Design Practice

The 4 Elements of An Effective Brand

Good brand architecture is a hierarchy. Like the oft used Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, it starts with some basic obviously fundamentals that every brand should have, but then grows into areas that few brands successfully achieve. This article outlines four such levels, although I suspect there are plenty of different framings one could use.

How to Write a Job Ad that Doesn't Suck!

As a Seedcamp VP from a design and product background, I'm regularly asked for hiring advice. Especially from folks who have had an open role for several weeks (sometimes even months), but haven't been getting the quality or volume of candidates they've been hoping for. The first thing I usually do is ask to take a look at the job ad, as this is generally where the problem starts.

Where to Find The Best Design Talent

The design recruitment market is really hot at the moment. Largely because founders and leadership teams are beginning to understand the importance of a well designed and well conceived product. As such I’m constantly being asked by leadership teams to help them find early design hires. 

The 7 Ways Designers Make Money (and why most of us are only doing the first three)

While this article is titled “The 7 Ways Designers Make Money” it’s fair to say that it’s really about how people in general make money. It just so happens that I come from a design background, so this article has an inevitable design slant. It’s also safe to say that this article is pretty basic. In fact I suspect a lot of people reading this will be thinking “duh, yeah”. However I wanted to write it because while the contents may be a little business 101, it’s also stuff I didn’t really think about when I was a practicing designer or running my own design studio. Had I thought a bit more systematically about how designers make money, it’s possible I might have made different life or business choices. As such I’m writing this in the hope it’ll give people a little more perspective on some things they may currently be taking for granted.

The Slow But Inevitable Demise of UX Design

When I started Clearleft in 2005, we were arguably the first UX agency in the UK. Sure there were folks practicing various elements of User Centered Design; there were dedicated research agencies, dedicated IA agencies, tons of visual design agencies and even folks partnering on CX. However few if any had bought these threads together under the guise of “User Experience Design” as our friends at Adaptive Path in the US had done a few years earlier.

The Pros and Cons of Professional Language

Most industries have their own professional language — often described as “jargon” by the less generous amongst us. Some may point out how ironic it is that designers—who pride themselves in making things easy to understand—use language that deliberately obfuscates meaning. They’ll claim that this is done by gatekeepers attempting to shore up their positions in order to keep new entrants out. This may be true, but In the spirit of Occam's razor, I suspect there’s a much simpler (and less nefarious) explanation.