by Atanas Giew

From the age of fourteen-and-nine-months, and for six years thenceforth, I worked at Franklins.

Franklins (blessed Franklins) is no longer. In its heyday it was a discount supermarket to rival the best — wide aisles to fit any mobility vehicle, teetering stacks of Coke boxes placed right by the trollies for minimum carry-time, a bountiful line of 89c No Frills staples. None of this fancy $9 artisanal cheese and Master Chef sauce calling itself coulis. Franklins was white bread and raspberry jam, 500g of devon and the cheapest hot chook in town.


Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Art by Milko Marinov

The new year is a time I see a lot of wild promises floating around, on the internet and in real life.

I’ve just started a month without sugar! Sometimes you need to kick yourself in the butt with a big change.

That’s it! I’m proud to say I am now vegan. I can’t participate in this cruelty to animals any more. #vegan

(PS. These aren’t real examples — I wouldn’t shame any of my Twitter friends like that.)

Or even worse… the #100daychallenge posts that only last for four, maybe five days. There’s something so sad about seeing someone’s…


It’s about the attitude

By Alexandrov Alexandr

So, you quit your job. You’re on your own now.

Congratulations!

Now you have to find new clients — build those relationships— learn sales — learn accounting — get in to the hustle. There are tons of articles out there about the logistics and skills of freelancing. But there aren’t too many about attitude.

And so, I present to you my *wildly idealistic, but that hasn’t stopped working for me yet* principles for success.

Number one:

Make the people around you successful.

Client success is now your unshakeable core.

Remember. What you’re here to do is make other people successful.

Your clients, the people around you…


For a smooth and focused user interview

Even though I’ve been doing user interviews for a while, I still write a conversation guide every time.

I know researchers who prefer topic maps, thought clouds or just keep all their goals in their head and wing it (dang!). But I still prefer a conversation guide — mostly for the process of writing it, more than the process of using it to any strict extent. Taking the time to pre-think about how I’ll phrase my questions, and what questions are most important to cover, makes the interview roll so much more smoothly.

I was talking to a client recently about the mindset you get into when you’re in a user interview, and we were trying to nut…


I’ve been lucky enough to work with some completely incredible designers.

Plus, in my day to day life, I get to meet and talk to tons of designers. I feel like I know us pretty well.

There’s something I noticed that ties together all of the really amazing designers I know. A set of traits that I’d put right up there in the Defining Features quadrant of the Awesome Designer persona if I was making one.

I’ve seen these traits over and over again in brilliant designers, no matter where they are in their journey. …


and some things I wish I knew when I was starting out

2018 will be the year that marks my first decade as a designer. Wow… crazy. Sometimes I still feel like a junior designer, but when I look back on myself ten years ago, I can see just how much I’ve learned.

I want to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years. As it turns out, many are not so much about design, per say, as about mindset and attitude.

Throw yourself in the deep end.

Take on challenges you’re not sure you’re ready for. This is the fastest way to grow exponentially. Cultivate your sense of comfort when you’re outside of…


Why sharing with other people helps ideas grow.

by Maxim Shkolyar

I love it when people give me advice.

It feels like a mental hug, from one mind to another. The person giving the advice wants the best for me. They know things, and they want to share them. It’s a gift, and I receive it gratefully.

But as with gifts, each of them has a different role to play in your life. Some rare and excellent gifts become constant companions in your life — the things you keep around you, look at every day, and become part of who you are. And, as minimalist Marie Kondo wrote, sometimes the role of a gift in your life is simply…


Everyone should do retrospectives — not just agile software teams.

Agile retrospectives. If they have a reputation at all, it’s not for being very exciting. Not many people think: You know what? I freaking love retro! It’s just a meeting, right?

Wrong!

Why? Because great retros make great teams.

And great teams are the ones that communicate with each other. The ones that consistently make small course corrections to stay on track. The ones that trust each other, boost each other, share in each other’s successes and failures equally. The ones that know, without a shadow of doubt, that they’re all working towards the same goal.

Great retros are an…


Using design thinking to prioritise your life goals

A human life is finite.

At best, you’ve got, let’s say, 90 good years. That’s if everything goes well.

How are you going to make the most of that time?

I have a way of making big decisions. Should I move across the world or stay in Sydney? Should I quit my job to travel or stay here and work on my career? Actually, it works for mid-level decisions too. Should I work on this assignment, or go to the party?

If I find myself facing a decision like this, that can feel like it’s got me bound with two…


If you’re a user-centered designer, your resume should be too!

Hiring designers is fun.

I like seeing people’s work, and hearing them speak passionately about the cool stuff they’ve done. I like meeting other designers from Sydney. I like the “hire a designer” process — probably a lot more than I like being on the “please hire me” side of it.

But there’s a truth I can share with you, from this side of the fence.

If you’re a designer… yes. We do hold the design of your resume to a higher standard than those of non-designers.

Why? Because your resume is probably the first time I’m seeing your design…

Nicola Rushton

product design and user research 👩🏻‍💻

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