Design loops #3
Relaunching the newsletter for 2022 and reflecting on some milestone events in 2021. With the usual snapshot of some recent work, links, a quote, and a photo.
Hello and happy new year,
In 2022 I’m aiming to write and publish a newsletter issue once a month. I lay some groundwork for this last year, through creating a template to draft issues in Notion, exploring and testing some different platforms, publishing the first issue and drafting the next. I just never got round to sharing what I had done and then maintaining consistency in writing it.
As for why I want to ‘blog’, or write in public regularly, I spoke about this in issue #1, so go back and look at that if you are interested in hearing me rationalise the decision further. Essentially, though, I’m just interested in trying out a new medium for producing and sharing work; and, hopefully, be putting more things out into the world that are useful to others.
To recap the format, in each issue I’ll be sharing a mix of: work/life updates, thoughts and insight related to design, recent bookmarks, quotes, and photos.
2021’s big events
I thought I’d take the chance to wrap up some key milestone events from 2021...
I finished uni - completed my Digital Media (BSc) degree from Brighton. COVID meant final year was a bit of an anti-climax, but, I had a lot more time to spend on uni work and it was definitely the best year on that front. My thesis project, Batch, is still live to view if you want to check it out.
Rejoined Ten4 and then started a new role at Soldo - Whilst in my final year I lined up a role as a Product Designer at Ten4, the agency I spent my placement year at in 2019/20, to start in July. I had a great time being back and working on some amazing projects, the highlight being working with UCLs Plastic Waste Hub and Institute of Making. It ended up being a shorter stay than planned due to Soldo presenting an opportunity to work in a product-focused organisation and closely with a design system — a much different experience to the agency set up at Ten4, which I felt I wanted to try. I joined Soldo in November and it’s going well so far. I’m hoping to reflect and compare the differences in the roles at some point in the future.
Moved back to London – I moved at the end of October and I’m super excited to be in Hackney again after spending a year here during my placement. Speaking to others, I feel the first year in London is tricky for most, and I certainly experienced that. It’s just so big and unfamiliar, and the cost of living can be pretty tough. This time around things are a lot easier; I’m living with friends, know the area, and the new job means living is more affordable and enjoyable.
Snapshot of something I'm working on
Outside of the day job, I’m working on a website design for 42 Degrees Music and Arts Festival. I’ve wanted to combine design work with my interest in music for a long time so I’m feeling super motivated by this project. Here is a screenshot from an initial homepage design. I also posted a moodboard of design references on Instagram.
In other recent work news, the Christmas break has been a great chance to spend some time on personal projects, for-fun, projects. I chose to do some more things music related as I was really enjoying the 42º work. I shared two pieces on Instagram over the break, the Internet Radio Directory, a Notion database with direct links to station players and websites. And, a Spotify playlist featuring 30 of my favourite tracks released in 2021. I also made some updates to my portfolio website which I’ll be pushing live with the relaunch of this newsletter.
Japanese design is more than minimalism - An interesting article on the stark contrast between the infamous minimalistic muji and zen style vs. the vibrant and engaging design—and the roots of each—that we both associate with Japan.
Designer slack communities – I love Slack as a workplace tool, but, it’s also home to some fantastic communities for all types of designers. This website aggregates them into one list. My personal favourites that I often browse are Triangles and Friends of Figma.
Why Your Links Should Never Say “Click Here” – an in-depth dive into why using “Click here” is a poor user experience and problematic for accessibility; given that some users with visual impairments, for example, may not use a mouse and ‘clicks’ to navigate the web. In short, you should describe the action and result of clicking the link. E.g. instead of writing “click here for a demo”, use “view demo”. The article includes plenty more scenarios of phrasing inline links and the best practice for them — worth bookmarking if you are ever working with the web.
A quote from Readwise
A photo from my camera roll
Until next month, take care!
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