Sep 23, 2020

Entering product design – Chapter 7: Craft and analysis

Making a button is easy. But why does the button needed to be there?

Making an icon is doable. But why put an icon instead of a plain text?

Putting a yellow color onto the canvas is not hard. But why yellow?

Typing words is not hard. But why do I need this paragraph?

The craft and the analysis. The output and the rationale. The eye and the hand. The making and the thinking. There is an essential relationship between them yet often disconnected.

To explain the relationship, I love to borrow a painter as an example. Painters are a great observer and interpreter of real life. They render their observation into a painting piece. Some will render it close to the real world, while others put abstractions to it.

To improve on the craftmanship, you need to improve both the making and the thinking. Not only the making. Not only how to make things, but analyze the Why.

Vincent Van Gogh Author: Vincent Van Gogh – A. View of Royal Road, Ramsgate (F Juv. XXVII / JH Juv. 5), enclosed drawing

Look at this sketch that Vincent Van Gogh put on his letter to his brother, Theo. He is observing the neighborhood. This drawing is a view from the school window where the boys stand and watch their parents going back to the station after a visit. Will this be a masterpiece of his work? Well, maybe not. But, surely, this observation contributes to his ability to render the final painting.

When we compose a high-fidelity screen, we are making.

When we scribble on the paper, we are thinking.

I exaggerate the separation there. In reality, a product designer will be switching between making and thinking unconsciously. But I want to emphasize the importance and the connection of both.

You should start to analyze intentionally. Then your craft will be more intentional.

If you use another digital product and you’re not analyzing. You’re missing a huge chance to improve your craft. Try to analyze things around you. Why does this door handle confusing? Why does this theme park is fun despite the long line? Why does this layout looks so inviting? Why does connecting AirPod is so effortless? Why does this application so irritating?

A strong product designer must analyze her craft and her surrounding continuously.





Nov 24

About self-doubt

Nov 11

Don't confuse design with artifacts

Nov 06

What if you need to find another job tomorrow?

Oct 26

Making sense of your design project by writing

Sep 30

When was the last time you reflect?

Sep 29

Methods are tools

Sep 24

How can I get a bigger project?

Sep 23

Entering product design – Chapter 7: Craft and analysis

Sep 22

Entering product design – Chapter 6: Narrow collaborator

Sep 21

Entering product design – Chapter 5: Soloist product designers

Sep 17

Entering product design – Chapter 4: Product designer key skill areas

Sep 14

Entering product design – Chapter 3: Misunderstanding of business

Sep 11

Entering product design – Chapter 2: Principles over steps

Sep 10

Entering product design – Chapter 1: Silver bullet

Sep 10

Entering product design – Overview

Sep 04

SAR: A framework for concise storytelling

Aug 27

Start your design with outcome

Aug 24

New medium post: Collaboration ground for design systems

Aug 17

Action points

Aug 13

Pulse check: Listen to your team

Aug 11

You should actively apply for a new job

Aug 10

Design systems' area of influence: Service (3/3)

Aug 04

Design systems' area of influence: Offering (2/3)

Aug 03

Design systems' area of influence: Identity (1/3)

Aug 01

My mom ran me to the hospital

Jul 29

Reader question: Do we need to build MVP for every product?

Jul 27

Reader question: Do I need formal design education?

Jul 24

Recognize assumptions

Jul 21

Sandbox for your personal growth

Jul 20

Start your week with questions

Jul 17

Specificity in feedback

Jul 15

Don't sell the design. Sell the business impact

Jul 14

Overwhelming inspiration

Jul 13

The framing trap

Jul 10

Everyone vs. Specific

Jul 09

The blind horse designer

Jul 08

Set the context in your meeting

Jul 07

Let's just try and see what happens

Jul 06

Managing expectation

Jul 05

Low UX maturity company

Jun 17

A simple exercise for career reflection

May 31

The “Coach sheet” – A paper-based system for people management

May 26

Bring calm to your remote team

Feb 13

Workshops can be more efficient than meetings

Feb 07

3 questions designers should be asking

Feb 06

Walking 1on1: A refreshing way to connect


Nov 21

My hope for stubborn 'Innovators'

Jul 18

Five simple actions to help you gain more time

Apr 23

Evolving Product Experience Principles at Bukalapak

Mar 09

A framework to give better design feedback: Analyze, Discuss, Suggest

Jan 28

Making a decision is hard, here's my rule of thumb


Dec 04

Essential skills for Product Designers

Nov 16

Quick life update

Nov 06

Things I learned from working at Shopify

Oct 15

About design critique

Sep 17

Common icon design problems you should avoid

Sep 06

Preface: Welcome to