Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash

The Art of Noticing (Alexandria Issue #028)

The best content related to design, technology, and productivity. Sent every 2 weeks.


Featured Article

Being alone


“When left in our own skin, without distraction, we don’t know what we will find. And worse, we don’t really know how to navigate because we were never taught how to look deeply inward.

A brief or close encounter with the silence of our own thoughts can feel like jumping into the deep end of a pool before ever learning how to swim. We almost reflexively squirm and scramble, reaching for something, anything, more familiar, more predictable, more in our control.”

More Amazing Reads

The art of noticing

Pay Attention: The Art of

“As an observer, you may not always be in your comfort zone. It may even make you feel a bit uncomfortable if you challenge yourself to a meal alone without anything — no phone or reading — to keep you company. We don’t often find ourselves alone in public, but it can be revealing.

Inspired by the book Taking Things Seriously, where writers and designers share essays about unusual objects, Walker suggests looking for the weirdest thing in the room and asking the question, “So what’s the story with that?” Consider it an ice breaker for any situation you find yourself in.”

Brandon breaux social

Visual Artist Brandon Breaux on Staying Positive and

“A lot of our value in the world is dependent on what we have to offer to other people. Art isn’t a necessity for people; it’s very much a luxury. I think everything about the art world conveys that. Auctions, the whole thing. It’s a very luxurious thing, and I don’t necessarily think it should be. I think art should be people — period — because they’re the ones that enjoy self-expression. But, in order to make it last and be as viable as it is, it has operate in that luxurious space.”


From Closed Mind to Open

“Do you consider yourself an open-minded person? Most people would say yes. Which, paradoxically, shows a form of closed-mindedness by failing to consider your own shortcomings.

Closed-mindedness in the inability or difficulty to consider different ideas or opinions. While it is easy to spot in others, we are all guilty of closed-mindedness depending on the topics and situations. So how can we identify and manage this behaviour in order to go from closed mind to open mind?”

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

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Feminine Energy: What Productivity is

“You need self-awareness to know what is truly important and understand what is actually stopping you from getting something done. But this perspective is often missing because productivity thought leaders focus on the technical and often ignore the intangible underlying feelings, fears, and desires.”


If We Want Design to be a Tool for Liberation, We’ll Need More Than Good

“Many of us who work in design professions seek to balance a desire to contribute to the creation of a better world with the need to make a living in increasingly precarious times. As the current crises around COVID-19 and racial injustice unfold against a backdrop of ecological collapse, unchecked wealth inequality, and the politics of patriarchy, racism, ableism, and xenophobia, designers feel called to do their part. We want to contribute our skills to projects of positive social transformation.”


Build your own PaaP: Playfulness as a Practice

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Before becoming a scary trope in a Kubrick’s movie, this was an ancient proverb. Playfulness is often interpreted as frivolous — something associated with children activities, or as something purely physical. Yet playfulness is an inherent part of human nature, and is crucial for personal growth. Playfulness as a practice can be associated with any intrinsically motivated activity done for enjoyment and recreational pleasure.”

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

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The evolution of HEY: From Humble Beginnings to a Multi-platform

“It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: inventing a new product from scratch is one hell of a challenge. It’s the toughest thing you’ll ever do as a product team. There are a million reasons why it won’t work, and zero guarantees that it will, so the whole project is a massive gamble. You just have to buckle up and trust that you’ll figure things out.

Since HEY made a big splash on arrival, I thought it’d be fun to share the backstory of how we ended up reinventing email. Because we certainly didn’t start by wanting to reinvent email. (That sounds hard and intractable!)”



Relate — Design and Develop at the Same

“Relate is the first interface design tool that empowers design and development teams to collaborate in the creation of digital products — visually and straightforwardly.”

Djn new logo

Become a Member — Design Justice

“The Design Justice Network is an international community of people and organizations who are committed to rethinking design processes so that they center people who are too often marginalized by design. We work according to a set of principles that were generated and collaboratively edited by our network.”

Doodle avatars website

Free Avatar Illustrations: Download Free Avatars For Your Website Or

“Limitless Avatars is a collection of free avatar illustrations for websites and apps. Click to view our growing library of royalty-free illustrations.”