Marisa Morby marisa morby

Articles

Hey there, happy you're here! I've got a few hobbies and interests that I'm really excited about, and love sharing what I'm learning. You'll find articles about design systems, urban design, research, projects, and skills I’ve gained over the years. Enjoy!

Leveling up: Progressing in your UX Research Career

This post is for people interested in growing their UX Research career. I discuss how I've grown research programs and grown into a Senior Design Researcher role. This is a live post, so I'll be making updates and additions based on questions I get. If you've got a question, send a tweet to @marisamorby and I'll answer it and update the post!

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Creating a "good first issue" for new OSS contributors

Tips on creating a good user experience for first time contributors to OSS.

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Neuroscience, Behavior, and Anxiety: Growing once you're grown

Do you suffer from anxiety? I do, and am fascinated with how neuroscience, behavior, and anxiety are all related. This post goes into how this is all interconnected and some ideas that might help you manage your own anxiety.

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Learnings on scaling research insights and operations

Takeaways about scaling research from a Research Ops town hall I attended in the summer of 2020.

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How to validate product ideas

When you've got a good product idea, how do you know that it's actually something you should pursue?

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Asking better questions: leading vs. open questions

One of the biggest problems on research calls is asking leading questions. They can easily derail an interview and make any insights you get biased and often wrong. They'll lead you down a path that doesn't actually solve problems, because you've seeded the interviews with leading questions.

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Asking better questions: Tips for getting clarity from participants

When running research calls, your insights will only be as good as the goals you set and the questions you ask. I want to take some time to talk about how I approach research calls and get more context and clarity from our research participants.

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Collaborating with nature: Reimagining our cities with vertical forests

We need bolder visions to help us imagine what our cities and towns could be. This post starts to explore what that could look like, starting with a few examples that already exist or are in design.

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Reaching your goals

I often have trouble posting and sharing content, even though I really want to. I got some recent advice from my coach to help me think about it a bit differently. I wanted to share the two biggest things that stood out to me.

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Taking back the streets

Streets were originally meant for all people to use. With the rise of the car, people got pushed further to the edges, and an entire legal system was set up to defend drivers of cars rather than those impacted by them. How can we change that narrative now?

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How to create a research program

Often, research teams at small to mid-size companies only have one or two people in charge of identifying, conducting, and sharing research and insights. This is my in progress guide to creating a research program when you don't have a large team to work on it.

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Designing a better built environment

We can design a better world if we're willing to ask better questions and make real change.

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We all belong in the climate conversation

Joining the conversation on climate is for everyone, because it will impact all of us.

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UX Design: The trouble with easy

We often hear that we should make things "easy" for people using our product. The trouble is that when we do that, we rob people of the joy of overcoming small bits of friction. See how to think about friction in a different way.

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How Design Shapes our Future

Let's use our imagination and dream up a better future.

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Designing for people: How research and design can help us create smarter cities

I had the opportunity to give a talk at the Portland Junior Developers meetup. This post is a link to that presentation, where I shared some ideas on how can we use research, design, and tech to create better cities.

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2019 Retrospective and 2020 Goals

Insert your own funny 2020 vision quote here... everybody happy? But for real, let's look at how things went in 2019 and goals for 2020.

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Why are people in America so angry?

I recently had a conversation with someone that asked me, "Why are Americans so angry?" And that got me thinking, so I wrote down why I think we're all so upset.

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Finding hope as our world changes

A few months ago I was lucky enough to go to the Cooper Hewitt Design museum in New York. The exhibit I saw was what I've been waiting for. It made me sad, excited, angry, and most of all—hopeful. It changed me in such a way that I still think about it almost every day. I want to share some of what I learned with you.

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When systems design meets user design

Researching and designing cars is no small task. But in order to build products that are sustainable and safe, we must learn to ask the right questions, and consider how the product will work within the entire system.

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Dealing with climate anxiety in a dying world

How anxiety can give way to productive anger.

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Embrace the process

It's common to think that processes are hard, disruptive, and annoying. But each step we take to complete a task is part of a process. Whether or not that process is effective is up to you. Learn how to create effective processes with a little team research.

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Designing for your worst user

Some people who use your system will be bad actors. As researchers and designers, how can we design to deter this type of behavior?

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How it feels to give away your LEGOs

How working in a startup and constantly redefining your role can be terrifying, fun, and ultimately help you grow.

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Output vs. Outcome

Outputs and outcomes are thrown around in product management a lot. In this post, I talk about why you need to measure outcomes if you really want to succeed.

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How to create a research program, even if your company doesn’t believe in research

Not dedicating time to research is a bad business decision. In this post I talk about how to create a research program from the ground up, even if you've never had a research program before.

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2018 Retrospective and 2019 Action Plan

Another year has come and gone, so it's time for reflection and goal setting!

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Gatsby Swag Store Case Study

The process we went through to create the Gatsby Swag store.

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Investment is a funny thing

How does investing in something improve your life?

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In the beginning (again)

Some thoughts on running my own business, the second time around.

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Confessions of a Quitter

I struggle with starting projects, and basically never finish them. So I’ve always considered myself a quitter, until now. Here’s how I changed.

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The 6 Step Framework for Handling Bad Feedback

How you handle bad feedback is what separates successful freelancers from the ones that crash and burn. Instead, turn something bad into something useful.

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Are You Confusing Your Visitors? Interactions for Happier Users

Got an email sign up list? What happens when people sign up? Check your site flow to make sure you're not confusing site visitors.

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Two Changes You Can Make for Better Facebook Marketing

I get frustrated trying to market on Facebook sometimes. But here are two things you can do that will make your marketing even better!

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The One Page Website: How to Do It Right for Local Businesses

Dealing with a website can be frustrating, but it's necessary. Enter the one page website. Include these three things to keep you customers happy.

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How to Prepare for the Future of Remote Work

How can we prepare ourselves for a future with no office? I talked with four remote work experts, and here's what they had to say.

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How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work from Home — or Rome

Want to work from home, but not sure how to convince your boss? I'm here to help you have that talk.

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How to Make Your Freelance Business Paper-Free

If you're tired of all those documents, hard files, and a pile of papers on your desk, here's how I run my business completely paper-free

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4 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out and Get Noticed

If you're trying to make money in this crazy online market, you've got to stand out. Here are some easy tips to get noticed.

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The Top 5 Enemies of Focus and How to Overcome Them

With sites like YouTube, Tumblr, and BuzzFeed, it's amazing that any of us are able to focus and get work done. If you struggle to focus like I do, I've got some ideas that are going to rock your world.

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How to stop struggling with your first potential client call

Are your panties in a twist over this first potential client call? I know that feeling. Stop freaking out, I'm here to help you out.

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Forget Resolutions, I'm Doing a Mantra.

Resolutions are great for some people, but not me. Instead, I'm only picking one thing to do differently, and it's going to change my whole year.

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The Lie We've Been Told: You Have Natural Talent

Talent isn't what you think it is. It isn't something you're born with. It's something you earn. Learning this has completely changed how I view learning and practice. It's also taught me how to do the right types of practice to really grow.

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What I've Learned in a Year of Permanent Travel

I've spent the last year on the road. These are some of the things I've discovered.

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Just Take My Money: How Bad User Experience Can Cost You Customers

All I wanted to do was give them my money, but they wouldn't take it. A bad user experience like this one can cost you customers.

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What Can't You Learn?

When I try new things sometimes I end up getting in my own way. But I'm figuring out that we really can learn anything — it's all about mindset.

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How to Get Your Customers' Attention

How do you grab your customers' attention in a busy world? And how do you keep it? The answer is probably more entertaining than you think.

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When to Say Yes to a Project — Even If You Want to Say No

New projects raise lots of questions. What if I make a huge mistake or don't know what I'm doing? Here's how to decide whether or not to take it on.

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How to Tell a Great Brand Story

I love a great story, don't you? Here are some tips on creating a great brand story that will make your customers happy.

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Wondering How to Grow Your Business? Start a Conversation

Here's how to start a great conversation with your current customers and get them engaged.

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Pay Attention to Yourself

We all hate getting caught up in the fury of a moment and making an ass of ourselves. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure this doesn't happen again.

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Your Brand Will Die If It's Missing This

Trust is the cornerstone of business. Here's how to make sure your customers trust you.

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You’re Full of Crap... Dealing With Difficult People

Some people are full of shit. Sometimes we have to deal with those people. Here are 6 ways to make that less painful.

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What Just Happened... How Perceptive Are You?

Like getting what you want? Being perceptive can help with that.

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I Totally Didn’t Agree to That: Managing Expectations

How to stop being blindsided with extra work, missed deadlines, or confused clients.

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Why Building Self-Confidence Matters

Building self-confidence is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Read these tips on building self-confidence for a happier life.

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Stop Beating Yourself Up: Self-Compassion

Don't be an asshole. Especially to yourself.

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How Do I Keep Up With Change and Not Lose My Shit?

Tired of the things around you always changing? Feel like you can't keep up? If you want to survive in a world with constant change, you have to adapt. Here's how to start.

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Thoughts: Designing accessible color systems

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