Photo via Unsplash

Critiques are scary. In just a few seconds, a seemingly well-conceived, game-changing idea can be shot right out of the sky. I would guess that the fear of being seen as stupid or ignorant is one of biggest hang ups that people have about presenting new concepts or ideas.

Pitching your idea

I’ve learned from personal experience, and from the experiences of others, that there are both good and bad ways to explain an idea. My instructor in an HCI class that I took a year ago taught me the importance of telling a story. This not only improves to overall flow and…


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Building on my previous article on how to stay motivated as a (student) designer, I thought I would take a step back and focus on a really formative time in a design student’s academic career: their freshman year in college. Here are some things I wish I knew before my first year of schooling:

1. Your advisor will give you a pre-planned schedule, but you don’t have to stick to it. You will probably meet with your advisor during the first week of classes. If you took AP or college credit courses in high school, some of those classes probably…


via Gratisography

One of the most recent projects for my senior industrial design studio presented us with the challenge of designing and manufacturing a product to sell. The products will be sold at my school’s aptly-named annual Make 10 Marketplace, where each student is expected to produce and sell 10 of their products. While my studio instructor left the specific nature of the design up to each student, I noticed three constraints immediately emerge:

  1. The product must be easy to manufacture or must at least have a streamlined manufacturing process. Because we will be working on other studio work in conjunction with…

Design Icons: Miniatures of Chairs

Products in daily use can convey various meanings. A product’s functionality is not the only factor that determines its appeal in today’s product consumption. Today, most users look for products looks for products that convey certain meanings and that complement the individual’s desired or existing self-image. For example, take a look at most Chanel makeup packaging and try to describe it. Some words you may come up with are, ‘chic’, ‘modern’, or ‘elegant’.


Photo via Unsplash

In a couple of months I will be receiving my undergraduate degree in industrial design. Over the past few years, I have juggled group projects and internships, danced between current interests and future aspirations, struggled through presentations, lumbered through difficult design briefs, and ruthlessly compared my work to that of other designers. At the end of some projects, or sometimes before one has even begun, I feel hopelessly burned out.

Thankfully, I have managed to figure out how to quickly bounce back from burnout, and, in many instances, I have been able to prevent it from even occurring. …


Photo credit: Unsplash

I’m not crazy.

If you’ve ever taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indication (MBTI), a questionnaire designed to assess your personality type, you probably came away surprised at its accuracy in describing your psychological preferences. And if you ever took the test again, you likely got slightly different reading, and were probably left unimpressed with the results, likely leading you to take a skeptical view of the test, unsure of its consistency and accuracy.

So, what does it say about you if you get a different result every time? Does it mean your personality has changed? Do you have multiple personalities? Are you crazy?? Well…

Riana Dawson

rianadawson.com | UX Designer

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