5 Design Flow Albums for Summer 2017

Jams for jamming on a Sketch file (I’m sorry)

Of any project, the one thing I have iterated most on is my UX playlist. I’m always looking for new albums to add to it that inspire me and keep me focused.

These are some of my favourites from this summer.

Boo Boo

Toro Y Moi, 49 minutes

Toro Y Moi’s electronic-ish sound has helped me get into the zone before and this album continues to deliver. The opening banger “Mirage” and the single “Girl Like You” have had me desk dancing all week long.

Hidden UX wisdom: “Got a tendency to stay inside my head / wanna get a piece of what they have instead.” A classic piece of advice clearly being referenced here: get out of the building, talk to users.

Mura Masa

Mura Masa, 45 minutes

Every song on this album could be a single. Listening to Love$ick over and over again and humming “credit charge, Kermit the Frog, margaritas” is a very reasonable reaction. I recommend pairing this one with a sunny day because it’ll make you feel like your desk is parked at the beach.

Hidden UX wisdom: “Front line and centre baby / making you look at me / tell me who is it gonna B…Oh I don’t know how you feel baby.” An A/B test alone won’t tell you how your users feel. You’ve got to pair quant with qual, folks.

Ralph EP

Ralph, 20 minutes

Ralph is pure unadulterated pop, for those who are so inclined. The single, Cold to the Touch, is a sweet and light remedy for a meeting that left you sour. Transitions well from desk chair to bicycle.

Hidden UX wisdom: “Can I, can I be your first try / Take the leap and make me feel / Like I, like I’m not wasting time.” First-run experiences of a product need to clearly demonstrate value to hook users to take the leap and pay for features.


SZA, 49 minutes

If you like Rihanna (i.e. if you are a living being), you may remember SZA’s amazing feature on her song Consideration. This album lives up to the hype of that feature and then some. Bonus points for the techie album title and inspiring life advice from Solána Rowe’s mother sprinkled throughout.

Hidden UX wisdom: “Pretty little bird / You’ve hit the window a few times / Pretty little bird / You still ain’t scared of no heights / When the spiral down feels as good as the flight.” Don’t be afraid to fail when you’re exploring different ways to approach a problem. Failures are learnings that take you closer to finding a solution.

Petit Biscuit EP

Petit Biscuit, 24 minutes

I’m breaking my own arbitrary rules here because this was released in 2016 but I only just discovered it and it’s so, so good for focused work. If you can’t work with lyrics, this is the only album on this list you should pay attention to.

Hidden UX wisdom: It’s instrumental… so it’s really hidden. But I promise it’s there, if you listen hard enough.

Is something woefully missing from this list? Wow me with your superior music taste in the comments! (Dissecting lyrics for hidden UX wisdom is a requirement of this exercise.)