The importance of designing solutions for the needs of everyone

Designers understand they have a responsibility to produce elegant and functional design solutions while aiming to deliver a good user experience. The rising growth of the UX industry has proven the value of concentrating on user-centered design. However, the truth is, designers don’t work for the users — we work for clients and companies. And these entities have goals that don’t always align with idealistic user-friendly design strategies.

Good design must be capable of solving problems for both the user and the business.

Of course, businesses generally acknowledge an interest in providing a great user experience since it can build…


Developing a better user experience requires taking risks

Illustration: Rachel Morris

The aim of modern UX design is to solve user needs by reducing friction and providing effective solutions to improve their experience — a systematic and predictable approach generally accomplishes this strategy. But what if the best way to solve user needs is unpredictable and may temporarily require a degree of friction?

Sometimes users do not know what they want until we discover and push unique concepts that best solves their needs.

A proper UX ideation phase includes quantitative data, rigorous testing, and vast amounts of research. Add in detailed personas and colored post-it notes on a whiteboard, and you…


Designers must embrace data and learn how to communicate effectively as UX research continues to drive design decisions

Robot hand manipulates a man in a business suit
Robot hand manipulates a man in a business suit
Dilen_ua | Getty Images

It sounds like a simple and effective business strategy. Develop a well-designed user experience, and it will produce a dependable and desirable product or service, thus leading to higher retention and profitability. Yet somehow, clients, stakeholders, and non-designers manipulate user-centered designs to a point where they no longer consider the user. How does this happen? Perhaps this predicament may lay at the feet of designers.

The growth of standardized UX research and methodology is a consequence of its effectiveness. However, a small portion of the demand for these alluring UX strategies is due to the traditional designer’s inability to persuade…


Graphic design — or at least what graphic design used to be — is becoming obsolete. I want to be clear that nobody knows precisely where the future of graphic design is heading. As a Creative Director and experienced designer, I only have my intuition and professional experience to guide my industry foresight. Graphic design is an incredibly tricky career because it frequently has to adapt to an ever-changing environment. New tools and skills are continuously being developed to adjust and navigate this complex progression. …


How strategy and psychology can streamline your design workflow

Chalk board maze
Chalk board maze
Photo by http://www.fotogestoeber.de on Getty Images

Seldom are graphic designers provided sufficient time to do their jobs properly. This unfortunate truth is the result of a misunderstood and simplistic perception of what we do. In many cases, people regard designers as illustrators or PowerPoint wizards. And while some truth exists in those stereotypes, the best way to describe us is as problem solvers.

Graphic designers are frequently tasked with making the impossible possible and having to do so in a compressed time frame. This demand is why we must use strategic thinking and simple human psychology to complete deliverables more efficiently.

1. Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome

The first method graphic designers…


How designers can use philosophical thinking to create meaning.

An individual climbing a set if infinite stairs looking for the meaning of life.
An individual climbing a set if infinite stairs looking for the meaning of life.
Getty Images | Pict Rider

Whether studying psychology for user experience or learning programming for web development, designers are always acquiring new skills and perspectives to improve our careers and personal growth. To interpret the meaning of life and discover who we are as individuals, the study of philosophy strives to best answer these questions. As it relates to design, applying the philosophical thinking of Existentialism has various useful and relevant applications. And beyond its practicality, this mindset can inspire a profound comprehension of how design communicates ideas through human nature’s fundamental constructs.

Existentialism is a form of intellectual inquiry that explores human existence and…


How design has a more meaningful role to play in the evolving digital landscape

Robot and butterfly
Robot and butterfly

Last year I wrote an article titled The Death of Graphic Design. I still stand by what I wrote, that traditional graphic design is not as vital as it once was. Recently, however, I’ve had an opportunity to gain more knowledge and insight into the area of digital marketing. This experience has provided me with a more precise prediction of the future and evolution of graphic design.

A notable challenge of being a creative professional in the business world has always been proving the value of good design. …


6 Qualities and Characteristics of Effective Leadership

Successful companies have numerous attributes in common with each other. Great leadership is one of the prevailing characteristics. Not only is this feature a crucial element for long-term business prosperity, but it also contributes to a highly productive and engaging work environment.

The six points below are my attempt to list some of the many characteristics I believe make a great business leader — and in return, a great company.

1. They Are Incredibly Knowledgeable (and Teachable)

A great business leader knows their shit. This knowledge is one of the primary reasons they are the boss or in a leadership position (one would hope).

I’ve always believed…


Get Recognized as a Valuable Business Contributor

As a creative professional, I’m always worried about how my compositions visually look. This expression and concern remain at the core of a designer’s perceived expectations of what they bring to the table. But what if I told you how things look aesthetically are not necessarily what effective designers focus on addressing?

From my professional experience, there is a disconnect between the perceived responsibilities of designers and what we fundamentally do every day. To some, it may seem like we make things look pretty. And other times, we have to be nothing short of mind readers. …


How Learning to Communicate Can Improve Your Career

If there’s one thing I hate most about our day-to-day culture, it’s small talk. I find it fake, pointless, and counterproductive — plus, I’m terrible at it. In general, as you may have surmised, I’m not a people person. Part of the reason I became a graphic designer is because of the solitude.

I’ve always been interested in profound, meaningful conversations about new ideas and abstract thoughts. I‘ll take a philosophical discussion at the water cooler about the ethical implications of eating meat over the dull “how was your weekend” bullshit conversation.

A few years ago, I took a Myers…

Michael Buckley

Design strategist interested in philosophy, psychology, and problem-solving. I write to explore my thoughts and share ideas. Typical INTJ.

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