Some time ago, a Facebook group devoted to UX issues raised a question about how to increase your productivity and take care of work hygiene, when we are often chained to a computer and telephone all day long. It is not only about how to be more effective, but also how to find and use time for development. The answers were different – some wrote that physical activity helps them, others – that it is important to develop their passions in their free time. We decided to explore the topic and talk to some designer friends. Below are some life hacks for user experience specialists and product owners that can inspire you.
Productivity and organization of working time
Time is at a premium and the most important thing is to manage it skillfully. This approach results in the fact that we can properly price projects and avoid sitting over a mock-up or design after a night, just to fit within the project’s time frame. Here are some ways to get master level in time management:
- Effective time management. The Toggl app is very handy . Its basic version is free, so you can try this tool without any consequences. “The desktop version of the application works best. I set myself to Toggl sending me reminders every time I interrupt my work logging for more than 10 minutes. Thanks to this, I do not forget to turn on the timer. I create a few projects and add clients so that later it will be easy to record new tasks on an ongoing basis ”- says Kuba, UI designer.
- How to control chaos and forget nothing. Most of us are familiar with the concept of creating to-do lists. Unfortunately, with more projects, it is easy to get messy in your notes. An experienced product owner knows the importance of order in documentation, which is why he usually uses a task management application. “In the event that we need something to quickly write down our own notes and goals, applications such as Things or Todoist will work better than packed with Jira or Asana functionalities ” – Emil, Senior UX Designer and one of the founders of Overlap Studio.
- Multitasking is a myth.Of course, when working on the usefulness of a product, we must take into account a number of related factors, such as functionality, concise and understandable copy, aesthetic design and clear information architecture. However, it cannot be done in one fell swoop. Our interlocutors advise to define 3-5 tasks each day that we want to carry out that day, and then sort them according to their importance. Probably most of you know this method and see nothing in it, but … The secret is that we start completing tasks in the order of the highest priority and we don’t move on to the next item on the list until we finish the first one. That’s right – we can’t do anything else until we complete the previously planned work. “Try it, it really works! Let’s say you have plans to refresh your portfolio. This is priority No. 1 for you, but the task seems so time-consuming that instead of getting started, you think of a number of other things to do. After two months your portfolio is in the same condition as it was. And it can be done differently – divide such a large goal into several smaller, easier to digest blocks, for example today I am working on the “about me” section. I don’t start any new project until I refresh my CV ”- says Agnieszka, UX Designer & Researcher. Such a smaller and clearly defined task seems much more doable, right? easier digestible blocks, for example today I’m working on the “about me” section. I don’t start any new project until I refresh my CV ”- says Agnieszka, UX Designer & Researcher. Such a smaller and clearly defined task seems much more feasible, right? easier digestible blocks, for example today I’m working on the “about me” section. I don’t start any new project until I refresh my CV ”- says Agnieszka, UX Designer & Researcher. Such a smaller and clearly defined task seems much more doable, right?
Professional development (and more)
People related to the UX industry and new technologies are usually characterized by a great curiosity about the world and a willingness to develop. However, it is not always known how to approach this issue to achieve tangible results. Below are some proven patents that you can try:
- Take advantage of inspiration. “I always start my day with a Dribbble and Behance review, I use the Muzli plugin . I believe that you need to be up to date with design, not only to follow trends, but also to learn about your own preferences as a designer. That’s why I always encourage aspiring designers to create their own collections of designs that they like. After some time, you can analyze such collections, draw conclusions and build your style on this basis, ”says Magda, Senior UX Designer, co-founder of Overlap Studio.
- Attend industry workshops. Usability, experience design, accessibility and user-centered design are very hot topics right now. Therefore, many industry events, meetups and conferences are created. However, not all of these events are worth our time. They often take the form of lectures and are aimed at novice designers. “The choice is huge, especially for people living in larger cities. But remember to make selections, ”advises Agnieszka, UX Designer. “I recommend signing up for workshops. The groups are then smaller and even if the topic is not very interesting, we can come out of such a meeting richer with new acquaintances in the industry ”.
- Get outside your comfort zone. “I believe that inspiration for development should also be sought outside of work. Browsing other designers’ projects is great, but what can help us when we get stuck in a creative impotence is drawing from other areas, even not related to design ”- Ewelina, UX Designer. That is why it is so important to develop new passions and try your hand at areas more or less distant from ours. Do you test with users on a daily basis? Try your hand at illustration. Perhaps it will be helpful during workshops or sprint design.
- Use the internet. Magda, our friend UX Designer, is a huge fan of tutorials. “You can find literally anything on the internet these days. For example, on the Skillshare platform there are dozens of courses on design, UX, UI, animation and illustration. If someone wants to learn to code, they will definitely find something interesting on Udacity . And it’s all available for free! I also recommend youtube channels dedicated to design, such as The Futur , CharliMarieTV or Sketch Together .
How do you deal with the organization of work? Do you have any favorite patents that you can share? If so, please comment. We’d love to hear your tricks of the trade!