Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

More interesting than your average listicle.

If nothing else, you’ll have good stories to tell during interviews.

tl;dr

  1. Join focus groups
  2. Do a life drawing class, or learn to draw
  3. Use spaced repetition

1. Become a Mystery Shopper

Witness the pain points, observe the interactions, consider how the experience could be improved.

How

Google mystery shopping and join some agencies.

You will be given “missions” (should you choose to accept them). Initially, these will be boring, like visit a sandwich shop, or buy something online.

Over time, you’ll get more interesting tasks like “go to a bank, enquire about a loan, and covertly…


Going BEYOND

This is a fairly candid description of how Samsung configured their .com for the launch of the S10. I discuss our UX process, user flows, and wireframes. If you’ve ever wondered how giant product launches work, I hope you find this interesting.

BEYOND, as it was codenamed internally, was a huge project years in the making. But the final web launch was a sprint.

Three weeks before the S10 launch date, colleagues from around the world convened in a secret location and set up a clean room.

From there, we could maintain strict digital security, and have the most important…


That thing you know? Wrong.

That thing you’ve practiced your whole career? Also wrong.

Did you suspect you might be wrong about something and decide to brush up your knowledge? Man, I can’t believe you thought that was going to work… I actually pity you.

Are you learning something right now? You might as well give up. How are you not getting this? It’s wrong buddy. It’s unbelievably wrong.

Everything You Know About Everything Is Wrong.

And I have a six-minute Medium article that’s going to convince you of that fact.

How? For a start, I’ll ask some rhetorical questions.

I won’t ever actually answer them, but…


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain boomed in the last year and, as designers, we need to rise to the challenge. It’s a brave new world out there.

When I started working fulltime for a crypto company, the first thing I did was user research. I read surveys, I analysed social media, and — most importantly — I spoke to people in person. It’s a new industry; who are we designing for?

Through many hours of interviewing and testing real users, I iterated on a series of personas. They represent the three main types of crypto-investor.

I present them here in…


This is the other part to my Thames Path Ultra race report. It details my training plan and some thoughts on the process. This is primarily for my own notes, but it might be of interest to other ultra runners, especially those new to the sport.

The Plan

My program was pretty simple:

Wednesday: moderately long run
Saturday: very long run
Other days: recovery runs or sprints, depending on how I felt.

I had to increase weekly volume aggressively — there was no way around it — but I tried to do so as sensibly and consistently as possible.

I started with…


I recently completed a 100km ultramarathon.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I learned a lot during both the preparation and the event itself, and I wanted to get my thoughts down while it’s still somewhat fresh. Rather than let this report get any longer, I’ve written up my training reflections here. It’s mostly for my own notes, but it may be of interest to other runners, especially those preparing for their first ultra.

I originally signed up on a bit of whim. At that point, I’d never raced a 10k, let alone a regular marathon.

I’d been…


‘Why do we use -ise and -ize inconsistently? Does that need an Oxford comma? Who wrote this?!’— An awkward stakeholder meeting.

I love a good style guide, but let’s admit it, editors get carried away.

If it’s longer than a few pages, most designers, and even a lot of marketing folk, will never read it. (Sorry writers, your lovingly prepared Tone of Voice document will be lightly skimmed by bemused colleagues).

That said, improving the copy is an easy way to improve User Experience.

I think that in most circumstances, what’s really needed is a kind of Minimum Effective Dose stylesheet.

What is the bare minimum you can do to elevate your copy from amateurish to professional?

That’s what I’ve tried…


If only it were that simple…

At the Pillar Project, I wanted to build a first-class usability lab, without breaking the bank.

After many hours of research, experimentation, and in-field testing, I decided to write up everything I’ve learned. It’s long but should contain the most up-to-date, comprehensive information you can find on the topic — a UX epic!

I hope it saves you time and money.

The elements of mobile usability testing

During mobile usability tests, we essentially want to do three things:

  1. Record the user’s screen
  2. Record the user using their phone
  3. Record their face, body language or any additional information.

This can be surprisingly complicated.


A list of common UX problems to challenge and inspire designers and coders.

Ah… The terrifying emptiness of a blank page.

So you want to practice your design skills?

You’ve joined a bootcamp and need a problem to fix?

Hiring new designers and want to set them a challenge?

Sometimes, its harder to find a problem than a solution.

Why this list?

There are a few design problems floating around the internet, but nothing very extensive. I thought it might be useful if I collected some together and put them in one big list.

The examples here come from all kinds of places including personal experience, but I take no credit for any of them. I’ve included links when I know I saw it…


Applying the UX Design process to internet subculture

Is it possible to reliably make something ‘go viral’?

Common sense would say no.

But a UX Designer would say… maybe.

I was recently asked to do this for a job application. An odd request for a UX role, so I decided to turn it on its head and retool it as a UX Design project.

It was an interesting exercise.

“If a double diamond can be drawn, a task can be tackled.”
— I think Oscar Wilde said that.

Here’s a Double Diamond, a diagram that encapsulates the entire UX process.

And with that, we’re away

Jon Crabb

UX Designer | Writer | joncrabb.com

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