As designers, we can easily skip ahead to proposing and designing solutions but to ensure we design the right thing, we need to make sure we speak to the users first.

Post it notes illustration with examples of user insights on
Post it notes illustration with examples of user insights on

It’s now been two full weeks working with , a London studio, and our client . Rival worked with Appsmith last year and is now working with them again to look at their current product and areas we can improve. For those who haven’t heard of Appsmith before, Appsmith has created a low-code framework that allows developers to quickly and easily create internal tools.

With the initial groundwork completed when I joined the project, I wanted to focus on the research. …


With Culture becoming the forefront of most tech companies, many are championing the Flat Hierarchy structure in management. But what if this attempt to be more inclusive actually leaves more and more women left out.

Recently I was reading ’s latest book titled . This book looks at how we work and how this can affect how we live and impact the greater community. Chapter two looks at business and what businesses could and should do to make work more meaningful. This chapter covers briefly Flat Hierarchy and has a case study from the founder of Proper. But upon reading, I wonder if the way we view Flat Hierarchy has since been skewed into a framework that no longer makes everyone feel included in a company, or more importantly, valued.

What is a Flat Hierarchy?

Within traditional businesses…


After easing into contracting this week, it was straight into the deep end of work.

A badly drawn image of what Liz thinks she looks like on a push bike
A badly drawn image of what Liz thinks she looks like on a push bike
A badly drawn image of what Liz thinks she looks like on a pushbike

It’s the end of my first full week as a contractor, and I’m starting to realise what people mean when they say there aren’t enough hours in the day. This week has made me realise two things:

  1. I relied a lot on my coworkers when in an agency, and
  2. Contracting is a test of whether your process really works

Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s interesting to think that only two weeks ago, I was within a team who I had known for three years. I was used to the people, comfortable with our way of working, and I knew exactly how we worked best…


Taking the leap into contracting has been a title change, but I didn’t realise it would also mean a significant shift in how I work.

An illustration of a cycle: Learn > Understand > Challenge > Unlearn
An illustration of a cycle: Learn > Understand > Challenge > Unlearn

I’m now officially self-employed! 🥳

There ended up being only a day between leaving my full-time role at Inktrap and starting my first contracting role. I was fortunate enough to have spent the last few weeks winding down projects I’d worked on and letting clients know I was leaving, and I had a pretty relaxed notice period.

Meeting the team and understanding the project

The first day of contracting has equally been relaxed. On Thursday, I was warmly welcomed on a video call where we took part in a mini-workshop session defining how we liked to work.

It was a great workshop and something that I’d tried to create before to use…


This week I spoke with recruiters about how to find work, what the market is like for contractors, and how to best work together.

An illustration of Liz on a laptop asking questions such as how long is a contract and what is a good day rate
An illustration of Liz on a laptop asking questions such as how long is a contract and what is a good day rate
Me having video chats with recruiters

This week I’ve continued my research about contracting, but this time focusing on the future. Even though I’ve got a contract lined up at the end of the month, I thought it would be worthwhile speaking to a recruiter to find out what the market is like at the moment and to build the start of a working relationship. One of the most significant risks in contracting is that it can still fall through at any point. …


I’ve spent the last week thinking about preparing to leave permanent employment and here are the top 5 things I’ve learnt or found.

Illustration of a computer with questions around it like how do I get paid
Illustration of a computer with questions around it like how do I get paid

Since I handed my notice in just over a week ago I’ve gone full focus on turning the idea of becoming a contractor into a reality. As a serial planner and organiser, I’ve started to do a few things to get myself ready for the job change.

1. List all the resources and software I use day-to-day

When you’re going it alone, you no longer have a team or manager around to dictate to you what resources or software to use. …


Design thinking has become a bit of a buzzword, but it can be applied to more than just your client’s projects. It can be applied to your career or job change too.

A drawing of a map with an island called Perm Role and Contracting as the other
A drawing of a map with an island called Perm Role and Contracting as the other

Since I decided to try contracting, I knew I had to find out as much information as possible. Not only to make me feel more confident in my decision but to also identify what questions I still needed answers to and where the gaps in my knowledge were.

All good design projects start with a discovery and research phase. When a client comes to us with a problem in mind, as experts, we need to investigate and understand the issue as much as possible before generating solutions.

This applies to our careers too. Whether it’s a dramatic change into another…


After 8 years working in various agencies and companies, I’ve decided to try out a new path — Contracting!

A sign post with permanent employment facing backwards and become a contractor forwards
A sign post with permanent employment facing backwards and become a contractor forwards

Writing a blog post about leaving my job feels a bit pretentious, like I’m some influencer or big design thought leader, where really it’s because I’d like to put a stake in the ground for the next series of posts but first, let me explain how I got here.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve been working at a wonderful company called . While there, my confidence has skyrocketed, and I’ve become a confident designer who is more than happy to organise and run workshops and help navigate the design team on new tools or techniques and speak with clients…


What does Good Design mean? Can we all agree on what Good Design is?

Image of a mobile phone that says ‘design’ and the description of what design is by the dictionary.
Image of a mobile phone that says ‘design’ and the description of what design is by the dictionary.
Photo by on

What is Good Design? — This question has stuck with me for the last 8 years. This question started to nag me while studying Graphic Design at Central Saint Martin’s University in London. The question came from a mixture of trying to think of topics for my dissertation and something I was trying to understand myself as I was struggling with the marking system that my tutors used to grade our work.

In my first year at university, my grades were pretty low, and I was considering dropping out. However, as I got into the second year, my grades started…


What if all our users fall into these four groups? The 4 Tendencies and how we can use them in user experience design.

Image of books stacked — titled The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
Image of books stacked — titled The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

As a teenager, I’ve loved taking personality tests to understand myself better and see how accurate the tests were. Since then, my self-discovery interest has continued, and I’m a big fan of reading self-help books and podcasts.

In 2019 I discovered Gretchen Rubin’s podcast , which talks a lot about how people behave and how we can improve ourselves and ultimately be happier than we’ve ever been. During my listening binge on Gretchen’s podcast, I found her book — .

This book focuses on our personalities, especially on how we deal with expectations of ourselves and others. …

Liz Hamburger

Writing about design and some other bits in between | Digital Product Designer Contractor at @RivalLondon| Event organiser for Triangirls | Formally at @Inktrap

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