UX designers, don’t let them narrow you down.

Illustration of a young man in jeans and shirt defending himself against being swallowed by a black hole
Illustration of a young man in jeans and shirt defending himself against being swallowed by a black hole

The Karate Kid was a lie. Remember Daniel LaRusso “waxing on and off” for weeks just to win the karate championship later on? I really love this movie, but mastering skills doesn’t work that way. At least not in my world as an UX designer.

Actually, it’s rather the opposite: Doing the same things over and over again slows down personal development. And splitting the UX world into more and more specific areas, where everyone is forced to do more similar work, doesn’t help this situation. We have to step out of our expertise to really learn new things. …


3D illustration of some UI elements, two spheres and a cloud hovering over dark background
3D illustration of some UI elements, two spheres and a cloud hovering over dark background

A short tutorial with download file and CSS excursion

Some days ago I wrote an Medium article on What I learned about UX from drinking tea and designed some visuals for it — stating at the very end:

“Visuals created in Sketch, heavily inspired by Peter Tarka. I wasn’t really aware you could achieve such 3D effects with Sketch but after a few experiments with shadow layers it worked out quite well. Ping me for the Sketch file, if you want to take a closer look.”

Many readers asked me about that file, telling that they probably underestimated Sketch. So I thought it would be a good idea to…


Warming, soothing, delicious … and a great example of user guidance, standardization processes and brand experience

3D illustration of a tea cup, some tea leafs, a cloud and some UI elements hovering over dark blueish background
3D illustration of a tea cup, some tea leafs, a cloud and some UI elements hovering over dark blueish background

Lately I’ve been trying to drink more tea instead of water. Somewhere I read that warm drinks are just way healthier for your body, whatever the outside temperature. So I find myself walking back and forth between desk and kitchen — randomly alternating the teas from our office collection.

Some taste better than others, but I’m fine as long as my cup is hot and the water in it colorful. So let’s not be sommeliers here. Many people would probably say that these industrial tea bags have nothing to do with real tea anyway. But that’s a different story, just…


Our love-hate relationship with marketing e-mails and why they’re here to stay

Image for post
Image for post
Illustration by © Nuno Amorim

Does your company send out marketing e-mails? We do just that at XING, as was the case at every business I’ve ever worked for. I even tried to build my own personal mailing list, although it was probably the last thing this world needed: another newsletter.

As we’ve become accustomed to our inboxes being flooded every day, e-mails remain a high-performance marketing channel — often declared dead, but still very much alive. For me as a creative, e-mails hold a strong and yet strange fascination somewhere between reduction, romance and revenue. From the looks of it, we won’t get rid…

Manuel Blex

Designing, writing, creative thinking, guitar playing, skateboard shredding and craft beer drinking. mandolinie.com

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