If you’re still here, know you are capable of anything.

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Henri Pham on Unsplash

The other day I had a conversation with my therapist about my most recent depressive episode. I had a mental breakdown leading to a huge dip that took months to recover.

I often think about the person I had to be back then, just to survive. It was hard for me to believe I did it.

“It’s a kind of superpower, really,” my therapist said. She was right.

If you’ve had to endure the dips of depression for a long time, it’s not always easy to give yourself credit. But it’s necessary.

For a lot of people, overcoming depression doesn’t happen once and then never again. According to Dr. William Marchand, psychiatrist, and clinical professor, at least 50% of those who recover from depression will have more than one episode. …


And small ways to make transitions easier for everyone involved.

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

If you’ve been through some sort of product redesign, you know user complaints are impossible to avoid. No matter how well thought out the changes were, it’s almost guaranteed your users will hate it.

The reason behind this is quite simple. Most redesigns focus not only on changes but especially on new users and their onboarding process.

Even if the changes were supposed to make the flow easier, the barrier for existing users will be quite high. It’s a barrier that wasn’t there before.

“People just don’t like spending their time learning, they like to spend their time doing.” …


Instead of letting it distort your sense of reality.

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

I’ve been on the verge of quitting Social Media quite a few times. I succeeded in deleting apps from my phone for good, and I deleted a few accounts I saw no real use for.

But as a UX Designer, it is impossible for me to go completely “off the grid”. Not only is it part of my job to know how people interact with Media, but it is also the most common way of communicating and living, as of today.

We always interpret the world around us to make sense of what’s happening. To get results, our brain sometimes takes shortcuts that aren’t always accurate. …


Aha! moments can’t be summoned

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I have always been a fan of non-fiction on self-improvement. Before learning about the wave of this platform’s self-help craze, it was a guilty pleasure. Back then, it was all about the books. I’d save a multitude of recommendations to have an abundant backlog for whatever might tickle my fancy.

Every once in awhile, I’d go on a bender and buy a bunch of them at the same time because I got just excited enough to convince myself it was the right time.

A tingling feeling of possibility and opportunity on the horizon. Whenever I picked one of them up for the first time, I knew a significant change would follow it. …


And how you can properly balance them

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

The people we admire often share similar traits. We tend to look up to them and try to mimic their behavior. We want to reach their social standing, live a life similar to theirs, and become more trustworthy and respected ourselves.

But every human trait has its shortcomings.

Imitating them seems like a sure-fire way to get to where we want to be. They might hold the same values as us, but seem just better at going about life. But no matter how much we’d like it to, not every trait will come naturally to us.

Trying to be more likable and trustworthy is actually not that hard to do. But it can easily make us lose sight of our intrinsic needs. People might like and trust us more, but we may be still feeling miserable. The more we look at positive traits from just one side, the harder it gets to stay objective. …


From color theory to life-centered design.

Illustration of girl sitting on a bed, surrounded by plants
Illustration of girl sitting on a bed, surrounded by plants
Illustration by Author

If you’ve been around the Internet and Social Media the past few years, you’re probably aware of the ongoing trend surrounding house plants. What started as a few inspiring home decor pictures on Pinterest, slowly clawed its way to a plant “culture” and community amid Millenials.

According to the National Gardening Association they made up a quarter of U.S. lawn and garden retail sales in 2019.

Their rise in popularity made sense since there’s an abundance of physical and psychological benefits of owning and taking care of plants. Being nice to look at, is a bonus.

But why the sudden surge? What was it about the huge monsteras in loft apartments that got people hooked? What made people turn to artificial plants when they weren’t able to take care of real ones? …


First thing: quit streaming.

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

It’s difficult to introduce drastic changes in a company’s culture. Oftentimes sustainability initiatives are only seen as part of the company’s product, instead of as part of the company’s culture.

Especially tech companies, agencies, and freelancers have a hard time figuring out what exactly they can do to be more sustainable. Digital products are often already the “more sustainable” choice but have been proven to still have a lot of problems when it comes to their effect on the environment.

Still, the scale often gets set too high and absolute. …


“20% on everything” — a cautionary tale

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In 2003 a hardware chain commercial took Germany by storm. It only contained one simple sentence, dubbed by Bruce Willis’ voice actor.

“20% on everything — except pet food (tr.)”

A sale on everything? Wait, why not pet food? Is that Bruce Willis’ voice? People were instantly intrigued. The commercial fit perfectly into the stingy 2000s era of shopping. …


Gamification

A dive into the mishaps of the most commonly used gamification pattern.

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

“A designer must not only see the way a player engages with the system, but also how he leaves it and — perhaps even more importantly — what brings him back again. “ Cunningham & Zichermann

Gamification has been around for a while. People like to treat it as a golden ticket to user engagement. There are a lot of great resources to figure out in what ways you can add gamification to your current app’s system. It’s used as a tool to motivate and keep the user engaged in applications.

One of the most used gamification patterns is rewards. They seem like a no-brainer. People love using reward systems because they’re easy to implement and tend to work with a variety of users. …


They’re the most valuable key to understanding him fully

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Illustration by Author, Original Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

When we first started dating, we didn’t talk much about our parents. We told stories from our childhood but the most important thing was to get to know each other. Not our families.

We were both the type of people who, as teenagers, couldn’t wait until the day we would finally move out. So when we talked about how things used to be at home, it was a thing of the past.

‘Yeah, my family can be pretty weird. Especially my parents. But at least I’m not like them.’

The first few years after moving out can be tough when it comes to your independence. You take your first steps into the real world but unfortunately, it doesn’t mean your parents aren’t still breathing down your neck. …

About

Carine Ru

UX Designer based in Germany. I write about Mental Health, UX, Psychology and Self. https://linktr.ee/collectivemmind

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