Alexander Skogberg

UX, Web & Design

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A guide to getting more speaking gigs

If you’ve ever shared your knowledge and experience in front of a crowd, you know it’s an amazing and very rewarding experience. But getting speaking gigs can be challenging. In this post, I’ll share my advice on how to get them.

Croaw at Telenor during a recent talk.

A lovely crowd at Telenor during a recent talk in February, 2018.

Since 2011 I’ve been giving talks on different topics such as accessibility, mobile first, responsive web design and how to become a macOS power user. It’s something that I enjoy immensely, learn a lot from and will keep doing for as long as I can.

While giving talks is a science on its own, getting speaking gigs is something that doesn’t happen automatically. You have to work on your social and marketing skills. Selling yourself doesn’t come easy to most people. I’ve sure struggled with it.

Luckily, I’ve learnt a thing or two about selling my talks over the years. So, here are my best pieces of advice on getting more speaking gigs.

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The new guidelines in WCAG 2.1 explained

In the Summer of 2018, WCAG 2.0 will be updated to version 2.1 with new guidelines for making websites even more accessible. In this post I’ll try to give simple explanations of these guidelines along with thoughts and advice on how to follow them.

Inclusive design illustration from Microsoft

There are no normal users. Following WCAG 2.1 will improve the user experience for all people browsing websites. Illustration taken from the Microsoft’s toolkit for inclusive design.

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and is an International established set of guidelines for accessible content on the Internet. These guidelines are mainly for people with various disabilities, but also for different devices used for browsing websites.

WCAG is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main standards organisation for the Internet. The current version (WCAG 2.0) was published in 2008 and became an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 40500:2012) in 2012.

In the Summer of 2018, WCAG 2.1 is set to be released with seventeen new guidelines that focus on improving accessibility for users with cognitive disabilities and for users who browse websites on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

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How to make great wireframes in Sketch

In recent years, Sketch has risen to one of the top vector graphics editors among designers. I use it several times a week at work and I love it! Here are my tips for making great wireframes in Sketch.

Sketch logo

When I started working as an IT consultant in 2011, my designer colleagues all used different vector graphics editors. Today, almost everyone of them uses Sketch exclusively.

If you’re making wireframes, creating a style guide or drawing illustrations Sketch is the perfect tool! It’s popular, not overburdened with features and costs much less than editors like Photoshop.

Here are my best pieces of advice when making wireframes in Sketch.

Organize your screens with Pages and Artboards

As your wireframes grow, keeping all screens organized is essential for staying efficient. Hence, you should make use of Pages and Artboards.

Create a Page for each set of related screens

In Sketch, a Page offers a new blank canvas. There’s no reason to put all of your screens on the same Page. Instead, create a Page for each set of related screens of the app or website your making wireframes for.

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How to transfer VHS tapes to your Mac

Memories fade over time and some are easily lost forever, especially if they’re stored on old VHS tapes. This is my guide on how to transfer your VHS tapes to your Mac, so you can store them for the future.

When I came home for Christmas eight years ago in 2010, my parents had organized all of their old VHS tapes from when I was a kid. When we watched some of them, I realized that these tapes needed to be transfered to digital form before they deteriorated further.

I took me seven years, but last year I decided to finally transfer these tapes to digital form as a Christmas gift to my parents.

This is how I did it, step by step.

1. Getting the equipment

Transferring VHS tapes to a computer requires getting some equipment.

Luckily, my parents had already done a lot of the hard work by having not one but two VHS players in great shape (one broke down and we had to repair it for $72, but that’s another story).

This is the equipment I used (excluding my Macbook):

VHS transfer equipment

Clockwise from the top: VHS player, some of the VHS-C cassettes, VHS-C cassette adapter (with another VHS-C cassette beneath), video capture dongle from Plexgear and a SCART to RCA cable.

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Portfolio update: customer portal for health company Feelgood

In 2017, Swedish health company Feelgood set out to combine some of their web-based systems into a single new portal for their clients. I was the only designer in a small multidisciplinary team and fully responsible for interaction design, graphic design and usability testing.

Screenshot of the Feelgood portal

The Feelgood portal was built with mobile first in mind.

The portal was released in November 2017 to great feedback from Feelgood’s clients. It will be evaluated and improved further in 2018.

Read about the design process in my portfolio.

Much responsive Many CSS Very breakpoint So media query Such HTML Wow