Delightful experiences don’t stop at product, but they definitely start with us.

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As a human-centered design advocate, I’m always on the lookout for how we can improve the experience others have of us. Delightful experiences don’t stop at product, but they definitely start with us. Whether it be through improving our soft skills or random acts of kindness, simple gestures have a major, positive snowball effect in this world.

It is through soft skills and our training of them that we find ourselves cohesively fitting on our product teams. …


10 techniques for the designer’s bag of tricks.

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Being understood is one of our most basic human needs. It serves as a conduit for us to change and grow. If I asked you to recall a time when you felt understood, it would likely be a positive memory. Conversely, I’m guessing you’re quite familiar with the negative emotions that arise when recalling a time when someone didn’t understand you at all.

If a person is understood, he or she belongs.” — Carl Rogers, American Psychologist

When we understand someone, our connection between them grows. And to be misunderstood is a severing of that connection. It is within this…


NASA just gave the design community some serious homework.

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There’s been a lot of hype in recent days about rovers, interplanetary travel, Mars, and the astounding technology behind all these advancements. If you’re like me and the millions of others gawking over it, you’ve got a dedicated monitor at your work station to watch it all play out — it’s hard not to!

It’s truly fascinating what we as humans have been able to accomplish.

In a new NASA video detailing the latest images and video footage from the Perseverance Mars rover mission, Allen Chen, NASA’s Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Phase Lead for the mission, just gave a…


Their struggle affects their partner too.

couple of colleagues spending time at a cafe near a street
couple of colleagues spending time at a cafe near a street

For the second time in six months, my sweet wife was admitted into a behavioral center to help her control her suicidal thoughts. My heart aches for her. I know she’s safe there, but I can’t help but lie there at night — her side of the bed empty — pondering, worrying, and unable to fathom the intense battles she’s waging within her mind. In those long, late-night hours, I at least find comfort in knowing she’s surrounded by trained people, providing her treatment, watch, and care.

She’s gone for two weeks, but life at home must continue.

There are…


The key to designing delightful products isn’t in software, it’s in the experience others have of us as individuals.

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We’re getting pretty good at UX — that is, User Experience. The demand for UX Design, UX Research, Product Management, and similar roles continues to grow across the globe. We’re conducting design sprints, working on agile teams, applying Lean UX principles to our work, writing bestselling books on design thinking, and crafting stunning user interfaces that please our customers.

UX is in a pretty good spot. Yes, there are still advancements to be made and companies that need more UX maturity, but it’s fascinating to see what we can create when we put humans at the center of our designs…


Come join in all the design fun on Clubhouse! Here are some upcoming events if you’re into UX, design, content, marketing, and more.

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Upcoming February 2021

Immersive design on CH : Unite — Immersive design

Upcoming event: TUE Feb 9, 12:30 PM PST

This event‘s guests on stage will include: Michael Ronen

Design Q&A with Mentors: Ask it all! 🔥 by ADPList

Upcoming event: WED Feb 10, 8 AM PST

This event‘s guests on stage will include: Felix Lee, Julia Jouravel, Grace Ling, Ioana Teleanu, Mark Manalaysay, Soren Hamby, Yuan Wang, Marissa Louie, Miriam Isaac, Trisha Suri, Muchao Tang, Frankie Kastenbaum, Lara Mendonca, Mel Sweet

UX Roundtable vol3: UXR/2 ~ Are User Personas USEful?

Upcoming event: WED Feb 10, 10:30 AM PST

This event’s guests on stage will include: Miriam Isaac…


PRODUCT DESIGN TIPS

Knowing when to move on from brainstorming.

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From brainstorming to action

I’ll keep this short, because, by its nature, that’s the point of this article.

How do you know when it’s time to move on from the brainstorming phase in a project? What key event happens or what trigger goes off to tell you and your team that it’s okay to proceed to the next step? Oftentimes, we talk too much. Quite often, in fact, our brainstorming sessions and initial concepts receive way more time on our calendar than they need to.

A colleague recently shared his frustration with me after wrapping up a 3-hour Zoom call with his co-worker. On…


UNLOCKING CREATIVITY

Quit giving it what it wants.

a misty dark scene with a fantasy spirit hovering over the silhouette of a man
a misty dark scene with a fantasy spirit hovering over the silhouette of a man

If there’s one thing our attachment to perfectionism will cause, without question, is a backlog of creative work we’ll never ship. Perfectionism convinces us of a narrative that we can’t put our work out there until it’s “just right”. Unfortunately, perfectionism is always hungry and we’re notoriously good at keeping food on perfectionism’s plate.

When we give perfectionism what it wants, which is typically a heaping pile of junk food, it strips us of the vital nutrients we need to get our work out to the world. The press of the “Publish” button is halted by thoughts such as, “no…


A SUCCESSFUL YOU

When other solutions don’t work, design your own way out of rock bottom

image of a woman sitting outside with her hands clasped on her lap
image of a woman sitting outside with her hands clasped on her lap

When my wife and I were first married, I remember her showing me how she kept track of her budget. It was on a large, printed spreadsheet. No, it wasn’t digital, it was plotted out on graph paper. It confused me. Certainly, she could be more efficient with technology, I thought. Over the years, I kept pushing my agenda that there were phones, apps, and desktop software that could make her life infinitely better if she would simply embrace them.

Sure, she tried them, but they never worked for her.

We’re 15 years into our marriage and she still would…

Mike Curtis

(aka Uncle Mikey) How do others experience you? I help amplify people and products through human-centered design. 20+ years in design, e-com, sales, and UX.

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