Earlier this year I completed a 12 week online certificate course in psychology offered by the University of Toronto. Here are some of the highlights and takeaways that I found can be applied to user experience design.
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Drinking from the firehose

Posted 2 years ago

Anyone working in a software project team understands how stressful it can be preparing for the go-live date. I thought I’d use this post to describe first-hand some of the challenges I’ve faced working within a project team under tight deadlines.
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It’s always interesting when a major player like Google enters any digital realm as they’ll inevitably shake things up. Optimize is the tech giant’s A/B split testing and conversion rate optimisation platform, which is already being heralded as a game changer for design testing.
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My SXSW 2018 experience

Posted 2 years ago

This year I was fortunate enough to attend South by Southwest, the influential interactive, film, music, and creative arts festival in Austin, Texas. The conference had been on my career bucket list for years and the experience completely lived up to my expectations.
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Each of us have to face the certainty that system errors will happen, causing frustrating disruptions online. Despite how great a service is, users might need to be prompted to go back to the beginning and start an experience again if there is a major fault. When an experience goes bad, designers should lay off the cutesy error page designs and try to help users in need.
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When a designer gets stuck, they often turn to design inspiration websites to satisfy their curiosity. It’s nice to watch someone with amazing talents showcase a design but I’ve also found fixating on inspirational ‘design porn’ can be harmful to the creative process.
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I’ve compiled a list of 101 types of experiences a designer could attempt before shuffling off this mortal coil. Some of the items are ambitious (eg. design an online bank) but I can happily say I’ve crossed off a good chunk of this bucket list.
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The international symbol of access or the wheelchair symbol (♿) was designed by Susanne Koefoed in 1968 and revealed to the world at a design conference in Dublin the following year. The motivation behind the design was to generate a renewed awareness of differently-abled people, which coincided with the social movements of the late 1960s. The ISA is now one of the most recognisable symbols in history, as widely used as currency signs and religious motifs.
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Earlier this year, I demonstrated a simple prototype that changed a static element to stick to the browser on scroll. The stakeholders I presented to weren’t familiar with sticky positioning but were excited by how we could increase the visibility of the element. “What else can we stick to the screen on scroll?” they asked. This wasn’t the response I was hoping for.
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Working in a corporate IT infrastructure can be hard when your rights to install new software are limited or require a chain of approvals. I totally understand the need to limit administrator rights on a network full of sensitive information but restrictions like this force designers to create their own work environments so they don’t need to beg IT gatekeepers to install software.
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