Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

Alexandria — Issue #3:

Emotional Rollercoaster

5 min readJun 19, 2019


This issue’s theme gravitated towards emotion: our anticipations for the future, the process of technological change, the madness of the startup world, the obstacles that make us want to give up, and the links between creativity and our well-being. However, it’s not all serious. There are also a few articles about conducting research, recruitment and creating case studies. And to round it all off — a little eye candy in the form of Soviet-era control rooms!

For resources, there’s a cool time tracking tool that I’ve been trying out, a feedback widget for your website, and a type generator that breaks fonts you upload.

Happy reading!


Articles & Essays

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The Creative Future
We asked more than 3,600 creatives what excites them, what scares them, and what they need in order to do their best work. Here’s what we found.

Gradually, Then Suddenly

There’s a passage in Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises in which a character named Mike is asked how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” he answers. “Gradually, then suddenly.”

Technological change happens much the same way. Small changes accumulate, and suddenly the world is a different place. What are some of the things that are in the middle of their “gradually, then suddenly” transition right now?

Make Friends With the Monster Chewing on Your Leg, and Other Tips for Surviving Startups

“You’re fighting to survive and for people to give a shit about your company. There’s no way that the stress of building something from scratch doesn’t affect your emotions. You’re cycling through anxiety, fear, euphoria, boredom and then back to fear again as the situation changes, and that’s completely normal,” she says. “But if you don’t know that’s normal and how everyone secretly feels, well, then you can add feeling isolated and discombobulated to the list, too.”

When Should You Give Up?

One thing that kept Walt Disney going during the hard times was seeing the effect his cartoons were having on audiences. People loved them. Even though the money wasn’t there (yet), that gave him enough fuel to carry on. An enthusiastic response is a good start, but it’s not enough…

I’m Walking Away From the Product I Spent a Year Building
I’ve become comfortable sharing the behind-the-scenes journey on my weekly podcast, The Art of Product, in hopes that it will be helpful to someone, somewhere. Keeping with that tradition, this my in-depth retrospective on what happened, the thought process that brought me here, and what’s coming next.

The Links Between Creativity and Depression
The black dog of depression is a frequent companion to those of a creative disposition, but while we all remember the tragic tales of late artists and writers, mental health issues are prevalent for everyone. The design industry’s frequent long hours, stressful projects, glass ceilings and frantic working environments can all exacerbate latent mental health conditions, and in creative environments these conditions are purported to be more common than anywhere else.

Why I Don’t Believe in Empathic Design
Human-centered design pioneer Don Norman, who coined the term ‘user experience,’ explains why he’s not convinced by the current obsession with empathy and what we should do instead.

Recognizing the Women Designers Lost to History Will Take Work — We Should Do It Collectively
This op-ed is one of a three-part series of opinion pieces in which educators address the way design history has traditionally been taught, and how we can push for more representation in the canon. Two more pieces will follow in the coming days.

How to build a simple UX lab anywhere
Having conducted over 200 UX research studies for GV companies, I’ve come to rely on a simple setup that’s inexpensive, and flexible enough for testing mobile and desktop prototypes in-person and remotely.

5 Tips for Better Design Research Recruiting
As designers, it’s our job to solve real problems for real people. To fulfill that mission, we first have to understand what is and isn’t working well about a product, service, or even experience — anything from wearing a football helmet to paying a hospital bill to optimizing commutes.

I’ve Helped Create 150+ Case Studies. Here’s (Almost) Everything I’ve Learned.
A story is up to 22x more memorable than a fact… but combine both stories and facts / data together, and you’ve got the ultimate sales tool. Here’s how to add case studies to your salesforce.

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The Vintage Beauty Of Soviet Control
Just for the pleasure, a selection of vintage control rooms dating back to the Soviet era! A beautiful collection of control rooms filled with large buttons and analog dials, long before the democratization of computers and screens.


Klokki — Automatic Time Tracking Tool for Mac
The Auto-Tracking technology automatically tracks the time for you, based on what you tell it to track. This way you keep the control over it, but the need to manually start or pause the timer goes completely away.

Survais | Website User Surveys, Email Capturing, CTA Widgets, Feedback Gathering, Social Growth
Designed to be non-intrusive, gamified, and quick to complete — Survais allows you to collect valuable insights with ease. Get Started

enFont Terrible — A Terrible Type Foundry

An international, award-winning weird type foundry based in Internet and founded by Javier Arce just five minutes ago. We create, publish, and distribute deform, break, and destroy high-quality retail and custom typefaces for analog and digital media fun.