The Miscellaneous Debris of a UX Designer: Week 32, 2020

Every week, I’ll share with you how I find UX inspiration. I’ll literally go through my browsing history and share the creative nuggets and helpful resources that keep me on this creative path. The UX practitioner must embrace continuous learning and a commitment to constant creativity if they want to stay relevant in the product industry.

Here’s my miscellaneous debris for this week:

Apps

The following apps caught my attention this week. In some way, they are inspiring me, well designed, and helping me explore new thoughts, perspectives & hobbies.

AllTrails

It’s not all the time that my hobbies match up with a well-designed app. But, in the case of enjoying the great outdoors, AllTrails pairs perfectly with my need to get out and my hope for a well-designed app. If you’re looking to get some fresh air and find curated, crowd-sourced trails and outdoor adventures, put this app on your phone! It’s beautifully designed and packed w/features. Available for iOS and Android devices.

Books

Whether I’m listening to an audiobook or feeling the pages on my fingertips, UX inspiration comes to me in the form of a good book by an exceptional author. The key is to then go practice what you read!

TED Talks, by Chris Anderson

One of the most intimidating things for a product designer to do is to get up in front of people (or in a Zoom call) and sell the audience on a design or design direction. This book (audio or physical copy) offers some wonderful advice and breakdowns of the best TED talks and helps anyone with their public speaking skills.

Fonts

Fonts give character, life, and meaning to a design. Throughout my week, I’ll usually have a chance to try something new and give my designs a bit of flair with some new fonts.

Satisfy

The author defines Satisfy as a brush script with a little pizzazz, and that’s exactly how I’ve found it to be helpful in my designs! I’ve been pairing it with chunky, bold typefaces like Paytone One and it’s a beautiful pair! It’s free on Google Fonts.

Podcasts

There a so many podcasts, it’s hard to find the time to listen to just one consistently. But, finding just a little bit of time to let one hit your ear throughout the week can give you a creative spark!

99% Invisible

No podcaster voice draws me in more than that of Roman Mars. 99% Invisible explores design in every aspect of our lives and the power & influence design has on us. Design is all around us, and this podcast will help you to see just how important it is.

Quotes

Sometimes you come across that one quote in the week that changes your whole perspective on work, life, or things greater than yourself.

William Sparks, Ph.D.

“We have a moral obligation to give constructive, developmental feedback to those in our lives.”

In his 2018 TEDx, William Sparks, Ph.D. delivers a compelling message on the power of self-awareness. He encourages us to give feedback to the people in our lives. He says too often we sugar coat it or avoid the truth. We’re afraid we’ll hurt them, they won’t be able to handle the feedback. What we don’t realize is that feedback could very well be what sets them on the right path — a turning point for them that will change their life forever.

Social

We all consume design content through various forms and mediums. Occasionally, I like to peruse the various designers on social platforms and quickly take in some inspiration for the day. You’ll find amazing, popular content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social sites.

Teresa Torres, Twitter

https://twitter.com/ttorres

Teresa Torres

Teresa came up with a framework for product discovery called the Opportunity Solution Tree. It’s been helping me present and push my research forward with stakeholders and other designers. She stays pretty active on our Twitter account and is almost ready to publish her first book on the Opportunity Solution Tree.

Tools & Resources

Ah, the neverending list of UX tools! There are so many tools to help in your creative process. I won’t be able to cover even a fraction of what’s out there, but here’s what I’ve been using this week.

Miro

Need to brainstorm collaboratively? Need just a clean, slick way to manage ideas and digital sticky notes for yourself? Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard platform designed for remote and distributed teams and it’s amazing!

Who to Watch

There are so many great leaders and voices in the design space, people that are championing others and making a difference around the world. These are the folks I’ve been paying attention to this week.

Cameron Moll

Cameron is the VP of Design at Pendo and formerly Head of Design (Events Platform) at Facebook. I don’t personally know Cameron, but I feel I connect with so many of his posts on psychological safety in the workplace. He’s solid in his messages and always finds a way to creatively and sympathetically connect with his online audience. You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

YouTube

Each week brings new opportunities to find exceptional, educational content on YouTube and from other videos across the interwebs. These resources help me be a better UX practitioner and a better person.

Product Hive

A community near and dear to my heart, the Product Hive YouTube channel houses all of the amazing content from previous virtual and in-person meetups. You’ll find dozens of thought-provoking talks and presentations from designers and leaders who are in the trenches with us, sharing their journey and experiences.

Stay tuned for next week’s miscellaneous debris!

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