“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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.

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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