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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.

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About five years ago, I bought a cushy couch for my office. (Okay, yes, I did get the model that could flatten into an emergency nap station, but let’s just say that I plan for contingencies—it sounds more professional that way.) Our projects required a lot of office-to-office visiting to discuss situations in person, and eventually, said couch (and therefore, my office) became a veritable beacon, attracting anyone looking for an excuse to decompress. Such is the life of a one-couch, 50-chair business.

Learning to Be Flexible

As a freelancer, I work in a lot of different code repos. Almost every team I work with has different ideas of how code should be organized, maintained, and structured. Now, I’m not here to start a battle about tabs versus spaces or alphabetical order of CSS properties versus organizing in terms of concerns (positioning styles, then element layout styles, then whatever else), because I’m honestly not attached to any one system anymore.