If you live in New York City like I do, you know very well that we basically skipped the nice part of spring and dove right into the gross summer. Technically, summer hasn’t even started and I’m already craving the fall weather. Anyway, let’s talk about what I read this week. Recently, I’ve been focused on reading books (this and that), running and cleaning up my digital life. For that reason, I haven’t sought out many UX and tech-related articles so I only have a few to share. I’m always open for recommendations so please send me anything that makes you say “wow, Riri would love this!

1. I’m a business manager. How do I become a UX designer?
By Teo Yu Siang from Interaction Design Foundation
I’ve definitely linked to several articles of stories of people who pursued different professions that switched over to UX design. That’s because they hit very close to home. I’m waiting until the day that I can write my own story titled “How I transitioned from being an overseas ESL teacher and paralegal to a UX researcher.” What I enjoyed the most from this article was how the writer used simple, everyday language to explain what UX is and was very thorough about the various aspects of that career.

2. 3 reasons why you should continuously conduct user research
By Jennifer Winter from User Testing Blog
The more I read about user testing and research, the more I develop interest. I’m a very process-oriented person so UX research seems right up my alley. This article presents three solid reasons as to why it’s beneficial to continuously do user testing and I agree with all of them. It hits all the points of the rewarding feeling, budgeting limitations and collaborative efforts.

3. 20 People in UX that You Have to Follow on Twitter
By Nick Kellingley from Interaction Design Foundation
Every day I ask myself, “What more can I do to get involved in the UX landscape?” I came across this article in my feed and wondered why I never bothered to use Twitter as a resource for learning UX, especially from the experts. Up until now, I only followed Don Norman because I’m currently reading “The Design of Everyday Things” but it’s definitely wise to follow other design giants in the industry.

4. 9 Tips for Creating an Awesome Brand
By John Rampton from Entrepreneur
Although branding is categorized differently from UX design, I can’t help but think that they go hand-in-hand. Yes, UX designers focus on the look, feel and usability of a product but that transfers over to the way people relate to the brand as well. The tips offered here are great and most of them remind me of pointers I learned from Chip and Dan Heath’s “Made to Stick.” I especially agree with the third point on weaving the brand into everything. More people need to be doing this.

5. 8 Real-Life Ways to Make Money with Brand New Tech Skills
By Kelli Orrela from Skillcrush
These are a great set of ways to utilize in-demand tech skills and how people can earn money with them. Although I’m not yet equipped with the technical skills of a UX designer, I think that this article helps me to brainstorm “fake projects” that I can start on my own to pick up those necessary skills. This list also provides a lot of great things I can do with my current skill set and that feels empowering.

6. 28 Creative Tea Bag Designs For Tea Lovers
From Digital Synopsis
I included this one just for fun. This article brings together two things I love: delicious tea and innovative designs. I’m a huge tea nerd (see photo below of my tea stash at work) and am delighted when I find new ways to enjoy drinking it. What I appreciate most about this article is that it pays tribute to creating something beautiful out of the regular act of drinking tea. As a designer, I do prioritize usability but I would love to create beautiful things like these that give people the extra joy when doing something simple.

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tea addiction is an understatement

I just spent the past hour unsubscribing to almost every newsletter and retailer I received emails from. As some of you may know, I recently made a huge purchase (and am not revealing it just yet) so I’m trying to limit the temptations around me to shop for unnecessary items. Next week is my first race with the New York Road Runners and I’m excited for it. I haven’t even been actively training for an entire month yet but I find myself running faster each time. I’m able to control my breathing better and pace myself. If you’re enthusiastic about cheering for me bright and early on Sunday morning, be my guest!

Cheers,

Riri