Image by Tyler Elise Blinderman

As I did my yoga the other day, tears started to form in my eyes. I found myself fighting the urge to cry.

I thought to myself, what if someone sees, and they know, they know that I’m sad? And why do I care? Why do I care if people know, that today, today I’m sad. And then, I just let the tears come. After all, it was virtual yoga, no one else could see. But there was still shame, so much shame in feeling sadness.

After yoga was done, I finished my work for the day, picked up my…

Can we change what we see as success to spark a more joyful user experience?

Image by Mattias Johansson

I miss falling in love with an artist. Consumed with their music videos, finding joy in every new song, every new video, every new performance. Spotify gives me access to every single song. EVERY SONG. So why is it so hard for me to find something to listen to?

Product design. We are missing the mark. We may be designing for the wrong measure of success.

Design is dedicated to solving challenging user problems, but we have to measure if the solution is working. To see if what we’ve created is successful.

In this measuring, we may side step the…

Image by TheLittleLabs

I found an old journal yesterday from when I was 16. In it, I wrote to my future self advice on what to do when I became a mom.

I remember the passion and desire I had behind wanting these things to be true, because if it was true for me from my mom, it would have changed my childhood, my sisters childhoods, to be more joyful, and have a closer relationship with our mother.

I remember looking ahead to my future self, and saying to her:

“Dear future Olivia, please don’t forget these things. They are so important to…

Illustration by James Forbes

Someone recently asked me, “If you had a golden ticket to cash-in five years from now to get anything you wanted, what would it be?”

Thinking of just one golden ticket seems so hard! But I loved this activity. My first thought was love. Then time. And then 50 million dollars! Hehe 😁

In my thoughts about time and love I uncovered something else to use my ticket on.

I want time to see more smiles from my kids, really see them. Time to enjoy moments, really enjoy them, without being rushed. Time to experience without thinking about anything else. Time to be totally present.

Meditation helps me get there, but I know I have more growth until I’m completely there. And then there’s the…

Illustration by Chris Fernandex

Dear social media,

There are so many times that I can’t stand you anymore. It’s a sour relationship we’ve built. And I don’t want it to be that way. I’ve had so many great moments with you. Of discovery, of play, of fascination, of connection with friends and family. I miss those moments of meaning and intent.

But, you’ve gotten out of hand. You’ve taken me to a level of distraction that I just can’t take anymore.

You say to me, every single time I land on your site or your app:

“Consume. More. More. More.”

“Keep going, keep diving…

Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay

Acceptance begins with being familiar with. It begins with being in contact with. You accept what is around you because it is there, and you adapt to it, you may or may not know all the things you accept vs the things you don’t.

And such, if you’re not familiar with a concept, or familiar with a type of person, you may not accept it, as you may not understand it or, you may have beliefs you hold that drive your expectations of them.

But what if we removed that last part? The things that drive our expectations of xyz…

Today I was exhausted. Exhausted from worries about family, about keeping them protected. Keeping them safe.

Keeping them safe during a time that feels like I have less and less control over the circumstances that are impeding on our lives. And sadness. Sadness of the lack of being able to even see my Dad and my family far away.

I told myself, just stop. Just stop worrying. How much can one person worry? But saying that only increased the momentum of the storm.

I tried all my normal ways to calm my mind. Journaling. Meditation. Listening to music. Reading a…

For the first time in about 45 days, I told myself I was going to get “ready”. As a woman, I’ve been taught to believe that being ready means your hair is elegantly done, your makeup is on, your jewelry is on, and your clothes are the cherry on top to support the entire “ready” facade.

Normally I go through this process and I just do it, no thinking about why. But today, this thought started pouring in…

How much of “ready” do I want to be? So, I started with a shower, washed my face, brushed my teeth. The…

Sunday morning walk with all our kiddos

My inner parent-critic or “critical objective parental voice” is a concept I use to refer to my inner parenting personality that judges and demands that I be a perfect mother, have the perfect child. The inner voice that says, breast is best, cook healthy meals, don’t let them eat this, only organic, don’t microwave that! Blah, blah, blah. I’ve actually named this personality to shorten it, “Sue”. When Sue comes, she makes me feel like I’m a terrible mother.

Sue imposes on me perfection. And it’s a realistic thing to ask right? With a 3 year old and a 1…

When I had my son, I remember obsessing about what stroller to get, how to decorate his nursery, and the best toys to buy. I’ve always been obsessed with exploring what’s best. I’m a maximizer. I researched strollers until I was blue in the face, and my husband was purple!

I was the mom with 10 strollers, 5 car seats, 245 toys, and still looking to scour the internet and store for every type of item until I came across the very best for my son.

My son going for a walk in his stroller

Only the best fabrics would touch my sons bottom, only the safest crib would…

Olivia Batraski

Designing products & life to bring more joy

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