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Design Life
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Design Life

Author: Charli Prangley, Femke Van Schoonhoven

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Design Life is a podcast about design and side projects for motivated creators. It was born after your hosts, two serial side project addicts, saw a gap in the podcast market for a conversational show about design and the issues young creatives face, that was hosted by two females.

This show aims to tackle the big issues designers face like getting paid, overcoming a creative block or managing time, to name a few. We want to open up discussion about things we wish we heard people talk about when we were studying, and we want to chat to you about the joys and the frustrations of working in the tech industry by day, and on our passion projects in the rest of our waking hours. We hope that by doing so, Design Life will give you a dose of motivation or inspiration when you need it.
221 Episodes
Today on Design Life we chat about building design team culture. A strong culture can help your team to have more impact in your company. Building design team culture improves how you get the work done and how you operate as a team, it can also make your team a more enjoyable place to work. We also discuss how Charli's approach to team building has changed since she became a manager.
Today on Design Life we tackle a listener question on a topic we haven’t gone in depth on before - how to work with PMs, POs and other stakeholders. Not familiar with these titles? Don’t worry! Listen as we dive deep into how to make the most of the relationship between product and design so you can make your best work.
Do you use daily themes to get more work done? Today we chat about the challenges and benefits of implementing daily themes to organise your schedule in a new role and to give your current schedule a productivity boost.
Is becoming a manager the next step in your career? How can you figure out if being a manager will be a good fit for you? In today’s episode we discuss why a move into management isn't the best course of action for every designer and what to consider before making the leap.
There are many benefits to working in public but sometimes it can be difficult for designers to share their work. This week on Design Life we talk about how to start sharing your work and some prompts to help you begin.
Today on Design Life we discuss taking ownership of your career growth. Pursuing your dream career takes courage but the risk is worth the reward. In this episode we answer a question from a listener about how to discuss career growth with your manager as a junior designer and also as a woman. We share the times that we have succeeded, and failed, at taking that leap in our own careers and what we have learned along the way.
Have you ever thought about organising a hack or jam day at your work? A hack, hackathon or jam day is an event for you and your team to put aside your usual work and focus on one project or idea, an opportunity to make progress within a tight time constraint, like one day or a half a day. In this episode Femke shares her experience of running jam days at Uber as Charli prepares to run a hack day for her team at Convertkit.
214: Our daily routines

214: Our daily routines


How has your daily routine changed over the past year? Working from home has meant our daily routines have adapted so that we start a little later, spend more time on our morning routines and get more from our day as a result. Today on Design Life we chat all about our daily routines and really break down how we spend each part of our day.
How do we balance our side projects and our full time jobs? This is a question we get asked a lot! The thing is, time gets filled up very easily. You’ll never find the time unless you are purposeful about how you spend it. Today on Design Life we discuss how working from home, taking on more responsibility in our day jobs and having shorter blocks of time in which to get work done has made us change our priorities and find balance in new ways.
This week on Design Life we want to talk about hiring from the perspective of the person doing the hiring. In the past we’ve talked a lot about finding a design job, portfolios, interviews and everything that the process entails but today we are looking at the other side of hiring. What do you need to consider when hiring a designer to join a team at your company? How can you encourage a diverse pool of the right people to apply for the job and how can you whittle it down to the best applicant. If you’re leading a team and own the hiring process, or if you regularly get pulled in to help during the hiring process this episode will be useful for you.
In today’s episode of Design Life we talk about ageing and ageism in the tech industry. This is something we’ve started to think about more recently as we noticed there are a lot of people in the design industry in their 20’s and 30’s and a lot less in their 40’s. What happens to people as they age in this industry? As designers, we are ageing along with tech. Ten years from now will it be common place to have your entire design team made up of people in their 40’s, or is this a naive idea? We discuss finding role models, fuelling your ambition and what we can do about ageism in tech.
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This year has been a year like no other, which is all the more reason to look back and reflect on what we have learned and what has changed since the year began. In this episode of Design Life we chat about monetizing our side hustles, promotions, learning curves and finding gratitude in difficult times.
 From the outside it seems like a quick and easy way to share your work and who you are as a designer, with a lower entry level than customising your own website, but is it too good to be true? We share the results of a recent Twitter poll on what the design community thinks about this new trend, along with our thoughts on whether this is a cool and creative idea or something to avoid if you want to make the right first impression. 
This can be difficult to do as a creator because you might have the skills to do the work yourself, but not the time.  In this episode we talk about when to outsource work, how to choose the right person and developing a productive workflow.Flo WongAine Brennan 
In this episode of Design Life we discuss how to have a productive meeting, remotely. This year has seen a huge increase in remote working and has challenged many companies to find new ways of doing things. We have all spent an hour of our time in a meeting (that could have been an email) at some stage in our career, but how can you avoid that happening again in the future? We share our experiences of running successful and productive meetings while working remotely and the importance of speaking up if things aren’t working.
We chat about how to use social media advertising to get in front of clients as a designer, to drive traffic to your site and to remind people of your products that they’ve previously considered buying. There is lots of insight to be gained from our discussion with Mojca, including actionable steps to take, whether you want to start using social media advertising today, or in three months time. Support Design Life on PatreonFollow Mojca on InstagramThe Science of Facebook adsSuper Spicy Media
Do you always get the freedom to see your design process through from start to finish? On this episode of Design Life we talk about speeding up the design process or simply how to design fast. Keyboard shortcuts and being a software pro might help you to create a design faster but you need to look at the bigger picture to speed up the whole design process. Some projects need to get finished faster than others and there are a few things you can do to help make that happen, but if one project can be finished quickly can’t they all? We chat tools, timelines and how to ensure you’re still producing your best work on a tight deadline.
If you listened to our last episode you might have heard that Femke recently launched @femkedotdesign, an online space that focuses solely on design and separates the personal from the professional, in other words - a design-focused Instagram account! We chat about using Instagram as an educational platform, the benefits of a new, dedicated space for follower’s questions and what you should consider before launching a design-focused Instagram account.femkedotdesign on Instagram
Taking on a new role in any company is an exciting time with lots of opportunities to learn and develop your skills but taking on a newly developed role in your current company has its own set of challenges and rewards. We talk about what a Creative Director does, leading a team and up-skilling for a new role. @femkedotdesign on InstagramFlo WongLara Hogan Demystifying Management CourseWork with Charli at ConvertKit
Comments (2)

Virginia Delgado

Loved this episode :) I've been listening to your podcast lately, in no particular order, and this got my attention. What if you start a career because of that drive, and then you start losing it? I started a career change a couple of years ago (from filmmaking to graphic design) and one year left from my design degree, I have to push myself to do side projects! I was so so interested when I was working as a filmmaker (which I still do sometimes but don't feel so passionate about it anymore) and did design projects whenever I could... Now, I'm having a hard time to "stay up late because of X project". Can passions change? And should we look at our B list when this happens? Thanks for the podcast :)

Jun 8th

Shruthi Baskar

Amazing podcast! Feels like listening to a best friend who can relate to whatever you are going through.

Oct 10th
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