been with us only for ten years, it feels like they are around forever. As smartphones intuitively changed everything about how we interact with the world being inclusive becomes more important than ever. The digital world doesn't belong to a selective few anymore. And everyone wants to be part of it. Let's think about how we can increase the inclusiveness of the technology:

  • Native citizens of the digital world: Kids. Today's little kids were born to a world of voice UIs. If you can get them included in your ecosystem early on your users' average lifetime will be automatically increase at least 10 years! Although it comes with some legal restrictions, e.g. COPPA, they are great investment to collect the fruits in long term.
  • Although we want to connect all the people on the planet the illiteracy rate is 17% today. Even we can make all people online today without proper usage of voice UIs we cannot get the benefit out of it.
  • Cultural aspect of the translations on the applications is important. In my natural language (Turkish) call-to-actions like "click here" sounds weird and sometimes even offensive to the older people. No matter how many times I explained my mom asks me "why this wants me to click it".

As we progress on engineering the user experiences we'll hit limits, getting over them may be being more inclusive of different groups. However being inclusive may sometimes mean being "divisive". We must be open minded to test our products with different cultures and age groups to provide the best possible experience because "the best" probably differs from one demographic to another.

Rove App Acquired by TripAdvisor

I am honored to be a part of Rove App of Zetrip, and proudly announcing that Rove App is being acquired by TripAdvisor. 

You can see the details of our design process here. During working for Rove, I have really enjoyed our productive and prosperous period. 

You can find related news below.


TripAdvisor buys Zetrip and its personal travel journal app Rove.


TripAdvisor acquires maker of personal journal app Rove.


TripAdvisor acquires personal journal app Rove.


TripAdvisor acquires ZeTrip, maker of automatic journal app Rove.


TripAdvisor to acquire ZeTrip.

A Tiny Detail I Like About iOS8

iOS8 is a huge move forward in user experience, especially the continuity experience between iOS8 and Mac OS X Yosemite is a great win. For the ones who don’t know what I am talking about by saying “continuity experience”: it is the ability to continue working on your document no matter which machine you started with, either a mobile device or a Mac. And also answering phone call on your Mac and iPad is a big experience win (more details on Apple's site). 

The thing that I would like to point out in this post is rather different, it is iOS' spotlight, again! You may remember I criticized iOS7 for a single bad behavior which had frustrated me lots of time: Keeping the earlier search query when I open spotlight for second time. iOS8 came with a simple solution for that: Second time you open spotlight it sets the search expression selected so if you time something the earlier search goes away; and in case you want to continue from your earlier type you still can do.

I can hear you are saying I am focusing on a secondary thing but I assure you these tiny details can make your users like or dislike your product.

Step 1. Search something, then select something or cancel the search

Step 2. Drag the home screen for a second search, the text comes selected. You can type something else without need to clean the field, or you can use your earlier expression

First Opinion - An App for Your Health

Some applications has secret engagement weapons and takes over the control faster than others.  Yesterday I download tons of apps and swinging one from the other as usual.  I was downloading, diving deep, most probably giving my e-mail and filling the form fields.

As a user, before seeing how the app works writing my personal details -even it is a user name- is such a unnecessary task. In most cases I don't engage with the app and most of the times I delete it. 

With a marketing approach,  I know the importance of user engagement and catching them at the first sight. 

As a UX designer this is the part I think about it longer. Keeping users within your app but before that gaining their trust to give you the details of their life; e-mail right! 

I was talking about yesterday. I have downloaded my daily dose of apps and kept experiencing them. Most of them asked me the same credential questions and none of them surprised me to stay in the app before I created an account. But eventually one of them opened immediately and start working.  It was an health app and promised me to introduce a doctor to me for free and quick.

Question was how fast I could contact to a doctor?

Answer was once you open the app.

The only thing what you need to do is opening First Opinion app. It asks nothing. Neither your name nor your e-mail. No. It says you are contacting to your doctor. Than a big surprise is waiting you. They found a doctor for you and gives you the doctor's information.
It means that first they are giving you information that you need. Then they are asking who you are.

After this point you are giving your personal info without feeling uncomfortable. The explanation is simple: the value proposition of the app is crystal clear, indeed you know your doctor is waiting to answer your questions. 

As a human you are used to fill the forms in the doctor's office and again you used to do it every time when you visit a new doctor. Although giving your personal details is reflexively normal for the sake of health First Opinion app does better job for the users' experience. It is a HUGE PLUS!

If they asked you before performing, then this could made them just another app with usual, boring first-time interaction. App does not ask any info and excludes itself from the masses, in an other words, it catches you, you found yourself already engaged. 

So, congratulations First Opinion Team. I really liked your approach to users.