I’ve created an account on the social media network to understand why and how designers share their work.

As designers, we become aware of scientific methods for running experiments, eventually questioning statements starting with “studies showed….”. This doesn’t dehumanise us though. Our first reaction to the new might still be to generalise and have preconceived opinions. I had the same reaction when a friend shared a few UX design posts on Instagram.

Looking at the shiny carousels, I thought: “Meh... just another shallow way of promoting themselves”, but then I wondered: What if I really study this and go beyond what I’d do? …

The double diamond process was launched in 2004 by the British Design Council. Afterwards, they re-assessed it and created an “evolved” version too, focusing on innovation for all, rather than design only. They’ve also added and described a list of principles covering areas as product management, human-centred processes and visual design.

Double diamond process published by the British Council
Double diamond process published by the British Council

Since then it has been discussed and adapted several times, depending on who looked at it. As it’s often associated with design thinking, you have probably seen this interpretation from IDEO all across the web as well.

“We can definitely do more research”

A common answer I got while talking to around 47 designers, managers and researchers, across Europe about their research process. Most of the time, their efforts are focused on validating already developed solutions, and almost never to inspire the earlier discovery process. This gets even more difficult when designing for foreign markets. Unless there is a dedicated local team, research gets quite scarce. It ends up being outsourced to one or more agencies a couple of times a year.

Designer trying to explain why early research is important

The reality is that we rarely have the chance to run exploratory research studies before…

How do we look back in our field?

Browsing through several collections available on Harvard Art Museum’s website triggered an interesting thought in my mind. We’re getting better, as humans, at documenting and exposing artwork in all types of formats. One can find out about art in libraries, interactive museums, exhibitions, and even in mundane places as bus stops or airports.

Collection of art pieces shown in a grid with a search bar on top
Collection of art pieces shown in a grid with a search bar on top
Thousands of pieces of art are available for everyone with a decent internet connection https://harvardartmuseums.org/collections

Artists, whether they’re experienced or amateurs can then use any of these mediums to jump back hundreds of years in history and thousands of miles across the globe to see what’s out there. …

Plugins can help us get rid of redundant tasks

Quick preview into how a plugin could make our UI design process more efficient

Dark mode was revealed to the world by Apple in 2018, being called a new cool appearance “that people are sure to love”. Google followed, emphasising dark mode’s positive effect on battery lifetime and screen fatigue, compared to the white elevated style of material design. You might remember that night modes were already available, usually for reading, writing, or navigation. However, night mode was just another feature. Dark mode was ‘sold’ as a cool trend everyone wanted to try, being a device wide preference, apparently only bringing benefits (not here to argue whether it actually helps).

Let’s do it
As great…

This is is a satire.

Did you just hire a couple of designers, thinking they would sit quietly and create some visuals? I have bad news for you. They are already thinking about changing things, while blabbing about people, ethics, experiences, and a guy named Norman. Soon enough, they will audit your product, basically saying it sucks in 10 different ways. To top that, they will ask for money to conduct research. Don’t worry though, there are ways to slowly, but surely put them in place. …

Experimenting with a basic principle

The illustration below is well known in the design community. It’s one of the first things you learn as a beginner, and one of the few things you don’t forget along the way. It’s been described in a few different ways: thumb-zone, reachability, one-hand usage, etc. I prefer the classic ergonomics. It wouldn’t be a classic if the word wouldn’t mean much more (check out anthropometric data), but let’s be glad that we’re at least scratching the surface. We’ve all seen it, in different forms, we all know it, we all experience it on a daily basis. …

I asked people to get an Uber using their memories alone.

After a few months of little social interaction, I decided to restart my small off-time research. Shortly put, a question appears in the world, usually triggered by pure curiosity. I then investigate that question through primary and secondary research. Secondary meaning reading articles, papers or similar studies. When it comes to primary research I‘m mainly interviewing people, hopefully trying more methods in time.

A large amount of bycicles piled together at the central station in Amsterdam
A large amount of bycicles piled together at the central station in Amsterdam

This time, I was getting back to my bike thinking: “ I have no idea where I left it again…should’ve taken a picture”. While struggling to find it, another thought crossed my mind “what do I really…

How would you feel like meeting 100 of your users in the same place?

How would they react when knowing that you are part of their great or terrible past experiences? How would you tell someone that they are statistically insignificant, in person? You most likely won’t. Listening to them, your mind would probably be blown away by all the unexpected ways in which they use the product. This is a short story about that. It’s illustrating people’s diversity often ignored in hasty, assumptive one-fits-all designs.

Illustration of 100 little doodle styled people doing different things. They are arranged in 6 rows
Illustration of 100 little doodle styled people doing different things. They are arranged in 6 rows

Let’s imagine you just started working on a product used by exactly 100 people. Normally, you would begin with some thorough desk research, but there isn’t much time…

Research can generally be split into two categories:

  • Primary: observations in the field, conducting interviews, usability tests, collecting surveys, diaries
  • Secondary: desk research

Primary research is time consuming and as I hope you’ve experienced yourself, exhausting. Furthermore, if results are not summarised and presented well, all parties will end up being frustrated; researches because their excitement is not shared within the company, and management because time and money has been spent without clear results. …

Teisanu Tudor

Clever metaphors, that’s what I love. More about me: https://chaos-machine.github.io/tudorteisanu/

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