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Sebastian Hickey
UX Designer
UX Designer

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My map is on TV!

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The last thing I worked on at BT Sport.

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A solution to help you drink water at the correct pace?

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Grooveshark is dead.

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I've added some new artwork to my portfolio.

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A few weeks ago I worked on a secret project for a broadcasting network. Things went wrong. Which was a good thing.

Working with a broadcaster at a sporting event, my job was to create the graphics that would be used on the show.

Of course, you don’t just rock up to an event and make the graphics that day. There are weeks if not months of work involved, partnering with the broadcaster as well as the other design agencies involved.

Was it easy?

It shouldn't have been a challenge. I mean, I got the design brief on time, it was as clear as day and everyone was agreed about what was going to be delivered. Right?

Well, no.

I didn't get the complete design brief until a week before delivery, there were big gaps in my understanding of what was required and at least two people giving me direction had opposing opinions about elements of the design brief.

So when I turned up on the day and the graphics “didn’t do what they needed,” I wasn’t surprised. And, importantly, neither were they.

Setting expectations …

The first thing to go right happened a few days before the event: I talked to the client.

I told them what was achievable and what wasn’t achievable, e.g., you can have this functionality in your dynamic graphic, but it won’t do that.

I also advised what they could do to swing the balance (what I needed from them if they wanted to achieve more). They did what they could. So, on the day, they knew what to expect. Sort of.

… And breaking expectations

Because they knew what I could deliver and what I couldn’t, there were no unpleasant surprises. They had already accepted the unpleasantness. So when I found time to make adjustments on the day, to add new graphics and functionality, and to listen and respond to their gripes, I was able to exceed their expectations.

It’s not about lying

It’s about being completely clear about what you can do perfectly, what you can’t do perfectly and why.

Then, it’s about leaving yourself enough breathing room so that, under the right conditions, you can improve things.

Then it’s about listening, it’s about being versatile and hard working at the final crunch, and it’s about showing your passion for their project.

So, this week’s design lesson: Versatility shows passion. Make sure your client sees that. But temper it by setting expectations or you risk them mistaking passion for desperation.

(From my bloggy blog)

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"Talk to Your Team (but Make It Quick)"

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"Talk to Your Team (but Make It Quick)"

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It’s been a week of acclamation. I returned to work after the birth of my son, there was no Internet in work for a whole week and, of course, I heard about the final cast for Star Wars VII.

My world has been inverted.

If you find yourself sleep deprived, without Internet and reeling from the terrifying awe of panic and excitement, you may find this helpful.

1. You won’t get any more proper sleep. So figure another way to get energy: chat to people, be friendly, be positive, be curious. Friendship helps. From 55 Ways to Get More Energy:

Turn off the Internet and go socialize with friends. Humans are social animals, and we need regular socializing to keep ourselves in peak health and energy.

2. Alternatively, listen to some rain noises on your phone and snore on the bus. There’s nothing nicer than drifting off with exhaustion on public transport, with your mouth ajar.

3. When you’re in work, without Internet, use it as an excuse to drink shit loads of tea and coffee, chatting to everyone you’d normally reach by text. You won’t be efficient but you’ll make more friends. See 1.

4. As for actual designing, you won’t have any reference materials for inspiration. Eek. So get your smartphone and, on the way to/from/during work, take pictures of funky billboards, interesting compositions and fashionable people with brave color coordination.

5. Or get 4G and tether your workstation to your phone, you lucky bastards.

6. Lastly, remember this. Since you first watched those childhood defining films, remember that everything they’ve done since has been utterly soulless. DON’T GET EXCITED. Just don’t.

Taken from my blog.

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Italian masseuse in London, cheap, great friend of mine ... Consider sharing with sports types and folks with niggling aches.
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