There is no such thing as a boring project. There are only boring executions.

Irene Etzkorn

A contrasting day.

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This year my wife and I have decided we’re going to explore more. We’ve decided to break up the year into visiting a few different places and we’ve booked trips to Edinburgh, Salzburg, Paris and Ljubljana. As well as travelling abroad we’re also exploring the UK.

The past weekend we went on a road trip about an hour south of where we live to visit Rye and Dungeness; they turned out to be two very contrasting places.

The feeling of being in competition for scarce resources has powerfully motivating properties.

Robert B. Cialdini

Thinking Fast and Slow in Design.

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My colleague recently wrote a post called “Thinking Fast and Slow in Digital”. It was based on the namesake book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. In his post Ronald shared his thoughts on how we can apply the learnings from the book to digital projects.

I’d been meaning to read this book for a while and Ronald’s post prompted me to move it to the top of my list. As I read it I drew my own conclusions about how the psychology described applies to design.

We have very little idea of how little we know. We’re not designed to know how little we know.

Daniel Kahneman
Reflecting in a coffee shop.

Good design, when done well, should be invisible.

Jared Spool

Asking “Why?” can lead to understanding. Asking “Why not?” can lead to breakthroughs.

Daniel H. Pink

Connections and creativity.

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In 1978, scientist and historian James Burke produced a ten part documentary called ‘Connections’. In this documentary series he traced back a (then) modern invention through the history of connected ideas that led to it.

Across the ten episodes the viewer goes on many weird and wonderful journeys learning such things as:

  • how the concept of credit can be linked to the invention of rocket fuel that put man on the moon
  • how many unconnected inventions came together to create the steam engine
  • how innovation of castle defences led to the modern movie projector and cinemas

A trip to Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh has a reputation for being a fantastic blend of beautiful, cultural and historical. It is a well deserved reputation. I spent last weekend (Feb 17th – 19th) there on a city break.

We spent three days walking the streets of Auld Reekie (the nickname for the city), taking in the atmosphere and the sights. The sound of bagpipes, the cobbled streets and the many colours of tartan.

I took with me a borrowed Nikon D7000 to try and capture some of the city’s aura.

Back to basics: four simple ways to improve yourself as a designer

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With so many new platforms, buzzwords, technologies and mediums in the digital industry, if you’re not thinking about what to learn next you’ll end up lagging behind.

If you want to stay relevant as a designer, you need to keep pushing forward and honing your design skills. Successful UX designers never stop learning. They continue to take classes, study the work of other designers and grow in their craft.

If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.

Ralf Speth

I lost a good hour admiring today. Love the illustration.

It’s inspired me to think of something similar to do. Perhaps baseball shirts or classic footballs.

Watch this space.

I’ve just watched the first episode of Black Mirror, Season 3.

It’s scary how perfectly possible it seemed. It could actually happen.

If society ever ends up like that I’m packing my stuff and going to live in the mountains.