This is the blog of Joanna Ngai. I frequently write about design, creativity, technology and share anything that I believe that might be of interest to others. You can always read the latest here.
If you’re feeling generous, buy me a coffee 🍵
Hi, just checking in! = It’s been 30 minutes and I’d like to see some progress
We sort of know each other already… = Can I get a discount?
We are looking for something very specific = I expect spec work
Make it pop = Change this drastically by reading my mind
Let’s make it like [x] = Copy this exactly but do it in a subtle way
I may get passionate about design = I may fight you on your design choices
I dabbled a bit in design = I will definitely fight you on your design choices
It’s fashionable to be late since you’re had other plans, especially when all you have to do is click a button to teleport into the meeting through the magic of technology.
If you’re the one who called the meeting, send periodic IM messages so they know you’re always on your way. This sends along illusionary slivers of hope.
Tip: Vary how late you are each time, this keeps people on their toes.
Make a bold statement and first impression by leaving your video on but mic off for at least another 5 minutes. That will confuse everyone in the call…
I know you must hate auto-reply messages. Same here.
But not as much as I love being incredibly in-demand. Nothing compares to that gleeful moment of seeing a mountain of incoming emails every single day — it’s like being gently crushed by a digital avalanche.
I realized over time that people who send me emails don’t actually care for polite conversation. Most of the time, they don’t actually care about me at all. They just need things.
What am I, a human vending machine? (Don’t answer that).
And so, I figured I might as well follow the same…
Resilience is a global theme for the last year. Stress and crisis force us to confront the difficult reality of reacting to change and novel transitions.
How does one bounce back from trials and use those experiences to improve the future? How might a leader create positive change and what challenges may hinder it? Here’s some books to help you reframe upcoming changes.
Everyone has a bubble.
This is your comfort zone.
It may be a ring of familiar desires, routine, habits and maybe an inner circle of people you feel particularly close to.
Bubbles feel nice.
They protect us from the scary unknown. Yet for all their good qualities, there is one big downside: their outer boundaries are based on fear.
Fear can be a practical signal like: ‘Your stove/house/pants are on fire’, but not all fear is valid. Over-reaction in response to imagined fears can limit you from reaching your full potential.
With all the attention to the social powerhouse Clubhouse and the group chat giant Discord, here’s a first impression on the two platforms and how they compare from a designer’s perspective.
Disclaimer: I use Discord significantly more than Clubhouse which will bias my review. Personally I see Clubhouse is more like the ocean whereas Discord is more like a lake in terms of my usage.
Both Clubhouse and Discord are audio-based social media platforms. Clubhouse centers around live-chat rooms, whereas Discord’s origins for gaming communities makes it well suited for smaller communities. Discord’s server structure allows for a shared ‘space’…
Earning money (through art) and making art are two separate beasts.
As a designer/illustrator, I’m well aware of the tension between putting out work for free and earning a living. While open-sourcing your work can be a great thing, I believe creators deserve to be paid for their work (eating and having a roof over your head are also nice).
As trends point to a global democratization of content production (where everyone creates some type of “content” online), I am increasingly concerned that creators are not being treated as equal collaborators. …
COVID-19 has forced millions of workers to work remotely. For those that want the autonomy to continue working remotely, just setup this easy kit new workspace.
It’s a minor setup which includes cameras, microphones and one full body sensor, just start the stream on your new workspace and you’re good to go.
You might recall these fun summertime playthings, strolling around crowded parks (back when that was a thing). …
This is a wireframe = Please don’t look so closely at it
We should deliver something lean = My hand is cramping
Let’s unpack this… = I can’t remember how this conversation started…
We should compromise = This works without redesigning everything
We should revamp the brand = This allows us to redesign everything!
Can we add breathing room? = How can one page have so many things on it
The new logo is not half bad = It’s clever and I wish I made it
When do you need it by? = Is this deadline real or arbitrary?