Set Higher Expectations for Yourself

On the drive home today, I listened to an incredible episode of This American Life (you can listen to it directly for free). The story is about Daniel Kish, a blind man who bikes, runs, and operates just as freely as those who can see. But this story is much more about a blind man. It’s about the power of expectation.  Allow me … Read More

Learn UI Design by Copying

Throughout most of our academic careers, we’ve been taught that copying is a bad thing. Getting caught copying an author’s work is considered plagiarism. Copying someone else during an exam can lead to expulsion. So it’s not a surprise that we have negative associations with copying, even to this day. But what about copying as a way to learn?  I’m … Read More

Should You Take Time Off Between Jobs?

A few months ago, my mother advised me: “Don’t quit your job until you’ve got another job lined up.” Sounds sensible enough. So I proceeded to do exactly the opposite and quit my job ~4 months ago. Without another job in hand. In this article I’ll share with you some ideas that helped me make this tough decision, and why … Read More

Take Me Seriously: Establishing Yourself as a UX Designer

World Usability Day comes once a year, and the one this past Thursday was one of my favorites. Someone asked the panel such a good question, I wrote it down in my notebook: You can also watch a Youtube video of the conference (I was behind the camera). I paraphrase the question below: The person who asked the question is … Read More

Hacker News UX+UI Redesign Process

A few weeks ago, I took a weekend to redesign one of my favorite sites, Hacker News. Having not done a redesign in a while, I knew the first thing I had to do was establish some baseline of why I was motivated to redesign the site. Original HN Design: news.ycombinator.com My HN Redesign:  TL;DR THE PROCESS I USED Heuristic … Read More

How UX Recruiting Agencies Work (and how to use them to your benefit)

I’ve had friends , who I’ll refer to as Camp A, get great jobs at companies like Google through recruiting firms. But I’ve met much more in Camp B – those who’ve had bad experiences with talent agencies. What you’re reading now serves to help you fall into Camp A, and hopefully avoid the pitfalls of Camp B. To do that, we have to properly … Read More

UX Implications of the Apple Watch (and smart watches in general)

It’s been a month since the September 9th unveiling of the Apple Watch. I more or less agree that it is Apple’s “most personal device yet,” and with that comes huge UX implications. We’re no strangers to wearables, much less smart watches. But I strongly believe that with its design leadership, Apple will disrupt wearables with the Apple Watch, just as it … Read More

“Am I Too Old For UX?” Yes, you are.

It’s no lie: kids are getting more technologically adept these days. Some get hired by Google at 12 or if you’re Tom Williams, you can get hired by Apple at 14. Hearing news like this often discourages those switching into the technology field, especially if you consider yourself “old” in this industry. It isn’t old age that’s the problem, it’s having an old … Read More

Use These 2 Minimalist Concepts to Hack Your Design Learning

I’m the best at psyching myself out when starting new projects. Before I even sketch out a simple plan of the project, my mind enters ultra-irrational mode: Well first, don’t I need to finish that Photoshop tutorial to learn how to make a better UI? Shouldn’t I also get a better grasp on typography, color and layout before I start designing this app? … Read More

UX Essentials Lesson 3: Strategy and User Experience

In the previous post, we covered what UX Designers actually do on the job. (For a refresher, please re-read What UX Designers Do.) In this lesson, let’s dig into Strategy, an underrated component of design. Readers with a business background will especially appreciate the relevance of this lesson. This is a bigger post, so let’s break it down into 3 sections… Surveying the Landscape with the … Read More