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The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

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Figma Skills Won't Get You Promoted

Figma Skills Won't Get You Promoted by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, Today's advice letter concerns the design community's fetishization of Figma and how our obsession with tools gives the wrong impression. Let me explain. Everywhere you look, designer dudes are trying to sell you on Figma. Design is so much more than software for drawing rectangles. But still, you click this stuff. It's almost like you think that learning this one piece of software is the job...rather than, you know, learning how...

6 days ago • 2 min read

Shaping the Future of the Guild of Working Designers - Let's Co-Create! By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, As one of over 6,500 newsletter subscribers, you're part of a vibrant group passionate about senior-level design and leadership. You might have heard us refer to the Guild of Working Designers, or Guild for short, and maybe you're even part of it. But if you've been curious about what this is and why it exists, we are here to clarify that and offer an opportunity to shape its future. The Guild...

19 days ago • 2 min read

Innovation by Design with Cristina Colosi Dear Reader, Last night, we heard an inspiring talk from Cristina Colosi, a service designer working on the innovation team at Rainforest Alliance. Many designers want to get involved in sustainability work, and Cristina is an example of how you can use your design skills to make a real impact on the climate. Cristina gave us a firsthand view of her innovation work with a case study about an NGO that involved farmers, corporations, and the entire...

about 1 month ago • 1 min read

Balancing Freelance Life with Maya McBeath Dear Reader, Last night, we had a roundtable with Maya McBeath, a human-centered designer, user researcher, and workshop facilitator. Maya shared how to maintain steady work without losing your soul. Freelancing can be tough, but Maya's human-first approach is a way to keep doing the work you love on your terms. The down-to-earth discussion includes: How Maya started freelancing Cultivating resilience by diversifying income streams Practical...

2 months ago • 1 min read

Is Poor Communication Hindering Your Projects? By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, Imagine you're in a brainstorming session, brimming with enthusiasm and ideas for a new project. Excitement fills the air as you share your vision with your team and stakeholders. However, as you dive deeper into the discussion, unexpected resistance emerges, derailing the flow of creativity and stifling collaboration. Tensions rise, misunderstandings abound, and suddenly, your project hits a roadblock. Sound...

3 months ago • 2 min read

Design Strategy vs. Design Vision: What's the Difference? by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, There's a rookie mistake that I see design strategists make over and over. They think that a vision is a strategy. But vision and strategy are wildly different. What's the difference, you say? Well, vision is more about where you want to be, while strategy is more about how to get there. Why don't I show just show you? Check it out below: Watch Vision vs. Strategy: Setting Goals & Reaching Them Share it on...

3 months ago • 1 min read

A Designer's Uncertain Path to Success By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, Navigating uncertainty is where great designers live. We have loads of data, insights, and experience to work with while trying to figure out the right solution to make our company all the money in the world and skyrocket our careers. Aren't those our only goals these days 🙃? We have pressure from our CEOs, managers, COUGH, and ourselves to get everything right. The anxiety of uncertainty is palpable, pushing us to strive for...

3 months ago • 1 min read
How to design a UX strategy, a free course on YouTube

A Belated Holiday Gift from Jeff Humble Dear Reader, I'll make this quick so you can get back to your family. I got you a little something for the holidays. 🎁 It's a FREE course all about UX strategy. The course is an hour-long YouTube playlist consisting of nine quick videos. You can watch it whenever your uncle starts talking about politics. Enjoy! 🎄☃️🦝 Take the Course on YouTube Source, shared by Linus Mimetz in the Guild ONLINE MEETUP: Designers' Collective DreamsEmbark on a journey of...

4 months ago • 1 min read
key areas of influence for DesignOps: impact & quality, efficiency & scalability, and motivation.

DesignOps vs. Design Management By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, Last night's meetup explored the world of DesignOps vs. Design Management, featuring the insightful Maria Karnahova as our speaker. Maria Karnahova is a seasoned senior DesignOps and is deeply passionate about design operations and facilitation. During the meetup, she provided valuable insights from her role at GetYourGuide. Maria is also a co-founder of Lead by Design, a Berlin-based community for design professionals and their...

4 months ago • 2 min read
business strategy and ux design

Finding the Overlap Is Your Job by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, Today is a micro-lesson in business strategy. I talk a lot about UX strategy, but UX and product strategies defer to the business strategy, so listen up. The business strategy is one of a designer's most important guiding artifacts. Still, I bet you think about your company's PowerPoint template more than you think about the business strategy. Image from Unsplash The business strategy at your company is essential to knowing if you're...

5 months ago • 1 min read
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