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Sr. UX Designer & Mentor. 👋 Tell me your story! Find me at & Let’s connect

Talking to the top designers in the world has never been easier, and still, many people do not take advantage of the opportunity.

I was finishing a very successful networking session with many designers worldwide without leaving my bedroom. That is legen… wait for it… dary.

I hate to admit it: Networking is vital for your professional development. For a long time, I used to live under Steve Martin’s mantra, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” But, without willingly and continuously putting your name out there, they will disregard your body of work, no matter how good of a designer you are.

My levels of extroversion used to be directly related to my to-do list. Above all, a professional designer gets the job done on time and according to requirements. …

Put all your chips on timeless human needs.

Some things will never change regardless of the technology. Sadly you will never get a flying car. Image from “Back to the Future II” — Universal

The way we imagine the future is a social contract. Every generation has a way to describe it and agreed on what is about to come. Our grandparents imagined going to work in their flying cars, using personal jetpacks instead of bicycles, and widespread commercial supersonic travel (RIP the Concord). All this technology is already here but never caught up to the point of actually becoming a thing.

If the future ideals of your grandparents are not the realities we live in today, it does not mean they did not fail at imagining it, they just needed to imagine it…

How to become an inflection point and be the creator of the experiences we all deserve to live.

We need a better crystal ball to predict the future—photo by Mitya Ivanov.

If you are a User Experience Designer, you can almost rephrase your profession as a creator of the experiences somebody else is meant to live.

This year is full of experiences. I do not think anybody wanted or was ready to design. In some areas, things had changed so quickly that I wonder if I need to develop new personas for my own projects or if the user tests I had done last year still match this current situation. I consider myself lucky; many other colleagues have seen drastic changes in their products and companies, resulting in layoffs or bankrupts.

As designers, we deserve the future we failed to foresee.

Hey designers, we should not be surprised by the consequences of our actions.

I love thinking about Design as an instrument of destiny. Our heads live in the future while our feet are in the present. What if our vision needs to look farther than the horizon of the problem we are solving? What if we will get in even more trouble by not foreseeing the effects of our solutions?

Or even worse, after seeing the damage we created, what if we never get a real incentive to make things right?

The ballad of Thomas Midgley Jr.,

Or how we could destroy the world by accident

Many of us grew up watching cartoons where an evil genius creates a very dumb plan meant to destroy the world. In…

The most frightening mythological monsters in UX Design.

Very scary developers drinking designers’ tears.

This Halloween season has so many real things to be worried about. I find more solace in thinking about the imaginary monsters that keep UX designers awake at night than watching the news.

If you asked me, I would prefer to finding a hungry zombie under my bed than a politician right now.

🎃 This a Halloween special; have fun.

Make your ideas visible; it is hard to see them if they are only in your head.

Congratulations, your design team took six months and half a million dollars to draw a Frankenstein-horse! Time to pop open that champagne! You earn it.

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Flying, super strength, adamantium claws? I would choose to be absolutely obvious.

I know it does not sound as cool as super-speed, and it has less potential to be used for world domination. Still, as a UX Designer, it would make my life so much easier knowing that everything I build, said and thought will be understood by everybody in the world exactly as it was on my head.

I can only dream of a future without misunderstandings. No more wondering if the silence after my zoom presentation is because…

The beauty of user experience is elevated by its impermanence.

Sand mandalas and digital product design have a lot in common—image from Wikipedia.

The bright yellow colours of October are the most beautiful notification warning. Gusts of cold wind pull leaves from their branches, inviting them to dance around my driveway while making a cascading sound. I am in my home office redesigning the fifth version of a flow for a project that was supposed to ready two weeks ago. This is the last warm day of the year.

When abuse and harassment are masked as design critique.

Is this design review is aiming to be brutally honest or just brutal?

As designers, it is necessary to consider how feedback is given if we are expected to present our work early and often routinely. Some ill-intentioned comments may be given a pass in the name of radical candour and brutal honesty. Freedom of expression does not mean we should tolerate abuse.

In practice, giving feedback is an art, as much as receiving it.

Designers’ emotional safety

Receiving feedback without taking things personally, being defensive or feeling demoralized is not easy; it requires practice and self-awareness. It is a common flaw to find designers that do not react too well to negative criticism, and that…

Are you looking for skills, knowledge, wisdom… or credentials?

There are so many options to learn design, and so little time — Original painting “Apelles Campaspe” by Willem van Haecht (II).

Most academic institutions focus too much on specific design skills but tend to forget other important professional development areas. A partial education is better than nothing but puts a lot of pressure on young designers to fill those gaps quickly.

If you give a man a fish, he will eat today, but teach a man to fish, and he will raw fish forever. You need to teach that man how to cook that fish, trade part of his catch for money, preserve the meat so it reaches different markets and how to act as a professional fisherman.

It is easy…

Good fortune is the last thing a successful professional wants to acknowledge.

Original illustration from ”Snake and Ladders” game

Have you ever stopped and wonder if, as a designer, your latest achievements happened because you are smart or you just were lucky? If that designer speaking at a conference, would she be there if she was born in a different circumstance? Would the authors of the design books you have on your shelf still hold their ideas as truth if they had a different set of experiences?

I know luck could bring into question many of our routed believes. This could sound dangerous to a community known for its prevalent imposter syndrome. …

Luis Berumen Castro

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