Four words no designer wants to hear. These words are often followed by feeling rushed, dread, pressured and a sense of letting the team down. So how do we avoid them?


I personally struggle to concisely explain what I do to some friends and family so why would it be any different for others in your team? Some have a better idea than others but you’re bound to find someone who can’t see past the output of our work as our sole role, our mocks.

One way I’ve successfully overcome this lack of understanding is to run ‘What is UX?’…

Having a career goal is something that we all might say we have, but how many of us have actually taken the time to sit down, visualise, and plot the steps to get to where we want to go?

I’ve always had a vague idea of where I want to go career wise, but I’ve put off ironing out the details as I honestly didn’t have any idea where our industry would be in a few years time. As I sat in the beautiful Aussie surf over my recent summer break, I took some time to think more deeply about…

A journal entry from a humbled designer

In an ever-changing professional landscape I’ve found it hard to define my role, aspirations, and a path to get there. The vision I have for today is proven irrelevant tomorrow. The thing I can count on is that the personality traits I have as a designer and human being will deeply impact the quality of my work, the people I work with, the people at home who support me and my enjoyment of life. These traits are what makes me the best, authentic version of myself.

I’ve tried to jump outside of my…

Doing great work right now is hard. Being connected all the time means there are more distractions, innovation in workplaces can mean more meetings, and the more we do to self-improve the the less time we have for doing our work.

In most cases, to do the best on a particular task, design or otherwise, takes focus, time & motivation. This is a seemingly simple recipe but getting the balance of these ingredients right takes a lot of experimentation.


You need a clear head free of distractions. Our days are filled with a huge number of distractions and they are…

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been given feedback on white space I’d be able to buy at least twenty white designer shirts.

White space, or negative space, is one of the most powerful tools a designer has. When used properly it can help make your design more readable, aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and more.

There’s a lot of bad feelings towards poor white space, and I totally get it. Without knowing why we use it, the negative space obviously pushes content below the fold, is a missed opportunity to add more to the page, and…

As a designer, sitting with either creatives or engineers has been a topic of discussion around me for the past year, I’ve had experience in both and have found positives and negatives associated with each one.

Traditionally I’ve always sat in a creative team with other designers, it’s the way that most agencies are structured, an area for design, development, accounts, and more. This is great for fostering creativity and staying motivated but the separation from the greater team does tend to form a barrier to collaboration.

Within these teams you can share work, push each other, get motivation, and…

Your design is beautiful, every element on the screen has been through a journey with you, fighting through critiques, variations, font changes and numerous other iterations to settle in this special place in your heart. There’s one thing you need to do in order to make it better, Dump it.

One of my leads sat down with me to go through a piece of work that I had created, we worked together making final adjustments until we were both happy with the design. A final comment as walking away was that I could try flipping it upside down. What?! Of…

I’ve been searching and experimenting with a vast range of tools for prototyping animation, all with pros and cons but none that perfectly fit all the needs that I’m looking for.

Traditionally a designer would create a flat design and try to verbally communicate the intent of an animation to a developer. The more thorough designers would create a reference animation using whatever tools they are comfortable with (I’ve even recorded myself pushing post-it notes around).

Now there are tools such as PaintCode and QuartzCode, which let the designer animate in ways that can get used directly in a build…

One of the most vital parts of delivering a successful project as a designer is collaboration. The relationship you have with the other members of the team can make the difference between a mediocre and a stand-out product.

Designers and developers have many similarities in their approach to work and once you can recognise their needs it will enable you to work better together.

I have spoken to a few developers in my team and put together some pointers for building a better relationship with them and creating a more efficient and less painful working environment.

Set expectations early

When starting to work…

Chris Halaska

Senior Interaction Designer @ Google

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