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I like your idea for the article Dave. The crux of it is that you should start working on your own side projects if you want to become a product designer, which I think makes sense. I also think there's a lot more to it that you could touch on in the article. Here's some feedback:
I don't think that the 3 basic skills are quite right (HTML, CSS and SketchApp). Are development skills really necessary? I would instead suggest learning: basic UI design principles and some lean UX principles. Sketch App is just one tool to build a UI (my favourite too).
Perhaps you could include some more suggestions on how to start a side project and the process involved? How to find a problem to solve? How to find a client that needs help? How to ideate a solution, create a prototype and test whether it works on users. These are the core components to product design which I think are missing from the article.
What's the best way to start learning Sketch App? There are a few great tutorials out there but I think the best way is to download a nice UI kit and see how it's been put together.
You mentioned that juniors should try to avoid being generalists to become a product designer. Isn't being a generalist the main strength of a product designer?
Hope that helps. I like that you're emphasising the importance of side projects to build up a portfolio. Definitely makes sense.
http://www.adhamdannaway.com/404 I did this ages ago, Yoda is the man :-)
Ability to save symbols, shared styles and text styles to the cloud for teams to share. #componentlibrary
Looks like you've got some skills Peter, your work looks amazing and the website is nice and simple. I'd love to hear more about your process in the case studies though.
Writing lists :-)
I jot down a list of all the things I need to get done in the morning, prioritise each item and then knock them off one by one.
It's great to get constructive feedback from other designers, but the only way you'll know if your users can understand your interface design is if you test it on them.
Create a simple prototype in Invision and do a simple user test on 5 train travellers asking them to search for tomorrow's train schedule from X to Y. This will force them to use the hidden filters (if they can find them).
My guess is that most user's won't find the hidden filters as there is no context around the button to show them. Since the hidden filters are all about defining a 'date/time' you could try using a 'date/time' label on the button to provide an appropriate affordance.
Hope that helps :-)
I'll take your plagiarism example and raise you one ;-) http://www.adhamdannaway.com/blog/web-design/imitation-truly-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery
Interior design :-)
Mine's super old and in need of a re-design but still holding in there ... one day! http://www.adhamdannaway.com/
I think the main thing to remember is that it's just work and not a life or death situation (hopefully). Rather than focussing on deadlines, I try to enjoy the process and look for the interesting design challenges in each task. Stress slows you down and this simple attitude adjustment often makes me more productive.
Some other things I try to do:
Pressure and challenges are great, but high stress levels are rarely healthy, especially at work (and they definitely don't help you produce great designs). It's often easier said than done, but I think it's important to keep things in perspective. Sometimes you just need to ask yourself, 'Is figuring out where to put this radio button really worth constant headaches and loosing sleep over?'
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