And why do you need it?

Pipeline on a metal framework
Pipeline on a metal framework
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

Working in the media, and especially the creative industry, new job titles are made up almost every week. It is getting harder and harder to describe what you do at your job as a Designer because the definitions shift with every new tool available.

Starting in print design, I soon entered the digital world and fell in love with UX almost - if not more - than Design. For me, User Experience Design is building the foundation and framework for a digital product whilst keeping open communication with all team members involved in the process.

UX Design is common sense…


Because nobody wants to work with a**holes

Small yellow flower offered from two open hands
Small yellow flower offered from two open hands
Photo: Lina Trochez/Unsplash

The decision to become a full-time freelancer felt incredibly scary at the time, in part because apparently, it’s a shark tank full of people just trying to “get a piece of the cake” out there.

My fears were misplaced. It was the complete opposite for me starting my career and building my network. Most freelancers were the most relaxed and friendly people I ever met (spectacular exceptions excluded). They would be waiting for you to ask for help without expecting anything in return, simply enjoying the fact that they can. …


Trading in a soul-crushing work environment for a hectic but fulfilling career

Tired designer sitting in front of a laptop in a coworking space
Tired designer sitting in front of a laptop in a coworking space
Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

I remember sitting amid a huge audience at a design conference in southern Germany. I felt like I got hit by a truck at the time, having had the flu right before we took the flight down south. Even though I felt like crap and my mind was fuzzy, I decided not to stay at the hotel and attended the conference. After all, it was the first (and last) time the company I worked for paid for any kind of professional development. I wasn’t going to give them a reason to say no the next time.

The first two speakers…


When Peter Chan gave my pandemic-wrecked brain a break.

Image of a Bonsai tree on a table
Image of a Bonsai tree on a table
Photo by Luca Finardi on Pixabay

Back when I was around 12 years old I discovered my neighbor's collection of Bonsai trees. He had around eight trees ranging from the age of up to 200 years and religiously pruned and watered them almost every day.

Looking at these miniature versions of ancient Oak or Elm trees, I was instantly hooked.

I joined him in meetings at his local Bonsai Club, where they celebrated stuff like repotting, pruning the roots, or rewiring the trees.

It was magical.

So I bought a small tree at our local supermarket, pruned…


What doing a face plant can teach you about values.

Close up of someone standing on a skateboard
Close up of someone standing on a skateboard
Bild von Anrita1705 auf Pixabay

When I was around fifteen years old I bought my very first skateboard. My parents hated it. Not because they were hardcore helicopter parents or condemned the scene around skateboarding, but because I broke both my arm and knee the year before. Not at the same time, just two broken bones for different, rather unspectacular reasons (playing catch and crashing my bicycle into a field because I apparently can’t ride a bike). My knee quite literally exploded, ending in me not being able to walk properly for almost a year…


Mending the Trust Gap in a Web 3.0

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

This is not going to be a “ XX to the Mooon” post, don’t worry. But to explain where I am coming from I think I need to give you a bit of a back story.

In 2017, I did something I usually try to avoid like the plague.

I jumped onto the hype train and bought into this big new thing called, you guessed it, Cryptocurrency.

In hindsight, you could praise me for being an early adopter.

But honestly, I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t really up to a couple of weeks ago. All I…


How thinking outside the box can improve your career

Red swiss army knife
Red swiss army knife
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

Back in the day, a Designer’s role was pretty narrowly defined. You got some kind of idea or maybe even a scribble from project management (because UX didn’t really exist yet), created your website in Photoshop or InDesign and sent it to the developer, hoping for the best.

I remember spending hours on end with drawing red lines and pixel values (the so-called dimensioning) into Photoshop files or JPGs to make sure that the content was set right. For one client we had over 220 pages of module documentation in the…


Abstract painting on canvas
Abstract painting on canvas
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

An Artist doesn’t necessarily make a good Designer and vice versa

I guess in hindsight I was always headed into the direction of becoming a Designer, my father being incredibly creative and showing me the basics of how to draw and the craft in general. For example, he was great at airbrushing and regularly created pieces for all kinds if clients, including telephones for Telekom exhibitions. You know, the things you used to have sat on a counter with physical keys on it. I loved it. …


Dismantling every designer’s dream.

An image of a broadcast glitch on a screen
An image of a broadcast glitch on a screen
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Design Systems are the holy grail for Designers across the globe.

From behemoths like IBM and AirBnB to small scale Start-Ups, everyone seems to embrace the new normal, which is Design Systems ( I know, old news).

For anyone new to the term though, lets break it down with a quote from the Design Systems Handbook:

A design system is a collection of reusable components, guided by clear standards, that can be assembled together to build any number of applications.

It is important to note that, with Design Systems this doesn’t only concern the Designers files, but all project touch…


The topic most Designers try to kill with fire.

Stillshot of the character Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street
Stillshot of the character Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street
Photo by Mary Cybulski - © 2013 Paramount Pictures

I like organizing things.

If you would tell my mother she would probably laugh her face off, thinking back to a room packed to the rafters with Lego. But hey, things change.

As emphasized in a previous post, finances are usually the main stress factor for Freelancers, especially Creatives. For some reason the cliché of the unorganized Designer with their head in the cloud seems to persist, even in the heads of Designers themselves. For most people, creativity equals chaos.

As a Designer you can get away with pretty much anything, if you play it right.

Came drunk to work…

David Kippels

Random thoughts on Design and other things | www.davidkippels.de

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