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Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Two years ago I wrote a blog post about my daughter having her first ever epileptic seizure. Prior to that terrifying experience, I hadn’t truly understood what standing by completely helpless as your child turns blue could possibly feel like.

Once the convulsing is over, you’d think that would mean the worst part is behind you. But for parents of epileptic kids, the worst part is what follows.

My daughter is taking 3 AP classes. It’s her senior year, and she’s kicking ass with top grades in AP Calc, AP Chem and AP Psych.

Her neurologist decided to wean her off her seizure meds last month because she hadn’t had a single seizure in two years. She thought that it may have been a one and done, and felt that shifting off the medication would be beneficial. …


A robot playing a keyboard
A robot playing a keyboard

Creative inspiration can stem from anything in the universe. Some people are inspired by the texture of an orange peel, a shadow through a slatted window, 17th century architecture, remnants of a dream, the flecks of color in a partner’s eye — the source of material is limitless.

The design industry is massive. There are subcategories distributed across digital and physical products. Architectural design, home interior design, industrial organizational design, graphic design, interaction design, animation design, product design — the list goes on.

Every area of design, though very different, has a common thread. They all impact the person using or viewing the design on both a conscious and subconscious level. …


A series of vibrantly colored graphics from InVision that all contain the text “Shape The Future” in a variety of designs.
A series of vibrantly colored graphics from InVision that all contain the text “Shape The Future” in a variety of designs.
Credit: InVision

It’s been six months in a global pandemic during which we’ve also experienced civil unrest, the all-too-real effects of climate change, and an unprecedented economic downturn. Living through this time period has understandably left many feeling like their lives are completely out of control. So let’s talk about something that IS within our control.

As designers, engineers, UX professionals, and product team members, we have the power to use our skillsets to change the world right from our living rooms. Right now, at this very moment, people across the nation are deciding who to vote for in November’s election. This is not just a U.S. citizen-focused event. …


I’m 5 years into my fully remote work life, and there are 3 budget friendly items that I couldn’t live without.

Ring Light

Cost: $26

I am not a YouTube star, I didn’t need a monstrously huge ring light, I just needed something that kept me from looking like I was in witness protection during Zoom calls. This little guy does the job. It clamps to your desk, and can either be powered by plugging the USB into your laptop, or you can plug it in to the wall. It’s only 6 inches and can be positioned in any direction. …


Photo of a path lined with fall beautiful bright colored leaves, cutting through a wooded area.
Photo of a path lined with fall beautiful bright colored leaves, cutting through a wooded area.
Photo by John Mccann on Unsplash

The last few months have, let’s be honest, been a dumpster fire on pretty much every level.

The economy crashed and recovered and is teetering on the edge again. Friends and family members have lost their jobs, and some their homes.

People who were living comfortably, pay check to pay check, are now in line at food banks, trying to feed their families.

The world is on fire. Social injustices are getting the air time they SHOULD have gotten for the last 200 years, because people are at home and have time to actually deeply think about how terrible we’ve let things become. …


A woman with black hair sitting at a table holding her hand against her head looking stressed, reflected in a window.
A woman with black hair sitting at a table holding her hand against her head looking stressed, reflected in a window.
Photo by Arif Riyanto on Unsplash

I was chatting with a friend tonight, checking in to see how he is doing during all of the current goings on. He’s one of the most kind hearted, empathetic people I’ve ever met.

I’ve had managers in the past tell me that my level of empathy for customers is a benefit to the business, but that they worry that I may take my work home with me and continuously brainstorm solutions to problems without stopping. (They’re right.)

Empathy can be a beautiful super power. For those in the design and UX fields it’s especially impactful—you genuinely feel what your customers and clients feel, and it allows you to craft exceptional experiences as a result. …


Photo of a fist wearing a ring that says, “I am badass.”
Photo of a fist wearing a ring that says, “I am badass.”
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Why is accepting compliments so difficult?

I was in a 1:1 with my mentor Stephen Gates this afternoon, and he complimented my work on a recent project. I immediately deflected and launched into a compliment about a project that HE is working on and mentioned how many more people he was impacting at once. He rolled his eyes and said, “It’s not a competition!”

Twenty minutes later he complimented another project result and I immediately changed the subject.

He called me out and said, “In the years we’ve known each other I don’t think you’ve ever just accepted a compliment. You deflect or return one or change the subject every single time. …


A person wearing a hoodie in a shadow, standing on a boardwalk at night.
A person wearing a hoodie in a shadow, standing on a boardwalk at night.
Photo by Paul Garaizar on Unsplash

I had an amazing conversation with some incredible tech industry professionals this morning during a “Career Conversations: Combating Imposter Syndrome” InVision event I hosted. So many exceptionally talented people have been laid off in the past several months due to the pandemic. It’s absolutely heart breaking.

I read a story this afternoon, and it got me thinking. Going with your gut instinct can be important in so many situations, including those concerning your career.

My Friend’s Dog Hates Murderers

A friend I used to work with had the most gentle, sweet dog on earth. He took her for a walk one night and she happily greeted the few passersby that they came across. Then all of a sudden, she completely lost it, teeth barred, snapping like a hungry wolf at a guy who got close to them going the opposite direction. My friend was obviously mortified because she had never EVER done anything like that before. He started apologizing profusely, holding her back with force, and then really looked at the guy. He said he got this creeping feeling down his spine, and loosened his grip on her a little so there was a bit more distance between them. …


Photo of a man with blond hair and freckles holding the sides of his head looking stressed out.
Photo of a man with blond hair and freckles holding the sides of his head looking stressed out.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This morning a friend reached out to me asking if I could mentor her as she begins her career journey in UX. She was preparing to start a Coursera course—I was extremely excited to hear that she was going to pursue it, and immediately started sending her resources.

As the conversation progressed we realized that were were talking about 2 different career paths, and it brought me to a sudden epiphany—what used to be called UX when it was my primary career focus, is no longer called UX.

I’ve been working in community partnerships for the last few years but I’ve been keeping my “UX” skills sharp since “UX” is something I absolutely love. …


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Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash

A week ago I called my Rheumatologist in a panic because I had heard rumors about a Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) shortage.

I’ve been on Plaquenil for years, and my health has drastically improved as a result. I battle an autoimmune disease that makes my immune system attack healthy tissue all over my body instead of attacking threats like illness.

Prior to taking the Plaquenil, I was in non-stop pain. The Plaquenil really was like a miracle drug for me. I regained full use of my legs, when I had a flare instead of lasting for weeks it would last for days, I was relatively mobile as long as I didn’t push too hard and overdo it, it was incredible. It gave me my life back, as a mother, a human, and even kept me off of disability and allowed me to build a very lucrative career as a full-time employee at a remote software company. I’m still careful to avoid situations where people gather in groups since my immune system is weak and my health still tanks on occasion, but the impact Plaquenil made on my quality of life was truly incredible. …

About

Jennifer Aldrich

UX Blogger ~ Product Designer ~ Sr Mgr of Design Community Partnerships @InVisionApp Opinions are my own ❤ (© 2014–2019 Jennifer Aldrich)

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