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Let’s not burn out in May, OK? – May 2020 Newsletter

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The following 7 design, inspiration and other bits of interest bullets that kept me pondering during last month:

  1. I’m not going to tell you again how important it is to get a perspective and routine to maintain the positive mental outlook on things, as that was last month’s topic. This month let’s talk about how the cliches and simple ‘tips and tricks’ are usually the ones that have stood time and actually work. This article from 2015 contains simple yet crucial advice to avoiding burnout and rekindle the passion for creative efforts. Worth sharing with your teammates: https://bit.ly/design-passion
  2. During the past few weeks, I’ve found running remote design thinking, UX workshops and design sprints to be much easier than doing so in person. The key reason being group social dynamic being canned by remote tech limits. For example, you wouldn’t be able to have 10 people in the room and avoid side talk, distractions, or have them pay 100% attention to just one facilitator. Running workshops remotely is a faux many-to-many social setting. In practice, technical limits forces group to hear every person out first and so causing a one-to-one shared experience among the participant and the facilitator. You can see how this setup makes running and managing effective sessions easier (or harder for some). On the other hand, general meetings are definitely coming out worse:
  1. This month’s random psychology study is about how hard workers tend to inspire and motivate people more than those born with talent. In this interesting 3-part study the observed could easier relate and feel inclined to act when presented with Edison (the famous prototypical hard worker) and Einstein (the famous prototypical genius). Needless to say, this is an interesting pattern we can observe in day-to-day leadership and people of greater influence. And so don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you lack talent – influence comes from demonstrable hard work and dedication: https://bit.ly/lead-by-example-study
  2. How good is your business thinking? It all depends on your seniority as a designer. Fact is, it’s not technical skills, tool mastery or methods that make designers into seniors, leads, directors etc. The growth within the organisation is always bound to business skills. I like this chapter from Design Better online books. It’s a perfect primer to start cultivating better business skills for designers. Perhaps studying this you’ll come out as a better all-rounded designer worthy the seat at the table after the lockdown? https://bit.ly/business-thinking-designer
  3. Let’s also touch the philosophy of success and for the lack of a better term ‘hustle’. This next article should be read by everyone – people who ‘hustle’ and can’t switch off, those who want to do more but cannot for whatever reason and lastly people who feel massive anxiety when it comes to achievement. I’d argue that only 1 win however small win a day is all it takes to succeed. It’s usually the thing that you don’t want to do or procrastinate on. If you can do it anyways you’ll achieve your goals. As per usual take that with a grain of salt and read this a bit different but important take: https://bit.ly/small-wins-daily
  4. Talking about ‘hustle’, this month I took an isolated holiday to learn React JS and build simple POC for experience mapping tool I’ve been UX researching, ideating and now engineering for almost a year. It’s super challenging, but slowly coming to live: 

When it’s ready to be shared with the public I plan to do some private beta user testing. Would you be interested in giving it a go? Drop me a line here.

  1. And one more thing from yours truly made specifically for YOU my fellow designer. It’s about those things no designer really likes to work on… their UX portfolios. I made a video as a call to action to update them regardless. To carve out some time every day and ship it. I know that most people (myself included) tend to delay working on difficult work until the last minute. Strive to do the opposite. As old, used and abused adage goes: prepare for the war in peacetime. This is a time to share your work and make that portfolio shine: 

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