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411: Follow-upisode

September 8, 2021

This week, we follow up on last week’s conversation about designing at agencies, hiring contractors, Yelp’s app icons, and Bock’s Constant. In the Sidebar, we talk about designing with your mind’s eye and how learning to brain-prototype will help fast-track your growth as a designer.

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  • Darion
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  • Ólafur Sverrir Kjartansson
  • Adam Collier
  • Genghis Mendoza
  • Moj
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  • Chase Simmons
  • Justin Baughn
  • Derek Shirk
  • Misael Abreu

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The Sidebar:

The Sidebar is an exclusive weekly segment for our Patreon supporters. You can subscribe starting at $1 per month for access to bonus content going forward! Sign up at patreon.com/designdetails.

Main Topic:

This week, we follow up on last week’s conversation about designing at agencies, hiring contractors, Yelp’s app icons, and Bock’s Constant.

  • Brian Leach followed up and talked about how in-house designers might experience creative atrophy.
  • Raffaele asked when a product company should hire an external agency.
  • Genghis Mendoza sent over some advantages to working at an agency:
    1. Build your strategic business skill set, working with strategists, engagement managers and clients, you develop new views of what your designs do to impact the client's business.
    2. Build your soft skills (consultant muscle): being able to articulate your designs, learning to work with a variety of different stakeholders. broaden your audience, from c-level to non-product people.
    3. Exercise your design rigor, strengthen your process, or become nimble and adjust your process depending on the engagement.
    4. Improve research skills as you develop patterns to learn quickly and delve into new verticals, markets and problems.
    5. Facilitation skills improve: practice techniques and you build up your playbook of strategies, to diverge, bring people to consensus, and all the things you need to make clients a part of the design thinking process.
    6. Breadth of verticals, developing a wider lens to learn more patterns from different industries, learning new problems and solving for them.
    7. Since you are in a strategic mindset most of the time, you're always searching for possibilities, trends, and begin to develop a futurist mindset, as you are designing for the art of the possible. I think this is a skill set you can also learn in-house, but as a consultant the path is more attuned to lend to this behavior. Using the RPG metaphor, this is the specialization in the skills tree.
  • Uhl Albert noticed that Yelp’s app icons on Android are better, dropping the Yelp label from the icon itself.
  • Derek Shirk asked about “Bach’s contant” — easy typo to hear. We call it “Bock’s Constant” aka Marshall’s Law of UX: “People don’t fucking read.”

Cool Things:

  • Brian shared Hearthstone Battlegrounds, a fun variant of Hearthstone’s card game mechanics that levels the playing field and has infinite variability. It’s really fun!
  • Marshall shared The Fold by Peter Cline, a fun sci-fi read with a buck-wild ending.

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