In 2012, Google Ventures created the design sprint. It’s a five-day collaboration with a variety of members in your product team. You “sprint” through the whole design process in a week, from defining the problem to creating a prototype. The idea is to bring in ideas from key stakeholders, and to help them empathise with their customers.
And it seems to have worked.
Nine years later, workshops and ideation sessions have become commonplace in product teams. Non-designers throw around terms like “usability” and “design thinking” as often as we do. But what’s the consequence of this? …
I love my job. As a UX Designer, I get to help teams build wonderful digital products that have an impact on people’s lives. It’s a fun and rewarding role, so it’s no wonder the number of designers like me is set to grow by a factor of 100 over the next thirty years. UX design is also an in-demand skill, which is bringing loads of new talent to the field.
It can be easy to get caught up in the hype around UX design. It seems too good to be true, right? However, there are downsides which I feel…
School has taught us to measure a report’s value by its length. We’re all familiar with word counts, and padding out our sentences to hit that arbitrary target. Or bumping up the font size to increase the page count.
As adults, we know that writing this way is silly. We make things as short or as long as they need to be to say what we need to say. From emails to wiki pages, we’re all used to writing long-form content in our workplaces. For UX researchers, reports are a big part of our toolkit.
I’ve always wanted to be a freelancer. The idea of running my own business however I wanted to was so appealing, and 2020 was the year I decided to make the leap.
In the middle of a global pandemic, I set out on my path to independence. At the start it was so tough. Design roles had dried up across the world, and nobody wanted to take a chance on a freelancer with no track record. The doubts started creeping in, and I considered giving up.
Eventually I found my footing. I learned from my mistakes and I started to…
Everyone takes different paths into the UX industry. Even with the amount of design qualifications available, most designers I’ve spoken to don’t have one. From what I’ve seen, design-focused courses and bootcamps are targeted at people looking to change industries.
Bootcamp programmes are good at teaching you the absolute basics. However, they aren’t a direct pipeline into a job. Once you graduate you’ll need to apply to the same roles as everyone else, and having a certificate doesn’t give you any big advantage.
The way designers build their case studies is broken. If you’re a design school or bootcamp graduate, odds are that your portfolio will look the same as everyone else’s. It’s not your fault, it’s a product of the system. Following case study templates doesn’t require critical thinking, but it’s what you’re taught to do, right?
And if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, the things case studies focus on aren’t impressive. If you’re selling yourself as a designer I’m going to assume you can make something as simple as wireframes.
As someone who’s previously hired a designer, I can tell…
I’ve always assumed that public speaking events are for experts. Professionals who’ve already got 15+ years of real experience under their belts. But really, anyone can do it. The infamous Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park is a space where anyone with an opinion can have their voice heard. And with the growing popularity of online spaces like Clubhouse, you can set up your own virtual soap box anywhere.
Brown bags are a great way to dip your toes into public speaking. They’re essentially a group lunch but one of you gives a brief talk on a topic you’re interested in…
Like everyone on Medium, my account was empty when I first created it. Over the past couple of years, I’ve grown and learned how to write articles through reading and writing. I’ve taken no shortcuts. Everything I have now is the result of practice and dedication, and I want to give you some advice on how you can do the same.
As a freelancer, I need to know which pages on my website are being seen and how people are finding me. I have an analytics tool call Splitbee on my design portfolio so I can keep track of these insights. The other day, something caught my eye; the majority of people coming to my site never look at my case studies.
Being asked to work for a company for free is a sour thought, but it’s the reality of many job-seeking designers in 2021. A design task (or exercise) is a common step in the hiring process, used to see how someone tackles a problem. The person hiring gives the candidate a brief to complete at home. They’ll then present their solution in a later interview.
Design tasks are a hot topic in the design community. From what I’ve seen in my network, designers at all levels recognise that they’re a flawed way to test someone’s thinking skills. Tasks are too…