Jon Wood Designing at Liferay since 2019

Product Designer

How did you get into design?

I taught world and European history for 5 years and then I decided that I wanted to build software that improved others' lives and not just help a company make money. After researching how I can make a career change into tech, I thought product management would be the most suitable role based on my skills as an educator. Eventually I was offered a role as a UX designer and took the deep dive in learning all things design through online resources and applied my learnings on the job. One of the most rewarding things I've learned is that I was a designer all along while I was teaching, understanding new problems and iterating on solutions to help my students achieve their goals.

Favorite tool?

For work: It's probably the combination of my split programmable keyboard and BetterTouchTool to customize how I can set my hotkeys for each app.

For home: My Japanese chef knife and instant read thermometer.

Best lifehack?

Remap your arrow keys to be CAPS LOCK + IJKL so that your fingers don't leave the home row!

I use Karabiner to remap my CAPS LOCK to another layer/modifier key.

If you weren't designing, what would you be doing?

Not too differently, but I'd probably be a programmer/developer.

There's something about building a solution from beginning to end that I find fulfilling.

What does your desktop/home screen look like?

Here's my phone's home screen.

I use this site which gives you app icons to match your background and use as 'spacers' to make your layout.

Favorite hotkey?

⌘ + Space I map this to Alfred. All the different workflows and keywords you can use really helps to keep you on the keyboard and without opening another app.

Advice for ambitious designers?

Nothing beats learning by doing. Know your weaknesses and work on your craft.

Most effective productivity booster?

Distractions are the antithesis of productivity so I try to mute notifications and keep my messaging apps on a separate desktop space. I used to have Slack open on a separate monitor, but that frequently interrupted my flow state.

What keeps you up at night?

Thinking about how I will calibrate my lifestyle to realign back to my current goals and lifelong principles.