I migrated a bunch of content over and this post was probably written a lot earlier than the published date. As such it might contain out-of-date content, shit opinions, Dunning-Kruger levels of overconfidence and less creative swearwords than usual.
The following is an excerpt from my book ‘Mindful Design: How and Why to Make Design Decisions for the Good of Those Using Your Product’ (Mindful Design will do, like). This excerpt is around 25% of the final chapter. If you like what you read then you should totally buy it.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Two fuckin weeks in a row woah.
This week was the first full week where I’ve felt like myself for a long ass time. If you read last week’s round-up, I spoke about how I was coming out the arse-end of a pretty desperate cocktail of insomnia, depression and anxiety. To get through an entire week without any major episodes or setbacks was a highlight unto itself.
I don’t want to get too deep into therapeutic free-writing in what’s essentially a jolly little flashback through the week just gone, but in an attempt to encapsulate how my mental issues affect me I’ll just say that these issues make it really hard for me to do anything beyond survival mode. I revert to habits, most of which are bad, and I can usually get through a single thing in a day before my brain turns to mush. In the case of this latest round of bullshit, the one thing I’ve focussed on was work. Not because I’m a fuckin weirdo with a Gary Vaynerchuck poster on my ceiling, but because have you fucking tried paying for a wedding on the fly? Holy shit.
Because of this, my physical and social health plummeted and I’m now getting back on track. This week I’ve been able, every day, to work, chill out, meditate, self-care and socialise without the entire world collapsing in on me. Next week I’m excited to get back to a gym and start undoing the effects the last couple of months have had on my strength and my plump ass breasts.
I wrote last week about how much I’m enjoying the current contract I’m on. No change there. I’m working with some of the best designers and content strategists I’ve ever encountered, in a diverse team of talented, understanding and compassionate people. When people ask me about the downsides to freelance, I always say that you often don’t get long enough with the great teams. This is a case of long-term (for me) and amazing people, couldn’t really ask for more.
Project shit this week was very much in the ‘execute’ scope. Turning IA and wireframes into interfaces, working with a design system, etc. Very head-down, ship-it stuff.
Longer term, I’ve had a pretty decent number of enquiries since I put this chubby pink boi of a site live, some of which are super exciting.
I also had an awesome chat with Ashley about some next steps and new directions for With Jack. I always leave chats with Ashley feeling inspired as fuck, and I'm so glad I get to work with someone who gives as many fucks about freelancers and small collectives as she does.
After fuck knows how long working from home and having to dedicate a room in every house I’ve lived in to ‘work’, I’ve finally started looking for studio space.
For a while now, I’d only really been able to afford co-working spaces. Maybe at most a fixed desk at a co-work and, well, I fucking despise co-working spaces. Anything open-plan is fucking horrendous. And I’d literally rather work from the fuckin sea than a WeWork. Now, I’m fortunate enough to have the cashflow to splash out on an office with four actual fuckin walls and maybe even a window or two.
I went to peep one today (Friday) and it was fuckin lovely. Based in an old lace factory (because Nottingham), and full of exposed brick, high ceilings and huge windows, I kinda fell in love with it. It’s a proper fixer-upper, but I got a legit deal on it, can move in pretty sharp-ish, and have basically free reign to do what I want.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Y'all I've rented the most fixer-uppy office space and I'm so fuckin excited to get stuck in. <a href="https://t.co/yX76DD8IGn">pic.twitter.com/yX76DD8IGn</a></p>— Scott 🐙 (@scott_riley) <a href="https://twitter.com/scott_riley/status/1126860289167822849?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2019</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Being brought up close to the poverty line in Liverpool almost invariably means you find solace in football. Well, football and doing bottle bongs in the cemetery with shit resin that yer bff robbed from his step-da’s pot jar.
Being brought up close to the poverty line in Liverpool as a Liverpool fan having been born a month before the Hillsborough disaster means football matters a fucking lot. I was raised in a city and a climate that was brought together by football, by the acts of football people. An entire city that spent most of the 30 years I’ve been on this earth fighting against slander and lies from political shitbricks like Margaret Thatcher—dead as fuck la, boss—and institutionalised bigots like The Actual Fucking Police and Every Tory Nonce In The World. Because of shit that happened in a football stadium and lies told about shit that happened on a football pitch.
All that is to frame this: Liverpool beat Barcelona 4 fucking nil and qualified for the Champions League final and I cried my fucking eyes out for about a fucking hour. I watched the match again last night. Cried again didn’t I? The emotional roller-coaster that is the fuckin footy m8 is something I’m probably not equipped for, but fuck me, the sheer elation brought from ‘22 men chasing a ball’ is outrageous. Don’t @ me about how silly it is to get emotional about football when you’ve got bad fucking melts queueing up in Union Jack twat hats—stinking of scones and Brexit—to get a glimpse of a fuckin royal baby.
Anyway. Fuckin football.
I started reading Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella H. Meadows and I am proper fuckin loving it so far. Speaks to me.
One of the most impactful articles I’ve read in ages is Trans-inclusive Design by Erin White. A wonderful piece that highlights a lot of the implications behind non-diverse design practices and shows yet more reasons why products designed by and for mostly cisgender white people are fucking shite. It’s an eloquent and inspiring read. Erin has this rare writing ability that makes their every fucking sentence highlight-worthy. No filler. Adored it.
I went back through Meg Lewis’s amazing Full Time You workbook, too. I try to do this every couple months to remind myself of some of the values and direction that guides me through this weird ass life. Meg has created such an uplifting and inspiring book that perfectly matches her equally-enchanting personality and it’s no exaggeration to say this book changed my life.
I wrote about The Systems of Design and of course I’m lashing that in here.
To close, here’s a playlist of some of the bangers I’ve been enjoying this week. Cause music matters x
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