Roadmaps

Roadmaps are funny things. In my cynical experience, their whole purpose is to make people feel confident that things will go according to plan. The Dark Knight, 2008 This might be controversial, but in my experience roadmaps are deeply flawed documents. Here is a partial list of some of the common problems: They are jumbled…

Working Sessions vs Executive Meetings

My time is generally split between two different kinds of meetings. One I love, the other not so much. Working Sessions A working session is a group of 2-5 people who are talking about a specific design or problem. They are brainstorming ways to improve it or fix it. In short, it’s a meeting to…

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Giving and Taking Feedback

This is a little long. I wrote it up to answer the question, “What is the best way to give feedback on a design?” I hope its helpful for you. GIVING feedback Feedback on the deliverables/decisions This should be the most common and best forms of feedback. You should: Identify a logical error. It may…

Remote vs. Onsite

Working from home started out pretty rough for me. No exercise, gaining weight, and other issues plagued me. Then slowly something started happening. I started getting used to it. I am clearly a creature of routine. I like to let my mind wander as I take a shower, brush my teeth, etc. I can be…

Video Conferencing Thoughts

Obviously, we have all been using video conferencing way more than usual. I have some thoughts on it, of course. Video conferencing is harder than meetings It’s way more exhausting than talking with people. I feel like I can’t take my eyes off the screen. In meetings, I can look away and not feel guilty.…

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Portfolio as Product Site

If you are a designer, you shouldn’t think of your website as a portfolio. You should think of it as a product site. The product is your time. You are selling your time for money. That’s what employment is. Instead of looking at every other designer’s portfolio for inspiration, you should be looking at product…

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I’m not for everyone

Surprise, neither are you. There are people and places where you are going to fit in well and thrive. There are other places where people will dislike you, ostracize you, and generally make your life miserable. We are not one-size fits all. Part of our human journey is finding the people and places that fit…

The Crux

crux (krəks, kro͝oks)the decisive or most important point at issue. The figurative use for “a central difficulty” (1718) is older in English than the literal sense; perhaps it is from Latin crux interpretum “a point in a text that is impossible to interpret,” the literal meaning of which is something like “crossroads of interpreters.” But Century Dictionary…

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Notes for my UX Recruiter 2020

About me I am not good for everyone. I know this. A colleague from the UK said I am like Marmite. Usually, I get hired in places that want to innovate and shake up the status quo. I get hired when they want to have a strong, active, design team. On the flip side, I…

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Figma 2020 Wishlist

I have made many requests in the Spectrum.Chat community. Some are long standing, others have been completed. Here is my consolidated Wishlist for 2020. Built In UI Components Every designer I have ever worked with and every desktop application I have ever seen all have some common elements. Here is a short list: TablesComboboxModalsTreesBullet Lists…

2019 In Review

One of the nice things about blogging is that it creates a journal of your life. I know when I got my dog. I know when I visited Japan. I know when I met Hillary Clinton. To a degree, if I didn’t blog it, I am not sure if it happened or not. On that…

Differentiation

Design Principle #12Always create space between you and the competitionGlen Lipka, 2019 Whether you are building a tech product or writing a resume or giving a presentation at a conference, it is important that people remember you. The only time you don’t want to differentiate yourself is when you are trying to blend in, like…

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Passion for Your Craft

My mother-in-law, Penny, is a retired nurse. After retiring, she took up weaving. For those of you who don’t know, weaving takes up alot of space. There are baskets of wool everywhere. The loom itself is enormous. Penny’s loom is roughly as big as this one. Looms are big! She used to have a dining…

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Designer Review Cheat Sheet

When I review a new applicant, I look at their information and decide whether to set up a zoom video conferencing call or not. The truth is that I WANT you to succeed. I want you to have multiple lucrative offers. So to help you, here is a cheat sheet to get past my review.…

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Tips for Designers 2019

Some of these tips are going to seem obvious. Like “Duuuuhhh” obvious. However, I can tell you that I am getting candidates who fail on every single one of these. Master Your Tools The job is to be in a design tool and make stuff (and go to a bunch of meetings). Meetings and design,…

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Project Roles and Responsibilities

The Roadtrip Metaphor I love metaphors and this one is one of my favorites. Imagine a project as a roadtrip with some friends. Sometimes you will be driving, sometimes you will be in the passenger seat, sometimes in the back seat. There are people, like your parents, who just want to know where you are,…

How to Resign Professionally

I really wish they taught this in college. However, since I have recently had people resign incorrectly, I figure it would be a good idea to write down how to do it properly. To be clear, I am not encouraging anyone to resign. I am just saying how to do it professionally. Step 1: Start…

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The Design Case Study Paradox

Every designer has a section of their portfolio where they show their work. The typical method of documenting their work is called a case study. case stud·y/ˈkā(s) ˌstədē/a process or record of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time. Here…

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Product Value/Effort Explained

I often like to think of things in a spectrum or on a line graph. A junior designer asked me how to convince the product management team to increase the scope of the project to add in all of the usability features. He said that it was a better product that way. I drew him…

Recruiting Two Product Designers (2019)

It’s time to hire again! I have two open headcount for product designers. Woo hoo! Senior Product Designer and regular Product Designer. We aren’t Google with fancy free food. We aren’t Facebook with crazy money for every employee. (Although we do pay quite well) We aren’t Twitter with 330 million users. I need to have…

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