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Reflections On My Practice As A Designer

Not too long ago I published an article on Medium about “The Gap” that new creatives encounter in their work. This gap represents the difference between your own expectations for your work and the outcome of it. For anyone who has ever finished a sketch, painting, poem, or term paper and thought to themselves “damn. this sort of … sucks” — you have experienced “The Gap” as well.

In this article, I shared my experience with “The Gap” in my own work as well as my reflections on a video in which Ira Glass shares the secret to bridging this gap: practice.


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Photo by Matias Malka on Unsplash

My Work Disappoints Me, and That’s Ok.

I’ve been struggling for the past few weeks with how to approach my work when I am not feeling passionate about it. For much of my professional history, I have approached my work from a mindset that is almost entirely strategic and analytical. This year I have made a concentrated effort to view myself and my work as inherently creative. I am just a couple of weeks away from finishing Ironhack Miami’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp, an experience that has pushed me to my creative limits. This piece is part of my reflections on this experience.

I’ve been struggling lately with my work. During the last 3 projects that I’ve worked on, I’ve begun to notice a pattern. At the start of each project, I’ve felt energized and motivated. The early days of a project require skills that, by this point in my career, I am fairly comfortable with: research, analysis, project management, and strategy. During these early stages, I am definitely in my element. …


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Hungry? Check out http://www.pinkpie.com/

This project challenged me to focus on delivering an e-commerce experience for a local business and I was excited to use my design thinking skills to solve a real business need. My project partner MAYAH MCGOWAN and I chose to focus on Pink Pie, a local bakery specializing in mini-pies, as our “client” for this project. Fortunately for us, we were able to speak with the owner of Pink Pie, Michael, whose perspective afforded us tremendously valuable insight into Pink Pie’s current business context.

Like many local businesses, Pink Pie has been forced to adapt to a changing marketplace in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the outbreak, Pink Pie relied heavily on the tourist market. Pink Pie’s brick & mortar location in Miami’s Wynwood district, a tourist favorite, allowed the business to capitalize heavily on this market segment. …


Wicked Problems: An exercise in design thinking

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“From her beacon-hand glows a worldwide welcome;” from ‘The New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus. Photo by Avi Werde on Unsplash

A Wicked Problem is a challenge that is commonly defined as “ [a problem that] avoids straightforward articulation and is impossible to solve in a way that is simple or final.” Climate change, global hunger, and immigration are textbook examples of wicked problems. While the size and scope of these types of problems can be absolutely daunting, it does no good to avoid them. President John F. …


The Challenge

Module 3 of Ironhack’s prework challenged me to redesign a travel app experience to optimize the experience for a specific demographic. I was presented with the choice of which app and which demographic of users to work with.

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Hopper: Never Overpay for Travel Again

The User

I chose to focus on a user profile described as Worldtrotter, Backpacker — 18–38 y/o.

Worldtrotter, Backpacker — 18–38 y/o
You’ve decided to finally go visit that wonder that has been sitting in your dreams for a long time now. Yo don’t have a long time to plan but also you don’t need it. You’ll be traveling in 6 months and are open to almost any possibility but have a budget constraint. You are price-cautious and prefer experiences where you have a chance to meet people and make acquaintances to enjoy the wonder together. …


This piece is a product of course pre-work that I have completed as part of my admission to Ironhack Miami’s UX/UI Bootcamp in Miami beginning on June 8th, 2020. I’ll be posting future coursework here on Medium during my attendance in the program. To any reader with experience in User Experience Design: any tips, feedback, and suggestions on my process or prototyping are warmly welcome.

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Forest: Stay focused, be present

The second module of Ironhack’s UX/UI prework challenged me to reverse wireframe an app or website experience of my choice. I chose Forest, an app that is essentially a gamified timer that helps users “stay focused, [and] be present.” I wanted to work with Forest because I enjoy the styling of the app and because I use it regularly to track the time I spend working on tasks (like this post!). …


This piece is a product of course pre-work that I have completed as part of my admission to Ironhack Miami’s UX/UI Bootcamp in Miami beginning on June 8th, 2020. I’ll be posting future coursework here on Medium during my attendance in the program. To any reader with experience in User Experience Design: any tips, feedback, and suggestions on my process or prototyping are warmly welcome.

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UrbanGo, a transit-tech company based in Silicon Valley, is seeking to simplify the public transit experience by providing riders with an intuitive trip planning mobile application. The marketing research team at Urban Go has found that a significant amount of their users experience a shared pain point: many trips require a rider to purchase multiple transit passes from separate agencies in order to travel on the various transit options available to them such as busses, trams, and trains. If a rider is unaware of the numerous passes required to ride, they may find that they’re unable to complete their trip without an unexpected trip to a local pharmacy or convenience store to purchase another transit pass. …

About

Dave Ostergren

Product Designer — Coffee Drinker. Let’s create together: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dostergren/

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