How to become the best version of your designer-self

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Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash

I recently finished reading one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist who teaches psychology at the University of Toronto.

The book is not as an easy read, but it’s well written and thought-provoking.
It outlines a broad and complete code for living life.

The material to support the validity of each rule comes from a mix of ancient wisdom — mainly through religious anecdotes — and scientific research from a breadth of psychological and physiological studies.

The book dives deep into how we interact with others, how we think, the consequences our actions have, and many other concepts that could allegedly make your life easier when applied. …


With 6 practical tips to make it happen.

A person looking at a beautiful landscape with their arms open
A person looking at a beautiful landscape with their arms open
Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

Working on your hard skills is not enough.

I know, it sounds a bit harsh — especially if you already spent a lot of time perfecting your research skills, or getting those prototype transitions to the “wow” level.

So if you’re looking for actual design tips in this article, you will be disappointed. But if you want to be more confident, productive and creative in and outside of work, keep reading.

Chances are you’re generally happy with your job, but sometimes there’s something missing. …


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Image by Wendy Luby from Pixabay

Exhausted from being three hours into a four-hour meeting, my patience started wavering. I turned to Jak, the CEO who less than three months ago welcomed me on board at Habu, and said:

Me: “Jak, are you excited about the vision we’ve put together so far?”

Jak: “Well, is it exciting enough to get me out of bed in the morning? Probably not, but…”

Me: “It’s a yes or no question, Jak. Just tell me yes or no.”

My patience stopped wavering, and without listening until the end of the sentence, I snapped at him.

It took me a couple of days to apologise for my impatience, and given that I still have a job, no offence was taken. Jak and I agreed that no meeting should last that long if left unstructured and, more importantly, it shouldn’t ever be held in a small meeting room without air conditioning. …


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Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Your mind produces thoughts like your heart produces beats

Pretty powerful, isn’t it? If we want to get technical, the heart “beats” the brain by a few thousand beats, but given that we likely produce 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, it seems pretty clear that we humans think a lot.

Among this great number of thoughts, I’m curious to know:

  • How many of them could potentially be life-changing ideas?
  • How many do simply get lost in the ether? Why does that happen?
  • How can we consciously bring more of them to life so we can be more innovative and creative? …


For Designers that (sometimes) feel like a fraud

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Photo by Paula May on Unsplash

After many months of not seeing my family, I’m finally sat down to have dinner with them. I’m still trying to explain to my grandmother what the hell a Product Designer does. If you have a similar job, you probably know that’s no easy feat. There’s a good number of loud conversations going on at the same time — as you’d expect from any good Italian family, and I’m struggling to cut through the noise to speak to her. Judging by the look on her face I’m not doing a great job, but I can tell she’s proud.

It’s the 4th of May and it’s almost been a month since I lost my job, but I’m excited to be just one week away from a new adventure as the only Product Designer at a SaaS startup. Having worked in a 1000+ people workforce before, this was quite the jump. …


And how you can learn from them

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Photo Credit: Pamela Littky for variety.com

While at my last job I loved commuting to work, my two-hour drive was one of the best parts of the day.

If this makes you go like: “Are you nuts?” or like “What are you talking about?” I understand. If I asked any of my friends or colleagues about their work commute, I’d get a pretty unanimous response: everyone hates commuting, it’s the worst!

Honestly, I used to dread work commutes myself, at least until I started using that time in a way that served me. Like many others, I started to consume podcasts and audiobooks, and initially those made my two-hour drive less of a burden. …


The 4 phases of a presentation and how to deliver your best one so far

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Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Disclaimer: you don’t have to be a singer (or a rockstar) to follow these tips.

In the summer of two years ago, I gave one of the shittiest design presentations I could ever give.

I got nervous, I didn’t know what to say, I hated it, and I thought I was about to die. I understand that’s a bit of a stretch, but if I really knew what dying feels like, that was it. I’m not at all surprised that public speaking is something people fear more than death.

A little bit of context for you:

This was my first “real” presentation. I joined the company just a couple of months prior and up until then, coming from a freelance background, I had only presented my work to one or two people max. So there was no speaking in front of 30 people involved in doing that. Ever. Also, English is not my first language, so I’ve also always preferred written communication over speaking and presenting. …


Follow these 4 steps to boost your creative genius

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

This is the final episode of a 3 episode series on emotional intelligence.

In the previous episodes, I talked about empathy and intuition, essential traits to have as part of our emotional intelligence. Both of these should be treated as skills, in fact, I offered some suggestions on how to practice them.

Today, I want to talk about creativity: what it is, how it plays a vital role in your idea formation process, and what we can do to have more of it.

What is Creativity?

Creativity is about seeing the hidden patterns and connections between things that aren’t normally related. …


These two simple practices will allow you to have more of it

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

This is episode 2 of a 3 episode series on emotional intelligence.

In the previous episode, I talked about what emotional intelligence is, how empathy should be treated as a skill, and how to practice it.

Today, I want to talk about intuition: what it is, how it plays a vital role in your decision-making process, and what we can do to have more of it.

What is Intuition?

Intuition happens when you perform an action without consciously processing the information. To put it simply, it’s your brain on autopilot.

This mental process is often associated with words like ‘hunch’ or ‘gut feeling’ — with the latter having an actual connection with our guts — because these are ways in which intuition manifests. …


Here’s how you can build it up in six simple steps

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Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

On Valentine’s day — like on any other normal day — I asked my fiancée about how her day went.

She’s transitioning careers from nursery teaching to web development, and it’s fair to say she’s a bit intolerant to her current job situation. While she’s building up the skills and experience needed to get a full-time job in this new field, doing what she does at the moment just feels like an obstacle between her and her new job.

I empathised with her. …

About

Rick Veronese

UX Designer | Storyteller | Writing about Life and Design. Sharing thoughts on how we can become better humans.

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