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Starting a new job or moving within your current company into a new area is difficult. You are drowning in new information, meeting new colleagues, and having 1000 questions about what is going on. All that at once can be overwhelming and we can feel like we are not making any progress.

Over the years I’ve found three ways that helped me organize the chaos and speed up my onboarding experience.

1. Keep and prioritize a list of questions

Start this list of questions on your first day. Write down every question that comes to your mind, even if it seems easy or dumb. Remember what they used…


Resources to help you work together efficiently to create high-quality solutions

The six phases of collaboration in a flow chart
The six phases of collaboration in a flow chart
The six phases of collaboration

The collaboration playbook is made up of activities, articles and frameworks to help you through the six phases of the collaboration process. By using the resources in this playbook, you will be able to create a shared understanding of the problem and work together efficiently to create a high-quality solution.

I’ve worked in small startups with 10 people and large companies with tech departments of 2,000+ people. The technical skillset for both jobs is similar, but the communication skillset is very different.

At a large company, there are multiple teams (squads) in different departments (tribes), with different business goals, all…


TL; DRTutorial using 4 key features to design in google sheets

As a lead designer, I find myself designing less and less in Sketch and more and more in Google Sheets.

I create a Google Sheet for almost everything these days.

  • Prioritizing product and design opportunities
  • Understanding a user research question
  • Helping designers with their personal development plans
  • Figuring out what I like about my daily work

For me, a Google Sheet is the easiest way to organize my thoughts and collaborate with other people on them.

Over time, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks on how…


Design Libs is your go-to reference for how to write and use some of the most common design thinking exercises, practices, and methods.

Design Libs

We at the UX Collective know how working on side projects to make the design community stronger is a labor of love and dedication. We are excited to partner with Alexa on her Design Libs project. Here is the story behind it:

I have struggled putting pen to paper my entire life, yet one of the most important skills as a designer is written communication: being able to clearly explain your thoughts, ideas, processes, and solutions. This comes naturally to me for verbal communication, but when it comes to written communication, my brain just freezes up.

Over the years, I’ve…


What started as a crazy new adventure has become normal

Three years ago, I was getting ready to leave my childhood home and board a one way flight to Amsterdam. As I was saying goodbye to my dog Wallie, I started crying hysterically. I told her that she better still be alive when I move back to the US in three years.

Well, those three years have passed and I am not moving back anytime soon. And thankfully Wallie is still alive!

2015 — Year One: New & Exciting

My first year here was full of new experiences. A new country, culture, friends, language, skills, and adventures. I learned how to work in an extremely diverse environment…


Mario Party minigame screen — allows the core user to start playing the minigame right away but also allows the onboarder to learn the rules and how to play

How to build your product balancing the needs of both user types

Acquiring new users and turning them into loyal customers is no easy feat. Within minutes, a user can sign up for an account / download your app and decide to become a loyal user or to never use your product again.

I recently did some design work for CourseCraft where I helped them figure out how to incorporate an onboarding experience for new users into their existing product without disrupting the workflow for the everyday/core users.

CourseCraft, created by one of my former colleagues, aims to help people create and sell their own online courses. Through data, they realized that…


https://unsplash.com/collections/218917/internet?photo=aso6SYJZGps

Hi, I’m Alexa and I’m addicted to the Internet. Well I was, but not anymore.

Recently, I moved into a new apartment and thought that transferring my internet service between apartments would be a walk in the park. False.

Forgoing internet access at home for 45 days helped me rediscover my passion for things outside of work and as a result made me a different, better, and happier person.

Backstory

The first week was the hardest. I couldn’t find ways to keep myself occupied and I ran out of cellphone data. I’d stay at work till 8pm just to catch up…


Nostalgia: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

As we all know, Pokémon Go came out about a week ago. I currently live in Amsterdam and this news didn’t break to me until Monday morning when I started reading my daily blogs; I could not escape articles about Pokémon Go. It is a phenomenon. I needed to find out what all the hype was about. Because I still use my US iTunes account in Amsterdam, I was able to download it and play here before others in The Netherlands.

Pokémon trading cards

I downloaded Pokémon Go at work…


https://thenextweb.com/conference/europe/

Conferences can be very beneficial. It is a great time to learn more about a specific topic, meet new people and network, and take a break from your daily routine. Conferences can also be very expensive. Purchasing the conference ticket + flight tickets + hotel rooms = NOT priceless.

When deciding on attending a conference, the conference website provides you with a list of speakers and a little paragraph on what the conference is about. Then it asks you to buy a ticket. For example, TNW Conference has a paragraph on what the conference is about and then the head…


https://unsplash.com/photos/jtyIeXi1Goc

Getting ready for the new season of Game of Thrones? Me too. Last year when season 5 ended, a friend and I said we were going to rewatch all of the episodes (50) so that when season 6 rolled around in April 2016, we would be ready. Now Game of Thrones is coming back in one month and we haven’t watched any of the episodes. Whoops. But I want a way to refresh my memory about what happened last season before the new season starts.

Refresher. Refresh your memory about your favorite shows while they are on a break. Instead…

Alexa Kaminsky

Senior Product Designer @ Flexport … “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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