Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.

To be honest, when I started working from home due to Coronavirus, I wasn’t sure how it’d work out. For myself and many designers out there, the disruption to our everyday lives has meant a big change to the way we work.

Reflecting on the past twelve weeks working from home, I’ve learnt a lot about how I work and found several things that have improved my workflow. I encourage you to grab what was good working from home and keep going with it.

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Illustration by Matthew Carlson.

Here are a few things that have surprised me while working from home with my wife, two teenage daughters, and Enzo (the puppy). …


…and how it could help you in your design career

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Photo by Studio Republic on Unsplash

I’ve been an experience designer for 6 years. I got into it at the age of 39.

I’ve worked with great people, and I’ve worked with wankers, mainly the former. As a result of working with lots of great people, I’ve learnt a tonne in the last 6 years.

Today I work in a great company with wonderful folk. I feel like it’s a pivotal time in my design career. I’m excited.

Here are a few things I’ve found to be crucial to me in my daily life as a designer. …


What is guerrilla testing?

Guerrilla testing (also known as hallway usability testing) is a relatively fast and informal way to test ideas, to get high-level feedback, and potentially uncover user experience problems. It can be done pretty much anywhere: a coffee shop, a shopping center, or on the street. Ideally, you’ll test between 8–10 users as part of your hallway test, with each usually lasting for around 10 mins.

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While the technique is one that is fairly straight-forward, getting the most out of it requires some structure and preparation.

No research is ever quite complete. It is the glory of a good bit of work that it opens the way for something still better, and this repeatedly leads to its own eclipse. …


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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Every year I’m amazed at how much I’ve changed. How much I’ve learned and how much I still have to learn as a designer.

Each year brings new challenges, new people and new ways of working.

Some days I feel strong and ready to tackle the day, other days, I wonder why I ever got into design.

Reflecting on the past years, here are a few things as of today that I’ve learned about UX Design.

  1. Talent without a good team culture creates average work.
  2. Great culture creates great design teams.
  3. Product, design and engineering should start on a project at the same time (Thanks Parker Henderson). …


As a designer, you’ll wear lots of bloody hats, here are a few of them.

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Shit, as User Experience designers, there’s a never-ending list of hats we need to wear to do our jobs successfully.

We need to be researchers, ideators, creators, testers and shippers.

We need to be diplomats, interrogators, avid readers, detectives and time managers.

We need to be negotiators, leaders, teachers, compromisers and battlers.

We need to be jugglers, bullshit detectors, poker players, listeners and tech experts.

We need to be doodlers, and storytellers, nonsense deflectors, therapists and wordsters.

We need to be copy police, design by committee defenders, storytellers and story makers.

We need to be listeners, dreamers, collaborators, peacemakers and accessibility advocates. …


Get good at ‘giving up’ to focus on the important stuff

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Success is different for everyone, and along the way, you need to learn which habits to keep and which ones to give up. You need to become good at giving up to focus on doing the good stuff that’s going to help you become a great designer.

“Quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. ”

(Osayi Osar-Emokpae)

“Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.” (Seth Godin)

1. Give up waiting for permission

“Everyone is faking it, and everyone is waiting to be told “Good job”. If you wait for some magic document to arrive in your inbox saying ‘Congratulations, you did it, well done, everyone likes you, you succeeded!’


Get your head right before you take the jump

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Photo by Devin Edwards on Unsplash

“You must want to be a butterfly so badly, you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” (Sekou Andrews)

You’ve been keeping a keen eye on the UX/Product Design role for a while.

You’ve read a bunch of Medium articles and done lots of research on courses.

You decide to jump in and commit.

You pay for the in-classroom course.

One week in. “Shit, it feels like everyone else knows way more than me.”

One month in, “I’m exhausted.”

Finishing the course.“I’m buggered, anxious and excited. I’m ready to do this in the real world (I think).”

Three weeks after the course, “shit, getting a job is not as easy as I thought.”


Have a good talk to yourself before you talk to them

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This image grabbed me — Photo by Jonathan Kho on Unsplash

You have your resume, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile looking healthy.

You get asked in for an interview.

You assume the people interviewing you have read your folio, resume, etc.

You’re probably wrong.

Assume none of the people interviewing you know much of anything about you. Or if they do, it’s from a five-minute pre-interview scan.

This happens often, so it’s good to be ready for it.

When answering interview questions, remember that the person asking may have little to no context of who you are.

Help them out with that context.

Caveat:
I’m not the oracle of UX/product design interviews.

I researched the process when I was interviewing last year and this is what I came up with.


Lessons I wish I’d known when I was young

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I have two daughters, Inty who’s thirteen and Luna who’s twelve. They were born in Scotland to an Argentinian Mum and a Scottish Dad (me). We all now live in Australia.

Inty and Luna (and their mum) are everything to me.

Here are 35 life lessons that I wish I’d known when I was their age.

Have a strong handshake

A weak handshake is so very disappointing.

Avoid following the crowd

I followed the group to a certain extent. It doesn’t work. Real friends don’t need to be followed. Do your own thing and settle with the friends you find.

Get rid of friends who are no good

Not always easy when you’re young. Don’t waste your time with kids who cause you more harm than good. If kids have a habit of making you feel sad, best to step away and not spend time with them. …


It’s not enough to stare up the stairs; we must step up the stairs.

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Bruce lee

To level up means to progress to the next level. To level up you need to learn, get out of your comfort zone, gain experience, and grow. Only when you do this can you move up.

Here are a few things you’ll notice when you level up as a UX designer:

1. You’ll learn to stop limiting yourself

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” (Bruce Lee)

As you move up, you’ll gain confidence. As you gain confidence, you’ll realize that the only reason you didn’t get here sooner is that your beliefs limited you. As you stop limiting yourself things start to happen that’ll surprise you. Give it a crack and see how you go. …

About

Guy Ligertwood

Product Designer at Invoice2go. Scotsman with an English accent, married to an Argentinian, living in Australia.

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