FAQ – Frequently asked questions

Hi, I get a lot of emails and LinkedIn DMs on the same topic. So I summarize the answers in here, as an attempt to offload a little bit of my email response time.

You can jump directly to main topics:

If you wonder things about my site, content, blog, feel free to ask by email, twitter or linkedin and I might add the question to the FAQ.

Collaborating with me: consulting, writing, teaching, speaking, podcastsetc.

All of the above can be done in English or French.

Can you work on my project?

I’m currently working for Maltem, for a single client. I’m booked until the end of 2023. I won’t be able to work on your project. But, you can always reach out and describe your project (budget, deadline, what is expected, is it more user research, ux design, ui design?, required languages)  and I can see if I know some other designer who is available.

Can you speak at my event?

I’m always happy discussing speaking opportunities. I have a list of the main talks I gave in the past if you are curious about what I usually speak about. I also do workshops and trainings. I’m always adapting the talks to the audience.

A few details:

  • If your event has an entry ticket, I expect my time to be compensated. The compensation can be discussed and I usually adapt my fee based on the type of event and entry price, if you want a brand new talk that I have to build from scratch or if I will talk about a topic I already have content about, and other perks, etc.
  • If your meetup is free and online, I can leverage the fee for a topic I’ve already content for this (aka if you ask me to do a talk I’ve alreayd prepared).
  • I expect travel and hotel support from the conference. If you are a devfest or event affiliated with the GDG program, those can be covered by my GDE status. If it’s a workshop, we can discuss having those covered with workshop tickets.
  • It’s often complicated, especially for long travel to get organized in less than 3 months. So I tend to refuse last minute speaking requests, if I have to travel, if it’s not 3 months in advance. I am more flexible for remote events, as I don’t need to travel.
  • I am in Luxembourg but I can travel. I am lucky enough to not need a visa for most countries, but if I might need one, we need to discuss this early enough to have time to organize.
  • I don’t want to be a diversity token. Please don’t ask me to speak if I am going to be the only woman in the event. And if only white people will speak at your event.
  • Content license: I retain all the rights for my content, slides, workshop material. I will share the slides and material with the audience on demand, usually either a PDF or on speakerdeck.
  • Video rights:  to be discussed for details, but I’m usually okay with recording remote talks and meetups and having the video published online. If you plan on selling the recording or putting recordings behind a paywall, we need to specifically talk about the conditions and compensation upfront so that we can have a copyright transfer contract.

If we align on the details above, please reach out via the contact form to tell me more about your event.

Can you teach in my school / university

I’m always happy to share my knowledge with students! I live in Luxembourg, so it’s easier to teach remotely if it’s over a couple of weeks, 1 hour a week. But I’m also open to coming to your school / university and a full day, or multiple days of master class.

Topics I usually teach:

  • Mobile strategy, UX and responsive design
  • An Introduction to UX and Product Design
  • Accessibility for designers
  • User Research tools and methods
  • A User Centered Process applied to Product design
  • Other topics can be discussed of course.

Please reach out via the contact form to tell me more

Can you facilitate a workshop/ train my team?

I’m always happy to teach new things to people. Just like teaching for schools and universities, remote workshops work best for me. But I’m open to coming for a face to face workshop, if it’s not too complicated from Luxembourg.

Topics I have workshops on at the moment.

  • Introduction to Cognitive biases 
  • Mobile strategy, UX and responsive design
  • An introduction of accessibility for designers, using design documentation
  • Information Architecture: how to build reusable components for your design systems
  • How to test the miss-usability of your products and services ( and how to prevent it)
  • Other topics can be discussed of course.

Please reach out via the contact form to talk about the details.

Can you write for my blog / magazine

I can, but it will depend on how much previous engagement I currently have. Please reach out via the contact form to tell me exactly where the content will be published, and how you compensate your authors. Then we can see how we can best collaborate.

Can you speak in my podcast / my live video?

I’m a big fan of podcasts and live videos because I get to have fun conversations with other people in the industry. I’m usually trying to make time for those, but please don’t take it personally if you ask me at a time of my life where my plate is so full that I will have to refuse. Please reach out via the contact form to discuss the details and when we could schedule something.

Where can I find your author details, bio and photos:

I put all those details here in a small gdoc, in English and French: Stéphanie’s author and speaker details

Buying from me (templates and stickers)

Where can I buy your templates, UX cards, etc?

I have a shop online where you can buy different templates from me. It’s a collection of different resources to help you do your job: from user interviews cheatsheets to interview cards, interview guide templates, UX research starter kit, web accessibility checklist, etc.

Where can I buy your stickers?

I have a sticker page where you can chose stickers, then contact me and tell me which you want to buy.

Mentoring and brain picking questions

Can you mentor me?

I do offer some mentoring sessions:

  • If you need some more technical answer, this falls under “consulting”. Please reach out by email and I can see how to help you. I usually have a flat fee for small 1h consulting, which includes a first 20min call where you explain me your topic, and then a 40min call where I come back to you with possible ideas and solutions. Use the “picky my brain” calendar to book.
  • For mentoring regarding career advice and public speaking, use this calendar to book a 30min session.

Mentoring is usually a “help me help you” exchange, so I will need you to be specific about what you need help with. This is why there’s a few questions in this form, so that I can prepare this to make the most out of those 30 minutes.

If you are on a low budget, I have a blog with a lot of resources and content available for free: https://stephaniewalter.design/blog/. If you have a specific question, you can ask it via my “Ask me Anything” form, and I might, eventually, answer when I have time.

Can I pick your brain about something?

I’m solicited a lot and I can’t unfortunately reply to every individual request I get. You know the diagram: you have good, fast, cheap, but you can only get 2.

Fast and good: consulting meeting

If you need a fast answer, or, it’s a project that you get paid for or make money out of (eventually), this falls under the consulting category. It will require time and analysis on my side, so I’m unable to send you a “quick” answer. I charge a flat price for small consulting topics of 250EUR/hour; which includes a first 20min call where you explain me your topic, and then a 40min call where I come back to you with possible ideas and solutions.

If you don’t make money with the project, you can use my “Ask me Anything” form. If the question is generic enough and might be interesting for other people, I might answer you and publish the answer on the blog. So that other people can benefit from it. But, I do not guarantee I will help or answer. I might not have the time.

Good and cheap: Ask me Anything

So, if you want good and cheap, it won’t be fast. This is why, I put in place a “Ask me Anything” form. You can ask your question, and I might eventually answer as a global Ask me Anything public video, maybe some private looms short videos, or a blog post (it depends on the type of question).

Fast and Cheap: I can point you in the direction

In case you want fast and cheap, you can check if I have the answer on my blog. There is a lot of content there. There’s a search feature, maybe it could help you find some content you might find useful? You can also search my blog via the  following command in Google: site:https://stephaniewalter.design/ + your request.

If you don’t find what you are looking for on my blog, maybe you could try to look at some of those: 80+ UX blogs (with RSS feed) to follow.

Can I interview you  / ask you questions about your work?

I’m always happy to talk about my work. You can reach out and I’ll see what I can do. I’m nevertheless solicited a lot. So, I can’t promise to say yes. It will depend on how much time I currently have. If I don’t have time for individual request,  I published some content about my work, maybe you could take a look:

Questions about content creation of my site

Do you have a newsletter?

Yes, I publish a newsletter that will automatically send you the new articles published on the blog.  Every week, I share the “Pixels of the Week”, a selection of weekly tech and design links not to miss under the category “weekly useful links”.  You can subscribe here to get notified about new articles. Subscribers also get coupons to my shop, and sometimes discounts to other nice partners.

Who writes and maintains this content (and social media)?

Well, it’s mostly a one woman operation for the daily things. I, Stéphanie, am the one writing the articles and sharing on social media.

Credits where due, I got help building this site:

  • A big part of the backend, and base for the front-end code of this site was created by Geoffrey Crofte. He still helps me with some new WordPress development when needed (and CSS debug when I’m stuck).
  • I collaborated with Myriam Jessier from Pragm for the copy of the homepage, the structure and she occasionally reviews some parts of some articles.
  • I created the whole design of the site and blog and all the illustrations. Except the mini me, on the left of my homepage, that was designed by Ank Von Anika. And the logo that was designed by Francis Chouquet.

How did you create the illustration on your site?

The 4 illustrations on the homepage and the plants you see everywhere were built using a paper and pen to Procreate to Illustrator (iPad then Desktop) process. I have a twitter thread with a few pictures here if you are curious.

The” little me” on the homepage was created by Ank Von Anika. She drew it based on a photo of me, using procreate.

Why don’t you open links in a new tab?

Some of you ask why I don’t open all links in the Weekly links in new tabs. A couple of reasons. First: usability and choice. I don’t want to take away user’s agency. If they want to open a link in a new tab, there is a couple of ways to do so directly in the browser, on both desktop and mobile. Users can choose to open a link in a new tab. But,  if I were to force the “open in a new window” on links (target_blank), then, users who don’t want that don’t have the choice anymore. By not forcing this, all users can choose what they prefer.

Second: accessibility. W3C recommendations: “In general, it is better not to open new windows and tabs since they can be disorienting for people, especially people who have difficulty perceiving visual content.” I don’t want to go into the details, but, check External Links, New Tabs, and Accessibility and Link Targets and 3.2.5

So, if you really want or prefer the links to open in a new tab, I think you can setup your browser to do so. Or, there might a plugin for that.

Why is the alt attribute empty in the Pixels of the Week

You might have noticed that many of the images in the Pixels of the Week newsletter article have empty alt attributes. Most of those images are collages of screenshots from the resources. They serve as “decoration”, and bring some breathing and rythm to the article. If there weren’t there, the information would still be available. Hence, after discussing with a couple of accessibility experts, we’ve decided they are decorative images. I will still add some alt on specific ones when they are not pure decoration.

You forgot to credit me / you credited the wrong person

I usually try to credit people when I use images they created on my blog and / or social media. If I forgot to credit you on my blog for something I use, or I credited the wrong person (sometimes if might happen, sorry about that), please reach out and I will correct this.

Notes and questions about my social media content, emails, etc.

A small introduction: I’m a human being. I know it’s sad that I  even have to remind some of you about that. But seriously. The way some people interact with me on social media became very disrespectful over the years. Tanya DePass, in her article “how to interact with me on twitter”  says it better than I could ever, so I will quote her: “ I’m a person not a resource. So if you followed to be educated, or just learn. Tread lightly. I tired of people treating me as a teaching font with no feelings.”. So, yes, I am a person, not a robot sharing resources. Thanks.

Also, I mostly post and share content in English, but some posts might be in French (and very rarely German / Luxembourgish). Welcome to my “lost in translation” life.

There is a technical problem with a resource / article you shared on social media / your blog

I usually open the content I share, either in Firefox desktop, or Android. But I do not test the content on all the browsers. If something doesn’t work properly, or some content doesn’t display properly and it is not my site, there is very little I can do about it. If the author is tagged you can answer to the post to let them know there’s an issue. If the author is not tagged, maybe try to contact them directly (website, social media), they might be able to help? People are often happy to fix bugs, they just need to be made aware of those.

If  you spotted a technical issue on my site though, feel free to reach out and I will double check it. If you can include you OS and browser (and viewport if you know it) that would be awesome!

I have usability issues, improvement ideas and feature request for a resource you shared.

I don’t work for the resources I share and I’m usually not in contact with them, so, there is nothing I can do personally. But I know a lot of products and services, free or not, open source or not, are happy to get user feedback. Maybe you can tag them on social media with the feedback, or, contact them to tell about your issues, ideas, improvement or feature request? Maybe there is one in the roadmap and they can tell you about it? Maybe it’s even already on their radar, and, by giving them that feedback directly, you will help them (or a designer) push an important improvement forward.

You shared something, and I have a feedback / note / comment for the author about their content

I didn’t write the article, so, there’s little I can do about your request. Have you tried telling this to the author directly? You can try commenting on the article itself if it has a comment section. You could tag them on a post. Or you can contact the author directly to let them know about your feedback, note or comment on their content. Preferably in a meaningful actionable way.

If your note /feedback / comment is big (for example you have a contradictory opinion on the whole content), another idea would be to write a blog post about it on your platform. And link to the original post. A little bit like a longer respond. The web is a nice place where people can have interesting discussions and link to each other, build upon, let’s continue enriching it.

I don’t like something you posted on social media / your tone & voice.

Sadly, I can’t please everyone. If you don’t like my content, voice and tone, you can unfollow me, or mute me, block me. There are options. No hard feelings here. I will not change who I am, or what I share and how I share it to accommodate someone’s personal taste. If you are not happy with my voice and tone, don’t like that I have sometimes swear words, I am (not) sorry to inform you I am, drum rolls, a human being. And those creatures tend to swear sometimes. Also, this is how you make sure my content was not written by ChatGPT, yeahy.

Only exception is: if you think that what I posted is considered racist, ableist, homophobic, sexist, transphobic, ageist, please let me know. I will check and adapt (aka I will do my homework and won’t put the burden on you to explain to me why). I’m trying my best to avoid that, but, I’m just a human. So, maybe I used a word that I was wasn’t aware was a problematic word. I’m happy to learn and avoid using it in the future.

Why did you block me?

There’s 99% chances that you said something sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic to me, or someone I know. I am not a big fan of people insulting marginalised folks on social media. I also use some tools that automatically block lists of people. Maybe you ended up on one of those lists. One of those tools also blocked a conference I was speaking at once, because the conference created the twitter account and mass followed a lot of people very fast so that tool considered it was bot behaviour. Accidents happen, tools are not perfect. If we never interacted, you got blocked and you think it was a false positive, please reach out. Otherwise, if we did interact, I usually block reply dudes who try to mansplain me things and bring nothing to the conversation. Or people who decided to use me as an online punching bag. No thanks.

You published this resource X days ago, can you find it for me?

All the resources and articles I shared are manually added to a “Pixels of the week” article every Sunday. There is a good chance you will find that resource on my blog, via the “Weekly Curated Links” category. The search on my blog is also not that bad. If it doesn’t bring results, I recommend you try the following command in Google: site:https://stephaniewalter.design/ + your request. Something like: site:https://stephaniewalter.design/ e-commerce. This will help you find everything that I have written on any topic you may wish to read up on.

How do you post on a daily bases on social media and maintain your newsletter?

I was asked that quite a lot recently, so here we go. First, you should know I schedule all posts. It means my social media presence is asynchronous. Just because you just saw me post something on Twitter or LinkedIn, Mastodon, it doesn’t mean I’m actually behind my computer and available to reply.

The process goes something like this:

  • I got tones of sources for many things I am interested in, mostly RSS and newsletter + special lists on Twitter
  • I open the intersting content in a lot of tabs
  • I do a first “do I read this or do I close the tab” check (remember users don’t read, they scan, this is the scanning phase)
  • If something catched my attention, I chose to really read it, I eventually either read it, or have the screen reader read it to me
  • I collect the resources I like, find interesting with my comments in a gdoc
  • I usually read a lot of articles during the weekend (or sometimes the evening). I don’t want to overwhelm people. This is why I schedule posts to social media, using Publer for that (and Buffer for Mastodon)
  • Every sunday morning, I get my gdoc of “all the links I shared + a couple of extra I keep for readers exclusively and put them into my WordPress article
  • Then I duplicate all of that in my mailing tool (Sendfox)

Why didn’t you answer my DM?

I get a lot of requests from different channels. So, either it ended up in the filtered messages (and as a woman on the internetz I am afraid to open those). Or, there is a good chance I saw it my brain went “oh I need to answer that” and then, I forgot, and your message is now lost in the sea of other messages. This is why I prefer it when people send me an email. I can tag it, have reminders and all the things I need to not forget. So, if this was important, please reach out by email. There a higher chance I will get back to you.

Why didn’t you answer my email yet?

First, note that I do NOT accept guest blogs and artificial link building. Don’t expect an answer for those.

My email priotization looks something like that:

  • If it takes less than 2min to answer, I usually try to do it right away (aka once I read it)
  • My current clients, students, mentees, conference I have an engagement with come first. Then, new demands, partnerships, etc.
  • I check my emails in the morning, during lunch break and after 6pm on week days. If it requires a longer answer, I often come back to people in Friday. Since I don’t work on Friday for my clients, I have more time to do this. If you haven’t heard from me within 2 weeks, maybe the email got caught by my spam filter. Feel free to reach out for a follow up.

About promoting your content on my blog / social media

Do you accept guest blog posts?

No, I don’t accept guest blog posts.  Now that you are warned, if you still reach out to ask about that, you officially owe me some sushis!

Short answer: no, you can’t. 99.9% of the demands I get for those are SEO people, trying to sneak a random link, that barely related to my content, into one of my articles. I hate that. So, dear SEO people: NO, I do NOT accept link exchange and don’t participate in the artificial link building spiel. I even wrote a blog post with Myriam about that: Linkbuilding: The Citizen’s Field Guide.

Now, if you are NOT an SEO agency, but an actual person with amazing content, preferably non commercial one, that will add value for my users, you can always send me a message. But, remember, there’s a 99.9% chance you won’t get an answer.

My editoral rules

I’m alone curating all the content, and my curation is the reason my readers trust me. My editorial rules regarding resources and tools are the following:

  • I only recommend tools I was able to test
  • I only recommend articles and books I read before. If you want to send me a book, please know that I might take a whole year to read it. My reading list is already quite long. So, don’t expect too much book promotion from me.
  • I recommend trainings  only when I could check that the content is not garbage, or, if I got recommendations from multiple people who went through it and were satisfied with its content (I can’t go through all the trainings myself haha). This is also why I usually don’t recommend trainings.

Can you share my content with your audience?

Maybe. Depends on the content. You can always send me the link. I often prefer to share open source content and blog posts that are from people, than from companies. But it will depend on the quality of the content and how much it fits to my audience.

I won’t share a tool I didn’t test. So, if there is a paywall on your content or tool and I need to pay for it to test, I simply won’t (unless you provide me an account to test)

Starting a career in UX Research and UX Design

A few questions I get often about starting a career as a UX researcher or designer, so I put together a few resources

What books should I read?

Of course, ​​here is a  list of selected books I personally recommend about design and more. There are even more books list at the bottom of the article

What blog and resources should I follow?

I curate a list of 80+ blogs and podcasts you can follow to get you UX career started

How do I find my first job?

Please check my “ask me anything how can I find my first UX job

Can you help me with user interviews?

Maybe my user interview and follow up questions cheat sheet could help?

Do you have templates I could use?

Sure, I created a lot of templates that help with user research, user interviews, accessibility documentation. You can find them all on my Expert UX and Templates & Resources Shop.

What design tools to you use / should I use?

Another great “it depends” answer. For my current client, I used Sketch for UI and Axure to build prototypes for user research. I work in a bank where tool access is limited, so all those tools are on my consultant laptop. More about that in my The Pragmatic Designer: Local and Self Hosted Design Tools article. For teaching class and remote workshops, I use Figma and Miro.

As to you, I would say, use the tools that work for you, your client, and your budget. Honestly, once you learn a design tool, the learning curve for the other ones is quite slow. Figma is the hot one at the moment, but if you work in a place where they don’t allow cloud tools, you might have to adapt.

Can I re-use your design?

No. I put a lot of time and effort into this design. I would appreciate it if you didn’t copy my identity. Thanks.  (to be clear, this is my polite way to say “don’t commit copyright infringement by copying my design)

If decide to re-use my design or illustrations without my conscent you will get an invoice for the time of usage (600EUR * Number of days you used it) and a legal request to remove it for copyright infrigement.

Can I re-use your content (text)?

Short answer: No, not without my permission.

Long answer: the copy of the portfolio is written with the collaboration of Myriam Jessier at Pragm. No, you can’t re-use my content and copy. Even if you think it is nicely written. Even if English is not your native language (for the record, it’s not mine either)

All the content of the blog was written by me. Again, no, you can’t re-use my articles for your blog, site, slides or anything without getting my explicit consent before (by email). If decide to reproduce any of my content without my conscent you will get an invoice for the time of usage (600EUR * Number of days you used it) and a legal request to remove it for copyright infrigement.

There are a few exceptions

  • You can quote a sentence or two from the blog if you want in your content (slides, blog, etc.) as long as you credit me as author.
  • I publish some PDF, docs and image resources. Some are published under creative common license. For those, you can re-use them, as long as you don’t make a commercial usage (so, you don’t make money, in any sort of ways) and you credit me, as author. Check the license individually as it might change for each content.

Can I re-use your code (HTML/CSS)?

Again, short answer: no. The HTML and CSS of this site was created with the collaboration of Geoffrey Crofte. If you are curious, he wrote about how he created my menu. You can get inspired if you want. Take a peek under the hood to see how the CSS is done. But don’t just copy a whole chunk of my code. This is not very ethical. Also, it would copy part of my design, which is, again, stealing my design.

Fun personal questions you might not care about but I will answer anyway

What is your favorite pizza?

I was asked this question during a conference because I had a full 45 min of pizza recipe examples. So, my favorite pizza is usually the vegetarian one, because it often comes with eggplants or artichokes. Then I ask them to add some bacon or ham. And watch the waiter, trying to figure out what the hell they just heard.

What champions do you play in video games?

In League of Legends, mostly support enchanter:  Yuumi is the best (with a Tristana ADC), Karma, Lux, Seraphine. I also like Senna a lot. I’m a big fan of Soraka, but in Wild Rift, if you don’t know the whole team, not playing a support that has enough DPS to clear a lane is complicated. Most people don’t know how to keep the tower, will chase in the jungle and you end up with a zero DPS Soraka (or Yuumi) watching minions under a tower that will, inevitably, fall. I also enjoy mid Oriana and Ahri. And Xayah ADC is my preferred champion of all (and Rakan support). I don’t play melee champions, I hate it in most games.

In Borderlands, I loved both Sirens of Borderlands I and II. In Borderlands III I played FL4K. Because he has a pet. I am a HUGE pet fan. Give me all the pets!!! In Diablo III I had a demon hunter, with the ring to get all the companion pets, some items to get skeletons, some PNC following me, etc. Yup, I like to build my own small army of friends and pets!

So, yeah obviously, I play a Spore Warden, second class Graveborn with tons of Tediore weapons that bring even moooooar pets on the map!

A Nice Coupon on the UX template shop

Wow, congratulation, you made it to the end of my FAQ. I mean, I’m impressed, very few people take the time to read any of this, so, I think you deserve a coupon on the Expert UX Templates and Resources shop. Enter HAPPYFAQ to get 5% of any purchase!