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User experience (UX) design has a wide scope and touches many things in both a product and in an organization. The field itself is fairly new and evolving rapidly along with technology. It’s no wonder that many of us in the technology and business world can lose track of UX’s latest evolution.

It can be hard to imagine how the UX process and philosophy can actually translate to your situation. To that end, I created a UX debt symptoms list, to help you identify the need for UX in your world.

General Symptoms

(applicable to products, established businesses)

  • We aren’t actually sure…


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From a little ux bud to a full-on ux plant…

Recently I came across a discussion on twitter where uxers were interested in exploring how ux mentorship can work. Having been through a mentorship myself, I thought I might explain my experience and highlight what the process looked like. Maybe this illustration will get some ideas going for those of us who help other designers grow.

Here are the sections of this story:

The context of the company I joined Where I was in my career at the time Where my mentor was in his career at the time Why I was hired What the mentorship involved UX Process Pattern…


What are the UX projects you wish you’d work on?

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Over the past few months, I’ve reflected a lot on what I want to do in my field of UX design. That was prompted in part by really noticing things I didn’t want to do. I thought to myself: ‘Well, here’s what I don’t want to do, what DO I want to do anyways?’.

So I put together my first list of UX dream projects — putting them together is part one, and part two is releasing them into the world. (Whoosh.)


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A while ago, I had this idea to write myself some instructions about onboarding* as a UX designer… collecting the I did well and noting what I should do next time. (Onboarding = to a new job, new project, new environment). It’s hard to stay aware in the moment, so I thought: “Why not get my smart past-self to help my current self?”

“Why not get my smart past-self to help my current self?”

I hope this list works for starting a new job or getting a new (longish term) contract gig — this article leans in the ‘established product’…


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Designing enterprise level products has allowed me to understand a level of computer science terms and frameworks that I could not have anticipated going in. Over the past while I’ve kept track of the concepts I’ve learned (or got a more complete understanding of).

I’ve added a mix of my personal favorites and the ones that have saved me on more than one occasion (this list gets more and more nerdy as it progresses, so get ready).

1. CRUD (the crud cycle) — create, read, update and delete

Create — a thing now exists in the database Read — go get the information about that thing from the database Update —…


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Delight is great, but satisfying might be a whole lot more valuable

I go into Asana and mark a task as complete, all of a sudden a unicorn with a rainbow in its trail flies across the screen. Eyebrows go up, smile forms and high pitched ‘eeeeeeeee!’ Can be heard from across the open plan office. The elusive ‘delight’ has struck.

That’s pretty meta, a UX Designer (who wants to be a unicorn) squealing because of a unicorn while experiencing the unicorn UX described as ‘delight’.

I appreciate this moment of delight and realize that it is precious and intentionally/artfully crafted. But I’d argue that as UX Designers, we are so obsessed…


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Growing as a designer, from seed onwards…

I’ve noticed that growing as a designer doesn’t happen on a linear path of Time VS Growth. Instead I see phases in those I’ve worked with (and myself) that do a better job of capturing this ‘growth/life cycle’. There are 4 phases:


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As complexity of interactions increase, so do demands on UX (user experience) designers to produce appropriate documentation to communicate this complexity. When you’re dealing with enterprise applications, this complexity is inevitable because users perform an especially complex set of workflows. As a result, the richness of the interaction rules you define increases.

If we put together our documents well it can ease implementation, inform QA and help technical writers. As each of these roles have different expectations, we often all use separate pieces documentation that are disconnected, but this means content is duplicated and compromised. For example, a QA might…


Corporate organization: The healthy people ecosystem

Lately I’ve been reflecting about how organizations function, I can’t help but compare them to living things, communities and ecosystems. These things all function in a similar way. They have objects inside of them which function in specific ways and feed into the greater system; specific feedback is passed back and forth and around and through this system. Many of the pieces can block and inhibit the greater system, or facilitate it’s healthy functioning.

A company is a manufactured or artificial system that aims to function in a similar manner, but unlike natural systems…


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Recieved a couple of days after a made a booking, a hilarious example of creepy UX by Hotwire.com

This past week, I was lucky enough to attend uxi16, a conference which gets around 500 user experience (UX) enthusiasts together in one place for three days.

Dan Saffer led a workshop on microinteractions, during which he challenged the group to think of some ways to use data to solve interaction problems or ease a task for the user.

He showed us an example of how data was used to make his life easier. The image was a screenshot of a text message, where his wife asked his preference between three flavours of pie. When he went to reply, the…

Ceara C

Working in fintech, biotech, startups making meaningful user experiences! Love that complexity! Founder at www.pencilandpaper.io

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