Archives for August 2018

23rd August 2018 - No Comments!

The importance of taking a creative break

Holidays can seem like the perfect opportunity to work on a burning idea that I have, and occasionally I’ve taken an opportunity away from my day job to try and bring something into reality.

When I’m enjoying a new project in this way it’s intoxicating, but I find that it’s really easy to not take a break and just carry on as I’m going. This inevitably leads me to grow tired, which lets self doubt creep in, and I begin to question my ability to finish or make something a success.

Doesn’t sound like much of a holiday does it?

I’ve found that what I really need is to give my brain and my body a decent break every three months in order to maintain myself. This means breaking from both professional and personal projects.

As I’ve got to know myself better as an adult, I’ve realised that these breaks sustain me. They are my chance to hit the reset button, to talk for hours with friends and family with no agenda, to sleep for as long as I want to, to run for as long as I want to, to journal, to pick up a work of fiction instead of a business book, to get out of London and not face a tube ride – essentially, freeing my mind and body from the schedules I have in my life.

I know this sounds really basic, but I genuinely enjoy my work as a designer and if I don’t take opportunities to switch off, I know I’ll burn out – and I don’t want that.

Breaks fill up my creative cup because they help me reconnect with people and ideas I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise. New destinations and different languages give me the sense of adventure I need in my life. Different food and approaches to life help me see things differently and that truly inspires me. Being around different cultures makes me wonder about where else in the world I’d like to live one day, and how I could make that a reality.

These are all feelings that leave me with a sense of excitement about the future, about the possibilities. If I had my head stuck in a new project the whole time I wouldn’t get that.

I’m not saying that taking time out to pursue personal projects is bad, not at all. I have many projects and future ideas. What I’m saying is that to keep momentum, to keep feeling inspired, to maintain the high standards I expect from myself, I need to have a rest.

This year I’ve been lucky enough to visit Copenhagen, Rome, Israel and Jersey – where are you going to hit reset and recharge your creative batteries?

9th August 2018 - No Comments!

User experience design is a whole team sport

“The role of a researcher is to haunt an organisation with with the needs of the user”

It’s difficult to feel the tension between yourself and other team members when you have differing ideas about how products should be built. Standing up for user’s needs is sometimes seen as an inconvenience when battling against crushing development deadlines. It’s even more difficult to feel this way when user experience isn’t valued as highly as it should be.

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