Design’s knowledge-application gap

The job seeker 10-second rule of thumb

Here's my simple rule of thumb for job seeking: You have ~10 seconds before hiring managers bounce to another candidate or decide to take the next step with you.

"Next step" translates to roughly two things:
a) Spending more than 10 seconds on your resume, portfolio, or LinkedIn.
b) Contacting you directly.

But hold on, is 10 seconds my recommendation for standard operating procedure as recruiters and hiring managers? Of course not. Yet regardless of how much time they actually spend, your most important info should be quickly digestible. Ten seconds or ten hours, don't bury the lede.

Here's how you can use the 10-second rule of thumb to your advantage.

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Who’s left to be experts on design?

“Be the leader you wish you had.”

As I look back over my career, it's possible I've gotten more leadership source material for writing, speaking, and mentoring from ineffective leaders above me than great ones.

If true, here's the takeaway: Don't underestimate the opportunity to become a better leader by observing those you don't aspire to become, especially if you can't change your circumstances right away. As one of my mentors once said, we are each other's clinical material and we would do well to remember this.

"Be the leader you wish you had" sounds trite. But it's a powerful maxim for putting your hard-earned experience to use.

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10 pro tips for hiring managers

"Don't work with jerks" has been one of my key principles for years. "Don't interview with jerks" is a close companion.

In a down market like this, the best hiring managers treat candidates with profound respect, realizing they're probably doing double the amount of interviewing compared to a healthy market. Yes, the interview process has always been a two-way street but it takes a mature, experienced hiring manager (or recruiter or executive) to treat it as such.

Here are 10 pro tips to treat candidates with respect.

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Just a reminder

Like a lamb to the AI slaughter

I have a hunch the AI revolution will be akin to the product design revolution in the early 2010s when traditional graphic designers were unwilling (for better & worse) to embrace product design.

Today the tables have turned. Product designers are facing an ever-increasing future driven by AI across all phases of design. For many the question looming in the back of their minds is identical to that of traditional graphic designers years ago:

"Is this really how I want to evolve as a designer?"

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Fonts I’ve fallen in love with recently

Business needs, customer needs, and a Sam’s Club milk jug

The Podcast Standards Project

My problem-solving process in a nutshell

Putting the kibosh on UI vs. UX

“What if” time

Don’t settle for designing in between meetings

On whiteboarding exercises in interviews…

A better way to interview

“Design Sprint” vs “Design Jam”

Write more to interview less

Ugh, layoffs. But you’ll be OK.

Interview for alignment, not emotion

Golden Gate Bridge alternates

Minimizing ‘surprise’ in interviews

Remote work → DEI

That “Brookyln” typo

Golden Gate Bridge in letterpress type

The Future by Klim Font Foundry

The ‘what if’ of Design

One of Design’s greatest super powers is to ask “what if” and produce concepts that visualize this quandary.

When we require Design to justify its work with the Big 3 — business priorities, roadmap scope, and data — we marginalize this super power and relegate Design to a reactive role. Yes, the Big 3 should drive most of Design’s work but not all of it. The most magical outputs sometimes come from the most unjustified inputs.

Here are a few ways you can create space for What Ifs.

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Design is a game of quantity as much as quality

Ease of Use vs. Power of Use

Abraham Wald and the airplane diagram with red bullet holes – here’s the origin story

Bad hires are an expensive mistake. Great candidates not hired are an even greater opportunity cost.

It’s OK to take PTO


A love-hate technological dependency

How can I use focus blocks and get others to respect heads-down time?

Part 5: In Their Own Words

Social Anxiety and Depression: “It Sucks, Big Time!”

My Non-Linear Grief Journey: A Daughter’s Love

Part 4: Mental Health at Work

Part 3: Champions of Recovery—Supporting Those Affected by Mental & Emotional Illness

Part 2: Addressing Your Mental Health with Honesty, Empowerment, and Creativity

Part 1: A Beginner’s Guide to Mental Health & Mental Illness

Performant Mental Health, The Series

Don’t call it a comeback. I been here for years.