03/17/2016 - No Comments!

Soft + Hard Skills = Professional Designer.

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Tie optional.

The development of each skill set is equally important

Hard Skills

Let’s first discuss the hard skills, as these are the more commonly talked about and taught in the design industry and thus easier to define. I’m defining hard skills are those of a more technical nature. This is what you need to do your job as a digital product designer. These can be learned in both formal training via schooling as well as self-taught through tutorials and dedicated practice.

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03/10/2016 - No Comments!

5 Career Insights from Learning to Snowboard

What a newbie learned by falling down the mountain

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New friends and first-time snowboarders at the Montues event in Tahoe.

I’ve just returned from the stunning mountains of Tahoe where I was lucky enough to participate in the first ever Epicurrence Montues event. Epicurrence is a design non-conference by Dann Petty aimed at getting creative folks out of their offices and into inspiring situations in nature.

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03/03/2016 - No Comments!

The tools don’t make the designer

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The process distinguishes the designer.

Designers are makers. As tinkerers and craftspeople, we’re always hungry to try out the next and newest tools that enable our work. While this can be a driving force for good and continuous personal improvement, the constant pressure to understand tools can get in the way of the bigger picture.
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02/25/2016 - No Comments!

Transparency in process

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Showing unfinished work and demystifying the design process is a trust-building exercise that designers can use as a tool to their advantage.

The more often you are able to show your unpolished, incomplete work to a client alongside the rest of your team, the more trust everyone involved is able to build with one another. Trust is good. Trust me. This is especially true in the professional design world, where audience subjectivity can sometimes be difficult to remove from the equation of criticism.

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02/18/2016 - No Comments!

What makes a product designer?

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While titles in the digital design space continue to be a hot topic of debate, some things remain constant. Designer’s primary disciplines are less and less clear cut as our industry shifts and there is increasing demand for those who can spread themselves thin and touch many aspects of the creative cycle.

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02/01/2016 - No Comments!

A Designers Best Friend: Reason

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As a professional designer, you are a key asset of the team – not simply a tool for last-minute polish.

The term Creative has long plagued the professional designer. When we speak of a designer in this light, one conjures the image of a whacky, unkempt “creative-type” that comes in late to work and skips meetings. ThisCreative slacks lazily at their desk, pushing pixels around until inspiration strikes, or some combination of colors and typography happens to click.

Today’s thriving professional designer is anything but this. Today’s designer is an analytical problem solver who can explain clearly how and why she got to the design solution she is defending. How does she do it? Reason.

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01/20/2016 - No Comments!

Remote Work. Right Now.

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Breathe in the inspiration.

Remote work gives you the power to craft your own life.

It seems that the slow transition to larger remote workforces in the technology space has finally begun. The many benefits of working remotely combined with the pitfalls of modern offices and the current robustness of remote-enabling technology have finally culminated in this perfect moment. The time is finally right for remote work, right now.

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01/11/2016 - No Comments!

Team Building Through Tech Talks

Throughout my time as a Senior UI Designer with HP, I was embedded within an agile software development team. It was during this time in my career that I grew most substantially as a designer. Much of that can be attributed to our great Product Managers who worked tirelessly to promote learning within the team culture. This manifested in one form as a weekly meeting dubbed the Tech Talk. I’ve since come to realize the massive growth potential within these unique meetings.

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01/08/2016 - No Comments!

Choosing & Charging Clients

If you’re in a product design or strategy role, this article should help you to hone in on who to work with and how to charge them fairly. This applies to those that have made the switch from a simple user interface design role to one who provides product design services.

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Letterpress poster by Erik Spiekermann – website.

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