Digital Product design Principles

I wrote down twelve design principles for our team at Degreed to help us make design decisions. I tried to make them practical and clear and hopefully they are useful for anyone who is working on digital products. 1. Define the problem first. Digital design always solves a problem, otherwise it would be pixel art.…

The Cognitively Biased Designer

As a product designer you constantly have to make decisions about the product. Those decisions can be based on data, feedback or on the designers own experiences. The interpretation of feedback, data and experiences should be objective but often it is colored by the designers own believes and thoughts.…

One Magic Formula to Calculate UX?

My quest for a formula to calculate User Experience started with a little experiment to see if I could calculate cognitive loading time of a design. When talking about loading speed of digital products the focus always seem to be the digital loading time, but we sometimes forget that trying to understand…

The 10 Commandments of Digital Product Design

Recently I was invited to a newspaper publisher to talk about digital product design. In this conversation I noticed that I always repeat the same things when talking about this subject. This is why I thought I should start write these personal commandments down. The very first commandment and also the base…

守 破 離 Is How You Learn Design

It is refreshing to realise that every designer—even Dieter Rams—was once a n00b. It might help to have the right genes for becoming a designer, but even without, it is a skill you can learn—like almost everything in this world. All you need to do is put in the effort. 守破離 or ShuHaRi is a japanese martial arts concept that describes…

Describe the Problem, Not Your Solution

It's 9am, I am sitting behind my desk and taking a sip from my first coffee — not a good time to discuss anything to be honest — and someone walks up to me and starts a sentence with “I have a great idea for a cool new feature…”…

The Grumpy Founder Syndrome

We had a meeting with our investors the other day. Lucky enough we have have investors with who we can be completely open and honest. When they asked us how things were going, we started rambling about all the things that we still have to improve, things that we still have to build and…

What Makes a Design Feel Intuitive?

When I switched careers from psychology to design I never realized that these two fields are very much intertwined. A big part of what designers do is understand human behavior and come up with solutions to change that behavior. Not everyone is a designer, but everyone has an opinion about design, especially…

Hierarchy of UX Needs

What we want in life depends on what situation we are in. Someone living in a war zone without a roof above their head will probably feel no need for a yoga class, beautiful clothes or classical concert. According to psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow all behavior is motivated by a need, and those needs have a strict…

You Need a Side Project

Every designer and programer needs a side project. I believe it is essential to have another project you can turn to whenever you are stuck with your main project. Especially when you are at a startup where you work on the same product every day, you sometimes need to do something completely different to get the creative juices…

The Grumpy Designer Syndrome

Yes, I have it. I realize it every time when we are about to launch something new. I look at my own design and Instead of being proud that we came this far and that we pushed forward to launch fast, I feel terrible, gutted even, that the design I created is just not good enough. I see flaws and inconsistencies everywhere…