Ivana McConnell // Blog


Writing is one of my favourite pasttimes; I love to reflect on both my profession and on the world around me— most recently I've been interested in the intersection of technology, culture, and how the changing impact of the web and the internet impacts identity.

Want me to write something? I'd love to; get in touch!


You can find my most recent writing on my blog, but I've also contributed to the following online publications:


Apprenticeship: A better path to mastering our craft

"Our industry prides itself on being fast-moving. But offering (or accepting) an apprenticeship would encourage us to slow down and learn fundamentals first; then learn them again."

Smashing Magazine

Designers And Developers: No Longer A House Divided

"The “learn to code” movement is also gaining momentum among designers, but you’d be hard pressed to find a similarly strong movement for other disciplines within a team. Perhaps there should be."


Indyref and Identity: A Bosnian-Croatian-Canadian's Perspective

"My name is Ivana McConnell. I was born Ivana Bilić in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1989, just before the beginning of the war in 1992. Our family heritage included Muslim, Croat, and Serbian, and that was okay. But then the fighting began, and it suddenly wasn’t okay anymore."


How to Use Prototypes to Inspire the Right Feedback

"One of my favorite things about interaction design is that it's the perfect partnership between science and art, data and intuition. We imagine our everyday technologies not as they are but as they could be."

How Bad UX Makes Users Blame Themselves

"When things go wrong, we want to know why as quickly and easily (but maybe not truthfully) as possible. When something goes wrong with a user interface, the questions don't always have easy answers."

The Pastry Box Project

Impostor Syndrome: A symptom of happiness?

"I would like to [build] on impostor syndrome with my own anxieties, tricking my own developer colleagues, and the newfound realisation that only as an impostor can I be truly happy."

Notes on Teaching

"Perfectly happy in my design and development corner, I didn’t feel like I could be a poster child for tech as the cool new thing, standing before a group of students with their eyebrows raised, expecting to be taught the virtues of a career in code."

Myplanet Blog

Redefining Web Accessibility, Part I, and Part II

"Web accessibility in its purest form means that all users have equal access to the information and functionality of the web. It’s about people, not (dis-)abilities."

As Designers, We're Responsible for Telling the Right Stories.

"We shouldn't focus on making applications great — if they make better users, that greatness will take care of itself. We just need to tell the right stories around them."

In the Wild:

I've also written for a few print publications, tech-related and otherwise.

Offscreen Magazine, Issue 10

"Teach to Learn"

I wrote for the tenth issue of Offscreen Magazine (which I now help to edit!) about why we should all become teachers and mentors, take on responsibility to pass on the fundamentals of working in the web, and do so sooner than we're ready to.

Hot Rum Cow, The Rum Issue

"You Will Never Be Lonely"

An exploration of my cultural identity, and how a variety of brandy has woven its way into my life and impacted that identity— past, present, and future. Here's to rakija.

The Quarterly, Issue Two: Life & Culture


For The Quarterly, I wrote about the topic of cultural limbo and the process of getting a visa to stay in the UK. I had waited for six months without a passport as part of this process, and the loss of most of my identifying documents had left me unable to go anywhere; this was a disarming experience, and I enjoyed writing about it for the Quarterly.

Another Escape, Issue Two

"A Life Upward"

"Try just one more time, I always tell myself. The next attempt will be the last and then I'll leave it alone. It's always about trying just that one more time, until all willpower and means of strength have been exhausted and I have nothing left to give, at least until the next visit." About rock climbing and the pursuit of creativity.