Being Yourself Takes Practice

When was the last time you thought about who you are?

Instead of just what you want to do, or have to do next, or when you should take lunch, etc.

I found myself pondering this question more and more over the last few weeks. I learned that to answer this question, I needed to spend more time being still with myself.

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A new blog begins

I’ve been putting off really starting this blog for years.

Have you ever considered blogging? If you have, you’ll have felt the excuses that can prevent you from even starting.

“I don’t have the time, I have paying work to do.”

“I prefer talking to writing.”

“I need to let the dog out again, I’ll think about blogging later.”

“I need to think about it some more to get it perfect.”

Ah, now, we’re getting somewhere. “Perfect”.

You can lose yourself in perfection, where nothing begins and nothing ends. You wither in pursuit of perfection.

I decided to take an imperfect step today: to get it wrong.

The withered and the dead can’t even try.

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Designing for Real Life

Designers and UX experts love talking about making content as accessible as possible on the web. I’m a huge fan of this idea. “Graceful Degradation” and “Progressively Enhancement” are honorable practices that support the notion, which in essence allow us to design for the best and worst technology at the same time. So far so good.

It affords everyone an accessible experience, and we certainly don’t want to be held back by the tiny fraction of users still using a certain legacy browser.

Not all old or slower technology translates to small numbers, though. It’s not at all beneficial to ignore perhaps the largest audience in tech: the one that isn’t using the very latest technology. If your website or app’s user experience is so resource-intensive that thousands upon thousands of user devices slow to a crawl, we’re actually not gracefully degrading - we’re alienating people.

We should be careful to ensure our best-practices don’t become synonymous with “half-baked version” for users. Rather, we should consider the largest audiences in our design decisions from the very beginning.

Designers should consider ‘upgrading’ to a less expensive phone as a main device. One that has less processing power, less graphic performance and less storage space than their current device.

An artist needs a canvas. Now see what your users see. See what you’re designing for.

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Designing Naked

Things are different when you’re exposed.

Most designers and developers are familiar with the “dribbblization” of their craft. The notion of showing only your best while hiding the rest has put our polished pixels in shapewear, while our processes are left in the cold.

Design is both the process of creating things and the product of that process.

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Don’t Look At Me

Solving problems rather than making them.

Problem solving is a mental-muscle all good designers love to flex. The passion that accompanies the craft both betters lives and delights designers.

But which is more important?

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No More Inspiration

Inspiration isn’t what it used to be.

Are you a creative person? If you are, you’ll probably be familiar with the euphoric feeling inspiration hitting you in the face.

It really is great.

After all, inspiration is synonymous with creativity. Innovation. Originality. Genius. And the road to inspiration can inspire all of these things. The challenge, however, is actually finding it when it’s so frequently confused with expression.

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