Living UX/UI week 2 — at Ironhack

In this article I will go into the following:

  • exercises that help me diminish the pain of failure
  • what I enjoyed so far the most
  • what to do when everything is already “done”?
Our group presenting E-Groceries Strategy & Wireframes

Making the drawing the pain become a gain

Starting the morning with a fun 10-minute drawing exercise. I can draw a bit if I have a reference, but here you only have you mind and imagination, which makes it much tougher! I find this pretty scary to do, because the first thing I do that day as a non-drawing talent feels like a failure. Failing has never been something I’m really proud of, even though all management books and many companies keep reminding me that failing is good, and you should fail fast.

Some random drawing

I’ve failed several job interviews, and not even one time they said: “WE WANT YOU, because you did such a good job in failing!”.

Therefore, what really helps me during this exercise is the fact that we collect all the drawings of everyday. For the ones into math a Bootcamp of 9 weeks with 5 days a week = 45 drawings in the end. And I’m quite sure I won’t be satisfied with my last drawing, however at least I can see if and how I improved, and from there on start reviewing what I should work on next. So. In the end I still believe that failing is not the most desired thing to do, but it is a good way to start measuring improvements and thus helps us reach our desired goals.

What I enjoyed most

One of the things I enjoyed mostly is working closely together in a team. I get most of my energy from the diversity of the group, even though we are all on the same train to become a UX/UI-Designer we still have a diverse skill-set.

Thereby I love the strategy part in both my creativity, rational/logical thinking and teamwork are all being challenged within one project.

Last of all presenting the work and convincing stakeholders why this product is relevant is what I enjoy a lot. I find convincing someone for a product a very big challenge, unless I believe in the added value. And if I have a say in the product I often believe in the added value and feel the intrinsic motivation to convince stakeholder of this added value.

Some of my wireframes in sketch — translating the story to the product

The left and right brain

Working long days is nothing new for me, but crushing my brain whole day long as I do in this program has been quite a while. This mainly because I’m asked to both use my left and right brain, meaning that I have to combine creative thinking with logical matters. Because in the end everyone can come up with amazing ideas, but I believe we need to ask ourselves always the following:

· Is it relevant?

· Does it work from a business perspective?

· Is it actually feasible?

Coming up with the idea that your little super market is delivering products via a flying bike looking like Santa Clause is something amazing of course, but it wouldn’t work sadly enough.

I really get excited from this challenge, and I love to see how a product develops over time.

What is something is already done?

“Make it better!” that’s what I always hear, just copy it and make it better.. It sounds quite easy, but then again, I don’t think the guys developing a certain product are not thinking everyday how to make their product better? So “making it better” isn’t something that really works for me. I get more focused by following: “find your niche” and be specific within this Niche. Because everything is already done, and making it better for everyone at the same time is hard to do. However if you create let’s say a social media app for elderly people in one and the same nursing home, you can make it really according to their desires, and I believe that thereby your UX will be much better for this specific group and it will most likely actually be used.

What’s next

Coming week we start with our first solo project, health related, it’s promising to be a hectic week again, but I can’t wait to start on this! I’ll give more insights on the project after this week.

Now time for sleep and back to work.

Thank you for the read!





I’m Maarten I share my journey how I became a Designer with no design background or art talent.

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Maarten van Hoogdalem

Maarten van Hoogdalem

I’m Maarten I share my journey how I became a Designer with no design background or art talent.

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