Hey all, hope everyone is doing well. I have some exciting things happening over the next few months that I’d want you to be a part of.

Updated name

I don’t think the newsletter had a name before, but it will now assume the name of my podcast, Technically Speaking, as I start to build out more content and learning modules associated with it. More on this below…

Moving to Substack

I want to engage with you all with a bit more short and longer-form content, and I’ve found that moving between Medium and MailChimp added a…


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Photo of scaffolding
Photo by Igor Starkov

Being promoted to a manager for the first time and building an organization can be daunting. While your first thought may be to put the team on your back, that won’t be sustainable or conducive to growth. Being an effective manager means empowering your team to be their best selves, and that means creating an environment that can adapt, facilitate the right conversations with their peers, and deliver their best work.

Seek generalists.

User Experience (UX) designers are crucial in the beginning stages of a design process working with product managers and users to understand goals, identify opportunities, and in some cases…


We need our allies to step up more than ever.

Fists held up representing multiple skin complexions
Fists held up representing multiple skin complexions
Illustration by C. Daniela Shapiro (@cds.art )

I’m dealing with another round of grief, anger, and profound sadness. I check in with friends, family, colleagues, and then go out into the world with the anxiety of wondering if I’ll be next.

I read the article entitled, Maintaining Professionalism in the age of Black Death Is…A Lot by Shenequa Golding. The article resonated with me because it articulates a sentiment that I and so many other black professionals share.

We are tired. After every news cycle, we continue to show up on Zoom meetings, acting like it’s just another normal day. It isn’t.

As a designer, we refer…


Object-Oriented Design for Product Designers
Object-Oriented Design for Product Designers

We are going to take a 10,000-foot view of the 10,000 foot-view.

Let’s talk about Object Oriented Design and how this approach can be applied to your design process.

Its origin comes from a common framework in the software engineering world. It allows engineers to break down complex relationships of data into digestible chunks for end-users to comprehend and act upon.

This concept can similarly be applied to UX design as it is a helpful framework for those aiming to simplify and display systems of data to users — for example, showing the performance metrics in marketing campaigns, deals in…


Fight case study fatigue. Turn that wall of text into finesse!

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I’ve had the opportunity to give several portfolio reviews, and I want to share some common themes I see and how you can improve them to put your best foot forward as you search for that new product design gig.

1. Tie in the business objective

Ideas are great, and it is a common practice to state the problem you are trying to solve, but rarely designers indicate how the design or solution is helping business goals.

What is the ideal outcome you’re trying to achieve, and how do business goals align with this? …


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Early this year, Regine Gilbert released Inclusive Design for a Digital World. From a design perspective, there were a lot of great insights to unpack, so I’d like to share my key takeaways and actionable steps to jump-start your organization on inclusive and accessible design.

In the synopsis, her book reads, “As a modern-day designer in a digital world, your goal should be to make inclusive and accessible products for all people. Technology has, overall, increased connection and information equality around the world. …


I was recently asked what does it mean to be innovative? Now, this is a very broad question and can lead to many meandering thoughts so to add some guardrails, I will be speaking mainly in the realm of a product organization. Many of these themes can be transferrable across a number of industries.

Innovation is a process — an organization has to execute well on the fundamentals and be disciplined to build trust in these practices. Here are some themes that come to mind.

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1. Understand

At a foundational level, innovation cannot happen if we don’t understand our customers and industry…


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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

When you’re working on an in-house design team, you are likely working with many different projects — stakeholders and prioritization may change from one week to the next. Given the nature of this, things may not always run smoothly. Here are a few common phrases heard in organizations that are usually a symptom of a more significant problem.

Before you start reacting, take a moment to slow down and think about how it got to this point in the first place and work on ways to mitigate these situations later on.

“You’re a blocker.”

Surprise! You’re late on delivering something you actually had…


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A quick primer on GDPR and what that means for you

So what is the deal with all these emails, prompts, pop-ups, about privacy policy statements that you’ve been receiving? It’s about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that took effect May 25th. This means that companies must disclose to you what they will do with the information that you share with them directly and indirectly (like your name, emails, GPS location, messages, email addresses) and provide you an opportunity to consent to those terms.

This is a big deal for a lot of companies that make their living serving ads to users using third-party data tracking. Companies solely based on…


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A common adage in the product design world is “don’t make users think”. It can be a challenging goal to achieve, but what if I told you, getting there could be easier?

Gestalt theory implies that the mind understands the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Simply put, our mind will always try to make order out of chaos.

The Gestalt theory is guided by 5 principles — Proximity, Similarity, Continuation, Closure, and Figure/Ground.

Proximity

When an individual perceives an assortment of objects they perceive objects that are close to each other as related.

Harrison Wheeler

User Experience Manager at LinkedIn. Former Design Manager at Zendesk Sell. Midwest born and raised. Connect with me at hello@harrisonwheeler.com

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