Why gardeners make great human-centered designers

service design May 28, 2019

As well as being a human-centered designer, I’m also a mad keen gardener. I'm lucky enough to live on a hobby farm on the edge of my city where I have a huge veggie patch and an orchard, where we grow all kinds of things. My family is pretty self sustainable. Most of our fruit and veg comes from our garden and my kids really have a strong connection with the origin of their food, which is a really important value in our family.

Experience designers (especially service designers and design strategists) and gardeners share a common interest in studying systems and how they interconnect. As an example, behind my veggie garden I am really really lucky to have an old dead tree in one of our paddocks and inside that tree is a beehive. I've never actually seen it up close as it’s way up at the top of the branches, but I know it's there because for a long time I have watched all the bees buzzing in and out of this hollow in the trunk.

My garden is so successful that when people...

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Mentors, coaches and sponsors: how to find the right guide for your design career

coaching May 28, 2019

New experience design practitioners are often looking for someone who can guide them through their early years in the industry. Even people who have established careers can still benefit from another experienced perspective to help grow their careers and advance in the right direction.

New practitioners seek a mentor because they don't know what they don't know about our industry. Often they are looking for someone who can help them connect with the industry in a deeper way, whether that’s by providing advice on some of the first steps to take in their new career, or it could be for the connections that the mentor could offer. And sometimes people want help with really hands-on stuff, like how to best position yourself for different kinds of roles.

It's important to make a distinction between the three different types of people who can help your career get underway: a sponsor, a mentor and a coach.

A sponsor is someone who will help you grow your career by using their own...

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The kind-of-obvious secret that very few UX candidates use in their job hunt

graduates job seeking May 19, 2019

The biggest lament of anyone finishing a design bootcamp is that they can’t get a job. Like most professions the biggest stumbling block block in your design career happens right at the beginning when you're getting your foot in the door. Getting underway can be difficult for a bunch of different reasons.

When Linked In analysed 50,000 hard skills needed by employers globally, UX came in at #5. Wow! It’s so in-demand, yet it can be very difficult to start a career in this space as a graduate. Many people entering the field get started with a bootcamp or university qualification, but this certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll walk straight into your dream role. Competition for entry level design roles is fierce. You could find yourself competing with other recent graduates, as well as the many people with years of related career experience who are making the switch into UX or service design.

To top it off, most employers are looking for...

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