Ephemera

A selection of design tools, services, and products that I use in my job and in my life. This is a list of ephemeral things that I find helpful and serve a purpose for me. I am a bit of a magpie, so this website can serve as a place to store my finds. I hold no promises on these things, but fingers crossed, they might be useful to you too.

Briefs

Design briefs are free to copy and adapt, but let me know how it goes for you and if you have any suggestions to improve it.

Image of the ephemeral design brief from the product Notion filled with stuff like goals and objectives and things like checklists

A notion page featuring the ever evolving design brief template we use. This includes things like goals, objectives and key results, as well as guides to writing problem statements and a design checklist I made for me. Frankly there is a load of links in here, including links to the amazing research templates by Odette Jansen. This is a living document so expect change 🙂

Communication and ephemeral design tools in current rotation

The stuff we use changes over time. Hence the name of this page is ephemera. Design tools seem especially ephemeral and can fall victim to changing trends. I was a happy Sketch boy before Figma. Things happen, and we move on. I’m less happy with FigJam over Miro, but I will live without it. Currently, I am happily using the following tools:

  • Loom. I love this tool, and have been using it since way back when it had a different name. It’s a superpower to be able to share context, communicate widely, and kill repetitive meetings. Likewise, you can see the evolution of your product over time, and it is way faster than writing.
  • Figma. The daddy of design tools that is trying to consume the world. Lot’s of good things about this as an all in one tool for specs, prototyping and design. It’s a generalist like myself which means it doesn’t do everything brilliantly
  • Slack. I have a hate love relationship with this noise maker of a tool. Beats using Microsoft Teams, but feels like it needs guardrails. Now my inboxes have inboxes.
  • Jira. It is not as bad as it was but I still get a sad feeling in my heart when I see those 9+ notifications
  • Notion. Great as a doc tool. Love it, but suffers from the same issue that a shared drive suffers where things get disorganised as you have multiple people projecting their mental models on it

Ephemera used to measure my life

I tend to track things. This is a way of keeping me accountable to myself. You might call them coping mechanisms but they work for me. So yeah, whatever works I guess:

  • Oku for books
  • Fitbit for step tracking
  • Lose it! so I can have a healthy middle age
  • Stickk for all sorts of commitments. I like that you can set a charity or anti charity if you fail

This page will be updated sporadically with ephemeral tools as I think of them and adopt new ones

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