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Designer. Working at Shopify by day. Being Halfool on Youtube & Instagram by night.
The author between the words “problem” and “solution”, entangled in a nest of lines trying to connect the words.
The author between the words “problem” and “solution”, entangled in a nest of lines trying to connect the words.
All illustrations by José Torre.

If you’ve studied or read anything about design, you’re probably familiar with at least one design process framework. Something that describes what the process of designing something should be.

Usually you start with understanding the problem. You follow that with the exploration of ideas that could solve said problem. And ultimately this leads to discovering a solution.

Once you have a solution, you put it out there and you monitor it, so you can learn and feed another cycle of understanding > exploring > materializing.

There are a lot of different shapes that illustrate this process… circles, loops, diamonds, double…


An octopus juggling several icons of design tools and drawing on a sketchbook with its tentacles.
An octopus juggling several icons of design tools and drawing on a sketchbook with its tentacles.

Many contenders…

When I first experienced design software I was astounded. A new world of opportunities had just opened in front of my eyes.

I couldn’t believe what was possible thanks to the magic of technology and tools like Photoshop, Corel Draw, and my personal favourites, at the time, Macromedia Freehand and Flash

17 years later I’m even more amazed, computers and digital tools have evolved to incredible levels, enabling creatives not just to put their ideas into practice faster, but also to make things that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

And the best part of it all is that we can only…


A guy (me) skateboarding away from a scary 2020 calendar.
A guy (me) skateboarding away from a scary 2020 calendar.

A few weeks ago my friends from the UX Collective asked me what was the biggest lesson I take away from 2020 and they were kind enough to share my answer here. This is not a different answer, it’s just a more elaborate one, with a story and some visual candy. Hope you enjoy.

2020 has been a challenging year, forcing most people to adapt to new realities.

It has been tough for everyone, but as an eternal optimist I always look at the silver lining, and the thing that sticks out the most for me is adaptability.

As a…


October has become a month full of drawings, with people across the world joining the #inktober challenge, or a variation of it. This year, Marina invited me to tag along with her. Of course, I said yes, as I saw this as a good way to challenge each other, but also to have some accountability to get through the month.

The theme

I’m Portuguese and Marina is Argentinian, so as you can expect we talk a lot about our experiences living in Canada as non-native speakers, and one thing that stood out were all the english idioms that people use on a…


Illustrations by halfool_draws. All rights reserved.

Because sometimes, the most rewarding thing you can make, is the thing that puts a smile on someone else’s face.

Warning! Usually, I write about design, UX, and stuff. This is not that!
This is just me, sharing and reflecting on a challenge I embarked on during quarantine, for the sake of teaching my daughter the alphabet, and more importantly to put a smile on her face. So, proceed with that in mind.
😉

The trigger

COVID pushed me to work from home and closed pre-schools, as probably many of you, I ended with a toddler at home. Mine is a little…


A tree — representing what you’re trying to fix, and its roots representing the real problem.
A tree — representing what you’re trying to fix, and its roots representing the real problem.

In this article, you’ll learn (or remember) what is the one thing you need to start solving any problem. I wrote this originally for a talk I gave a while ago, and I also posted a video on my youtube channel, but I adapted it so you can read it on your favourite medium. (see what I did there?)

Ok… let’s start with a story…

The drill saga


Me, being squashed by a calendar full of meetings
Me, being squashed by a calendar full of meetings

For the past few months, I’ve noticed an increasing number of designers online complaining about their lack of time to design.

They have a packed agenda full of meetings and, if they’re lucky, they have little blocks of an hour of less to design.

This is nothing new, I’ve been there. I’ve seen designers complain about this throughout my entire career. I’ve done it too.

I’ve also seen managers trying to address the problem. I’ve had meetings about having too many meetings and, the funniest part is, the outcome of that was spending even more time discussing it in smaller…


An illustration of me, contemplating how much drawing can give you.
An illustration of me, contemplating how much drawing can give you.
All the illustrations in this article (and more) can be found on my instagram @halfool_draws

November 2019… some decided to start rocking a moustache, others were obsessed with baby Yoda. I decided to commit to drawing something every single day. As a way to keep myself accountable I started posting daily on instagram.

Hold your keyboards. I realize this isn’t particularly original. Tons of artists have done it, and that’s what inspired me. So much that back in 2011 I took a similar challenge for over a year on tumblr, and that helped me a lot in developing my drawing skills.

One last thing before getting started, I should warn you that I’m not a…


All illustrations by José Torre.

Over the years I’ve been working as a designer in very different domains. From static graphic design to interactive product design. Despite the obvious differences, one of the similarities is having to effectively present your work.

I’ve been evolving how I do this for more than 13 years, and as a product designer demoing is super important. You do it at all stages of product design and development. It creates alignment and lets you share relevant context, along with a pressure to deliver. …


It’s easy to get excited about your job if you’re designing for a company or industry that you REALLY care about, but the reality is that most people won’t actually get to do that. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to, this is actually coming from Gallup, who found that around the world only 13% of people are actually engaged at work, that leaves 87% not happy.

I don’t have number for design specific jobs, but my guess is that it won’t deviate drastically, let me explain why. The companies that you consider cool, only need so many designers, and…

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