Design maturity within organizations is in jeopardy if we don’t work on the UX of ourselves.

We often hear the familiar term, UX design maturity. The more “UX mature” a company is, the more they’re talking to their customers, listening rather, and the more the entire org is involved in the design process. They ship delightful products to the world, customers are happy, goals are met, and the company thrives.

I’m all for increasing UX maturity and the benefits we see for the customer when a company “gets UX”.

“Better UX design maturity makes an organization more competitive and more effective at delivering great products and services.” ~ Jared Spool

But what about when we struggle…


UX DESIGN

And you don’t even have to get rid of your existing site.

woman sitting at a table using a laptop
woman sitting at a table using a laptop

For all the years I’ve been a User Experience Designer, I’ve used Medium to host my UX portfolio. I’ve dabbled with building a personal website, but keep coming back to the power, simplicity, and flexibility Medium offers for a UX Designer to showcase their work. If you’ve found yourself asking:

How do I design a UX portfolio? Or…
Where should I host my UX portfolio? Or…
Should a UX designer have a portfolio?

Then hopefully, this article can help — at least from the perspective of creating and hosting a UX portfolio on Medium.

What a UX portfolio on Medium is:

First, it’s important we quickly establish…


UX DESIGN

Now’s the time to tell the story of how you got to be so incredible.

blue wooden benches near wall with graffiti, the word inspire on the wall
blue wooden benches near wall with graffiti, the word inspire on the wall

So often, we refrain from sharing our stories. Fear creeps in and convinces us our writing has to be perfect. We think we have nothing to say. We think no one will listen. Unless we’re certain it’ll resonate with our audience, we won’t put it out into the world. We tell ourselves that only structured, articulated thoughts will have an impact.

I couldn’t disagree more.

The most powerful stories which have inspired me in my career have come from the trials, triumphs, and follies of others. Please don’t think you have nothing to contribute or that your “style” isn’t good…


UX discovery is a great first step, but not if you’re too afraid to ask hard questions.

the words “what now” written on a concrete wall
the words “what now” written on a concrete wall

Have you ever been tasked with a UX project and had no idea where to start?

I’m a bit of a fanboy of the work Erika Hall, Indi Young, and Teresa Torres are doing in the UX research space. Erika is the author of Just Enough Research, Indi is the author of Mental Models, and Teresa is the author of Continuous Discovery Habits. That only scratches the surface of the value each of these women brings to the field.

Thanks to their wisdom, I’ve been able to establish a conversational framework in my role as a designer and researcher. What’s…


DESIGN LEADERSHIP

Not communicating with your designers puts them in a dark, dingy corner; here’s how to pull them out.

For over three decades, my father worked as an electrical engineer for Honeywell, a building technologies conglomerate in the United States. Towards the end of his career, Honeywell transitioned my dad from a nice office to the back stocking room in a dark corner of the building.

While this was many years ago, I remember the disturbing feeling that came over me when I’d go visit my dad at work. I felt he had been betrayed.

It concerned me that someone with his tenure (30+ years of experience), knowledge of his craft, and someone who was the epitome of soft…


Safely revolutionizing eye exams and the user experience.

I’ve omitted confidential information in this case study. All information presented is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of 1–800 Contacts. Protecting their privacy, processes, and customer data is my primary concern.

UX methodologies played a vital role in the design, development, and launch of the ability for consumers to renew their contact lens prescription using the 1–800 Contacts website and native apps.

This case study explores my process, responsibilities, and how team collaboration fueled the launch of this cutting-edge service. …


My vision is gradually getting worse. I’m scared, but hopeful.

blurry bokeh image
blurry bokeh image

Friends and fellow readers, I’m a bit scared to lose my vision — and maybe equally afraid to talk openly about it. There are some obvious reasons tucked in there, and also reasons only a UX designer could relate to. But…charging in front of my fear is hope, and riding alongside the challenge are opportunities.

The backstory

In 2005, I hopped on the hype train of laser vision correction. Lasik seemed a viable option to restore my eyesight to 20/20 and allow me to ditch the glasses and contact lenses. It worked, too. For nearly 12 years I didn’t have to focus…


UX Designer, helping design the experience humans have with each other and technology.

mike curtis
mike curtis

When people ask what I do, I like to make sure I have a pretty good response in my back pocket:

“I help design the experience humans have with each other and technology.”

That seems to help, but let me share a bit more about what I’ve been doing for people and products for the past two decades.

I have 20 combined years of UX, management, marketing, sales, teaching, public speaking, and customer service experience in collaborative agile teams, B2C & wholesale distribution.

I have a diversified skill set encompassing user experience, product design, customer, employee & vendor relations, e-commerce…


At least that’s what the numbers say.

For context, the image above represents every story I’ve published on this platform. 112 to be exact. Those highlighted in green (3 stories) are the ones that have received a couple of thousand views — In my little world, I consider that “going viral” — a whopping 2.6% go viral. All other stories had little to no interactions and barely scratched the surface of page views. Simply looking at the numbers, what I write really doesn’t matter.

That’s where we’ll start.

The Experiment

Around a month ago, I took on a little social experiment. At the beginning of April 2021, I stopped…


Five simple reasons why designers quit your company.

woman staring at her computer screen
woman staring at her computer screen

I’ve spent the better part of the last 5 years deeply involved in the UX mentoring and coaching scene here in the United States. These many conversations with managers and design leaders reveal something alarming. Leaders in these management roles are watching their designers leave for other organizations and opportunities…and they can’t figure out why.

The “why” isn’t complicated.

In no particular order, I’ve outlined 5 reasons why your designers quit, put in their two weeks, and move on. It could be one of these reasons, or all 5, but the truth is, it’s likely at least one of them…

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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