Prototyping UX using no-code with Notion.

A collection of handyman tools.
A collection of handyman tools.
MacGyver some sh*t.

tl;dr: Tools are only a means to an end, and which one you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as the valued outcome it provides. As Indiehacker Pieter Levels says, “ship to learn.” I’m 100% behind that.

With no-code, designers can build, validate quickly, and launch & learn — though design tools aren’t extinct by any means!

The no-code phenomenon (for us coden00bs) coupled with my recent introduction and ensuing obsession with Notion have led me to try prototyping a goal tracking UX in it, a template called Climb Higher — Reach for your goals, a home for all of…


When Vanessa Fondeur, founder of Latino World Travelers (no pun intended), and I first spoke at the beginning of our 6-week partnership, she wanted personas. She wanted to know her users better as she was rebuilding her site.

I was certainly able to help. I love UX research, particularly when it comes to learning the many unique quirks among individuals in their reaction to products. I have my own, too.

A user persona depicting the current target use for Latino World Travelers. Amalia is an adventurous afro-latina.
A user persona depicting the current target use for Latino World Travelers. Amalia is an adventurous afro-latina.
Amalia is quite relevant to the current user of Latino World Travelers.


Validating a product concept

This case study is related to mobile news consumption and information gate keeping, a problem space I’m deeply passionate about. Everything contained here were deliverables for my UX capstone project at Springboard. It’s the beginning of an ongoing body of work.

I was a solo designer throughout this journey, though none of this would have been possible without the support of family, friends, and mentors: Luca Longo, John Maier, James Pikover, Noam Segal, and Joel Barr. And, shout out to my career coach Calvin Nisbet. The Springboard team has been great.

My chief loves of UX are research, product strategy…


The design sprint prerogative

Dog owners of strong moral fiber will recommend that you adopt, don’t shop. But, adopting a dog in the city can be tricky. As any dog owner will tell you, the right dog normally chooses you. But, not everyone has quick access to a yard, and living spaces can be cramped, especially when you add a 60+ lb dog into the mix.

So, during this 5-day design sprint for Springboard’s UX Design career track, I set out to create an original solution for a hypothetical start-up called City Pups, a dog-adoption experience that could help those living in cities find…


There is currently a misunderstanding between journalism and the new(s) consumer. The UX surrounding mobile news consumption could use an overhaul. Through this research, I have attempted to shed more light on a problem space that could really use a simple, integrated solution that gives users access to more refined coverage on their phones, and may help to mend the relationship between new(s) media and the public of an increasingly fractured world.

The news has migrated online where the digital native is most at home, and the traditional page turner faces a steep learning curve. More users now get their…


New Brunswick, NJ (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Rutgers University students renting off campus housing in New Brunswick are accustomed to average rent being between $500–800 a person for listings ranging from destitute houses to newly constructed, lavish apartment complexes. Those unable to afford renting a new apartment must often deal with squalor and less-than-interested slumlords, who make concerted efforts not to make repairs or improve living conditions. New carpeting or appliances are a privilege.

“Sketchy,” is a common word to describe the city sprawl of New Brunswick. Lucky for students, New Brunswick residency is temporary.

The same cannot be said for those across the divide. French St…


Editors Note: The following editorial is an NJ Spark group project written by Alissa Godwin, Peter Lopez, Samuel O. Ludescher and Naimi Patel.

At a time when higher education is being targeted by political structures and faculty and staff of higher education are possessed as pawns by administrative sectors, protecting the rights and values of public higher education finds its way to forefront of social concern. The Rutgers American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT) aim to “uphold, promote, and defend values of public higher education,” such as maintaining “academic freedom, tenure, shared governance, due process…


Souce: Pixabay

The next time a woman in your life tells you she wants to start a business, don’t look at her as if to say “aww, that’s cute.” Take her seriously. Look her dead in the face. Ask her how bad she wants it. Ask her if she’s willing to fail.

Because she might. Businesses fail for a variety of reasons. But, her being a woman shouldn't be one of them. Watered-down misogyny continues to keep women from acquiring necessary funding, either from venture capitalists (VCs) or small business loans.

Female-owned businesses seeking small business loans have 15–20% lower approval rates…


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the U.S. an infrastructure report card in 2013. The ASCE rated New Jersey a D+ overall.

Unfortunately, the class (U.S.) average was also a D+.

But, at least we didn’t drag down the curve.

If these were academic grades and the ASCE were our instructor, we’d be forced to communicate why these grades were so low and what could be done to fix them. Luckily, that isn't only our job, but also our government’s.

This little essay covers two sectors of NJ infrastructure that require more emphasis: NJ and transit systems. …

Samuel O. Ludescher

An avid author | Product manager | UX designer

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