Photo by Stéphan Valentin on Unsplash

This morning I woke up to a notification from the New York Times. Just like any other morning, I dismissed them (recently, the news that comes through aren’t very conducive to a positive Monday morning) but one caught my attention — it read “What happens when you sneeze on a subway?” and I got excited. Not because of the content, no. I was excited because, as a paying subscriber, I know that these types of stories will be engaging, animated, and

This story was no different.

This story was a prime example of why you should pay attention to…

When your company’s brand and culture align, the two inform and guide each other. In the case of Airbnb, people and belonging are the cornerstones of the company. Everything they do stems from these foundational principles. It guides how they operate, it informs their marketing, their product, and their employee experience, including how they go about something we all dread — layoffs.

Airbnb recently announced its plans to reduce its workforce by roughly 25% — that’s nearly 1900 people who will be leaving Airbnb as of Monday, May 11, 2020. …

…neither is it nap rooms, free beer Fridays, Sunday morning team hikes, corporate retreats, or free lunches. Culture is not working from home or unlimited avocados in the kitchen. Culture is not even a set of values or a corporate mission. All these are merely artifacts of culture, not the culture itself.

Let’s look at two seemingly similar companies — Uber and Lyft. As ride-hailing apps, their value proposition is to get you — the user — from point A to point B and to make that experience as pleasant and seamless as possible. …

A story about bringing together innovators to create a sustainable future for all.

It’s just passed 7pm. It’s pouring outside, to nobody’s surprise. It’s late October in Vancouver — and is especially wet at this time of the year. We’re standing in front of 30+ people and about to spark a conversation about sustainable future — a topic that most people cringe about. For most people it’s a combination of anxiety and perception that there is nothing they can do about it.

And we were there to change that.

The Hypothesis

Given our professional background (education, communication, design, facilitation, entrepreneurship) we believe that by combining the right people with the right tools, we can collectively…

Or how to fast-track to a senior level

What if I told you that years of experience don’t make a difference? Or that you will not be promoted based on the number of projects you launched? And that if you don’t change your mindset, you will always be treated as a junior, regardless of your title?

Transition from a junior-level designer is a mindset shift. With seniority comes respect, trust, and freedom. So, if you are a designer and you are feeling disrespected, micromanaged or constrained — then this article is for you. Read up.

Junior designers are not wanted.

There are not a lot of “junior UX designer” positions out there. Companies…

There are over 3000 design jobs in Canada with Toronto and Vancouver listing almost 1000 and 500 jobs, respectively. Every 3 months there is an influx of freshly graduating UX and UI designers from tech schools like RED Academy and Brainstation. So, what does a girl (or boy) need to do to get a job around here?

I get asked this question a lot. So I wanted to put together a guide that would be accessible to all, not just my students and mentees. This guide is a compilation of all of my wisdom and experience of the last 13…

As a former instructor at RED Academy, I had people constantly ask me how to prepare for the career in UX/UI Design. Getting formal education in this discipline is one way to get there, but from my personal experience, the most successful students were those who came with a design thinking mindset and had some knowledge already.

I’m a strong believer in sharing knowledge, so here is a list of resources designers at RED put together to help our prospective students prepare for the industry.


Foundation of UX Design


Design Thinking & Trends

I’m a product designer. Not so long ago, people would label me as a unicorn. Mainly because I did UX design, visual design, front-end development, worked directly with business strategist and would manage product roadmap. I picked up those skills over the last decade, partially because I had to (hello, startup life!), but mainly because my design skills weren’t enough for a successful product. Now that I’ve also been heavily teaching at RED Academy in the last 18 months, I started getting a lot of questions about how to become a product designer. …

With a week left until “Working with Global Brands: an Agency Perspective”, I couldn’t miss a chance to interview amazing panel of speakers to get a deeper insight into Apply Digital, Vancouver-based agency. This interview is with Gautam Lohia, Partner at Apply Digital and advisor to Metalab. Gautam has extensive international experience in digital platforms and marketing, services delivery, business strategy, and program leadership. He is a former Managing Partner at Blast Radius, who helped strategic digital agency, Blast Radius, become part of WPP. Gautam is a leader, enabler of technology, and driver of innovation. …

This interview is with Scott Michaels, Chief Strategist at Apply Digital, who has been an integral part of the sea-change to digital for many companies, including Metalab, Microsoft, Bloomberg, ESPN, HBO and hundreds of other F1000 companies. Fun fact: there is a high probability that your phone contains something Scott has worked on.

With our November events just around the corner, I’m excited about one in particular — having the core team from Apply Digital, Vancouver-based product agency, join us for a fireside chat on November 22 about what it’s like working with global brands. …

Karina Daukaeva

UX / UI / Product / E-commerce / MVT Testing / Culture transformation / Coaching. Currently UX Director at Co-founder of

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