and I’ll tell you how I can help.

Don’t worry about what you think your needs are, I’ll do that for you. I am a user experience designer. The hero you need when the situation is dire. Like batman stopping a mugging in a dark alley, I will drop in to stop the bleeding and return the income to your wallet.

At least that is how I envision myself. Other UX designers, don’t lie. You feel this way too. That’s ok though. We need to feel self-important. How can we help and provide a valuable service if we don’t believe…


My wife has been cleaning out her office. She hands me a book titled “ITTEN,” all caps in the title. It is an old book on color theory by Swiss expressionist painter Johannes Itten. This is an old book, the copy write is from 1970, but Itten worked and taught far earlier than that. He was active from the 1920s through the 1950s. His work can have no possible relevance in 2020 digital design

Wrong!

I am only a chapter in and have learned a couple things already.

There is no one color theory. There are many, but also there…


Part of the problem with trying to uncover user needs and desires is that you must first get into the mindset of the user. That means empathizing with the user and understanding their goals. We may start a project with our assumptions and those sometimes prove correct some of the time, but in general we need to do our homework to put out a high performing product. This takes time though. In the world of rapid iteration and week-long sprints we know that some of that important work never gets done. …


ypography was one of the first things we studied in my program at Flatiron school. It is a basic foundational element of interaction in all forms of media. Everything needs some instruction of description. Reading and sharing written words is seen in almost everything you encounter in your daily travels. One blog I read even states that web design is 95% typography. That is a big statement, but written word is used the primary method of conveying information.


Logos are tricky.

Logos are illustrative

Logos are not random designs. In addition to the colorful artwork, they are also a message to consumers. They are brand identity. Logos are the first thing most people will interact with in your company.

Logos tell a story in a succinct, but important way. Users infer a lot from the logo. It provides a recognizable visual for all platforms digital and physical. It is a conduit for shared ideas and relationships between the consumer and the organization. …


Squirrel playing in my backyard

It is 9am, I stare out the window. A grey squirrel bounces down my fence toward the hazelnut tree in the back corner of my yard. I have got to know this squirrel very well over the past year. I haven’t named him but I know a lot about him. Everyday he eats hazelnuts for breakfast and rainier cherries for lunch (when they are in season on my cherry tree). He likes to run, play and make large pieces of beauty bark into wrestling opponents. He is very active in my backyard almost daily.

It was last fall when I…


Man taking a big hit at a slapping competition.
Do you wonder why the competitors always do this shirtless?

You know what is refreshing and fun? Yep, you guessed it! A fat slap in the face by life.

Time to pick yourself up off the floor and get back to it. Setbacks happen, but they cannot break you. I used this slapping competition image to illustrate that. While this guy obviously loses the matchup, he won’t be down forever and neither will you. He will get back up, in an hour or so, and decide to change his goals. And that is what you should do too.

Let’s carry this example into our professional projects.

You expertly lay in…


Collage of popular memes.

Memes, GIFs and text posts are like the products of our minds. We create them and push them online for validation and a sense of self. Our ideas are tested by those that see them. Reactions and friendly discourse are the desired outcomes. We measure our successes and failures by how many views, likes, retweets and comments we receive. A scientific method it is not, but it still acts as a personal litmus test evaluating our assumptions about our world and how we interact with it.

The process seems oddly familiar to me.

It reminds me of the user experience…


Different methods for continued education
A different type of degree.

I just finished another Udemy course. The topic was on color schemes for digital products. In the past month, I have taken six courses. I loved all of them. It all began when I decided that I am on a self-led journey of growth. What I can’t learn directly in school, I will learn on my own. This is the new ‘street-smart’ for the 21st century. My new alma-mater of me.

My first adventure into learning a new field was with Flatiron school’s UX immersive bootcamp. It was an in-person, hands on, team-oriented, professional experience. I got exactly what I…


Crumpled paper with ‘why?’ typed on it.

One thing I have noticed about a lot of people doing user experience design work; Many have backgrounds in human studies like anthropology, sociology, psychology, or HCDE. All these fields evaluate human behavior from similar perspectives. The common question they all ask is ‘why?’

For people in those fields, ‘why’ is such an important and intriguing question. Behavioral studies focus on this question almost exclusively. It provides the catalyst for behaviors and feelings. As a sociologist, I always want to know why someone acts or feels the way they do. For me it is important to know what drives their…

Alex reed

A UX Designer in a UX Designer world

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