Saturday evening has arrived and you’re about to settle into your favorite spot on the couch and spend some quality time binge watching your favorite show. You’re anticipating an evening of decompression and self-indulgence, accompanied by a pizza from the best place in town. You’ve been looking forward to this all week.

The screen on your phone lights up, and you pick it up because it’s bright and colorful and grabs your attention. The notification you received isn’t important, but you mindlessly go through the fixed action pattern of opening up social media. You start to scroll down and see…

The importance of mindset

A mindset refers to a person’s world view and core assumptions; somewhat interchangeable with ‘mentality.’ Given our mindset is the lens we see and evaluate the outside world, it is immensely rewarding to invest time into working towards more positive, productive mindsets.

Priming your mind

Priming is a technique whereby exposure to one stimulus influences a response to a subsequent stimulus.

In a simple example, if you say the word “yellow” to someone and ask them to respond, they are much more likely to think of a word related to yellow like “banana” than an unrelated word like “computer.” …

Conflict is a charged word. It’s generally seen as negative and unnerving. However, conflict is inevitable and often beneficial.

We often learn, grow and get stronger from conflict. Whether it be conflict with others that pushes a shared project to greater heights, or conflict with ourselves, which drives us to the next goal or area of growth.

For many, this is a tough skill to build. Conflict tends to be scary, unpredictable and draining, often pushing us to uncomfortable places. While conflict can be emotionally charged and exhausting, it’s also necessary in order to improve and discover the best solution…

The first few times I received negative feedback I was surprised about how I felt. I could feel my body getting tight, my temperature rising and a feeling of tension. For a brief moment, I felt as if the air had left my body and could feel myself getting defensive.

Actual picture of my first design review.

It’s crucial to work through this feeling. The late Paul Arden (former creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi) explains the need to seek out negative or critical feedback:

It is quite easy to get approval if we ask enough people, or if we ask those who tell us what we…

Open offices misunderstand psychology and design

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

At my most recent job, I did all of my best work at home. I would actively try to avoid the office for as long as possible. At home, I had two desks and complete control over my environment. Distractions and breaks were choices.

As a User Experience Designer, it’s required that I refer to prototyping and user testing at least 7 times a day. However, when it comes to building prototypes, it’s always a challenge to figure exactly what to prototype. Or even if the prototype will even be an effective proxy for the problem at hand.

Game Designers are among the most talented designers in the world. They need to be able to create an engaging world that their users (gamers) get immersed in, while creating a challenge that is in the perfect place between compelling and overwhelming. It’s not rare to…

I once had a conversation with another Designer. They had recently launched a redesign of a large piece of functionality on our site. The results came in, and they weren’t tracking well. Most of the key metrics were trending downwards by significant percentages.

The Designer was upset. They believed that the Product Manager didn’t track the right metrics. The Designer felt the Product Manager didn’t *get* design. That the Product Manager was too analytically oriented and couldn’t properly evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive redesign.

The Designer had a point — the Product Manager was often short sighted. The PM…

I am an inquisitive person and I love my job, so I read quite a bit both for curiosity and continuous improvement. I have always found it hard to keep track of the different frameworks, models and theories that I’ve learned. I know there are tangible benefits from learning a lot, but I’ve struggled to articulate how the different things I’ve learned and practiced actually apply when I’m designing or making decisions.

I was talking to Sash Catanzarite, the cofounder of Tradesy (where I work) about this a few months ago. Sash first introduced the idea of a Latticework of…

(This post is focused on the Design process for digital applications, as that is where my experience lies)

In a previous post, I touched briefly on several topics in Design. While writing that post, I realized that I wanted to share some thoughts about what a good Design process is.

The Value of Design Process

There is no genius designer that is able to jump straight into a project and design the right thing every time. They may be able to achieve aesthetic excellence, but there’s no guarantee they’ll create something useful or meaningful.

A design process enables two things:

  • A shared approach on how…

“I could teach you to speak my language, Rosetta Stone”-Aubrey “Drake” Graham

Most people associate programming solely with mathematical talents, but MRIs of people learning to code have shown that similarities in brain activity to people learning a foreign language.

Learning to code was a challenging and rewarding experience. I distinctly remember in the first few weeks feeling like a toddler. I knew what I wanted to communicate, but I was frustrated without the ability to articulate my needs. I’ve learned more every week and am starting to feel more confident in my communication through code.


The first epoch in learning to code is understanding the basic lexicon and syntax. People often…

Amar Singh

Working on Worry Kit

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