“Am I improving as a designer?”

It’s a question that most of us ask ourselves from time to time. A single visit to Design Twitter, filled with its hustlers and lifelong learners, is enough to leave anyone with the crushing feeling of not doing enough to keep up.

So, I thought I’d set myself a challenge. I’d revisit an old design and critique it, seeing if there are things that Current Jared would do differently to Past Jared.

And I’ll be honest, this exercise scares me a lot. What if I find I can’t improve on my old designs? There’s always been that lingering thought in…


The sentence ‘Eight Totally Bodacious Testing Tips’ written in a funky 80s font with neon, retro colours and style.
The sentence ‘Eight Totally Bodacious Testing Tips’ written in a funky 80s font with neon, retro colours and style.

The 80s were the best of all the decades. I don’t actually remember them much, but if Stranger Things is anything to go by, it was all big hair, synthesisers, arcade games and deadly monsters from alternate dimensions (fun!). Technology had struck the perfect balance between being exciting but non-intrusive, and nobody got annoyed if you asked them to accept cookies.

So, I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane, using some of my favourite 80s songs to explain the most important things I’ve learned in my time running usability tests.

So sit back, plug in your walkman, and…


I sometimes wonder how the design community — a group of people who pride themselves on their empathy and ability to communicate clearly — have been able to create such an unapproachable profession. For outsiders, the litany of buzzwords, methodologies, and rules can at best confuse newcomers, and at worst, deceive them. This article explores the latter.

Giving the wrong impression

A developer friend of mine sent me a very frustrated message a few days ago, with this attachment:

A screenshot of a Google search results page. The first result is from the NNGroup website, and is titled ‘The First Rule of Usability? Don’t listen to users.’ The second result is from the UX Myths website, and is titled, ‘Myth #21: People can tell you what they want.’ The third and final result is from Stack Exchanged and is titled, ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’
A screenshot of a Google search results page. The first result is from the NNGroup website, and is titled ‘The First Rule of Usability? Don’t listen to users.’ The second result is from the UX Myths website, and is titled, ‘Myth #21: People can tell you what they want.’ The third and final result is from Stack Exchanged and is titled, ‘People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’

He questioned why this ‘weird gross attitude’ was so pervasive in design, and found it ‘dismissive’ and ‘elitist’ to say that we shouldn’t listen to…


This article is adapted from a flash talk I gave at General Assembly in October 2017, and the images have been pulled straight from the presentation deck. Enjoy.

You may have heard about digital brutalism. It’s so hot right now. Let’s have a look at what it is, and why you should care about it.

I can hear you asking: what is digital brutalism?


Creating an intuitive video chat system that builds patient-doctor engagement — without getting in the way

Summary

Fast-growing telemedicine startup MedicSpot required a complete redesign of the interface used by their doctors during video calls.

As part of this client project at General Assembly, I undertook a two-week sprint with three other team members, utilising the entire UX process, including interviews with GPs, three Design Studios and a tonne of user testing. With a focus on increased engagement, automation and convenience, we built an interface that gave doctors access to all consultation notes without clicking outside the app, allowing them to concentrate on the thing that matters most: the patient.

The redesigns received extremely strong feedback from…


Making an app that gives users a more authentic travel experience

Summary

CitizenM is a hotel chain that focuses on being innovative, youthful, and different. As part of a mock two-week design sprint on the UX Immersive course at General Assembly, I was tasked with creating a responsive, mobile-first website for CitizenM that would allow travellers to plan and book ‘local’ experiences.

Together with a team of two other UX designers, we carried out extensive research that found that trust was an extremely important factor for the modern traveller when booking experiences. We designed Citizen App, which allows users to search, explore and book local experiences through actual local guides, moving the…


Developing an app to solve the age old problem of distraction

Summary

Briefed to create an app to solve a specific user problem, I developed a productivity app that would help my user overcome distractions with gentle ‘nudges’ reminding them to get back to work.

The resulting app, Nudge, allowed the user to set specific work blocks and designate how quickly to be reminded if they became distracted by their phone or moved away from their work desk.

If you can’t be bothered to read / hate reading / can’t read, you can just check out the prototype here.

The Brief

For this individual project at General Assembly, we interviewed a specific user in…


I review one entire week on nothing but futuristic gloop

Bowel Status: Calm & Ready

It was a sunny Friday afternoon when my friend excitedly sent me a link to the website for Huel, a new nutritionally-complete powdered food ala Soylent, but manufactured in the United Kingdom. Within minutes, we’d ordered about 13kg of the stuff, and decided that we’d be living off it for the next week.

Why all the excitement? We’d both been closely following Rob Rhinehart’s Soylent for a good while, and had become increasingly frustrated waiting for it to become available in the UK. So impatient were we that about a year before, we had followed an online recipe (Soylent is…


Coming to terms with the end of a North Melbourne era

My alarm rung at 5am. I jumped down from the top bunk and shook awake my best friend, who grunted and rolled away from me to show his enthusiasm for the early wake-up call. A symphony of six snoring men filled the dark room.

We left the hostel and flagged a cab — it was a chilly morning in New York and I was still feeling extremely hesitant that the ‘Australian bar’ we had found would actually be showing the game. The streets were completely bare. New York — the ‘city that never sleeps’ — was sleeping. Or, at the…

Jared Hill

Design and other fun stuff. Planning to write a really good article on procrastination but keep putting it off. http://jaredhill.co

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