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Topic: Work

Happy Monday

Not only is it Monday, but it’s the first Monday of August! I’m hoping the heat in Portland lets up this month to give our poor little air conditioner a break. It’s been working overtime!

Settle in with your coffee and check out Ivana McConnell’s Design Salaries Summary with lovely charts visualizing salary data from a survey of Designer News readers.

Have trouble getting productive? Maybe you should try the Ultra-Schedule that Jessica Hische wrote about last week. I have done similar calendars, and they do work!

I can’t believe I haven’t come across this sooner: How to Choose the Right UX Metrics for your Project is not only super informative but also super well designed.

That’s it for me today. Have a great Monday!

Monday Morning Kickstart

Can you believe that it’s the end of June already? I sure can’t! The past week was quite a blur. I attended AdaCamp and Open Source Bridge which were both super fun! I’ll have posts up this week talking about all the things I learned. In the meantime, check out these links to get your brain going on this last day of the month!

Learn more about designing with dynamic content using Brad Frost’s Pattern Lab.

Model View Culture published an excellent piece on why perks can be bad for company culture.

Read how one product manager communicates with his team more effectively.

Have a great Monday!

Illustration via Catell Ronca.

Monday Morning Kickstart

Thinking about hopping on the speaking circuit? Definitely read Kathy Sierra’s thoughts on presentation speakers-as-UI.

Julie Pagano published a wonderful overview of how to participate in feminist activism for us techies. This is definitely one to share!

One more link to keep around: How Do I Win an Argument About the Wage Gap?

It’s soft and quiet here in Portland, which is perfect get-writing-done weather! I’m looking forward to launching some updates to my website this week and putting together some longer-form posts for Venn. What are you up to this week? 

Illustration via Motivation Monday

“So we, the staff of A List Apart, are putting a stake in the ground: we will be part of this conversation, too. Sexism and discrimination and diversity are not fringe issues—not problems that should be relegated only to niche sites or individuals’ blogs. They’re mainstream issues that have found far too comfortable a home in our industry. An industry we’ve worked too damn hard to grow, guide, and collaborate with to watch it falter and flail now.”

We Have Work to Do: #yesallwomen and the Web

Huge props to A List Apart for standing up for equality, and to Sara Wachter-Boettcher for writing about it with such grace. I’m looking forward to their new culture content!

“When you really think about it, process is just what happens when people realize there’s a problem, put together a checklist to solve it, and then immediately forget about it. Soon, it’s not relevant anymore,” Deng says. “Most companies are full of processes designed to solve problems from a long time ago.”

Process Is Being Told What to Do by Someone Who Has Less Information than You

I could quote this whole article! Do you manage people, or want to mange people? Just go read it already.

(via mayafish)

Honesty: My Remedy for Impostor Syndrome

I spend more time than I probably should thinking about impostor syndrome. To help combat the feelings of ineptitude I’ve been keeping a “good job” journal where I note the nice things other people say about my work. It’s a great place to start when impostor feelings are dragging my motivation away.

Being open about my fears sounds like a great next step. Maybe it’s time for a heart-to-heart with the world.

Honesty: My Remedy for Impostor Syndrome

I spend more time than I probably should thinking about impostor syndrome. To help combat the feelings of ineptitude I’ve been keeping a “good job” journal where I note the nice things other people say about my work. It’s a great place to start when impostor feelings are dragging my motivation away.

Being open about my fears sounds like a great next step. Maybe it’s time for a heart-to-heart with the world.

Portland Startup Switchboard

This one goes out to my Portland pals: have you seen the new Portland Startup Switchboard? It’s a place to post asks and offers of our little startup community. There are people looking for work, people available for work, folks that just want to have coffee, event notices… it’s a happenin’ place! Check it out if you’re in Portland and want to connect with the startup crowd.

Portland Startup Switchboard

This one goes out to my Portland pals: have you seen the new Portland Startup Switchboard? It’s a place to post asks and offers of our little startup community. There are people looking for work, people available for work, folks that just want to have coffee, event notices… it’s a happenin’ place! Check it out if you’re in Portland and want to connect with the startup crowd.

“Sandberg’s definition of feminism begins and ends with the notion that it’s all about gender equality within the existing social system. From this perspective, the structures of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy need not be challenged. And she makes it seem that privileged white men will eagerly choose to extend the benefits of corporate capitalism to white women who have the courage to ‘lean in.’ It almost seems as if Sandberg sees women’s lack of perseverance as more the problem than systemic inequality. Sandberg effectively uses her race and class power and privilege to promote a narrow definition of feminism that obscures and undermines visionary feminist concerns.”

bell hooks

(via womentoadmire)

So, the next time you’re sitting down to work on a design project, ask yourself: what am I being asked to do? Do I need to shoot wolves or manage bears?

The wolf approach is about disrupting the order of things and eliminating the presumed source of the problem. This is the kind of thinking that I fear is taking over places like Silicon Valley and becoming the dominant story about how to design businesses, services, and interfaces. There is an off-putting bravado and violence to this approach—almost a will to destroy something old to make way for the new. Behind it all is a refusal to acknowledge the source of the problem as a important character in the ecosystem. (If it weren’t so important, it wouldn’t hold enough influence to create the problem.) So, yes—if you shoot the wolves, the wolves no longer eat the livestock. But you also no longer have wolves. What will come of that?

The bear approach, on the other hand, is about the thankless yeoman’s work of maintenance. Rather than shooting the source of the problem, you become its shepherd. This honors a fews things that are frequently overlooked. First, that the situation is complicated. Second, that things can change. Third, that the designer may not know best—and even if they did, they still do not know everything at the beginning of the process. And fourth, that the bears—or whatever parties are complicit in the problem—have a will of their own. You’re in dialogue with the problem and giving the situation a chance to describe itself.

Frank Chimero

I have long been in love with Chimero’s writing. This latest piece is a speech given to masters students at the School of Visual Arts and is all thoughtful musings on design. It’s long but well worth a read by anyone in the design industry, new or old.

Wolf and bear illustrations via Christian Jackson.