To continue the conversation with Drew and other user experience professionals, join Drew's Practical UX: Lessons from the Trenches LinkedIn group.
Check out Practical UX Weekly (2017) for 40 more tips and tricks.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
- Most of us designers got into this field to be creative, solve complex problems and invent new services, but then we get overwhelmingly busy and things get messy, disorganized and rushed. That's why it's important to practice design hygiene. Design hygiene is the ability to maintain a healthy working space, physically, digitally and mentally, so you can be more efficient, tidy and mindful. In this design drill, we'll talk about the design hygiene. We'll look at tips to help you stay organized, efficient, while helping you not lose your designer's soul. Let's first start by looking at your file structure hierarchy on your computer. The biggest reason why files, content and miscellaneous junk end up on the desktop is because there's no filing cabinet or system for organizing it. Start by designing a file structure so you always know where your work can be filed. That way, you know where to retrieve it when you need to access it. The goal is to be able to step away from a file, come back and know where everything is at a quick glance. I've included a zipped up folder structure in the exercise files similar to the ones I work from so you can be on your way. The next practice is to apply the same thinking in your design files so they're organized, structured and comprehensive. If you haven't checked out my episode on Naming Fundamentals, then I'd recommend watching it. In that video, I share a few methods on how you should consider naming your work. You can test your structure and hierarchy by showing it to a trusted design peer and asking them how long it would take them to orient themselves to the file. Next up for design hygiene practices are essential product design principles I take with me everyday. The first is the design critique facilitation guide. This is where you establish the following. What problem is being solved? What is the context of the project? Where are you at in the project? And what type of feedback are you looking for? This helps you have good team critique practices which support the output and performance of the overall design team. I've included a one sheet design critique facilitation poster in the exercises files that you can print out and bring to your next critique so you can start to memorize these core considerations. As I reflect on the history of my design hygiene, I've definitely gone through stages. I didn't think about my insights and learnings regularly as a young designer. I know now it's where the most growth actually occurs. Each of these tips are opportunities to help with keeping you on a track for design bliss and less chaos. These are some of my design hygiene practices that I do every week and that had me brought sanity, clarity and growth into my career. If you'd like to talk more about this topic, then I'd love to chat with you. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter @abridewell or you can join my Practical UX Weekly group. Thanks for watching and I look forward to seeing you next time.