What exactly is a design system? How do I write a user story?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova

If you’re a UX designer, then you’re familiar with a very particular type of feeling. It’s one that we all, eventually, find ourselves confronting at some point or another. Whether that’s at the beginning of a project, or during engineering handoff, this feeling can be difficult to navigate. What is this feeling, you ask? It’s called confusion.

One of the reasons that UX designers face confusion often is because of the structure of our roles. It is our responsibility to ask questions about the problem, the user…

Why mood matters in your UX career

Image by Tima Miroshnichenko

Imagine you’ve woken up on an overcast Tuesday and you’re moving slow. You snooze your alarm, slunk out of bed, and throw on a t-shirt that you’ve had since high school. You do your morning routine, half-awake, and only begin to come alive once the coffee from your hand-crafted mug kicks in. When you sit down for work, you’re overwhelmed by emails, slacks, and calendar invites. Your laptop screen is a pattern of red polka dots, each filled with a different number inside. There are notifications to get through, people to answer, meetings to attend…and it’s not even 10am yet…

A brief intro:

“Hi Julia, how are you doing? I’m reaching out because I came across your profile and I’d love to learn more about your journey into product design. I’m curious to hear about your experience working at Hinge and Spotify. Do you have time for a call this week?”

Over the years, I’ve received a handful of these amicable intros from friendly people on the internet. These messages always make me smile. They remind me that there is a whole generation behind mine that is entering the workforce, ready to take on new design challenges with a young, fervent hunger. Overtures…

Julia Chesbrough

Product designer @Spotify, formerly @Hinge

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