Working not Working

Questions. Answers. Frameworks.


Approaches for identifying and expressing individuality within your portfolio experience?

Your site is yours. It gives you the opportunity to showcase your work, your process, your interests and POV. You can use it as a chance to get creative, and use content to communicate your why. You can let the design speak for itself or write out or use video to tell the story that you're using your site as a place to really have fun and speak to the balance of how you can create for yourself and corporate clients.

What are the most important things to talk about when reviewing previous UI/UX projects with new prospects?

This is a chance to deploy a standard case study flow:

  • brief

  • challenge

  • approach

  • constraints

  • design options

  • notes

Also important to discuss your process, your role in the project, what you learned, what helped the client / business.

I'm going to start adding case study videos using Screen Studio / Tome + Loom.

In transitioning from organization to another organization or freelance, what are some important things to remember?

Good work, sent earlier than expected always wins. Keep in contact with your network. Continue to share quality, relevant solutions and content to your people.

Having people you can call on for help when needed can be a game changer.

Also, organization to organization: different companies operate different, studying their onboarding docs, brand guidelines and previous failures and mistakes can set the stage for how you show up while working with them. For instance, Apple works way differently than Rippling. Studying and asking (obvious) questions can help speed up the process. One on one meetings can help as well.

How do companies want to see UI Design work?

Clearly. May seem odd to say, but clear images, that aren't blurry + process. Often, I've found, companies at least when interviewing / in your portfolio want to see how did you get to the solution. They'd like to see your thought and design process.

While working, different companies like different things. My go to is to read the room as well as get to know what groups and stakeholders want what type of presentation. Some want a presentation walk through, some want the Figma file, some want a Loom. I prep all of these to show the work off.

Transition from portfolio to a business page. Need an intro page to introduce the business. Advice for platform to build site?

Many ways to do this. The template listed below can serve as a solution or at least a reference. Framer is my go to platform for quick no-code development.

Approaches for identifying and expressing individuality within your portfolio experience?

Try designing what you'd love to see as an Art Director / Creative Director with an emphasis on showing great work + process and your personality.

Where do you go when seeking creative advice?

1:1's with my (ex) Creative Director or read books and most importantly implement what needs to be done quickly. Review the results. Rest. Revisit. Revise. Repeat.

What are strategies for designers who don't have access to project metrics for case studies. Is just showing output ever enough?

This can be tricky. One easy solve is showing the before and after. Lean into the storytelling here - focus on what went wrong, how you overcame issues, dive into your leadership and how you used both business and design fundamentals and innovative problem solving to come to a solution. Also, be transparent that you'd love to have the metrics but due to confidentiality (if that's the case) you don't have access.

Portfolio template.
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Reality Distortion Field

Thinking Different.


Embracing the Reality Distortion Field: Lessons from Steve Jobs

The reality distortion field (RDF), a term that emerged from the Apple community, refers to the ability to shape and challenge conventional thinking and create a new reality.

Here's how we can apply this approach:

This phenomenon was famously associated with the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. Jobs' relentless innovation, work ethic, and visionary mindset contributed to his embodiment of the RDF.

The RDF describes a unique and magnetic aura that Steve Jobs exuded. It characterizes his ability to convince others that seemingly impossible ideas were not only possible but imperative.

Whether it was designing revolutionary products or expanding the boundaries of technology, Jobs crafted a new reality that transcended the limits of the status quo. His unwavering belief in his visions inspired his teams, stakeholders, and ultimately the world.

The RDF is not about distorting facts or deluding oneself into impossibility. Instead, it is about viewing challenges as opportunities and pushing the boundaries of what is thought to be achievable.

Jobs consistently challenged the existing norms, refusing to accept limitations or constraints imposed by others. This thinking fostered an environment of creativity and encouraged his teams to strive for breakthroughs, regardless of how audacious the ideas may seem.

Jobs' RDF was complemented by his relentless work ethic. He possessed an unwavering commitment to his vision and an exceptional attention to detail.

Rather than merely relying on abstract talk, he insisted on actualizing his ideas through hard work. This dedication transformed his revolutionary concepts into tangible products that changed entire industries.

By embracing Jobs' work ethic and vision to believe in our ideas, we can propel ourselves toward realizing our own ideas and products, laying the groundwork for success.

One of the core elements of the RDF is the courage to challenge conventional wisdom.

Jobs' ability to question established norms enabled him to disrupt existing markets, ushering in transformations that others deemed not only impossible but unnecessary.

We can learn from his fearlessness in questioning traditional approaches, embracing risk, and standing firm in the pursuit of creating something truly groundbreaking.

To truly harness the RDF, we must nurture our creativity and imagination.

Jobs believed that creativity was not limited to select individuals but rather a skill that could be developed through persistent effort.

By creating a system that encourages experimentation, openness to failure, and unbounded thinking, we can discover new perspectives, invent novel solutions, and bring our ideas to life.

The reality distortion field epitomized Steve Jobs' ability to envision and create a new reality. It symbolizes the power of pushing beyond perceived limits, challenging the status quo, and relentless pursuit of one's vision.

By incorporating Jobs' RDF into our own lives, we can cultivate innovation, develop a fierce work ethic, challenge conventional thinking, and unlock our creative potential.

Let us embrace the RDF in our journey to build our own ideas and products, creating a future that transcends the boundaries of the present.

Thank you and good luck!

The portfolio is never done.

Show up consistently. Design with intention and simplicity. Apply to your dream job. Be ready when the opportunity comes. Publish your work and share it. I know it can be hard and scary but the wins outweigh the regrets.