DESIGN THINKING

An attempt to figure out the workshop nature once and for all.

A lot has been written about why workshops are important for product teams, but today I’ll focus on what they actually are. It’s an attempt to debunk the myth that workshops are rocket science and require sophisticated terminology to be understood. But first, let’s play a game. How many workshop canvases on the picture below do you recognize? And which of them have you already tried in practice?

Not many design projects run without colorful sticky notes and team exercises on the whiteboard these days. But the number of workshop types scares! Empathy mapping, value proposition, customer journey, personas, business…


DESIGN LEADERSHIP

From handling user interfaces to handling people

Design leaders often grow out of yesterday’s designers. You are a designer with brilliant soft skills? Perhaps, you’ll be offered a leadership position someday. It has become common for our profession that Heads of Design, UX Directors, and Team Leaders appear with minimal people management experience or education. That’s why we are destined to discover bits of this new skill set the hard way.

It’ll be fun, right?

1. You won’t be nice to everyone

One of my favorite sayings is, “If you want to hug the whole world, buy yourself a globe.” Before I became a manager, I had observed other managers’ work and believed I’d be much more humane…


PHOTO STORY

Majestic Art Nouveau buildings in Germany’s capital and the top tourist city of Ukraine

I used to live in Lviv for 5 years, and I’ve been living in Berlin for 1,5 years. It’s long enough to explore the beauty of both cities and fall in love with modern architecture. This article is a subjective mix of the most fascinating buildings I recommend staring at.

© All photos by Slava Shestopalov

Let me give you some context. The end of the 19th — beginning of the 20th century is called the Belle Époque (Beautiful Epoch). It was a period of peace, prosperity, and innovations. European architecture before the outbreak of the First World War had two primary directions:

  • Eclecticism attempts…


PHOTO STORY

Exploring 26 notable buildings in Lviv, Ukraine

I used to hate Baroque. I always associated it with the corrupt politicians’ perverted taste and fussy villas with overwhelming golden decoration. Recently, I tried to understand Baroque again, and it turned out to be an eye-opening experience. Oh, how wrong I used to be…

© All photos and illustration by Slava Shestopalov

Baroque flourished in the 17–18th centuries. It emerged owing to Catholic Church and served as its “brand identity.” Striving to compete with Protestantism, Catholics employed emotion in architecture to better appeal to a broader audience. Baroque was the first European style to spread globally (unlike its predecessors: Romanesque, Gothic, or Renaissance).


PHOTO STORY

How I tried to figure out ancient architectural styles just walking around the city

Tourists admire Lviv as a whole but rarely understand the value of each piece. Besides, half of the oldest buildings are located outside of the crowded center and don’t get the attention they deserve. So, I’ll give the floor to overlooked sites as well as a few popular ones. Plus, I drew schemes to help you recognize the architectural styles of the past.

© All photos and illustrations by Slava Shestopalov

Byzantine and Romanesque Period

13th century — High Middle Ages in Europe. A time of the Fourth Crusade and the rise of the Mongol Empire led by Genghis Khan. The largest country in Eastern Europe was Kyivan Rus, an ancestor of…


DESIGN THINKING

Freebie included: Miro templates for prioritizing workshops. Originally published in Smashing Magazine

When you’re working on a product, what is more crucial than choosing the right features to develop? However, the exercise often turns into a spectacle of team voting. As a result, decisions change many times down the road. Let’s talk about the pitfalls of popular prioritization techniques and approaches to reducing bias and disagreement.

How familiar is this scenario: the team employs modern decision-making methods and performs all design-thinking rituals, but the result remains guesswork. Or this: Soon after having prioritized all features, the key stakeholders change their mind and you have to plan everything again. …


PHOTO STORY

Overlooked sites of a non-touristic Ukrainian city

Cherkasy, the center-most city of Ukraine, was founded in the 13th century and had a wooden castle, but now the oldest surviving buildings date back to only the 1850s. Locals don’t perceive Cherkasy as a nice destination, but I’ll show you plenty of sites worth gazing at.

© All photos by Slava Shestopalov

Masterpieces of Horodecki

The city’s most valuable buildings are credited to the talent of Władysław Horodecki (1863–1930), an architect of Polish origin, often called “Ukrainian Gaudi.” He contributed greatly to the architecture of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and designed several buildings in Cherkasy.

Hotel “Slovianskyi”

Our first stop is the hotel “Slovianskyi,” colloquially known as the “Blue Palace.” It…


PHOTO STORY

Ukrainian western-most city feels the best before sunrise.

I’ve been to Uzhhorod just once before this trip, and it didn’t impress me, but the night setting can change everything. How did we get there so late? Well, it was a conscious yet a bit crazy decision. My fiancée, Oksanka, and I — both wild about exploring new places — wanted to order wedding rings from a Ukrainian jeweler based in Uzhhorod. So, we booked a ride via BlaBlaCar and departed after midnight from Lviv.

The river Uzh divides the city into two parts — old (left) and new (right). © All photos by Slava Shestopalov

We wanted “a real adventure” and didn’t plan to stay at the hotel. This was our plan: departure from Lviv at 1 a.m.; around…


PHOTO STORY

River ports, factories, and “concrete balls”

Vintage industrial facilities always stand out from a modern cityscape: textured brick walls, slim tubes, themed sculptures, coats of arms, arched windows. So, this summer, I was exploring non-touristic parts of Berlin in pursuit of overlooked industrial beauty.

© All photos by Slava Shestopalov

1. Westhafen (1914–1927)

Google Maps, Wikipedia (in German)

Westhafen, the biggest river port in the city, has been attracting my attention since my first visit to Berlin. One can hardly overlook this huge industrial area with massive tanks, colorful piles of containers, and cranes.


PHOTO STORY

How I was collecting old towers around the city, including a cemetery, prison, and gas plants

Elevated tanks had served as water storages since ancient times, but spread worldwide only in the 19th century when pipe technology became more robust. The beauty of a tower is that it supplies water when you cannot rely on pumps, for example, during an electricity outage. Thank god for the gravity! Many old towers are protected historic sites and are even repurposed as libraries, apartments, or offices.

© All photos by Slava Shestopalov

1. Wasserturm Gaswerk Mariendorf

District: Mariendorf. Height: 45 m. Built in 1900. Info: Google Maps, Wikipedia (in German).

Slava Shestopalov

Design Manager at Eleks Berlin eleks.com, public speaker, author of the 5 a.m. Magazine medium.com/5-a-m 🇺🇦🇩🇪

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