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Designing with/for “people”

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It’s a truism to say that designers in the broader UX practice must have well-developed “soft skills” to be effective in the field. I gotta say, that trite phrase irks me, if only because it implies something less-than-substantial, almost an afterthought of ephemeral squishiness to tack onto the “hard skills” of… exporting precisely cut Retina-optimized graphics? Hmm. Dubious. Whether slicing...

Post-sabbatical reboot, part 2

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After almost 15 years of working in Silicon Valley as a designer in a variety of fixed, dedicated roles internally at large corps and start-ups (with some agency & freelancing, as well), I am now taking a slightly different tack to “delivering design value” to the industry and field at-large. How so? My focus is now a self-directed “virtuous cycle” of consulting, speaking, and teaching...

Post-sabbatical reboot, part 1

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Well, it’s hard to believe, but it has now been officially two months since I last set foot in an office environment as a regular daily practice, i.e. “my day job”. Whoa! What’s happened since then?  After departing Peel, a consumer startup trying to improve the “universal remote problem” via smartphone apps, I set upon a personal sabbatical of sorts, with nothing lined up. Crazy...

Starting up for design success…

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As I look back across the nearly 15 years of design gigs that formed the basis of my career path, I noticed an interesting commonality that marks how I actually begin each gig, whether full-time, agency, or contract. It consists of two somewhat interrelated notions that I take to each new job on Day One, as described below: a) I’m already fired: Yes, let’s start on a boldly dramatic note ;-)...

Creative habits for the designerly

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Being a so-called creative, imaginative designer involves a significant degree of hard work (that “99% perspiration”, as Edison famously said) with many iterations and setbacks, as part of a connective & regenerative process. An essential part of that process is developing a personalized set of “creative habits”. Such activities increase the probability for inspiration and...

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