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Paul's hot takes


Don't make a penis desk

A unique office fitout can inspire your team and make them feel welcome, increasing productivity and satisfaction (and therefore retention) – so long as phallic symbolism is avoided.

The desk actually looked like this. Pic by Theo Wyatt.

Adapt to high turnover

UX teams are more fluid than ever, with tenure lengths commonly around the two year mark. Here are some tips on how to make your business more resilient to staff turnover.

Your UX Process is fine

It’s tempting to fixate on comparing yourself against other UXers and feeling like you’re constantly running behind. Just keep your focus on the users, study at your own pace, and you’ll be fine.

Practice Improvisation

You can’t necessarily contrive consistent creativity, but you can exercise the neural pathways in your brain to more readily make useful connections of seemingly disparate concepts. Here’s one example.

Be a naive prototypist

Channel your inner MacGuyver (or Bear Grylls if you’re under 35) to use what’s immediately available to make better prototypes faster. The more primitive the better - necessity is the mother of invention after all!

Keeping it primitive shows you care. Pic by Theo Wyatt

Support IE11 (for now)

Cutting-edge css and nightly browser builds are cool and all, but if you’re working on anything that’s used by the general public you still need to consider older browsers, and that still means Internet Explorer 11.

Planning makes ideas happen

If you’ve got an idea that’s outside the norm, you will need thoughtful planning to get collaborators on board, anticipate technical hitches and resolve problems.

Use the pyramid of reasons

Every decision you make when designing must have a reason behind it, and you must be able to communicate it to project stakeholders. Use the Pyramid of Reasons to help you describe the 'why'!

Pic by Theo Wyatt

Anticipate shitty content

Designers and developers often forget that once a content-managed site it handed over to a client, that client can put all sorts of crazy stuff in that will break their designs.

Make something from nothing

How you can get started on a new design when you’ve been given a meagre brief and the client’s not able to give you any more information.

A sentence can save a week

Try addressing usability issues with adding (or refining) text. Sometimes a simple sentence can solve a problem that would otherwise take much longer to do with design or functional changes.