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I write about technology and design, mostly mobile and web. Sometimes I write about people and places I visit.

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Sketching personas

An angry bird sketched on a paper.

Just doodling on the side while thinking about a design problem.

Take-aways from UX Munich

UX Munich hosted some really interesting talks this year, especially those more technical in nature. But two things really resonated with me. The first one is from Andy Budd:

Good designers want to be proved wrong, bad designers hope to be proved right.

My interpretation is that good designers and other problem solvers use mistakes as learning opportunities, while bad ones have fragile and defensive ego, and see compromise as a failure.

The second is from Erik Spiekermann. He was trying to explain how he hires people and that there are more important things than current skills.

You can learn to design. You can learn to code. But you can never unlearn to be an arsehole.

And don’t work with arseholes”, he said at the end. So there you have it, no more excuses.

Moto Munich

A BMW oldtimer.

Since I’m not a beer drinker and it’s the wrong time of the year for Oktoberfest anyway, I had to find something else to explore on this visit. BMW, headquartered in Munich, is preparing itself for the 100th birthday next year, so it seemed like a good opportunity to spend one morning exploring its history and engineering accomplishments.

How to learn quickly according to Elon Musk

Elon Musk—CEO of SpaceX and Tesla—was asked on a recent Ask Me Anything on Reddit how he manages to learn so quickly, especially since he is innovating in different industries and is successful in all of them. He replies:

I do kinda feel like my head is full! My context switching penalty is high and my process isolation is not what it used to be.

Frankly, though, I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.

One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree—make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.

Let’s repeat this:

  1. You can do a lot more than you think you can.
  2. You need a good foundation in the area you’re trying to master. I’ve already touched upon the topic last year.

The whole AMA is also interesting to read if you have time.

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