TUT #30: Design group critiques, what is onanism and what to do when you don’t hear back from job applications

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One of the unavoidables of being a UX designer: getting your design critiqued. Learn the subtle art of facilitating and participating in design critiques in this quick primer.

Last year, the design-to-development company Avocode made a report about the trends they saw based on data from 2 million Sketch & Photoshop design files uploaded to their tool. Some interesting things to note: Sketch was more popular than Photoshop for UI design, and .sketch files were on average 8x smaller than their .ps counterparts!

Today I learned not only taught me about a problem in the UX industry, but also the word “onanism.” Design Onanism is the act of creating self-serving design, e.g. helping the designer (career growth, doing something fancy) more than helping users. Interesting to think that designing something new is not always the answer. Thoughts on this?

There’s something I love about the hand-drawn effect, used in illustrations and even design programs like Balsamiq. If you dabble in web design, WiredJS is a components library that provides a UI elements with a sketchy, hand-drawn look. Probably useful for products dealing with lighthearted topics or storytelling.

🏁 Career Coaching Corner:

One of the painful realities of hunting for a job or changing careers is not hearing back about jobs you’ve applied to. The short answer? Do more or try new strategies.

The long answer is to re-assess your strategy, then focus on a few things: personal branding (write better sales copy about yourself), networking and augmenting your portfolio with new & relevant projects.

Keep learning,
Oz, UX career coach & instructor @ UX School

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