I've been working fully remote since the quarantine started. While it's nice to have control of my own schedule, it's fairly easy to mix personal life and work life together, which results in burnout. I'm also working as the sole designer of my company, this did not make managing burnout easier. So everyone, please take care of yourself. Take time off the screen, go out to nature, enjoy some sunshine or rain (if you are in Vancouver).
How to survive a design career and avoid burnout.
Carien describes the 10th year burnout, I'm still pretty far from my 10th year, but I feel some of the advice from this article is pretty relevant to me. Being the sole designer in a startup, it's really important for me to find a crew who can support me. It's really easy for me to work in a silo when the rest of the company doesn't necessarily understand what UX design means. I had this notion of I needed to work on the design independently and solve the creative problem myself. It's so easy to do that, and you don't need to work on educating others. But that's just not the way to go. No one is an island, reaching out to people and involving other people in the process would make a much better design.
Let the designers design
What I've been taught in school about design is that you need to follow the Double Diamond process. That's the gold standard for the design process. For the longest time, I have had this mindset of if I don't follow the Double Diamond, then I'm not a good designer. And if you work in startups too, you would know that it's almost impossible to follow the method. So I never felt I'm a good enough designer. But as Panu illustrates in the article, sometimes it's fine to start design first. I think it's pretty close to the process I have now. I would usually start with sketching or simple wireframes to help me visualize the problem. Then I would talk with the user researcher to figure out anything that we don't know about the problem or the user.
This article also reminds me of the Shape Up from Basecamp, where they run 6 weeks cycles, instead of 2 weeks sprint (for the record, I never think 2 weeks sprint is a good structure for design, but it's a popular choice). This is just a reminder for me that there are many ways to design things. It's ok to break the "gold standard".
The start of a new era for Responsive Web Design
For anyone who works for the web, responsive web design is probably a second nature for us. We all used the
media queries to ensure the best experience for all screens. Now, there are a few new concepts on the horizon for responsive web design. The biggest one is container queries. Instead of applying CSS when the viewpoint changes, it would apply CSS based on the parent container of an element. So think about the elements in the card component in your design system that can change based on the card size, rather than the page size. Container queries is not coming in another few years, but let's just think about what would happen to our design system when that drops.