One of the things I always try to push right away with new or potential clients is that I'm just a one-man company. That means more personal service and better communication. If you call me, I'll be the one answering (please email unless it's super urgent though). So I figured it's time to give some personal updates here too.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the future of my work. On a general level - what will be the requirements for the UX designer or UX lead of tomorrow? It seems like it's been ages since we all agreed that voice is the future, but I'm not sure if we're any closer to that future at all? (The Future of the UX-Designer (2017), Hey Siri, what's the future of user interfaces (2015) and Voice Input is the Next Big Thing - Or is It? (2018))
On a personal level, what is the kind of work I want to do? I think any senior designer have thought along these same lines from time to time... "Will I still be doing websites 20 years from now?" "Do I have the motivation for another 20 years?" "How do I want to work?" "Do I have other options?" (Let's assemble like the Avengers and... do work (2019))
During the past year, I've been doing somewhat different kind of work for IKEA, leading a team and focusing on aligning people and deliverables rather than designing or focusing on features. I realized that it's not exactly the kind of work I wanted to do, but, in hindsight, I'm really grateful for the experience and the insight it brought. It brings to mind a quote from Kaleigh Moore from Mastering Freelance:
Everyone’s path is going to be different, but I think one of the best ways you can find your purpose is by doing a lot of things you DON’T like. I had a few jobs and internships in college that made me realize what things I absolutely did not want to be doing--so getting those experiences, even while they weren’t fun at the time--were important.Kaleigh Moore
Since then I've begun working with Superfriendly. I reached out to my friend Dan to talk to him about my idea of a new type of consultancy. If you want to grow as a designer, as a developer or whatever it's really important to surround yourself with the best people out there. This is easy to dismiss because you don't have the power to change your co-worker's skills. However, you CAN always try and find other, better co-workers. Working with people who are better than you is the easiest way to grow your skills and makes work a whole lot more fun! (The Life of a Freelancer Shouldn't Be a Lonely One (2016) and Without Struggle, There Isn't Success (2017))
I'm planning some traveling in August (Biarritz, France), September (Antibes, France), and October (Toronto, Canada) as I haven't really had any time off at all since last summer. I was in Boston for a few days in the beginning of July and traveling is such a great way to find inspiration through reflection. (Built to last (2016))
A good sign that it's soon to be fall is that I've begun thinking about doing a minor update on the design of my website. This time, I'm thinking both of features and visual design (and less about technology). (A Redesign (2017) and I've redesigned my website and it looks exactly the same (2019)) I also want to get back into more long-form writing this fall. I've had a bit of a lack of inspiration lately and, to be honest, it's felt more like something I have to do rather than something I want to do. I have an idea where I would publish one article a day for a month. It sounds like a fun challenge! (Why Designers Need to Write (2017)
The other week I ran a small ad for User Experiences that Matter in Dense Discovery, an excellent newsletter that I think you should subscribe to if you aren't already. It performed really well and I sold more than 10 books in a single day (which is about what I normally sell in a month). Yay! You can still get 20% off using the code 'DENSE'.