Jefferson Lam

Front End Developer

I build delightful experiences for the web with the users in mind. Previously at Streetspin and IBM.

Work

Daytripper

Scroll through Google streetview. This was my final project at Coding Dojo, and my first webapp.

This was my final project at Coding Dojo , a web development code accelerator where I coded for 9 weeks, 5 days a week, 8-12 hours a day. For our final project, we could build whatever we wanted.

Playing with Google maps streetview, I thought to myself, "I wish there was an easier way to see all the streetviews on a route." So, I decided to tackle this as my final project. Two weeks later I was happily flying through google streetviews all around the globe. The design and implementation has remained mostly unchanged.

After posting it on reddit , it quickly reached 10k unique visitors and 50k API calls in one week. With nearly 100 comments in the thread, it was like I suddenly had users all around the globe testing my product and leaving feedback. This led to valuable insights on users' common pitfalls and design opportunities.

The project hasn't been maintained much, but it represents my first venture into web development and my drive towards creating interesting interactive experiences for the web.

Tech stack: HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, Google Maps API

2014

United Airlines App Redesign

A mock redesign of United Airline's mobile app. This is a clickable coded prototype of a design concept.

In an interview for a front-end developer position, I was given a challenge to redesign United Airline's mobile app experience.

What the United iOS app roughly looked like at the time.

After playing with the existing app for a bit, I designed on-paper and then in-browser to create this clickable prototype. In total, I spent about about 4-6 hours on this.

Tech stack: HTML, CSS, Bootstrap

2014

Streetspin

A geography party game! Played on a shared screen and multiple devices. As a 3-person team, we strived to make learning geography a fun social experience, especially for K-12 education.

As the representative of both design and code, I took charge of the UX.

My first task major task was to do user research to gain a strong understanding of the user's pain points. I took videos of players playing and also conducted user tests, asking them their thoughts as they played the game. This research was essential not only in the beginning but also throughout the process as a barometer of how our designs were working or not working.

There were several angles to tackle this project from: as product design, and as game design.

From a product design perspective, we had two users: players (or students) and hosts (or teachers). For players, how do they join a game? How do they learn to play? For hosts, how do they set up and host a game? How do they control a game during play? These problems required work that had little overlap between the two users.

It's one thing to create a product for a specific user's needs, but it's another thing to make a game: it needs to be fun to play. That meant thinking about the game rules, win and loss conditions, the game loop, and everything in between.

Before and after images of my changes on the game start screen.

With all this in mind, I jumped into the front-end code to implement changes. These included ensuring visual consistency throughout the app, making features obvious and usable at a glance, and simplifying complicated processes. I also created a host-facing platform for hosts to make, start, and share their own games. We also tweaked the game rules endlessly to see how they would affect the game flow. Google Analytics was very helpful to see exactly which features were used and which weren't.

On top of all the design and code, we also tried to create a sustainable business model so that we could work on this full time. Ultimately we discovered that there's not much profit to be made in the public education sector.

Watch it played here.

Tech stack: Meteor, Angular, jQuery, SCSS, Google Analytics

2016 to 2017

Is It Whole30?

Find out if a food or additive is Whole30 compliant or not with just a few keystrokes.

On my first Whole30, I often spent lots of time googling additives in grocery store aisles. Frustrated by this tedious and repetitive task, and surprised there already wasn't an app for this, I decided to build one.

I gathered all the info I could find from the book, online resources, and forums, and put it into a CSV file. I then converted the CSV file into a JSON object (I built a separate tool for that). Then I built this UI to search the JSON data.

If it ends in -ose, it's likely a sugar, so it's a no-no.

Now whenever I'm looking at obscure ingredients on a label, I can quickly see if it's compliant just by typing in a few characters. If it's something new, I add it into the CSV file.

Tech stack: React

2014

IBM Community Radio

A community-run internal radio station at IBM.

Two of my colleagues at IBM thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if we had an internal radio station?" I was one of the initial front-end developers to help prototype this idea. What started off as a random idea slowly came to life, and we just had to make it real.

Later during a hackathon, me and a team of 4 other front-end developers turned it into a functional website where you could tune into the radio, as well as host your own show.

It quickly took on a life of its own, with IBMers hosting their own weekly radio shows and enthusiastic listeners tuning in. The platform became recognized by the larger organization and was used to broadcast an interview with Ethan Marcotte.

Fast Company describes the project as IBM's unlikely silo buster .

Contact me for more details!

2015

IBM Bluemix

IBM's premier cloud platform as a service (PaaS).

On Bluemix (now IBM Cloud), I worked closely with designers on a number of projects, including an attempt to re-architect the front-end of Bluemix, a design experiment around hypothesis driven development, and pushing production code to Bluemix. I also worked with the Orion team to teach and facilitate design thinking, conduct user research, and write code to polish their end-to-end UX.

Contact me for more details!

2015 to 2016

IBM Elastic Storage

A high-performance file system for managing huge amounts of data.

On Elastic Storage (now IBM Spectrum Scale ), I was in the front lines as a representative of IBM Design to revamp the product using design thinking methodologies. I conducted user research to identify holes in the user experience, built a microsite to share said research, and also worked closely with designers to build prototypes for testing out ideas.

Contact me for more details!

2015 to 2016