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“While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca.

It’s likely that at some point you have heard that teaching something is the best way to learn something, but even more likely that you agree with it after having tried it.

How does the act of helping someone learn something that you may not fully know yourself, help you learn?

Sometimes called the protege effect, there have been many studies conducted to try and explain this phenomenon. Two papers from 2007 that were published in the journals Science and Intelligence even concluded that first-born children are more intelligent than…

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UX is a somewhat ambiguous looking set of letters. Yes they stand for user experience, but for many, that is also still somewhat ambiguous. What does a UX designer do? Why do we need one? Is it really necessary to pay someone for that when we have a marketing team, sales team, etc?

Although today most modern companies and bigger corporations have a design team that employs UX designers, many executives look at design as an unnecessary cost that isn’t worth investing in.

Research shows us that over 10 years, design-driven companies outperform the S&P by 228%. …

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Getting to know how to tell a story properly can help you in innumerous ways when it comes to being a designer. From designing your portfolio, to effectively selling yourself to employers, to achieving buy-in from stakeholders — being able to craft an engaging and compelling storyline is a skill that can make all the difference.

Get their attention

The first step to strong storytelling is capturing your audience. You need to come out strong with something that will grab the attention of who you are presenting the story to so that they will be more apt to listen (or…

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Did you ever realize casinos don't have windows or clocks? Studies show that when you lose track of time, you tend to spend more. Casinos aren’t the only ones who take advantage of our psychology to their benefit. This practice is rampant online where businesses will knowingly try to manipulate your behavior in their favor.

There are seemingly unending forms of dark patterns but here are a few of the more common ones.

Forced continuity

Have you ever experienced being on a website when a popup will appear that only seems to have one option to continue and no option…

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You might have heard the dismal success rates of landing a creative role through the perpetual process of applying online, one application after another. Several hundred applications later, maybe you’ve garnered a few interviews and if you’re lucky, one of them panned out and led to employment. The odds are against you. I’ve heard 2%, 5%, or 1%-its discouraging to say the least. On the other hand, many will tout the importance of networking and laud the value that their network had on gaining a paid role. So how did they do it? …

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As a professional creative, its obvious that being creative is literally your game, your livelihood — and hopefully, your passion. Have you ever thought about meditation as a way of fostering that creativity? There is plenty of research to suggest that this is the case.

In 2012, a Dutch cognitive psychologist, Lorenza Colzato, ran a research study where she had a group of novice meditators try two forms of meditation:

  1. Open-monitoring, which involves observing and noting phenomena in the present moment and keeping attention flexible and unrestricted.
  2. Focused attention or concentrating on one object, for example the breath — and…

Nowadays, there are plenty of books that claim to improve your creative brain — as I self proclaimed self help junkie, I would know. Some are good, some are packed with fluff, and some are just a flat out a waste of time. I have compiled some of the best advice that I’ve gathered into a short post to help those who are looking to tap into their more creative and innovative side to boost their productivity and originality.

Nothing is original.

Not really anyways. Accepting this fact should alleviate a lot of the stress we put on ourselves for feeling like we…

So you’ve talked to your users at this point. You have a good sense of what is frustrating them and what their goals. You might’ve applied some UX research methods already, maybe an empathy map, a journey map.

Something is missing, you want to make sure you are employing relevant methods according to your project but what could help synthesize and clarify your research a bit more? You remember doing user personas in school but you already know what they want--you just went through all the in depth interviews for a third time and did an extensive card sorting exercise…

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Based on experience from other designers and from asking large companies with the larger design teams, designers who could be described as ‘unicorn designers’ are in high demand right now. A blend of research and design skills is also what the market is seeking.

According to an analysis of 68 job postings including companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon, the three top skills are methods, communication, and process management.

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Virtually every business in some way uses marketing strategies to increase their sales. Not every business employs UX design but it is becoming a lot more common. There is some overlap in skill and even outcome, however, they are drastically different in approach and philosophy and serve two different purposes.

Marketers might employ the 5 C’s of marketing (Company, Customers, Competitors, Collaborators, and Climate) to help evaluate the most important factors that affect their business.

Marketing is really about positioning, making sure you are in front of the right audience at the right time. It’s about getting the word out…

Daniel Lee

UX Designer and Food Enthusiast based in NYC

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