2020 has been a year of learning and growth for me, most of the time the painful way, but I feel that it’s also a year of gratitude and privilege. Here’s a recap, just written down by theme.

  • There’s no more important thing in life than a family. Whatever happens to you, you always seek help and refuge in the family. Spend more time with them, and respect them more.
  • “Life is too short, do things that make you happy” rings true, but I would add, do things that make your family happy. Do the things that not only make…

I’m having so much deep thought recently, after being laid off. I think that I need to be a little more intentional in my career path down the line.

Reflecting on my past

Historically, it looks like I’ve settled on UX as my career, pretty much. There’s probably a little bit of flexibility in this, one way or another, to more design, or more product. See diagram below. I am now somewhere in the middle, but maybe more to the left side. For future, I can stick around or sway to either sides.

Beberapa bulan terakhir, banyak terjadi layoff di berbagai perusahaan, mayoritas disebabkan oleh pandemi COVID-19, akibat perusahaan tidak mampu lagi memprediksi bagaimana mereka akan tetap bertahan atau memperoleh keuntungan di kuartal-kuartal berikutnya.

Apapun sebabnya, dan apapun niatnya, layoff tetaplah jadi momok buruk buat pegawai. Perusahaan bisa saja memberikan pesangon atau mengeksekusinya dengan cara seelegan apapun, tetapi pada akhirnya sama saja: banyak yang kehilangan pekerjaan.

Desainer UX tidak terkecuali terdampak dalam hal ini. Seketika, mereka harus cari pekerjaan baru secepat mungkin, untuk menyambung hidup. Ada yang lebih santai, mungkin punya tabungan cukup atau tidak ada tanggungan. …

Everybody talks about localization (or globalization, depending on how you see it). I would actually prefer to say it designing or planning with local context, because “localization” sounds like a factory process—like hammering with the same nail and tool to everything.

One worthy definition of localization comes from the W3C:

Localization refers to the adaptation of a product, application or document content to meet the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market (a locale).

What I like about this definition is that it includes “cultural and other requirements”, which is almost always an oversight in localization efforts…

It’s another (tech) product jargon day.


Apparently, “hygiene” in product management means getting all the basic things functional and error-free or as much error-free as it can. It depends on the type of product you manage or design. If it was a mobile banking product, these could be hygienes:

  • View your balance
  • View latest transactions
  • Send & receive money
  • Pay bills

Anything other than the basic functions are considered added values or features that are unique or nice to have.

Honestly, I am not a big fan of the term itself.

“Hygiene” often feels like something that you have…

It’s not what you don’t know that will get you into trouble. It’s what you think you know that actually isn’t true that will get you into trouble. Mark Twain said it very eloquently.

Most designers think they know everything. They can start designing for anyone anywhere with the five-year experience that they have in their disposal. They sure know how to pull those pixels and utilise familiar patterns.

“Oh sure, users will know how to login. This is a very common pattern.”

“I’m thinking we should design with a certain kind of grid… otherwise things will fall over the…

I know being a recruiter is hard. It’s even harder for designers looking for the correct job. I’m trying to help here, and by no means I think recruitment is an easy business, nor a simple one.

After ten years in the career, I’ve come to a stage where recruiters come to me and offer to talk to me about potential positions. However, there are some pain points here in terms of the way they approach designers, especially those who are not necessarily looking:

Recruiters are quick to come to making a phone call. Designers who are not looking often…

When you deliver designs to stakeholders or to engineering, how would you do it? It must be in the combination of these ways:

  • Sketch files
  • PNG/JPG mockups files
  • Digital prototypes: Invision, Flinto, Framer, Marvel, you name it
  • Videos/GIF files, maybe made using AfterEffects
  • Zeplin link
  • For advanced designers, they might be able to code it using HTML, CSS or directly to XCode or something
  • A dropbox link of some assets

…and then you just send them off to the clients, to your managers, to fellow coworkers.

Then, what would happen after that?

They will come back to you with one…

I’ve been told all throughout my design career that being different is the key to success — both for individual level and collective level (a company, for example).

I’ve been told that it’s important to create not only a functional or delightful experience, but it’s also ultimately important to create a “signature” experience where your work becomes you, an identity. Others will try to copy your success.

For example, if you think about pull-to-refresh interaction in iOS apps, it is a signature. It was not thought by Apple or other app designers alike. Tweetie, the popular Twitter app back in…

I’ve been in companies that time-tracked my time as a designer. I can say, I don’t like doing it. There’s only one case where I am willing to do it: in a client-billable situation, like in agencies or software development houses. Even in that case, it should be restricted to only the hours that we actually bill to clients.

In this article, I’d try to refute the reasons people would time track their employees.

If you really need to micromanage in the first place, then you’d better not hire your employees in the first place. You hire someone because you…

Sigit Adinugroho

Reflections on digital product design, travel, food and the in-betweens. Finding my compass.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store