6 things I hate about your recruitment

Yesterday I read the 6 things I hate about your design CV article. I found myself on the hiring side numerous times already and although a bit disrespectful, the article genuinely offers good advice for designers that are just starting out. Finding and hiring good designers is hard and yes, companies get all sorts of applications. There’s simply a lot of it to get through—many people out there trying to start their design career. 

Measuring and quantifying UX

“Data-driven” is all the rage at the moment, everyone wants a slice of the “big data” cake. Data scientists are the new rock stars, replacing the JavaScript and Front-end gurus and ninjas from a few years back. My problem with trends like these is that they cause the so called “tunnel-vision”. Thing x is a trend right now and we should do that too because,… you know… everyone’s doing it.

The day I proved myself wrong

Designers don’t know why a small change to an interface results in a massive drop in a core business metric, product managers don’t know what should go into the backlog and what not, developers don’t know how to estimate the delivery time of the fancy new feature. The whole team behind the product is so clueless that they don’t even know if the new feature brings any value to the users. 

Specialised generalist

Compared to them, I felt mediocre and I was frustrated because of it. You see, I never specialised in anything. Since I was a child, I had a habit of putting things together and create something out of that. I saw things differently from others. Where everyone else saw a cardboard box, I saw a cool military jeep that I could create out of it.

A two-step, no bullshit guide to sketching

In the last dispatch I wrote about my story of how I learned that sketches aren’t meant to be perfect. How they aren’t meant to give final answers. They’re meant to ask further questions. To doubt your own solutions. And with that comes a lot more sketching. Sketching is not something you do at the start of the process, produce a wonderful looking sketch and move on. Sketching needs to be done throughout the design process. And in order to produce more sketches quicker, the quality of sketching needs to move aside. Here’s quick overview of my sketching kit followed by a few tips to make sketching serve its true meaning in your design process.

My sketches aren’t perfect

This means that I started to sketch a lot more. I always loved to sketch, scribble and draw. I always felt this need to put something on the paper. Something visual I can refer to later on. Something I put out of my head—an idea that gets transformed into something physical.

I quit design twice

The last thing I remember I wanted to be was a “game designer/developer”. I just got my first PC and playing video games was all I did. Then, at some point, I had stopped thinking about what I really wanted to do. I guess the “life auto–pilot” must have kicked in.

UX design is not what you think it is

Let’s do a quick test. Go to the following website. Take a look around. Spend a minute or two on the site. Even a few if you wish. There is no particular information that you should be looking for no task. Already back? Cool. Now try to answer the following questions based on the information that you were able to get from that website. Don’t worry if you’re not a UX designer or a designer at all. In fact, that’s even better. Write down the answers.

Kebab shop UX

The owner of the shop is very friendly. He speaks a dozen of languages but always greets me in English as soon as I walk in (he already knows that I don’t speak either French or German — both used in Luxembourg). He offered to shake my hand as he always does and asked how I was doing. I replied with my usual: “I’m OK”, and smiled. At this moment he noticed my book. He must have read the title because he asked me what is it that I do.

Creating products that users love

We were invited to this event because Wondermags is a Luxembourgish startup and we put a lot of effort in user experience. I must admit, it feels good to have such reputation. Anyway, I was asked to present our approach to creating products that users love. Here’s what I presented.