Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Designs that live on your computer, or phones are like a ball of clay. They can be molded into whatever shape we want. However, that means they are never written in stone and whatever is on the screen can always change.

In these moments, design can feel like one negotiation after another. Examples:

  • “Should we move this step earlier?”
  • “Why don’t we use [insert design pattern here]?”
  • “How does that idea help our [insert business goal here]?”
  • “How will this appeal to our users?”

Anyone of these questions (and others like it) can lead to a negotiation. Designs get challenged…


Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

In early October 2019, I had just finished a Product Design program to help me transition from a career in software sales.

After numerous application rejections and several interviews, I finally landed a great design position at a Fintech nonprofit that helps underserved communities build their savings habits and financial resiliency. Although I was going to be their sole designer, I was excited by the opportunities and challenges offered by this role.

That happened at the end of February 2020 and my first day in the office was supposed to be on March 11th. …


Hint: Don’t hold back

Oh the places we will go…

One of my favorite quotes I relate to decision-making talks little about it:

“When people purposefully withhold meaning from one another, individually smart people can do collectively stupid things.”

— From the authors of “Crucial Conversations.

Intentional or not, missing a key person, or failing to present relevant insights upfront prevents making the best decision possible. Do this enough times and no one will be happy where things end up.

In part 1, I talked about a couple communication techniques to address this within a team by creating shared understanding.

For part 2, let’s discuss:

  • How…


Hint: It’s about what you can do for your teammates

The (overly-simplified) Design Process

Delivering a solution requires speaking the same language. The language gets murkier when concrete insights travel through abstract methods until the final product is shipped. While in sales, I learned that any language barrier is not conquered by being a smooth-talker. It’s solved by identifying a need, proving you can solve it, and delivering a result.

Shipping a product and getting a sale go through similar journeys because they are full of people trying to help you understand what they need.

As product designers, we are equipped with the language…


Stop believing in “average”

Photo by moren hsu on Unsplash

This post was inspired by John D. Couch’s book, “Rewiring Education.” He offers a compelling approach on how our education system can (and should) change with technology’s help.

I highly recommend you check it out. If you like this post, please reach out to me @ronqnroll on Twitter!

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

I’ve seen my mom learn best by opening up a 500-page technical manual to solve a problem she’s facing at work.

She has always had this tenacity.

While in high school…in spite of having…

Case Ronquillo

I’m currently a Product Designer at SaverLife, a FinTech nonprofit that helps low-income adults build their saving habits.

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