The purpose of this newsletter is to help you grow as a designer and human and increase your chances to get hired in UX. While I am trying to form my voice for this newsletter, I will be experimenting with the content strategy, so bear with me 🙏
Disclaimer: all opinions are my own, just sharing my thoughts.
💬 Quote of the week
Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.
— Theodore Roosevelt
🙋♂️ Question of the week
Should I list all the tools that I can use?
Unless you know only 5 tools, you shouldn’t =))
Depending on the context (resume, case study, about page, Linkedin profile, etc.) and variety of types, I would stick to 5-10 items. I would look at the toolkit that the company uses and is looking for in that job, and prioritize those in your application. If you don’t have a specific list to target, I would suggest researching similar jobs/companies to see what kind of tools are mentioned the most and prioritize the ones that are the most important to the kind of role you are aiming for. For example, Adobe Illustrator is rarely an important tool for a UX designer, and so on. An additional parameter I would take into account is how often I use the selected tools. If I used something twice a year, I might deprioritize it to free up space for more used tools. Also, I would consider the trends and the more future-proof tools that will likely to stay or has more potential to stick around. Also, I would consider if there may be a (relevant) tool that you are the best in the world.
Indirectly, your ability to choose only a limited subset of options from a bigger set might signal to the reader that you are familiar with the concept of prioritization, which is important for a UX role.
That being said, I would not be too focused on the tools. If you have learned somewhat relevant tools, chances are you can also quickly learn a similar tool that a particular company uses. Learning new tools is the least of the worries of a potential (smart) hiring manager. The ability to learn quickly, knowing the design process, evidence that you can deliver results and produce high-quality work working on a team are more important elements than knowing particular tools. I heard this from many hiring managers - specific tools are not as important, tools are the easiest to learn.
PS You can now submit your questions for the newsletter (anonymously): Submit questions.
Excellent advice for junior designers from Jared Spool. All super valid points to consider when creating and writing your case studies for the portfolio. The only caveat - “…smart hiring managers…”. Not every hiring manager who will be reviewing your portfolio/application will be smart, so it’s not a full-proof guarantee, but I still believe this is super important and you will be better of if you follow his advice. View tweet.
How to land a design job at Instacart. I like this kind of insights, but also wondering how valuable (and potentially harmful) these tips could be when applying to companies other than Instacart. Click around this website, Tobias has more similar posts for other companies and a lot more cool stuff. PS I found this idea quite interesting - getting similar insights from a range of companies, maybe even more of the current employees’ stories. E.g. “How to land a job at ___” series. Let me know in the comments if you’d want to read/hear something like this. View post.
Laws of UX. A good compilation of some foundational guidelines you should consider when designing for humans. Love the visual design, but the IA is not perfect. Still, highly recommend using this list as an outline and dive deeper into each of those by doing more research and digging. Just pick 1 per day and learn learn learn. View website.
Making fun of the Stories trend. I like it when people make fun of trends like this. View tweet.
Making fun of the increasingly annoying “are you a robot” checks. Btw, have you also noticed that those “select all images with a car” prompts (that use us as free labour to classify images for machine learning 😒) have been getting more and more annoying? View tweet.
💭 A thought
Interesting dilemma/paradox - as an employee, there is an obvious desire to be happy at work and find the best company for you. Completely makes sense. I believe in this so much that I decided to put all my effort into building a platform where tech professionals can find the right companies for them. Idealistic? Yes, I know =) but I do believe that life is too short for being unhappy at work. So, this has been my mission for this project since early 2019 (it’s a side project and still building this out, but you can see what’s there now - My SoulTeam). Even though I am building this bigger vision, I had an interesting observation from my personal experience and the experience of many of my friends - having some not-so-happy “chapters” of your career are actually valuable. I learnt so much during those times, mostly what I should not do as a leader, as a colleague, as a human, etc. On one hand, I was not happy during those moments, but on the other hand, I believe this is a lot of value in having those moments. I think it’s required for most people to experience shitty jobs to have more appreciation, gratitude, and empathy. There might be some unique folks who may have been born with admirable levels of humility and appreciation, but I think the majority do need this comparison.
I’ve seen some people complaining about their slightly imperfect work environments and feeling unhappy due to minor stuff (yes, it’s subjective, and maybe for them, it was a major thing, but it wasn’t =)). If only they had a wider angle of view to realize how other environments differ. Same with some people in developed countries who have never been to the third world and they are complaining about ridiculous things. I think exposing yourself to more imperfect environments makes you a better human and a happier person, overall. I encourage a broader variety of experiences. So, bad jobs are in a way, valuable on your journey to a happier place in life. All these scars and lessons learned are extremely valuable to your growth as a designer, as a partner, as a person.
This message is not sponsored by all my previous not-so-great work environments =)