Reflective notes about my week as a Digital Product Designer

Another awesome week down, and I’m really looking forward to the weekend where I can switch off my product design brain and have a bit of a rest 🙏

The feeling of the week: Busy / Tired

Sorry, but this week has been like inssaannneee
Sorry, but this week has been like inssaannneee

Things I’ve been working on

This week was focused on research, which involved me and my coworker Naz speaking to users via zoom and secondary research, or desk research as I like to call it. Secondary research involves looking at other products, software and services that are either doing similar features really well or badly which is equally as important to find out.

I love doing user interviews, mainly because I love talking, and you learn…


Reflective notes about my week as a Digital Product Designer

I’m sure I’ll say this every week, but seriously, it’s flown by! This can only mean one thing — I’ve had fun right 😉

The feeling of the week: Successful

A gif saying “Give me a sticker I’ve achieved”
A gif saying “Give me a sticker I’ve achieved”
I’ve struggled to pick a gif this week…

Things I’ve been working on

It’s a good job I write down a daily checklist of things I need to get done, not only so I can make progress in my projects, but when it gets to Saturday morning when I usually write my week notes, I have a complete mind blank of what’s happened in the last five days.

I started the week with a Kick-Off meeting with the Appsmith team to learn more about the second phase of work…


A reflection on how my first 12 weeks as a Product Design Contractor has gone and what I’ve learnt about myself in that time.

An illustration of a calendar with 2 pieces of paper pulled of with month 1, 2 and 3 written on the sheets.
An illustration of a calendar with 2 pieces of paper pulled of with month 1, 2 and 3 written on the sheets.
And just like that — 3 months have already passed by…

I recently published a weeknote where I realised I’d be contracting for 10 weeks, so thought I’d do an update at the 12-week mark about how the last three months have gone.

Luckily I’ve got a coach who I’m seeing each month and this is helping me acknowledge the key experiences I’m having as a contractor. Even though we’ve had only two sessions, here is what I’ve discovered so far:

I’m actually quite skilled and not just as a designer

Prior to contracting, I had worked at a company for 3 years where I went from an unconfident designer who’d only worked on one product, to someone who had bags…


Reflective notes about my week as a Digital Product Designer

Another week down — it’s now been 11 weeks I’ve worked as a contractor! Once again, I felt like nothing notably had happened this week, but here we are with a ~5-minute note about my week 👀

The feeling of the week: Proud

Proud Self Five GIF by Zara Larsson
Proud Self Five GIF by Zara Larsson
The key to a good week is feeling proud of what you’ve done

Things I’ve been working on

I’ve spent a lot of time wrapping things up and tieing up any loose ends of the project. I’ve focused on documenting all the work that I’ve done so far, all ready to hand over to the Appsmith team. …


Trying the Weeknotes format as a way to find my flow again.

My mojo for writing disappeared a month or so ago, and my coach recommended that I try Weeknotes. If you’re not familiar with Weeknotes, Catherine D’Ignazio explained it well when writing for Common Knowledge.

Weeknotes is the practice of publishing a blog, explaining what you’ve been up, generally on a weekly basis. They can come from individuals or groups.
Weeknotes emerged in 2009 at BERG, a London based design consultancy. Writing about their pre-history Matt Webb notes this practice has a longer history on the internet and an even longer one offline.


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 Rival, a London studio, and our client Appsmith. 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 Elizabeth Uviebinené’s latest book titled “The Rest”. 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. …

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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