Issue 17: Architects that designed own houses

What houses did the great architects live in; 3D avatars builder; 101 design rules and many more!

Issue 17: Architects that designed own houses

Hello, dear readers! 👋

In this issue, among other things:

  • What houses did the great architects live in?
  • Checklists, checklists, checklists
  • Physical 3D map
  • 3D avatars builder
  • Kama Sutra for the Blind
  • 10 would-like-to-know-earlier lessons on UX design
  • 101 design rules
  • Zeigarnik effect in interfaces
  • Quotes from "How to make Smart Notes" book by Sönke Ahrens

Enjoy reading!

📚 Book quotes

Today you will find quotes from Sönke Ahrens' book "How to make Smart Notes". Read them and decide if it's worth your attention:

Learning, thinking, and writing should not be about accumulating knowledge, but about becoming a different person with a different way of thinking. This is done by questioning one’s own thinking routines in light of new experiences and facts.

The most important advantage of writing is that it helps us confront ourselves when we do not understand something as well as we would like to believe.

The real enemy of independent thinking is not an external authority, but our own inertia. The ability to generate new ideas has more to do with breaking with old habits of thinking than with coming up with as many ideas as possible.

An idea kept private is as good as one you never had. And a fact no one can reproduce is no fact at all.

Good students also look beyond the obvious. They peek over the fences of their own disciplines – and once you have done that, you cannot go back and do what everyone else is doing, even if you now must deal with heterogeneous ideas that come without a manual on how they might fit together

When we take permanent notes, it is much more a form of thinking within the medium of writing and in dialogue with the already existing notes within the slip-box

writing is not only for proclaiming opinions, but the main tool to achieve insight worth sharing.

School is different. Pupils are usually not encouraged to follow their own learning paths, question and discuss everything the teacher is teaching and move on to another topic if something does not promise to generate interesting insight. The teacher is there for the pupils to learn. But, as Wilhelm von Humboldt, founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin and brother to the great explorer Alexander von Humboldt, put it, the professor is not there for the student and the student not for the professor. Both are only there for the truth. And truth is always a public matter.

Those who think of themselves as being open-minded are often even more prone to stick to their first understanding as they believe themselves to be without natural prejudices and therefore don’t see the need to counter-balance them. If we think we can ‘hold back’ on interpretation, we are fooling ourselves.

just one idea per note and force ourselves to be as precise and brief as possible. The restriction to one idea per note is also the precondition to recombine them freely later.

To have an undistracted brain to think with and a reliable collection of notes to think in is pretty much all we need.

Writing plays such a central role in learning, studying and research that it is surprising how little we think about it. If writing is discussed, the focus lies almost always on the few exceptional moments where we write a lengthy piece, a book, an article or, as students, the essays and theses we have to hand in.

Take Smart Notes — Sönke Ahrens

🗞 News and articles

Research Questions Are Not Interview Questions

Erica Hall from Mule Design Studio explained in detail the difference between the questions you are interested in and the questions you should ask respondents during a UX study. And she showed me how to find and formulate the right questions.

Key: you can't directly ask people what interests you, it doesn't work that way (unfortunately).

For example, if you need to find out how families decide how much to spend on vacation, you do not need to directly ask them about it, but ask them to tell you about the last vacation from the moment they start planning until they return home.

Research Questions Are Not Interview Questions
(You can’t just ask people what you want to know. Sorry.)

10 lessons on UX design that I would like to learn earlier

Article by Jeremy Bird, in which he shares lessons learned from his experience.

For example:

  • User research is more about getting to know users than testing a design
  • You can't (and shouldn't) explore everything. Set your priorities
  • Focus on methods, not softwareDesign systems should support, not force
UX lessons I wish I had learned earlier
There are many things I wish I had learned earlier in my UX career. These are the top 10 related to ‘Craft’.

What No One Explains About the Design Process

Jordan Bowman has written about the design process in terms of first principles. The key idea here is that the design process can vary greatly from team to team, from designer to designer and from project to project, but it should always have four key components, key principles. These components can go in different order, different methods and tools can be used to implement them, but the essence of a good design process is always the same, it always stands on these four pillars:

  • Understanding. The stage of searching for answers to questions that prevent you from moving on. Here we apply competitor analysis, CJM, persona, user interviews, stakeholder interviews, and so on
  • Finding a solution. When you understand the basic requirements and limitations, you start generating ideas and looking for solutions. Sketches, prototypes, user flow, mudboards, references and brainstorms live here
  • Testing. When you have created a prototype of a solution to a problem, you check whether your solution works. Here heuristics, analytics, user tests, surveys help you
  • The incarnation. When you have collected enough information and research results, it's time to make decisions and implement them. Roughly speaking — to draw a design. Here you will need knowledge of design systems, editing, typography, layout, form design, onboarding, accessibility and all that
What No One Explains About the Design Process
The UX industry puts a lot of emphasis on processes. But is that the best way to think fundamentally about design?
First Principles: The Building Blocks of True Knowledge - Farnam Street
First Principles tinking breaks down true understanding into building blocks we can reassemble. It turns out most of us don’t know as much as we think we do.

101 design rules

Aphoristic design rules formulated by the founder and creative director of the COLLINS agency Brian Collins. There is worldly wisdom in half with design and, as in any such list, a lot of thoughts that seem banal. But I suspect that different points will seem banal to different people

Here are nine rules that I personally liked:

  • Ubiquity = invisibility. What is too familiar to us, what becomes ordinary, we stop noticing. One of the functions of design is to restore our perception, refresh our understanding and invite us to be more alert
  • The era of "problem solving" is gone. This is too slow an approach for a world in which the future is coming so fast. Today, designers have to look for problems and find them before they appear on our tables, because at that moment it will be too late
  • A good designer will help the company get to where it wants to be. A great designer will push the company where it needs to go
  • Never go on an unpaid internship. Never. It is unethical to suggest such a thing, and in many places it is illegal. But more importantly, which people refuse to pay you? Oh yeah, really shitty people
  • The opposite of courage is not cowardice. The opposite of courage is conformity
  • There may come a time when someone publicly attacks you or your work. If that happens, remember this: those who attack are the ones who fear you the most. They suspect that you are more talented than them. And, in fact, the attackers believe in you more than others. Their appearance proves your abilities. Greet them and thank them
  • When someone disagrees with you, don't defend yourself. Instead, listen. Ask this person to explain in more detail and justify their point of view. Only then will a person listen to what you say. I wish someone had told me about it in my youth
  • Never create and edit at the same time. Get out all the sloppy, ugly drafts and first drafts. Quantity is more important than quality at the initial stage. Mess is more
  • Mastery is not acquired through intelligence. And not at the expense of talent. Not out of ambition. Mastery is acquired only through the time and focus that you put into your craft, over many, many years. Don't confuse skill and fame
101 design rules
Musings, ramblings, and principles that I’ve shared with my team and randomly on Twitter. Reminding yourself of the principles that ground you is simply a good practice. Here are mine.

⚡️ Briefly

A Guide to Using User-Experience Research Methods. NN/g have prepared a guide for choosing the types of UX studies suitable for your situation.

A Guide to Using User-Experience Research Methods
Modern day UX research methods answer a wide range of questions. To help you know when to use which user research method, each of 20 methods is mapped across 3 dimensions and over time within a typical product-development process.

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