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Issue № 335

Banish the inner critic that blocks your creativity and tear down the wall between you and your client that design buzzwords create.

Banishing Your Inner Critic

by Denise Jacobs · 45 Comments

Everybody has one: the inner critic that tells you you’re just faking it, that others have more talent, that you’ll never achieve the success you seek. The inner critic is an unconscious deterrent that stands between the seeds of great ideas and the fruits of achievement, making you hate your designs, giving you “writer’s block” as your deadline looms, keeping you stuck in a project’s initial thinking stage because something isn’t quite right. Denise Jacobs anatomizes and shows how to quash your inner critic, giving you the mental space and energy to let your true talents emerge.

Demystifying Design

by Jeff Gothelf · 15 Comments

Mystifying design with jargon only we understand makes us feel like heroes and creates a sense of job security. But it also creates an “us and them” atmosphere which excludes non-designers, obscures the true value of design, and generates antagonism when only cooperation will yield the best product. By revealing our process and inviting others into our world, we can create a team that is invested in the success of our work, and deliver better design. Jeff Gothelf discusses the steps we can take to increase the value of our practice and of ourselves as practitioners.

More from A List Apart

Columnists

Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Distance to Here

The people who determine product strategy move through a world of analysts, media, division leads, shareholders, stakeholders, monetization, and marketability. They seldom get a chance to come back to the corner where users and designers mingle. Rian van der Merwe suspects that increasing the communication distance between the decision makers and the product’s builders and users leads to a loss of perspective—and the results are products with marketable features that no one really needs.

From the Blog

On Our Radar: Faux-Naïve

On our radar these days: Google rebrands. A web animation expert refuses to speak at your conference if it doesn’t have a code of conduct. Preload hints can help you load your web fonts faster. A new site launches that hopes to bridge the gender gap in communication design. Your weekend reading awaits!

On Our Radar: Pretty Advanced Machine Learning

Between bots and blogging, newsrooms are getting into Slack in some very cool ways (take some inspiration and apply for a Knight-Mozilla Fellowship!). Plus more recommended reading: revisiting Cameron’s World; the joy of generalists; the finer points of faving; and one really excellent gif of cats.